Make it work. Plume’s fashion-forward vision for Hotel Covington dresses a former Kentucky department store in tailored luxe style.
Talk about boutique: Set in the downtown of a historic Ohio River city in Kentucky, Hotel Covington doesn’t just tick all the lifestyle buzzwords like hyper local, small scale and über bespoke—it echoes its home’s literal retail heritage.
No, that doesn’t mean a mega shopping component or an over-the-top runway theme. Instead, local interior and lighting design studio Plume created a merch-inspired flow within what was originally home to Coppin’s Department Store. As a result, the layout feels like a natural fit because it is.
Plush fabrics with heavy visual textures balance the casual feel of unlacquered brass and matte black finishes. Faux-fur throws and toss pillows add couture-inspired flair. Photo: Guillaume Gaudet
“We were blessed with a few historic photographs of the original building,” recalls Plume’s senior interior designer Corey Rineair, who now serves as principal of her eponymous interiors firm. “They did a fantastic job of communicating the story and layout of the space. We took that and ran with it.”
The 114-key hotel’s structure had undergone a series of transformations over the years, most recently serving as Covington’s City Hall. Its floors had been partitioned into a number of departments and offices. Consequently, the photographs were vital to restoring the century-old building’s essence.
Oversized display cases had once wrapped around the octagonal columns on the 90,000-sq.-ft. property’s first floor. So the designers translated that idea into the 12-ft.-long communal dining tables that surround the columns in what is now the restaurant area. Walls were painted white to reflect the space’s original aesthetic. At the front reception desk, an open, retail-inspired display references goods once sold in the former store, such as hats, shoes, gloves, bow ties, scarves and brooches.
The building’s bones offered two major pros: expansive windows, some of which overlook the nearby Cincinnati skyline, and soaring ceilings ranging from 12 to 18 ft. “The window bays in the lobby were integral to our space planning,” says Amanda Bennett, principal and lighting designer at Plume. “They created natural seating groups, each of which we felt deserved its own oversized chandelier.”
Erika Jones, Amanda Bennett and Corey Rineair, Plume. Photo: Brian Rineair Photography
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