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Workstead at the Wythe Hotel

June 4, 2012

I just returned from a beautiful weekend at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn, which truly is a remarkable renovation of an early 1900s factory building. The tall ceilings, spacious interiors punctuated by modern, relaxed furniture and floor to ceiling windows makes you feel right at home in an industrial, but comfortable space.

The room was amazing with its own patio and two inviting Acapulco chairs, but I have to say one of the things I liked most was the public space of the entry.

When you walk in, the lobby is lit with chandeliers by Workstead, an architecture and design collaborative founded by couple Robert Andrew Highsmith and Stefanie Brechbuehler.

The fixtures are built from repurposed O.C White industrial joints, vintage Hubbell sockets, and steel. Stefanie and Robert also have a carefully curated apartment, with a number of pieces by friends, collaborators, and local shops, check out the full tour here.

I love their personal design philosophy:

We believe that the most sustainable pattern for a domestic life is both re-use and re-invention.  We try to limit our purchases of ‘new’ furniture and objects, preferring the story and character of vintage and reconfigured pieces.  Most importantly, we believe in buying things once.  We have found that it leads to a way of life that is deliberate and focused.

Just off of the lobby of the Wythe is Reynard’s, Andrew Tarlow’s latest venture. Also within the public space of the first floor is a little tucked away library where you can sit and play a board game or read a book (and the light on that far wall is also by Workstead).

I’ve never been to a hotel quite like the Wythe; the people were friendly, there was a relaxed, creative energy, and the space embraced all of the various visitors from a wedding party to those heading up to the rooftop bar for a drink, to tourists, like myself from out of town. I hope that other hotels can follow the design philosophy of the Wythe and look to local designers, the context and spirit of place, and repurposing existing structures.

photos Wythe Hotel

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