Sometimes my favorite projects are those that result from a creative group of people just looking for an outlet for their shared vision. Jeff Madalena owns one of my favorite New York clothing stores, Oak, and Jason Gnewikow is a partner and creative director at Athletics, a New York-based design studio (we peeked into their Catskills home here). One day Jeff and Jason and friends Amanda Bupp and Bianca Barattini noticed that the old Cobblestone Motel in Phoenicia was for sale. It was a light bulb moment for the four. Designing a hotel would be the perfect way to combine their love of interiors and travel. They were inspired by the relaxed vibe of the Catskills to create a simple and easy atmosphere. The property had already been a motel for years, so their vision was to create a place that retained the motel’s authentic voice and character but re-imagined it with a modern twist and the amenities and experience of a full-service hotel. Check out the Graham & Co. hotel right here. — Amy Azzarito
All photos by Poul Ober
Image above: We had a pretty clear vision for the design. A lot of the elements in the hotel are pieces you might find in one of our homes. We did a lot of local vintage shopping for lighting and accessories. To bring a cohesiveness to the overall look, we designed and custom made all of the beds, benches and tables using reclaimed timber, sort of Judd-inspired with a rustic twist, modernist shapes with unfinished materials.
Image above: The hotel is located in downtown Phoenicia, NY, just a few blocks off Main St. Currently the hotel is 13 rooms with plans to renovate 2 additional out buildings by the spring, which will add 5 to 7 additional rooms. It’s a small place with a strong emphasis on experience. The rooms are minimal yet comfortable, but it’s the common spaces that are really the heart and soul of the hotel. In the summer, this translates to relaxing by the pool, evening bonfires and projecting movies on the great lawn. In the winter, it’s a bit quieter, but you can go skiing at Hunter during the day and come back and curl up with a book by the fire in the cafe. Part of the magic of the Catskills is having a chance to unplug, and we wanted to stay true to this, so TVs in rooms were replaced with Tivoli radios, but we do still have wi-fi throughout the property for those who just want to unplug a little bit! It’s a great place for people who want an easy escape from the city without all the fuss of trekking out to the Hamptons.
More images after the jump . . .
Image above: All of the tables, benches and bed frames are custom made, designed and built by us. Bianca’s brother did custom illustrations for each of the rooms inspired by the topography of the area. We sourced some great custom light fixtures in nearby Accord, NY.
Image above: We’ve been longtime fans of the Tivoli radios; they are the perfect marriage of form and function in fantastic minimal design.
Image above: Weather permitting, we screen movies and make bonfires on the weekends. It gives folks a chance to socialize; we’ve met some amazing people sitting around the bonfire. We are watching ET here, but Jurassic Park was the first movie we screened outside.
Image above: The pool, the heart of the hotel in the summer. A little music and a little dip. The deck extends back behind the juniper and into the yard.
Image above: The mighty Esopus! There’s lots of activity here in the summer, and you can walk over and grab a tube at the Town Tinker just off Main St.