On the edge of the Union Station platform in Denver, Colo., stands the Kimpton Hotel Born. The product of a collaboration between Semple Brown Design and Ellen Bruss Design, the 240-room Kimpton Hotel Born offers an atmosphere that feels like home with warm and cozy design details—like hand-woven rugs—throughout the property.
The hotel’s concrete ceilings and sap walnut floors are Bavarian-inspired, while sophisticated, all-natural elements bring a level of comfort to the designs. Most of the wood incorporated into the property is unstained, which Erin Parker, Semple Brown Design’s lead designer on the project, says keeps the material feeling honest. The homey lobby features a staircase that leads to an abundance of meeting space and a view of the historic Union Station.
“One thing we noticed when studying other Bavarian-inspired hotels is lobbies tend to be very large-scale and grand,” Parker says. “A lot of hotels in Denver are missing that human scale, something that’s more comfortable and intimate. That’s what we were looking to achieve.”
“Many other designs that we studied had cozy little nooks where people could tuck themselves away when hanging out in the lobby,” Parker says. Sticking with the Bavarian alpine theme, the nook allows guests to enjoy a relaxing space away from their room.
Each plaid fabric covering is woolen and paired with leather for a sophisticated yet comfortable feel. Parker notes, “Even though plaid is one of the base fabrics, it gives the space a more tailored look. It’s always accompanied by leather.”
Thirty-two Denver artists were hand-picked by Adam Lerner, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, to add more than 700 pieces of artwork to the hotel. Parker says, “Typically, you would tend to go with more grand, large pieces of artwork, where here, they are a little more subtle and adventurous because they’re so small.”
Mountain hotels usually feature warm, inviting fireplaces, which was a design element the Kimpton Hotel Born Denver wanted to incorporate in the lobby. Parker notes, “Since we’re an urban property, we had to bring the fireplace down and make it modern. That’s why we chose the poured concrete surround.”