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Peeking Inside Richmond, Virginia’s Quirk Hotel

by Garrett Fleming

Katie and Ted Ukrop’s Quirk Gallery has been a roaring success since it debuted in Richmond, VA’s arts and design district in 2005. So successful, in fact, that the brand has recently expanded to include a second Quirk just a few doors down from the original. This new outpost isn’t a second gallery/shop combo, though. It’s an art-focused hotel!

Opening a gallery and starting a hotel are two very different challenges, and not surprisingly, Quirk Hotel was not a speedy project. For the past eight years, Katie and Ted have worked alongside the architects at 3north and the designers of POESIS design to beautifully transform what was once a 100-year-old department store into the newly-minted hotel. Much of the time was spent conceptualizing ways to seamlessly combine customized furniture and fresh, local art with the space’s original architectural details.

The results are so stunning, I’m sure the hotel is bound to get the arts and design district all of the attention it deserves. That is the simple goal behind both of the team’s Quirk projects – to shine a light on Richmond’s often-overlooked design district and its artisans. What better way to get locals and tourists alike to consider visiting the area than by giving them a pretty place where they can dine and stay? Click through to take a further look at the renovation. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Kip Dawkins

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The beautiful hotel space isn't only designed for travelers. With a restaurant, rooftop bar, gorgeous artwork, and a coffee bar, the Quirk team also hopes to give Richmond, VA locals another place to brag about.
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"Quirk (Gallery) has always exhibited a mix of national and local artists, but we really worked hard to make sure that the Richmond artists we love are really well-represented throughout the hotel." For the expansive lobby, the team commissioned this piece entitled "Pile" by Susie Ganch.
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The building's original, limestone arches and double-barrel vaulted ceilings give the hotel restaurant a vintage and grandiose feel.
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The hotel resides in what was once a department store. Built in 1916, the original space was the first fireproof department store in Richmond.
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The lobby's renovated, grand staircase.
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I adore the curving booths in the hotel's restaurant, Maple & Pine. A deep appreciation for the local offerings comes through in the spot's regional ingredients and Virginian brews. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
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POESIS design created the customized bar for Maple & Pine, working closely with the architect and part owner, Katie Ukrop. When asked about the collaborative nature of the project, Katie says, "I think I learned the most about what [collaboration] takes – how those collaborative relationships and experiences can be successful. You also learn new ways to trust yourself – build confidence in your own ideas. A lot of the ways the design and marketing were crafted were based on what we all liked, what we preferred, and what we thought would work – instead of 'well, this is what's been done before,' or 'this works for this hotel or this company.' It pays off when you can be proud of and stand behind every individual element contributing to the big picture."
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Three words come to mind when describing the Quirk Hotel's aesthetic: Clean, fresh, and lovely.
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The building truly is teeming with artwork. Even these adorable "Please Do Not Disturb" signs show artistic flair.
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"The overall look of Quirk Hotel really comes from mixing elements – including materials, design styles, colors, textures, etc. – in unexpected ways and pairing those design elements with great art. This makes everything seem like a little surprise... it feels really special." Work by Aimee Joyaux and other local, Quirk Gallery staples decorate the guest rooms. No two rooms feature the same artwork.
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A coat of Benjamin Moore "Love & Happiness" brightens up this "Boutique King" guest room. The guest rooms' bed frames were repurposed from the hotel's original wood beams. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
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The white guest rooms in particular truly embody the clean lines and feel that Katie, Ted and the team hoped for.
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Eye-catching statement furniture fills this guest bathroom.
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"Adding two additional floors to accommodate our penthouse suites and rooftop bar without compromising the historical integrity of the building might rank as one of the biggest challenges, but again, we had amazing people who guided us through the process every step of the way," Katie explains.
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Twinkle lights add charm to the outdoor dining space.

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Comments

  • This is amazing! I visited Quirk, the shop last time I was in Richmond and can’t wait to go stay/eat at the hotel.

    Y’all should do a feature on The Durham hotel in Durham, NC. Very similar deal – used to be a bank, first floor coffee bar and restaurant, roof top bar and morning yoga. Super gorgeous inside and makes you feel like you’re on the set of Mad Men.

  • love the look of the hotel room – especially the wavy-edged nightstand! maybe I can DIY something similar….

  • So happy to see this spot getting some well-deserved recognition! It’s warm and lovely inside and I love showing it off to Richmond visitors.

  • That bathroom sink console in pic 13 is beautiful, but the anal cleaner in my wonders how hard it’s going to be to keep the floor back there clean. That would drive me crazy if I were the house cleaner. I love the re-purposing of the building and the soft touches that are modern and feminine. Looks like a lovely place to stay!

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