Close to Nature: The Starling Lounge

The Starling Lounge

Opened in June, The Starling is a rebranding of the W Atlanta Midtown that draws inspiration from the starling bird that can be found in nearby Piedmont Park. Part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, The Starling offers 466 guestrooms and 45,000 square feet of meeting space. Many guests and meeting attendees gather in Lantana, the hotel’s distinctive lobby restaurant and lounge. “I have seen firsthand how our guests are transported when they enter the lobby of our hotel,” says Kathryn Day, general manager of The Starling. “The design is fun, chic, inviting, and extremely photographable. Our newest addition to the lobby is our living wall, which brings a fresh energy as soon as guests walk through our doors.” Named after the vibrant flower, Lantana is accented with a floral ceiling print and framed birds to evoke Piedmont Park. “I believe in creating very unique designs that are based on strong storytelling around the location, its surroundings, and history,” explains Therese Virserius, founder of New York City-based interior design firm Virserius Studio. “It creates a deeper, more meaningful experience.” In addition, Virserius wanted the space to feel “incredibly inviting, and evoke curiosity and exploration,” giving guests the sense of arriving in the home of a world traveler. Quite arguably, her team achieved those effects at Lantana.

1Sourced Artwork

The art selection is inspired by the fauna of Piedmont Park. “We worked very closely with an art company in Paris, Imaggo Production, who curates exceptional custom packages,” says Virserius.

2Eclectic Items

The accessories suggest the collection of a global traveler. “We wanted to create nostalgia, a feeling of stepping into someone’s life and getting to partake in their experiences and also contribute with your own,” she says.

3Floral Imagery

The “very baroque ceiling art with large, bold flowers” fits the park theme, Virserius explains. However, “we never look to do a direct ‘copy.’ We always look to interpret the neighborhood that you are in.”

4Biophilic Design

“Since we worked very closely with the theme of nature, we wanted to blur the line between the inside and the outside,” she says. “Bringing them into each other was an important part of the design and architecture.”

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George Seli is the editor of LODGING.