hotel/retailInteriorssneak peeks

Lokal Hotel Designed by Jersey Ice Cream Co.

by Grace Bonney


My dream travel situation is one in which the privacy and cushiness of a hotel room is combined with the laid-back kitchen access of a real home. As much as I love a good restaurant, for a lot of us with health issues, cooking our own food makes the unpredictability of travel easier to handle. So I was excited to hear about Lokal, a new boutique hotel in Old City, Philadelphia that focuses on apartment-style suites — designed by Tara and Percy of Jersey Ice Cream Co.!


Lokal co-founders Chad and Courtney Ludeman designed the hotel to work for both short- and long-term guests, providing rooms with separate bedrooms, full (gorgeous) kitchens, living rooms and washer/dryers. The rooms have an open, airy feeling that provides a modern contrast to the historic Old City neighborhood. Jersey Ice Cream Co. employed a mix of vivid blue paint (Seaworthy by Sherwin Williams), vintage furniture and salvage wood to add color and detail to the rooms and make each of the six apartments feel like a unique space.

Read on to learn more about the hotel, see inside the rooms and hear more about the design process from Tara of Jersey Ice Cream Co. [You can check out the hotel online here and contact them about reserving a room]. xo, grace

Photography by Heidi’s Bridge

When Tara and Percy of Jersey Ice Cream Co. set out to design the hotel’s rooms, they ran across many “firsts.” “We found ourselves in a new situation where we had to consider the heavy wear and tear a hotel endures, and the fact that we were designing six units instead of one home,” Tara explains. “Usually you find one or two great living room chairs and you’re done for the project! This time all the vintage hunting was six times what it normally was, which was fun in a way, but naturally more demanding, especially when you’re trying to make the whole hotel be part of the same visual story. On top of that, the worn beat-up chair takes on a new feeling in a hotel (that feeling of, ‘oh man, how many people have sat in this?’) so we really had to consider what story the vintage patina on things was telling. We stuck with our favorite materials (plaster, leather, linen, wood), aimed for a generally neutral palette, and as always, aimed to create a space that we’d want to live in ourselves.”

This stunning headboard is in one of the first rooms finished on the second floor of Lokal. Each room is named after famous Philadelphia residents throughout history, so this room is the “Betsy” [Ross].


The biggest changes made during the renovation process were opening up rooms to make the layouts loft-style with plenty of natural light and room for living rooms and kitchens.




Seaworthy by Benjamin Moore was the perfect blue/green to use in each space, adding a bold splash of color to each neutral-toned room.


Chad and Courtney of Lokal wanted to use a “mix of vintage, direct-to-consumer and custom locally made pieces,” they explained. So Jersey Ice Cream Co. handled all of the vintage furniture buying and also worked with some with local vendors to find the right pieces. They sourced from larger companies like Article, CB2, Crate & Barrel, Casper and Parachute to fill the rest of the spaces because the owners, “wanted some quality pieces that people could go home and buy easily.”


About a half dozen local craftsmen created the leather cushions, islands, cabinets, vanities and concrete counters in the rooms, adding to the mix of local, found and store-bought designs.

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The clawfoot tubs were a new (old) addition to the rooms, painted black for a modern feel.


Brass accents were used throughout the rooms to brighten things up.


Each room comes stocked with an in-house guide of where to eat, shop, visit and sight-see, so locals can spend plenty of time out in Philadelphia before coming back to rest in their room.

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