Dezeen Magazine

Guest room with dramatic scalloped headboard behind bed

Fettle returns The Georgian hotel in Santa Monica to its 1930s "glory"

Design studio Fettle has restored an art deco hotel in Santa Monica, California, refreshing its distinctive turquoise facade and using the original style to inform the interiors.

Facing Ocean Avenue and the water beyond, The Georgian hotel was originally built in 1933 to serve tourists visiting the beachside city west of Los Angeles.

Exterior of eight-storey art deco building with turquoise facade
Restoring The Georgian hotel involved refreshing its turquoise facade

The eight-storey building was recently acquired by BLVD Hospitality, which tasked London and Los Angeles-based Fettle with bringing it back to life while embracing its heritage.

"The brief for The Georgian was very simple: to restore the building to her former and deserved glory," said the studio's co-founder and creative director Tom Parker.

Shaded dining terrace surrounded by foliage
The dining terrace facing Ocean Avenue is surrounded by foliage

"Not necessarily by going back in time, but more so by understanding how an art deco building right on the shoreline in Santa Monica would look and feel in a modern hospitality landscape," he added.

Under the navy-striped awnings on either side of the entrance, the shaded dining terrace is surrounded by foliage designed and procured by LA nursery Rolling Greens.

Symmetrical bar area with horseshoe-shaped counter
The design of the Sunset Bar was intended to exaggerate the symmetry of the architectural details

Scalloped-back banquettes set the tone for a motif repeated throughout the interiors, including above the red key box in the lobby and for dramatic custom headboards in the guest rooms.

In the lobby, the high ceilings are accented by deco-style chandeliers and original reliefs, and the floor is geometrically patterned to reference the designs of the 1930s.

Dining space with mismatched furniture and tall ochre curtains
The dining room features mismatched custom lounge furniture

To one side is the Sunset Bar, where a horseshoe-shaped counter of Italian emerald quartzite is strategically placed to highlight the symmetry of the arches overhead.

The dining room is located on the other side of the lobby, and features mismatched custom lounge furniture among weekly installations by French floral artist Jean Pascal.

Red key box behind a wooden reception desk
Scalloped details are found throughout the hotel, including atop the red key box behind the reception desk

Tucked behind the reception area, past a spiral staircase and through a door, is Gallery 33 – an art gallery that also hosts private events.

"This dramatic space has been designed to celebrate the best of culture, the arts and the most unique of gatherings as well as showcase the work of local, internationally renowned and up-and-coming artists through an evolving program throughout the year," said The Georgian team.

Dark-toned private dining room
The Writer's Room offers a private dining area for intimate gatherings

Next door is a red-walled library stocked with books curated by Lee Kaplan of Culver City's Arcana: Books on the Arts, while the nearby Writer's Room offers a private dining space for up to 20 guests.

The Georgian has 56 classic rooms and 28 one-bedroom suites, all of which have art deco-influenced interiors.

Pale blue window valance boxes, globe-shaped crystal light fixtures and vintage-style record players are all included.

Bedroom doors, cornices, window frames and bathroom tiles all match the bright hue of the building's facade.

Guest room with art deco-influenced furniture and an ocean view
All of The Georgian's guest rooms have art deco-influenced interiors

On the exterior above the entrance, Fettle also added a new brass framed neon sign based on the hotel's 1930s original, tying together a celebratory restoration.

"The end result presents a gleaming celebration of the building's rich history with sensitive yet striking design elements," Parker said.

Peach-colored sofa between tall curtains
Window valances and globe-shaped chandeliers are among the guest rooms design features

Enjoying the best of California's beach culture and warm weather, Santa Monica is a popular destination for visitors travelling over from LA, as well as in its own right.

Other accommodation options in the city include the Santa Monica Proper, designed by Kelly Wearstler with a relaxed feel and eclectic furniture, while a mixed-use development by Frank Gehry that's currently underway will also include a hotel.

Night view of the hotel's front facade
A new brass framed neon sign based on the hotel's 1930s original was also added

Fettle's portfolio of hospitality projects spans both sides of the Atlantic, with the 1 Warwick members' club in London and the Schwan Locke Hotel in Munich among recently completed examples.

The studio has also completed the public areas for several branches of the hotel chain The Hoxton, including the locations in Rome and Portland, Oregon.

The photography is by Douglas Friedman.

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The Georgian Santa Monica
The Georgian Santa Monica
The Georgian Santa Monica
The Georgian Santa Monica
The Georgian Santa Monica
The Georgian Santa Monica
The Georgian Santa Monica
The Georgian Santa Monica