As some of hospitality’s leading design practices have adopted a neutral and ‘stripped back’ approach in recent years, the latest hotel openings evidence that ornamental décor from yesteryear has slowly fallen out of favour.

The commercial appeal of clean lines, polished surfaces and whitewashed walls is often championed over bold, grandiose statements and, although furniture can easily be refreshed or changed, incorporating sizeable wall murals into an interior scheme poses its own set of questions. How will the paint degrade when exposed to sunlight over time? Is it likely to be damaged by luggage, cleaning carts or simply just the clothing of passersby? What will the upkeep look like?

This week’s Five on Friday pays homage to those designers that have answered all the aforementioned, embracing colour, pattern and sometimes storytelling using the biggest blank canvas a structure can offer. The walls.


From watercolour landscape to 19th century frescoes, the following five hotel projects exemplify how the 40,000 year history of wall art won’t be lost to antiquity…

01 | Charlotte Street Hotel, UK.

02 | Downtown L.A. Proper Hotel, USA.

03 | W Bellevue, USA.

04 | Palazzo Daniele, Italy.

05 | The Orient Hotel Jakarta, Indonesia.