All major cities are home to 'growling under-bellies,' places you are warned about before you arrive, areas that seem to serve the only purpose of getting you from A to B. The King's Cross area of London, used to fall into this 'don't linger' category but since the opening of Rough Luxe, a nine-bedroomed luxury hotel, you might be persuaded to hang around just a little longer.
The hotel, located in the grounds of a Grade II listed Georgian Terrace was previously owned by an Italian family. As the new owner's refurbishment project began, it soon became clear that years of neglect compounded by the limitations offered by the Grade II listing would result in a challenging set of design dilemmas.
Enter Rabih Hage, the Creative Mind/Interior Designer behind the hotel's uniquely, original concept.
Rabih found his inspiration for the project in the layers of peeling wallpaper – on seeing the remnants of ancient wallpaper dating from the 1850's onwards, he decided to merge the past with the present, creating an 'urban archeology' of unplastered and unadorned walls as a backdrop, or a stage upon which to feature works of modern art.
So what does 'luxury' mean in these recessionary times? Rabih, sees quality in details.
“Beauty is subjective. Perfection doesn't mean beauty. It's not important. What makes a place great to stay is the location. The welcome you get and how well you are looked after. The material side is irrelevant.”
Looking at the pictures of the hotel, you may be inclined to agree with him! Like the 70's punk rockers who made this area of London their home, Rough Luxe is a punk of a hotel!
With unfinished plasterwork and bare floorboards, it looks like the painters and decorators 'done a runner' with the money! The light fittings may remain untouched from days gone by but the upholstered furniture looks sumptuously decadent.
“A little bit of luxury in a rough part of London. A little bit of rough in a luxurious London.” Whatever way you look at it, Rough Luxe is a refreshingly irreverent take on overt consumerism. MM
Images by Marcus Peel