There’s that moment when you hang a painting and the beauty of a newly appointed space becomes perfectly complete. Interior Designer DeNae Krzyzanowkski of Linden Group Architects used framed artwork to finish her transformation of a historical bank into an 18-room boutique hotel in Homewood, Ill., with a distinctive French theme.
But rather than actually purchase art, Krzyzanowski created custom digital wallcoverings with MDC, applied them to the walls and framed them in wood trim. The effect, she says, often gets a “wow.”
“For the guest room corridor, I wanted to put a modern spin on our French theme, so MDC helped me find a toile pattern. We enlarged the scale way out of proportion for a traditional toile pattern, with emphasis on the floral design. The big panels of toile, which appear all along the corridor, make a dramatic statement when you walk into the space,” Krzyzanowkski says, adding that the digital art is great way to make an impact at a good price.
It’s also highly versatile and can be customized to any style. Linden Group Architects had a specific vision for LaBanque Hotel, due to their client’s tastes and preferences. The hotel’s owner, Claude Gendreau, is a French Canadian who enjoys preserving historical properties. Krzyzanowkski combined the owners’ heritage with the property’s history to create the hotel’s unique aesthetics.
“We preserved as many of the original relics as we could. We re-used safety deposit boxes, along with elements like safe doors that were signed by J. Edgar Hoover,” Krzyzanowkski says. “People can come experience the historical bank in a whole new way.” The experience starts in the lobby, where two large panels display classical images with a modern twist that gives the digital art a surreal look.
Krzyzanowkski also used MDC’s wallcoverings in the public spaces and guest rooms, choosing an off-white linen for general use and accent shades of violet and blue for the guest room bathrooms. She used MDC’s Ashanti pattern as a headboard wall accent. In the hotel’s lower level, a heavily embossed black pattern sets the mood.
“In a hospitality environment, you want to use vinyl for durability but we were able to achieve pops of decoration, as well,” Krzyzanowkski says, adding that the cost efficiency of digital art makes it especially appealing.
“When we got the quote for the custom art, our team said ‘Really? That’s it?’ We would have spent thousands buying actual artwork and with less customization. Instead, we chose stock imagery and made it ours by enlarging it and cropping it in a unique way,” Krzyzanowkski said. The LaBanque project was her first experience with MDC’s Digital Studio.
“We will use it again, absolutely. Digital wallcovering offers a lot of creative freedom,” Krzyzanowkski said. And most designers would probably agree that creative freedom is like money in the bank.