Today, the lounge presents two chats. Nick hosts Kelli Ellis to discuss her recent hospitality projects and her visit to Polywood in Syracuse, Indiana. Then Nick talks to Lonni Paul, an L.A.-based designer who made the transition from modeling to architecture to interior design, and appears as a design expert for E! with designs all over the world.
Kelli Ellis and Soul, Community, Planet
Ellis recently had a chance to apply herself to a hospitality project for SCP Hotel in Colorado Springs. Unlike residential interior design, hospitality demands designers consider how much space a piece of furniture or appliance can save in one of hundreds of rooms as well as how cost-effective it is for all those rooms to have matching elements. This particular project had the specific goals of transcending tradition and feeling good, fostering familiarity in guests from anywhere and maximizing eco-friendliness, so Ellis got to work with local artisans to fill her hotel and use locally-sourced pine-beetle-kill lumber to clear space in damaged forests and add homy earthiness to the hotel.
She also spent some of her travels visiting Syracuse, Indiana where Polywood Outdoor Furniture turns recycled plastics into durable alternative lumber and uses it to build furniture that can weather the elements.
Paul won a teen pageant when she was 17 years old and earned herself a modeling contract for work in Japan. That set her on the path to travel the world and fall in love with diverse beauty of all kinds of all different places like Tokyo, Munich, Paris and Milan. When it was finally time for her to start staying in one place, she began trading off with her husband: whoever could make the most money modeling at the time did that and the other would stay home and work on spec houses. When a friend begged for Lonni’s help on just the interior of a single bedroom, she was hooked from then on.
She went to school to learn design, and her business took off from there. Now she has designs in Aspen, Saudi Arabia, Provence and Bel Air.
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