Inspiration Tour

This past week our entire design team gathered in Denver for our annual HRI Inspiration Tour. Every year we explore different artistic and inspiring spaces to expose ourselves to different avenues of design. This year we visited Denver’s most impressive and respected boutique hotels and art galleries. We also got an in-depth 2-hour tour of the city’s graffiti and commissioned street art. It’s not hard to find inspiration in such a thriving city!

Our first stop was the Maven hotel located in Denver’s Dairy Block. Each detail at the Maven was thoughtfully constructed. The lobby consisted of mostly natural materials and warm tones. One of the most striking pieces is the crafted hand sculpture, created by Andrew Ramiro Tirado that is hanging in the lobby’s entryway…you can’t help but admire it’s artistry. This hotel is also home to the Milk Market, a collection of amazing restaurants and shops. You can indulge in Italian cuisine, fresh seafood, local brews and coffee, cured meats, and any sweet treat you can think of. After we ate, we perused the market’s vendors and found candles, clothing, plants and more. The Milk Market is definitely somewhere that you can lose track of time.

Next, we made our way to The Art Hotel perfectly placed in the middle of the RiNo art district and has an in-house art curator, Dianne Vanderlip, the former curator of the Denver Art Museum. It is no surprise that the art in this hotel was captivating and thought-provoking. Specifically, we were entranced by the 22,000 LED Light show in the hotel’s motor lobby. Each floor is themed and designed around a specific painting. A running joke is that the only thing Denver is missing is the beach but leave it to The Art Hotel to fulfill that void.

We also visited the Indigo and Born hotels. The Born displays original works of art in every room commissioned by 32 of Denver’s most talented artists. Creativity doesn’t stop at the walls; each closet has an original painting inspired by Colorado’s beauty and culture. Our last stop on this leg of the Inspiration was the remarkable Ramble Hotel, a truly design-envy space. The owner, Ryan Diggins led us on a personal tour and showed us all the things that make this place so unique. We saw everything from the renowned Death & Co speakeasy to the beautiful suites, and everything in between. The Ramble blends different styles, colors, textures, and a mix of new and salvaged materials resulting in a glamorous and intentionally eclectic environment. It is a new build, however, because they paid attention to every minute detail, it gave the overall impression of a historic space.

We also gathered inspiration from Denver’s top galleries K Contemporary, Abend, 1261, and Robischon. Each gallery had amazing pieces from emerging and established local and international artists. We saw work from Robin Hextrum, Michael Gadlin, Carlene Frances, Enrique Martinez Celaya, and the Harim Brothers, Sami and Halim. We received in-depth insight to the world of art curation from each gallery’s director. Jim Robischon and Jennifer Doran the co-owners of Robischon enlightened us about the exhibitions currently in their gallery and about national art as a whole. Jim and Jennifer are every bit intelligent as they are loveable, it was truly an honor to get to pick their brains. Dariya Bryant, the associate director of K Contemporary shared all of her knowledge about up-and-coming and established Colorado artists and artists abroad, and she made the process accessible and exhilarating!  We truly received a behind the scenes look at what goes into the selling and curation of art and couldn’t have asked for more knowledgeable guides.

Next up – A Tour of Denver’s hottest graffiti and commissioned street art. On our tour, James Carlson showed us some of the coolest art the city has to offer. In most cities graffiti is illegal but Denver really embraces street art and values the beauty and uniqueness of it. James knew so much about each dynamic piece – he told us the background of each piece and the artist behind them. Most of the murals we saw had a thought-provoking and unexpected story behind them which added another layer of inspiration. We also got to see a number of the murals that were a part of the “Crush the Walls” art festival. This festival takes street art to a whole new level with artists like Detour, Jeremy Burns, Patrick Kane McGregor, and many more talented individuals. Check out the tour for yourself here

Everything we saw made us want to run to the drawing board and incorporate all of the incredible things we saw into our own designs. We are so fortunate to be able to create every day and to live in a place where art of all kinds is accepted and embraced. Our yearly inspiration tour is an amazing opportunity to get out and source ideas from unexpected places.