Saatva Partners with BIPOC Interior Designers to Reimagine a Historic Hotel
Although these charming accommodations have been around since 1888, 23 BIPOC designers have breathed new life into all the spaces throughout this historic hotel. Saatva is honored to be a part of this special project that celebrates diversity, participating as the exclusive mattress partner.
While the show house is now over, the designs are sticking around for good—and you can book a stay at The Cornell Inn to check them out yourself.
Each bedroom design at The Cornell Inn has a distinctive feel, color scheme, and decor, communicating the designers’ tastes and approaches. Along with enjoying the Saatva mattresses as a guest, you'll also get to experience thoughtful, well-appointed designs throughout the beautiful inn.
"Saatva is one of my favorite sponsors for ensuring that everyone who stays in the ‘Teddy Room’ at the Cornell Inn enjoys a good night's sleep,” says Rio Hamilton, one of the interior designers who worked on the project.
We recently chatted with a few of the designers featured in The Kaleidoscope Project. Below, they share details around transforming these bedrooms—each has a unique name and theme—and how they got inspired to create their designs.
The Lioness Room features warm, neutral fabrics with lots of texture and organic woods. (Photo courtesy of Frank Frances)
The Lioness Room
“I approached the project as a hospitality project and wanted guests to immediately be transported to a vacation state of mind. My inspiration was ‘Hamptons in the Berkshires,’ and I used warm, neutral fabrics, lots of texture, organic woods, and polished pottery accents to create a room that feels like a retreat.
"I then layered a few strong black elements with distinct silhouettes to give the space a sense of grounding and points of interest. There are so many pieces in the room that I love—the channeled dresser, the arched floor mirror, the vintage-feeling chairs, and the inviting bed.” - Purvi Padia, founder and creative director of Purvi Padia Interiors
The Bennett Room marries the English countryside with a modern sensibility. (Photo courtesy of Frank Frances)
The Bennett Room
“I was quite taken by how much the Berkshires reminded me of the Lake District in the U.K., so I pulled my inspiration from there. The first two items that kicked off the design were the plaid wall covering and the fabric for the window treatments.
"I wanted to create a space that was steeped in the English countryside with a modern sensibility. I love everything in the room. I would love to have this room in my own home!” - Iantha Carley, principal of Iantha Carley Interiors
The Lady Cicely Room was inspired by the late, great actress Cicely Tyson. (Photo courtesy of Saatva)
The Lady Cicely Room
“The combination of the rich color story, fabric selections, soft curves, lines of the furniture, and the curation of contemporary art and wall decor personified our muse, the late, great, and beloved [actress] Cicely Tyson.” - Denise N. Gordon, founder and creative director of Austin Gray Design Group
“Our room, now proudly renamed the Lady Cicely Room, is a generous 450 square-foot space with sloped ceilings, a cozy fireplace, a delightful balcony, and views of the coy fishpond in the courtyard. After visiting the inn this winter, we were inspired to transform the suite into a romantic retreat.
"The more we threw around design ideas, the more we realized our room could be transformed into something more alluring where guests would feel enveloped by the beauty of the grounds while in the suite.” - Marilyn LaVergne, art curator and designer of Austin Gray Design Group
“At Austin Gray Design Group, we celebrate the strength and grace of women. We are a curated collective of Black female creatives who embrace sisterhood, with a spirit of generosity to ensure that all partners succeed.” - Tanya S. Lewis, co-founder and interior designer of Austin Gray Design Group
The Writer's Retreat includes a plush bed, lucite desk, and cherry blossom wallpaper. (Photo courtesy of Frank Frances)
The Writer's Retreat
“I designed a writer's retreat fit for authors, poets, lyricists, and those who make magic with 26 letters. My decision-making was informed by the goals of ease, rest, and comfort.
"Some of my favorite elements were the plush bed with linens that would wrap you in warmth and love, the lucite desk which enabled me to have a writing surface without taking up much visual space, and the stunning cherry blossom wallpaper.” - Chanae Richards, CEO and principal designer of ọlọrọ interiors
The Jennifer Room has a soothing color palette that's conducive to sleep. (Photo courtesy of Frank Frances)
The Jennifer Room
“One of my favorite pieces in the room is the 17th-century dresser that I had restored. The dresser still has two labels on the back from the original purchase in the 1700s—it’s a little jewel! Also, in this space, all the colors came together in a dynamic way.” - Jennifer Owen, owner and interior designer at Designs by Jennifer Owen
The Ingrid Elizabeth Room was inspired by the colors found in the Berkshire nature surrounding The Cornell Inn. (Photo courtesy of Frank Frances)
The Ingrid Elizabeth Room
“I love color and took inspiration from the beautiful colors found in the Berkshire nature that surrounds the inn, the inn itself, and a beautiful painting called ‘Alocasia’ by Robert Peterson, a very talented, contemporary artist. Robert happens to be my cousin, and I was able to get a limited-edition print of the painting for the room, so I knew when I first saw it that it was the perfect match for my design.
"Also, I'm a big proponent of sustainable design and sustainable manufacturing, and some of the original furniture had lovely details, so I repurposed and reupholstered some and used them as part of the decor to connect the future of the inn with a little bit of its history.
"I wanted the room to have a sense of calm and comfort to it, a contemporary and modern design, and still feel like it is part of a centuries-old inn.” - Johanna Howard, founder and co-owner of Johanna Howard Home
The Rydhima Room is rich in jewel tones, natural stone, and sumptuously decorative touches. (Photo courtesy of Frank Frances)
The Rydhima Room
“With roots in India and Kuwait, and my own family in L.A., I know what it's like to reinvent yourself and want your home to support and express that new, beautiful incarnation. That's why every space we design tells a unique story. In the 'Rydhima' room, which I also referred to as the ‘Empress's Quarters,’ you are part of a narrative that transcends time, banishes boundaries, and frees the empress within.
"With a bedroom and bathroom rich in jewel tones, luxurious natural stone, hand-painted panoramic wallpaper, and sumptuously decorative touches, you’ll walk with the spirits of royalty past, like Indian queens and Mughal princesses, and royalty future—think warrior-princesses Leia and Rey from Star Wars.
"Here, history and culture meet modern-day living for an experience that feels relevant, unique, and utterly timeless.” - Rydhima Brar, owner and principal of R/Terior Studio
The Teddy Room features a king bed with a headboard made from a beautifully weathered and worn brass pole. (Photo courtesy of Frank Frances)
The Teddy Room
“The construction team had already begun to demo parts of the main house when I toured The Cornell Inn property in February 2021. There was a beautifully weathered and worn brass pole being thrown out in the bar area, and I decided to repurpose it into a headboard for the king bed inside the ‘Teddy Room.’
"I had adjustable leather straps to hold the removable bolster pillows that serve as the headboard. Another favorite thing about the re-design of this room is the newly added sleeping alcove. The old walk-in closet now boasts a twin bed and chic side table just in case a 'little one' joins you on vacation or a 'big one' snores.
Saatva is one of my favorite sponsors for ensuring that everyone who stays in the ‘Teddy Room’ at the Cornell Inn enjoys a good night's sleep.” - Rio Hamilton, decorator and stylist at Rio Hamilton Creative
Top photo (courtesy of Scott Morris): Interior designer Rydhima Brar in the bedroom she designed for The Kaleidoscope Project
Inspired by these gorgeous designs and want to transform your bedroom at home? Here are the top bedroom items worth the splurge.