Portland, OR has had a major surge in popularity recently, and it’s not just because of Fred Armisen either. It’s become a destination for innovative design, incredible food, and even better wine. And since it’s just a quick flight from many West Coast airports, it’s an easy spot to escape for a long weekend. We tend to look towards Kimpton Hotels for the best accommodations — hello, Palladian! — so it’s no surprise that the Hotel Vintage is just as stylish. The property recently underwent a $16 million transformation, and is so quintessentially Portland that we can’t wait to visit. (We’re talking roses, bikes, and art galore!) We tapped Andrea Dawson Sheehan, the principle at Dawson Design Associates, to learn more about this beautiful hotel:

What was your initial inspiration/goal for the design of the hotel?
Our goal was to capture the bohemian energy and attitude of Portland and at the same time celebrate the integral fusion of wine and life. Wine as a lifestyle.

The grapes grown in Willamette Valley and the wines that are crafted are part of the essence of the Oregon experience. Indigenous to the soil and the natives who live there.

To weave a tapestry that incorporates the wine and the Portland experience into an interactive and social adventure, while providing a underlying sense of discovery, was very important to us. We wanted the experience to be hands on, delightfully authentic and avant-garde and most of all, impactful. Art, grapes and people. Fun.

Portland is experiencing a ton of metropolitan growth, but is also a very nature-focused city. How did you merge these elements into the design?
When the guests looks down from the balcony style mezzanines in front of the guestroom doors, they look down into the center of the lobby experience; A Wine Tasting Room on multiple levels. There is a residential feeling that draws our guests into this inviting space. The organic looking area rug carpet that ties the space together, when seen from above is an aerial view of the Oregon’s wine growing region; the Willamette Valley.

All sculpture and art speaks to the experience of wine, from the Baucus wall (The Italian God of Wine), the different types of wine cases used to display wine as art, the chalk board art lesson that that explains why the volcanic nature of the soil paired with the elements locally create the unique wines that are grown in Oregon. The crashing wine glass graffiti in the game room with the wine bottle pendent light over the pool table or the sculpture of the woman made from grape vines behind the front desk –it is hard to miss the celebration of the grape. Of course we have a nod to bicycles in a fun wall sculpture and a map showing the bike routes in the city, but for the most part the art was inspired by wine.

Everything we selected was thoughtfully designed and detailed to create this fusion and feeling that wine is a lifestyle in Portland and the celebration is just part of the fabric of the city.

What references were added to the design that are a nod to Portland culture?
We went deep into the sub culture and street art of Portland. Urban, bohemian, edgy, unconventional. The whole hotel feels like a forum of art. Spaces wraps around the guests in a venue 3D style canvas.

The people of Portland are very much connected. They like to experience everything on a personal level, so we choreographed a very layered experience of art, color, style and textures to create a very hip and almost vintage look and attitude. Like the Pearl District. Spaces are all a fusion of vintage and contemporary in funky and irrelevant mix. The people of Portland like to break the rules and they want to be authentic and original. We tried to create the same vibe and energy with the Vintage.

Do you have a favorite area of the hotel?
I love the lobby and the vertical incorporation of the game room with the steel winding staircase, the guestrooms perched above and the new bar and entry experience. For me this is the heart of the Vintage experience. Both funky, elegant and unexpected in its layers of attitude, art and textures. Fun, authentic, inviting and social. Feels like Portland.

For more information or to book your stay, click here.