Industrial Edge


Tara Bernerd, the queen of cool contemporary design, speaks to Abode2 about her current projects and what gives her work a unique identity

Where do you find inspiration for your design work?

I tend to find inspiration in all manner of things, but I’ve always been drawn to architecture and this often translates in the use of raw materials and exterior finishes that I incorporate within our work. I am very fortunate to currently be working with Frank Gehry on a new hotel for Equinox in Downtown LA. He has always been a great source of inspiration to me so it’s a real honour to now be working with such a design icon. Many of the interior design elements for our project together draw upon the organic form and energy of the landmark that will house them. Layouts optimise on the impressive architectural landscape surrounding the hotel and bold palettes were curated with the lively Downtown LA locale in mind.

What has been your favourite project to date?

We’ve been extremely fortunate to work on so many great projects with some of the world’s most incredible hotel brands and each project really is as exciting as the next, so it’s impossible to choose! I am currently working with a prestigious hotel group in Japan to create the design DNA for a new hotel brand and the first one will open in Osaka. Japan is somewhere I had always wanted to work so realising that dream certainly felt like a pivotal moment.

How do you keep your designs fresh, whilst maintaining your signature style?

Our approach to design is always a layered process and we try to ensure that each project we undertake is indigenous to the surrounding environment, and we therefore find each one has its own unique identity. Drawing upon the local culture, the history, the climate and the atmosphere of a place, we seek to create a design DNA that completely embraces the character and identity of the place it is set. With that said, there is a thread that runs through our projects on an aesthetic level, such as the bold use of layered materials or the slight industrial edge.

Can you tell us about what exciting projects you’re working on at the moment?

We are incredibly fortunate to have so many exciting projects in the pipeline. We are continuing our work on a deluxe villa in Ibiza, a 200-key hotel in Hollywood and 730 square metre penthouse in Hong Kong. As well as this, we are delighted to be working again with The Harilela Group on their new hotel development, The Hari, in Hong Kong’s lively Wan-Chai district. In addition to our work with Four Seasons in Fort Lauderdale, we will also be working with them once again for the guest rooms at the Four Seasons Park Lane in London. I feel so fortunate to be working with such wonderful people on projects that continue to inspire me.

What are your top interior style trends for 2020?

I don’t tend to follow trends, for me, the most important aspect of design is seeking components that are authentic and will stand true in time. With that said, the use of industrial elements such as exposed brickwork or structural ironmongery with softer, warmer tones and textures is a great way to attitude and character to a space and something I incorporate within my own work. I think we’ll see more of as people continue to experiment more with unusual design finishes.

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