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Exclusive interview with the design duo behind the gorgeous Four Seasons Maui refresh.
Lucky for hotel guests, Phillip Jeffries wallcoverings can cover a multitude of sins and secrets as we've seen in Season 1 of HBO's The White Lotus.
While the actual "White Lotus Hotel" is purely fictional, the beautiful designs on the show are very real and can be found at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. This open-air beachfront resort features luxurious amenities including gorgeous pools, spectacular ocean views, and several Phillip Jeffries Wallcoverings in the guest rooms and suites.
Our friends at BraytonHughes Design Studio were tasked with the renovation years ago before the show was filmed. Philip Bershad sits down with designers Rachel Fischbach and Kiko Singh to talk about the notorious "White Lotus" suites.
"We always start with a story. Doesn’t matter how big or small the project is,” the pair said. When it comes to hospitality projects, we have a lot of people we need to please here so we come up with a story that we can get everyone excited about it.”
Fischbach and Singh worked on the Four Seasons Resort first designing the guest rooms and then later, a refresh of public areas and the two luxury suites featured on the White Lotus. "It was about trying to cultivate a sense of feeling like you’re in Hawaii and the suites feel like beautiful apartments if you were to live there,” said Singh.
With guests staying for up to two weeks at the time, Fischbach and Singh saw the suites as apartments rather than the typical hotel suite. “When we get to do specialty suites, we get to use the real grasscloths!” said Fischbach. Natural wallcoverings were a big part in creating designs inspired by the views surrounding the hotel while conveying comfort and luxury.
Creating Hawaiian Luxury with Natural Fibers
"The Maile suite (where the Mossbacher family stays in White Lotus) is all the reds and golds because it is based on the Maile lei worn by the Hawaiian royals,” says Fischbach. Metallic and organic, Mystic Weaves wallcoverings in Grey Marvel (6214) are used to enhance the ocean-facing entrance to the Maile suite and featured prominently on White Lotus!
“What I love are these vignettes we can create with these beautiful textures,” said Fischbach.
Both remember the Maile suite installation vividly. “We usually have installation crews but, on this project, they decided to have the pool guys install all of the furniture,” said Fischbach. “We were holding our breath the entire time making sure nothing got scratched,” said Singh.
In the suite’s primary bedroom, Phillip Jeffries’ Extra Fine Arrowroot in Maple (072) gives the room the comfortable-yet-luxurious Hawaiian look. “The Arrowroot wallcovering has that beautiful texture, it has a lot of warmth and it feels like something that’s very Hawaiian in aesthetic,” said Singh. “Very textural, very neutral. Right up my alley.”
Gilded Age to the Rescue
The Lokelani suite (the Pineapple suite on White Lotus) is named after the Hawaiian state flower and has a garden terrace. “The suite is all about beautiful colors that are really bright and saturated,” said Fischbach. When they were decorating the suite, they had to figure out how to create an unforgettable entrance with the help of the Gilded Age wallcovering, shown below.
“The entrance just isn’t necessarily as grand as you see at the Maile suite. It had low ceilings in here so the wallcovering helped create a huge statement,” they said. “We use Gilded Age all the time. The horizontal stripes and the reflective quality help make it more illustrious and very luxe and very intimate at the same time.”
Handcrafted by artisans, Gilded Age is made using a multi-layered ink process to reveal a unique horizontal pattern reminiscent of fossilized rock and comes in 12 color variations.
For additional design details and to see what is next for Fischbach and Singh, check out the Instagram Live interview with Phillip Bershad below!
All White Lotus images are courtesy of Mario Perez/ HBO/ The Hollywood Archive.
Four Seasons images courtesy of Christian Horan Photography.
Now in its fourth decade, Phillip Jeffries has emerged as the industry leader in natural, textured and specialty wallcoverings. A manufacturer and importer of unique and fine quality textured wallcoverings, the company was founded in 1976 with just 10 grasscloths. From the humble beginnings of the family garage, Phillip Jeffries now stocks more than 1,000 ready-to-ship wallcoverings in their 60,000+ square foot headquarters. Working hand-in-hand with skilled artisans, Phillip Jeffries creates the design world's most beautiful and sought-after wallcoverings. For more information, visitPHILLIPJEFFRIES.com