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Theatrical elements

When you think of theatre, what comes to mind? Drama, glamour, music and movement – these are just some theatrical elements the award-winning Simeone Deary Design Group captured in their redesign of the boutique Allegro Hotel in the heart of downtown Chicago.

For Simeone Deary, the main objective was to use materials and furnishings in unexpected ways to achieve a theatrical feel in the Allegro Hotel’s third floor lounge and meeting room. This is where EcoSmart’s Stix fires came into play.

“The wall we wanted to set the fireplace into was quite long, so I think people would expect a long and linear fireplace,” explains Rebecca Otto, Senior Project Designer. “We decided to mix it up and put in three separate fire pits. The EcoSmart Stix fires are very visually effective on their own, but they are even more so when placed together in a group.”

The historic building that comprises the Allegro Hotel Chicago was built in the center of the city’s theatre district in the 1920s, while the refurbishment was completed in April 2014; this made Simeone Deary aware of the importance of being respectful to the history of the hotel with their redesign.

“We designed around the original L-shaped room configuration which essentially feels like two different spaces. The first space has a bit of a men’s club feel featuring a dark color scheme, hardwood floors and dramatic black and blue stonework set around the fireplace. The lighter part of the room incorporates newly exposed windows which let in the light, soft brushed metallic finished tiles and shimmery drapery. The underlying concept of our design for each space is reflective of the different parts of a musical score. The lighter space sparkles like higher, faster music, and the darker part, with the romantic element of fire reflects a slower tempo,” explains Rebecca.

“The flexibility of the EcoSmart product allowed us to put an indoor fireplace in this space even though it is configured between a ballroom and a kitchen.”

Rebecca Otto, Senior Project Designer

“There is a practical element to the EcoSmart fires as well. You can put in a set amount of fuel and it will run for a number of hours, perfect for the purpose of the room, which is to host small gatherings for a few hours on occasion.”

The Allegro Hotel operators are so pleased with the finished redesign of the meeting room, they have asked Simeone Deary to work on the rest of the hotel!

“They say it used to be the most underutilized room in the hotel and now it’s the most coveted!” she laughs.

“The hotel gave us a lot of freedom with the design – they want their hotels to have personality. The space needed to be both functional and beautiful, and I think we have fulfilled that.”