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The William Hotel Guest Suites

The William Hotel Guest Suites

At the William Hotel, a 20th-century mansion that once functioned as a private clubhouse for Williams College alumni, the guest suites are saturated with monochromatic color palettes. Mason Wickham, principal at In Situ Design, says the hues used in the 33-room boutique property were inspired by fine artist William Engel’s paintings. Wickham and fellow designers Edwin Zawadzki and Lilian Bakhash shared a studio space with Engel during the development phase and allowed their individual artistic processes to converge. “We wanted to turn the [design] process upside down and work together simultaneously for a different kind of product,” says Wickham. “The hotel really comes out of the paintings and the paintings really come out of the hotel.”

In Living Color
Each guestroom floor features a unique colorway that takes its cues from Engel’s original artworks that were commissioned specifically for the hotel. “We really went out on a limb with color. It’s unapologetic, emotional, and really visceral,” says Wickham. “Bill’s paintings are the heart and soul of the hotel.”

Social Seating
The multifunctional furnishings in black and gray tweed offer a neutral complement but maintain a playful aesthetic. “We wanted the furniture, in this environment of serious minimalism, to have some personality,” says Wickham. “The furniture is sculptural, but it’s also really gestural. The pieces have a social nature to them.”

Cooked to Perfection
To give the in-room kitchenettes a high-style boost, the team pumped up the counter height and designed a stainless steel shelving unit that conceals the range hood and provides impactful lighting. The area is also accented by an ethereal, smoky mirror backsplash that ties the space together. “We didn’t want the kitchenettes to corrupt our concept,” says Wickham. “They’re very high functioning, they’re compact, they do everything you need them to do, but they’re also a little bit mysterious.”

The Minimalist
The architectural design plays a big role in creating a minimal backdrop that allows the bold shades to pop. “We were heavy-handed with suppressing the architecture. It’s very structural, very tectonic—everything is frameless and flush,” says Wickham. “We did that specifically so that the planes of color could have prominence in the room.”

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