Pop Art At The Sleep Hotel

The Sleep Hotel was a brief given to create 6 hotel rooms inspired by Pop Art at the Sleep Event which showcases European hotel design.  Sleep Hotel has been dubbed the ‘catwalk of hotel design’ and brought together 6 different leading and emerging hotel room designers to create a full-size hotel room and bathroom installation.

This year the theme was Pop Art because of the interest and influence of 60’s design around us.  One of the judges was Catherine Ince, the curator of The Barbican exhibition Pop Art Design (running now until February 2014).  The spirit of the 60’s, with its splashes of subversiveness reflected in the counterculture movement and hippy colour inspired by the idealism of the Flower Children, shines through clearly.

With bigger budgets and bigger canvases, hotel design can really push the envelope on interior design. Each designer was given the same brief — redesign a junior suite in a hotel which had its heyday in the 60’s into a more contemporary style.

Let’s look at some of the details on this hotel catwalk!

Hickson Design Partnership

Hickson Design Partnership designed the Night Night Suite. The designers wanted to combine the creative spirit of the 60’s with residential styling and homey touches.  For example, night night is a reference to being tucked into bed in your childhood.

Hickson Design Partnership_2Z9C3159small

The bathroom, however, really stood out for me.  Here is a creative use of subway tiles but with a twist.  The end tiles have texture which is attention-grabbing in a subtle way.  The textured subway tiles are the same size as regular subway tiles and so the design can be varied in countless ways.

subway textured tile

The sinks are designed to be his and hers sinks.  The large bowl is for men (for shaving?) and the shallow bowl for women.  I’m not sure about this concept in a hotel room – what about his/his sinks or hers/hers sinks?  I do like the juxtaposition of two slightly different sinks though on the same bathroom furniture that is a surprising and unique element.


Cullinan Interior & Infinite Architecture

Cullinan Interior & Infinite Architecture had the winning hotel design.  It was an incredibly cool design that photographs can’t do justice because of its innovative use of space.

Cullinan Interiors&Infinite Architecture_2Z9C3108small

They were inspired by the radicalism and youthful optimism of the 60’s.  They put a ‘spin’ on this concept by spinning the room slightly sideways.  A part of the bathroom goes behind the wall of the bedroom and the bathtub peaks out into the bedroom.

spin room

Check out the faux Banksy mouse in the corner which is a playful, subversive and  mainstream at the same time.

Banksy detail

Purpose Design

The Pop Art element was strong in this bedroom such, as for, example the cartoon dimension of the wood panelling and strong splashes of acid colour.

Purpose Design_2Z9C3142small

Pop Art-y slogans are carved into the wood panelling.

wood panelling

The groovy pillows pick up the geometric pop art theme.


I love this bathroom!  Very Austin Powers.  Groovy baby.


Kelly Hoppen & Crosswater

The hotel room designed by Kelly Hoppen had her trademark taupes and studied calm.

Kelly Hoppen Interiors_2Z9C2348small

I liked the use of subtle texture throughout which caught the eye and saved the design from getting stuck in the 1990’s on its way to the Swinging 1960’s.

The bathroom is calm and peaceful – very zen.  Nothing too new or exciting here, but perhaps subtle touches are a good thing when you are weary from travelling.

Squared Interiors & DEA Contracts

This suite designed by Squared Interiors & DEA Contracts makes great use of texture and patterns.

Squared Interiors_2Z9C3115small

This bathroom has a sunken bathtub and very colourful walls.  I like the discordant yet cool patterns in the wallpaper – I can just see these patterns as clothes worn by a 60’s hippy.  The modern bathtub and wood flooring bring the design back down to Earth.

photo 1-1

Here is the bedroom which is also 60’s styled but showing more restraint which is more conducive to a good night’s sleep.

photo 2-2

I hope you’ve found some of these photos as inspiring as I have!  The Sleep Hotel has made me realise how much 60’s Pop Art has permeated our cultural influences and design.  What’s your favourite element of 60’s Pop Art?

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