It was a tall order: convert three historic properties on the Lexington Battle Green into a luxury boutique inn. The antique structures include the 1888 three-story Main House, built for one of the town’s first families and later turned into an assisted living facility; the Isaac Mulliken House, named for the feisty politician who lived there in the mid-19th century; and the Barn, rumored to have been a casket factory.
Daunting as the prospect was of designing 22 guest rooms, common areas, and a sophisticated on-site restaurant, Artistry on the Green, Robin Gannon leapt at the opportunity.
“I understood and agreed with the aesthetic the owners sought immediately. We wanted to honor the building’s historic integrity — in Lexington we take out history very seriously,” says Gannon, the designer behind the Inn at Hastings Park. “The goal was to take traditional ideas and put a fresh face to them.”
It was important that the inn feel current and fresh for the traveler. Guest rooms and suites are spacious and impeccably appointed. These are the type of rooms you want to linger in. Some have fireplaces and marble baths with rain showers; all are replete with Frette towels and robes and flat-screen televisions. On the foot of each fluffy down comforter is an old-fashioned Brahms Mount blanket hand-loomed in Maine.
“We gave every room a sense of tradition and a sense of place,” says Gannon. “Then we kicked it up a notch by using interesting colors and modern twists.”
Graphic wallpapers set a distinctive tone for each room. “An inn screams wallpaper,” says Gannon. “I felt it was necessary to have that element of character. I scoured wallpapers that felt in synch with the property.”
In a king-size room in the Main House, Gannon selected Schumacher wallpaper with an off-white background punctuated by shapes reminiscent of black ornamental frames. The bed’s green velvet tufted headboard has a slight pitch, says Gannon. “It’s very comfortable to lean against while reading.”
A seating area created with two chairs upholstered in a black watch plaid and x-benches at the end of the bed are sheathed in a houndstooth check. The room’s infusion of modern came from a sleek Bernhardt chest made of zebra wood with a high gloss finish. A red lacquer lamp fashioned out of a Dunes & Duchess candelabra adds a little glam: the candelabra turned detailing has a timeless, traditional feel, says Gannon, so it’s not over the top.
Osborne & Little wallpaper peppered with silver Mylar stars against a black background defines a large king-size suite in the Main House. “The room is very bright with windows on two sides so the black doesn’t make the room feel dark at all,” says Gannon. Stars, she says, are a perfect fit for the historic inn. In the suite’s seating room, a camel-colored chenille sleeper sofa feels warm and rich. “The plaid pillows remind you that you’re still in this traditional place,” says Gannon.
“When designing an inn you want people to be surprised, it adds an element of interest,” says Gannon. “But they can’t be so surprised they don’t feel comfortable.”Jaci Conry can be reached at email@example.com.