Architecture + Design

HSL "Best" Design Award | IIDA

4/17/2017 | Shawn Hancock
Kerri Fukui

Here I am, full-time commercial interior designer, extremely part-time contributor to this fantastic newsletter and a proud 168-hour a week admirer of cityhomeCOLLECTIVE. I’m at the International Interior Design Association (our fair city has its own chapter) Best Awards sitting all front-row style, comfortably nestled between a wonderful, young designer from FFKR and Karen Cahoon with MHTN. I know I’m not winning tonight, but I am here to rub elbows (or is it shoulders?) with local designers and bear witness to the many projects up for various design awards ranging from large to small, those designed on a budget or those deemed to represent the broad categories of Serve, Live, and Play.

In short, I am here for inspiration.

Mingling, the sound of laughter and genuine admiration bounce off the walls of this two-tiered gathering space at Rice Eccles stadium. A pleasing scene unfolds with beautiful people truly enjoying one another’s company – a chorus that cityhomeCOLLECTIVE unswervingly hums along to. The interior design community in our city is tight like a tiger, and I love it, and it is great to witness the camaraderie of those actively engaged in making this city so damn lovely. So pretty. Unique.

A MAJOR COMPONENT OF ANY RESTAURANT EXPERIENCE IS THOUGHTFUL AND MEANINGFUL DESIGN.

The awards ceremony begins and instantly, that wonderful, young designer to my right takes home an award for one of the best projects in the Serve category (think healthcare, community centers, and the like). As I’m congratulating her and coveting and perhaps planning a way to “borrow” her award, no other than the designer on my left--the undeniable Karen Cahoon--takes home an award of her own.

The night progresses and images of the projects being considered for the Best award in the Play category (think entertainment: hotels, hospitality projects, and restaurants) are flashed across the large screen. I quickly recognize the subtle, breezy interiors of HSL Restaurant. This upscale American craft bistro will deliver a truly outstanding burger (just drooled a little), but we’re not talking about food here. This is about Design with a capital D. Deliberate interior design like this elevates mood, encourages engagement, and completely satisfies. Sound familiar? cityhomeCOLLECTIVE has walked this walk from the start, helping peeps find that perfect nest, exploring this beehive state and either singing its praises or implementing considerable design chops. With that backdrop of fresh green, a tasteful, contrasting bar and killer wall covering, it is clear to me who the winner here is (winner being such a foreign word in this context, as we live in Utah...we're all winning) and rather validating since the three national judges agree with me. HSL “wins” a Best award, and I take note that this is the first time they have entered a project into this show. Not a surprise to me, but I am thrilled that more designers are being exposed to the stunning work and service that CHC is bringing to Salt Lake City’s table. The project is a shining example of what interior design should be – an extension of who we are.

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