Designer Inspiration


“When taking on a new project my inspiration for the design usually comes to me in mysterious ways, although it’s not something I necessarily wait for,” says Yvonne Roberts, Guru of Luxury’s Principal and Creative Director. “Most often it comes from within the design process itself. As well, when given the responsibility with a project that has historical significance, it's important to uphold its legacy in a meaningful way.” Roberts states.

“I’ve had the extraordinary opportunity to work with some exceptional, historic properties,” she adds. Miami’s iconic Biltmore, which is one of very few National Historic Landmark hotels in the county, is an example of her experience with turn-of-the-century grand dames. “Design inspiration can also come from physical challenges. And the creative process usually is about starting broadly and narrowing down, but the real gift is when the spirit (if you will) of these beautiful properties just guide you, and everything just seamlessly evolves into its proper place.” Roberts explains.

Her current project, the Hotel Retlaw, in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin is a perfect example where Roberts continues to illustrate her bold vision for combining lavish beauty with historical integrity; her design was approved without a single revision by both the State and Federal Historic Preservation entities...which is no mere nod to the past!

The Retlaw opened its doors in 1923 and was designed by Herbert W. Tullgren, an American architect, well-known in Wisconsin throughout the 20’s and 30’s. Herbert's design style progressed from Revival, Tudor Revival and Georgian, to what would eventually become his trademark; Art Deco and Art Moderne. As to what Roberts' had in mind for the Hotel Retlaw; ”It’s important to respect the integrity of the hotel’s original profile. And in doing so, I intend to pay homage to Tullgren's evolving styles of design, coupled with connectivity to modern day luxury.”

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