A new brand for Accor is set to make its debut with a cool boutique hotel that has a story to tell in every meticulous detail.

The city fringe of Richmond in Melbourne is about to see a classy new addition to its busy main thoroughfare with the conversion of two Victorian shops into a hotel that honours the once gritty suburb.

In the early 1900s the heritage buildings were home to a popular tearoom and costumier run by a Miss Mary Parker. Now the new owners, The Amber Group, are adding a contemporary tower for their bijoux 80-room hotel.

Peppers Richmond, just off the drawing board of top interiors studio CHADA, will be the first roll out of the reimagined brand under the management of Accor.

Miss Parker created fancy dress and theatrical costumes for a city eager for some light-hearted amusement as Australia became embroiled in World War 1. So, it was particularly apt for the designers that the costume maker’s home would host a hotel that has a tailored environment at the heart of its core promise.

The Bridge Road location was an early main thoroughfare from Melbourne’s heart to the eastern suburbs and by the mid-1850s became a hard-working street of drapers, shoemakers and tailors with its Italianate, Greek Rival and Federation style facades. Today it is a trendy, culturally diverse suburb, home to high fashion, street arts and trendy eateries.

At the lobby arrival point a double height atrium created by Jackson Clements Burrows architects will be filled with towering tubes lights which CHADA has drawn in a variety of textiles and materials. The timber ramp towards reception will boast portraits in dramatic costumes displayed like a grand but eccentric family.

Behind the glossy orange lacquered desk – a contemporary take on a vintage fabric cutter’s table – a zipped wall will offer an irresistible Instagrammable moment.

The F&B offering is bound to draw more than the hotel’s guests with a variety of offerings from a café and wine bar through to a casual and more formal restaurant areas. It’s like a trip through Miss Parker’s sewing room with subtle and not-so subtle references to her craft to discover along the way.

A cosy, eclectic and artsy lounge and terrace bar that brings to mind a Parisian rooftop, are also planned.

“We really wanted to celebrate the area and immerse guests in the history,” says CHADA Creative director, Juliet Ashworth. “It’s a perfect marriage of the Pepper’s refined and bespoke brand values with an adventurous client and great story telling,” she says.

The CHADA design team has taken its cues from tailoring using monochromatic, architectural themes with surprising flourishes of embellishment and colour. “Like a silk handkerchief in a bespoke suit pocket, we’ve added bright bursts of colour, “says Juliet. “Imagine the detailed stitching on a lady’s bodice, well, that becomes a subtle design motif to give the hotel a very particular character.”

In the smart guestrooms the contrast between the area’s past and present persona will be reflected in the mixing of a natural stone-look walls and the clean lines of the elegant bedhead. The oversized photographs by Mudita Aeron add a fabulous pop to the moody grey and taupes and a further punch of colour to greet guests in their jewel-like ensuite.

Project: Peppers Hotel
Location: Richmond, Melbourne, Australia
Design Studio: CHADA
Website: chada.com.au