An Open House at Thompson Chicago

Thompson Hotels

A welcoming newcomer’s inviting charm.

The lobby of the new Thompson Chicago, designed by Brit Tara Bernerd (a protégé of Philippe Starck), was conceived to be a living room of sorts for the hotel’s Gold Coast neighborhood. “The aesthetic is one that feels like it isn’t quite your home but you feel at home,” Bernerd says. Black velvets, tweeds, flannels and a bookcase (pictured) flow into a gallery that leads into an olive-green bar, which walks into Paul Kahan’s Nico Osteria Italian restaurant—“or what would be the kitchen if this were a very large residence,” Bernerd says—where vintage ceramic tiles give a blast of powdery color. The look is topped off with rustic materials like bronze, copper and wood as a nod to the city’s industrial history. No intimate detail was spared: “One of the things I loved about doing the restaurant,” Bernerd says, “was designing the cloakroom.” Rooms start at $290; 21 E. Bellevue Pl.; 312-266-2100;