How J.K. Place in Florence spurred my passion into the world of home interiors
On a beautiful Summer’s days in Florence back in 2005, I was walking through the Piazza of Santa Maria Novella with a friend, who suggested that we have brunch at a boutique hotel called J.K Place. Although the brunch was served outside on the terrace, I was curious to see how the hotel looked inside.
The entrance was so understated that I nearly missed it, and I also needed to press the doorbell for someone to let me in. However, as I entered the corridor, I realised that this place was very different to many other hotels that I’d stayed in previously.
The shift from social lifestyle to home lifestyle
Back in the crazy days of my early 20’s, I was totally obsessed with Ian Schrager. Every trip to New York had to be combined with a stay in one of his hotels. The experience of lounging in the darkly lit bars of the Royalton and the Hudson, while sipping on a stylish pink Cosmopolitan was a totally new experience for me, and the atmosphere made me feel good, and I’ll also admit, hip.
Schrager was the brainchild that disrupted the hotel industry by fashioning the concept of the boutique hotel and making the idea of socialising in a hotel trendy again. With respect to my young age (at the time) and a newly launched phenomenon, my focus was all about the social lifestyle of being in a fashionable hotel establishment, rather than being concerned about the finer details and quality of Schrager’s genius hotel designs.
Now fast-forwarding to the decade of my 30’s (wiser and less crazy), my passion for boutique hotels evolved beyond the excitement of meandering in lounge bars. And when I first visited J.K. Place in Florence, it spurred a new interest that has now become my new obsession – home interiors.
My ideal home away from home
J.K. Place is one of very few boutique hotels in Florence that has been able to capture the true essence of tradition, modernity and elegance in its design. Every time I have walked into the lounge, I have the same sensation as when I see a stylish Florentine man walking down the street – tailored jacket with pochette and white crisp shirt, slim-fitted trousers and moccasin shoes. Not wanting to get too detailed, but style and beauty comes to the forefront of my mind. I know this maybe an odd comparison, but when I discovered who restored and designed J.K Place, you’ll realise the meaning behind my analogy.
Florentine Architect Michele Bönan evokes the whole idealism of Florentine class. His idea for J.K. Place was to create the ideal home, rather the ideal hotel. Every room is designed to give total comfort, as if being in your own home. Intricate designs and features mixed with antique and modern bespoke furniture pieces, transmits a form of aspiration that makes you want to redesign your own home again.
Now celebrating its ten-year anniversary, the hotel still holds a timeless style, which is far from looking outdated or worn-out and has no intention to do so in the future.
Bringing J.K. Place back home
Unless you were involved in the design industry, being able to buy furniture seen in hotels was a difficult task until now. In 2012, a lifestyle website called Discover & Deliver was created to make life a lot easier for boutique hotel enthusiasts. Searching by either hotel or destination, you can purchase a multitude of items, range from furniture, lighting and accessories from your favourite hotels. If what you’re looking for is not on the website, send them a picture and they will even go on a hunt to source your desired item.
Unquestionably, the Discover & Deliver team have included J.K. Place, with products including lamps designed by Michele Bönan and other accessories by Estro, a Florentine-based lighting manufacturer, renowned for its high-quality craftsmanship.
J.K. Place definitely encouraged me to think more about good design for my own home. So I would highly recommend that you take a visit yourself and and see what inspires you.
Discover & Deliver: www.discover-deliver.com
To make the most of this neighbourhood, stay at the boutique hotel, J.K. Place, Florence