Lucre PR asked me to create an ‘ultimate Christmas suite’ at the Park Plaza Riverside hotel in London. The suite would be used to gain press for the hotel but also needed to be practical as paying guest would be able to stay there for the whole of December 2018.
The atmosphere Lucre PR and Park Plaza wanted to create was the magic of Narnia. I wanted to bring the outside in, using lots of snowy trees, dripping with icicles and snowflakes, small feathered birds on branches, a beaver in the sleigh and a 6ft polar bear in the bedroom.
I knew lightning would play a crucial part in creating a magical atmosphere so used curtain lights for the walls, string lights on the trees and lots of LED candles in lanterns and tea light holders, all in a warm white for that cosy touch.
The hotel wanted to widen it’s appeal to families, so part of my brief was to style the space in such a way as to really engage with children. I hand painted and silver leafed a wooden sleigh and matching post box, the latter so that the younger guests could write letters to Santa during their stay. To bring the family together I provided a range of beautifully written and illustrated Christmas books which they could share whilst cuddling up under the faux fur blankets. When the guests arrive they are greeted with a range of sweet treats including ginger bread men, mince pies, hot chocolate, cookies and turkish delight, for which I provided silver dishes straight out of Narnia. For the youngest guest there is also a night light which projects stars onto the ceiling to aid bed time, which can often be a tricky part of the day.
The bed room needed to feel a little more grown up, so while the living room has faux fir trees, the bedroom has lit faux silver birch trees, in front of a backdrop of a winter snowy scene, which is watched over by the impressive, but friendly polar bear.
I made sure that I paid attention to the small details such as winter garlands around the tops of the living room, and the base of the candles. Snow drifts around the base of the trees, sheepskin rugs over the sleigh and chairs. Snowflake stickers and snow drifts on the windows and mirrors, and all the tiny feathered birds landing on the branches or perched on the TV.
The suite is a truly magical place to spend time with the family and the hotel’s enviable position on the River Thames means that the view from the suite’s window is of the London Eye, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.