There are certain things you can expect to find in a Dorothée Meilichzon–created hotel: A charmingly tipsy mix of materials and design references. Unexpected color choices. And some of the most memorable headboards around.
Meilichzon runs her own Paris firm, Chzon, and to date has performed top-to-bottom designs for four Paris hotels (go to Affordable Chic at Hotel Panache and Hotel Bachaumont’s Moody Blues for a sampling), along with a roster of restaurants. The newly opened 18-room Henrietta Hotel in Covent Garden—Meilichzon’s first London lodging—is owned by the Paris-based Experimental Group, a band of friends who she’s worked with many times before. Familiarity has granted Meilichzon the freedom to have fun: Acknowledging that she loves to experiment and to surprise, she says, “I want people to smile when they wake up in this hotel.”
Among the challenges of joining the structures: “They had different levels,” says Meilichzon, “and, as is usual in London, the space on the ground floors was long and narrow.”
Most of the designs are Meilichzon’s own—watch for her curved mirrors and other arched elements all over—but for the restaurant, run by Michelin-starred chef Ollie Dabbous, she used 40 of Vico Magistretti’s rush-seated Carimate chairs made in the 1960s.
The marshmallowy chairs with brushed aluminum bases are Meilichzon’s homage to French designer Pierre Paulin’s work in the 1970s. They appear throughout the hotel in a variety of upholstery fabrics, including jewel-toned mohair and a shagreen pattern, sourced from Italian fabric house Rubelli.