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Dark Horse: 7 Design Ideas from the Brentwood Hotel in Saratoga Springs

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Dark Horse: 7 Design Ideas from the Brentwood Hotel in Saratoga Springs

July 23, 2019

Recently, scrolling through the app OneNight—a new favorite of mine that lists last-minute deals for hotels and lodgings, should spontaneity strike—I stumbled upon the Brentwood Hotel in Saratoga Springs, New York. I was surprised how smitten I became with the equestrian-inspired interiors (the hotel is on the grounds of Saratoga’s famous racetrack), with dark interior trim and framed paintings of country scenes that, though the project was completed in 2016, feel new for fall. But no wonder: The hotel was designed by Brooklyn-based Studio Tack, the same team behind some of our favorite hotel interiors, from Scribner’s Catskill Lodge to Sound View in New York’s North Fork to The Coachman in Lake Tahoe and the Anvil Hotel in Wyoming. Here are seven ideas to borrow, whether or not you’re able to book an autumn stay.

Photography via Brentwood Hotel.

1. Meet board and batten, the stable version of shiplap.

Taking cues from the location on the grounds of Saratoga’s famous race track, Studio Tack (who are also the hotel’s owners) revamped the former motor lodge’s exterior with board and batten cladding, evocative of horse stables. The gravel courtyard that leads to the 12 well-appointed guest rooms was designed by landscape firm New Dimensions.
Above: Taking cues from the location on the grounds of Saratoga’s famous race track, Studio Tack (who are also the hotel’s owners) revamped the former motor lodge’s exterior with board and batten cladding, evocative of horse stables. The gravel courtyard that leads to the 12 well-appointed guest rooms was designed by landscape firm New Dimensions.
The entrance to the lobby bar.
Above: The entrance to the lobby bar.

2. Paint cladding high-gloss black.

Inside the lobby, dark-painted cladding surrounds the bar for dramatic effect.
Above: Inside the lobby, dark-painted cladding surrounds the bar for dramatic effect.
The trim is an old-school-style treated wood.
Above: The trim is an old-school-style treated wood.

3. Criss-cross rooms in dark trim.

Each of the 12 guest rooms is painted white with dark-painted trim boards, echoing the hotel’s exterior. Bonus: The trim peg rail doubles as a place to hang your hat.
Above: Each of the 12 guest rooms is painted white with dark-painted trim boards, echoing the hotel’s exterior. Bonus: The trim peg rail doubles as a place to hang your hat.

4. Hang flea-market paintings front and center.

Above: At Brentwood, vintage, mix-and-match paintings of horses and pastoral scenes (many of which the team found at the Brimfield antiques fair) are brought down from the proverbial attic and hung above the bed. Also pictured: the darkly dramatic bathrooms.

5. Rethink old-school sconces.

Twin brass swing-arm sconces with shades flank the bed, cords and all.
Above: Twin brass swing-arm sconces with shades flank the bed, cords and all.

6. Add a touch of glam to small details.

Above: Tassels adorn guest room keys.

7. Bring back the folding camp stool.

In the spirit of the racetrack, rooms are fitted with folding camp stools. For a few of our favorites, see 5 Favorites: The Elevated Camp Stool. (The guest rooms all have racetrack views.)
Above: In the spirit of the racetrack, rooms are fitted with folding camp stools. For a few of our favorites, see 5 Favorites: The Elevated Camp Stool. (The guest rooms all have racetrack views.)

Motor lodges of yesteryear are having a moment. Take a look at a few of our favorites, revamped for modern stays:

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