Case Study: Artist Residence
By Victoria Smith
Jul 28, 2022
Renowned for creating design-forward destinations that are packed with personality, the team behind Artist Residence know how to make style lovers, creative souls, and inspiration-seekers feel right at home. Indeed, every site in their five-strong portfolio of ‘fun and friendly places to eat, drink and sleep’ is bursting with the kind of relaxed charm that makes it impossible not to switch off and fully embrace your surroundings.
Each time we return to one of these unique and special spots, we’re inspired all over again, and reminded that when it comes to creating spaces that just ‘work’, going back to basics, following your instincts, and taking the time to seek out perfect one-off pieces always pays off
We caught up with Artist Residence co-founder Justin Salisbury to talk inspiration, design, and why, when it came to finding tiles to suit the brand’s aesthetic, Bert & May was a go-to choice…
Name: Justin Salisbury
Tell us a little about Artist Residence…
We're a small group of eccentric places to eat, drink and sleep in the UK. We started out back in 2008 - my family had a B&B on Brighton seafront and when my mother was injured in an accident I left university, aged 20, to help out. It was a bit run down, so I started thinking of ways we could boost business with limited resources and came up with the idea of posting an ad on Gumtree calling for artists to come and decorate in exchange for board. Soon we had Brighton artists descend on the place painting walls, ceilings and floors with murals...it was pretty chaotic! But that's how it all started. My wife Charlie then joined me and together we slowly built up the business and expanded to five locations in Brighton, London, Penzance, Oxfordshire and now Bristol.
What three words would you use to sum up Artist Residence?
We like to think of ourselves as homegrown, fun, and friendly.
How would you describe the overall aesthetic of Artist Residence properties?
Our ethos is to bring old buildings back to life, 'un-decorating' in a way, as we strip walls and floors, uncover brickwork and cornicing and celebrate the original features of the buildings we're lucky enough to inhabit. We also take influence from the local area, vibe and community, sourcing local artists and makers to incorporate into the design. Our approach is generally to scour the web for vintage finds, salvaged signage, and curated artworks we love - and it usually ends up working all together quite nicely!
Who was responsible for the interior design?
Myself and my partner Charlie design all the interiors - over the years we've really honed our personal style and aesthetic and we love nothing more than creating somewhere new for our guests to enjoy!
How did you stay true to the Artist Residence signature style throughout five properties that are so different to one another?
Our places vary slightly in style and are inspired by their individual locations and buildings - we don't have a cookie cutter design approach, but we do always use a combination of reclaimed materials, vintage, antique and industrial furnishings alongside some of our fail-safe favourites (like Bert & May tiles!) and a fun art collection, which helps the style feel cohesive across each of our places.
Which Bert & May products have been used in your properties?
A lot of them! Most recently we've used the Luna Old Iron tile in Oxfordshire and the Coarse Terrazzo for our new apartments in Brighton - these were a bit different for us but worked perfectly in the apartments as they have a bit of a mid-century feel.
What do they add to the overall look and feel?
Bert & May tiles add a statement to a bathroom, whether it's with bold black & white or antique patterns, and the tiles are always one of the things our guests ask about for their own homes!
Get the look...
From left to right: Black Alalpardo Tile, Eugenie Tile, Inverse Grey Salon Tile, Canola Yellow Otura Tile
Explore the Artist Residence locations here or check out their Instagram - @artistresidence
Images via Artist Residence.