Interior designer Kimberley Miller reveals her residential vision for The Burgess Hotel
There’s a new boutique hotel in Buckhead, primed to become a destination for both visitors and locals, with 102 guest rooms and suites, a full-service restaurant and luxe bar. Rather than build from the ground up, The Burgess Hotel inhabits the former Wingate by Wyndham. Owners Burges and Freny Jokhi tapped Dallas-based interior designer Kimberley Miller, CEO and principal of Duncan Miller Ullman— whose work on The Curtain Hotel & Members Club in London, Hotel Zaza properties in Texas and a host of boutique hotels in Asia they admired— to lead the three-year redesign.
The result? “It’s a feast for the eyes, really warm and rich with an array of color,” Miller says of the property featuring Frette linens, colorful sofas and bespoke artwork. The design also takes cues from the Jokhi’s family history, including the decor of Mr. B, the bar named for Freny’s father, Keki Bunshah, who led the first Indian Mount Everest expedition. This space is adorned with photographs from his climbs, an element that adds personality and drama to the space.
Here, Miller shares some of her favorite aspects of the design.
How would you describe the guest rooms?
The guest rooms are residential, approachable. They exude comfort. They have a fresh, timeless, classic feel. I think the layout is significant; the majority of the rooms feel like suites because they’re oversized and have sectionals along with king beds.
How did you settle on a global, international look?
It was very important for the feel of The Burgess to reflect some aspects of the journey that Burges and Freny have taken. They both grew up in Hong Kong and are world travelers.
The Jokhi’s daughter, Jessica, is an artist. We collaborated with her to create custom art for the guestrooms [in the form of four prints]. She also has some original pieces in the lobby and market area. There’s a gallery on the way to the boardroom and meeting room that showcases her original pieces as well.
Why was having a residential feel so important? Is that a trend you’re seeing in hospitality at large?
Absolutely. This influence is becoming very strong. People have gotten tired of the typical. Instead, guests are gravitating towards something that feels like an experience. Our biggest compliment is when people ask, “Where do I get that lamp? That chair? What is that paint color? I’m going to go home and paint my living room.” We know we’ve accomplished the goal when people feel like it’s something they could live in.
What are some of the standout furnishings from a design perspective?
In the bar/restaurant/lobby experience, we created different gathering areas, and some of the pieces are just phenomenal, like the one-of-a-kind fireplace that Burges and I found at Francois & Co. [with a showroom in Buckhead]. It’s become a magical centerpiece. The bookcase, the Chesterfield sofa and all the furniture in the lobby bar are custom. We also found an antique 8-footlong bone dragon. It’s a showstopper.
I want guests to feel welcome and inspired. We want them to feel like it’s their home away from home.
How does The Burgess Hotel fill a need in Buckhead?
I’d been coming to Buckhead for a long time, well before this project. There wasn’t another unique, one of a kind property near The Burgess. There are a lot of cool [chain] hotels nearby, but there isn’t anything that has this international, high-level design feel in Buckhead. It’s approachable luxury and an experience you’re not going to have anywhere else.
THE BURGESS HOTEL
3600 Piedmont Road N.E.
Senior Contributing Editor and Beauty Columnist at Simply Buckhead. Travel, Food and Design Writer and Author.