Design symphony.

Featured hotel in Bendigo.

Words by
Joanne Hawkins
Topic
Photography Leon Schoots
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When David Cook-Doulton and Martin Shew first heard that a handsome building that once housed Bendigo's oldest bank was for sale, they knew it had the potential to become their latest luxury accommodation offering.

Having already wowed visitors with their luxe Lascelles and Lyon House projects in Ballarat, the majestic CBD building – built in 1864 for the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney – also had the advantage of having been converted to a hotel in 2004.

So, unlike Lyon House, which David and Martin patiently renovated over three years, they were able to transform the former bank in Bendigo – which came with an underground cellar and vault – into a luxury hotel infused with their signature style in four months.

“The 2004 repurposing of the building was done to an exacting level of detail so our work involved a detailed cosmetic and finishes upgrade,” explains David.

“We spent the four months upgrading the carpets, window furnishings, fittings and furniture,” he said.

Photography by Leon Schoots.

“I like to zone areas between light and dark. The suites are light and bright with tactile finishes and large art pieces taking centre stage. The reception area and gold vaults have a darker aesthetic to create drama, scale and theatre.”

— David, Bendigo

Glorious grandeur.

The result is the exquisite Bendigo Ernest Hotel, named after David’s grandfather. Situated a stone throw’s from the city’s eateries and Bendigo Art Gallery, the boutique luxury hotel “celebrates the grandeur of Bendigo’s glorious past while infusing it with today’s luxuries,” says David.

The hotel now features 10 individualised guest suites adorned with alluring Australian art and luxurious bedding and designer furnishings, combining to ensure a memorable and bespoke experience.

As with their previous projects, Bendigo Ernest Hotel features contemporary design overlaid on a historical backdrop.

“I like to zone areas between light and dark. The suites are light and bright with tactile finishes and large art pieces taking centre stage. The reception area and gold vaults have a darker aesthetic to create drama, scale and theatre,” David explains.

“I like the simplicity of the Wave Fold Drapes which I feel works well with the contemporary design concept we have used.”

— David, Bendigo

David again turned to dollar curtains + blinds to design, manufacture and install Window Coverings that would complement and enhance the building’s stylish makeover.

Wave Fold Blockout Curtains were chosen for all of the guest suites.

“I like the simplicity of the Wave Fold Drapes which I feel works well with the contemporary design concept we have used,” he says.

After looking through dollar curtains + blinds’ extensive fabric range, Epic fabric in the Cloud colourway was chosen to complement walls painted in Dulux’s Feather Soft.

“The fabric and the wall paint both have a slight pearlised effect which accents the scale and drama of the architecture without overpowering the hero artworks,” says David.

The Blockout Curtains – which offer superior light control, privacy and thermal and noise insulation – puddle on the floor for an opulent look.

“This time, we went for the backing and Sheers as separate Curtains. We then opted to only have the puddle on the Sheers which has created a softer and easier-to-use solution,” explains David.

The Blockout Curtains were teamed with Wave Fold Sheer Curtains in Pewter Cannes fabric. The Sheers allow daytime privacy and diffused natural light while adding softness to the sumptuous suites.

Elsewhere, Double Roller Blinds were the pick for what David calls the “more difficult windows” where Curtains weren’t suitable.

Blockout Roller Blinds in Evolve fabric in a Light Grey colourway were combined with Sunscreen Roller Blinds in White Grey Sabi fabric.

Having the two Blinds on the same bracket offers the ultimate in flexibility, with an easy switch between the Blockout Blind for privacy and darkness and the Sunscreen Blind to let the sun in and filter the view.

Perfectly framed.

David couldn’t be happier with what the Window Coverings from dollar curtains + blinds have added to the Bendigo Ernest Hotel.

“The windows here have such scale so we were able to accent this without overpowering the aesthetic. The hotel looks into the magnificent Rosalind Park so the Curtains needed to frame this ‘magic view,’” he explains.

“The outcome has exceeded our expectations. Working with dollar curtains + blinds is just so easy. Price, quality and reliability – could you ask for anything more?”

 

“The outcome has exceeded our expectations. Working with dollar curtains + blinds is just so easy. Price, quality and reliability – could you ask for anything more?”

— David, Bendigo

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