The Coachella Music and Arts Festival is a not-so-secret epicenter of innovative design ideas, hosting new site-specific art installations and returning favorites each year. Tastemakers from across the design spectrum, including the renowned design duo, Yabu Pushelberg, flock to Coachella to showcase innovative installations and rockin’ art. This year, George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg, the namesake founders of their eponymous design firm, are highlighting their latest project for Moxy Hotels. Known as Moxy Safari Tents, their Coachella pop-up is a sneak peek at the interiors for Moxy Times Square, opening in New York this summer. The Safari Tents are a fun way to experience great yet budget-friendly design. No worries if you can’t make it to the desert—Yabu Pushelberg’s got a few tips for re-creating Moxy’s pared down look wherever you live.
1. When designing for a small living space, maximize the utility of each piece.
Design is trending right now towards individualization and customized utility. For this project, our inspiration came from the elegant yet functional simplicity of ryokans, traditional Japanese inns. At a ryokan, the room changes over the course of the day as its function changes: The bed rolls up when you’re not sleeping, a table comes out at dinnertime, et cetera. It’s an artistic approach that inspired us for this project. At Moxy Times Square, we designed the bedrooms so that each individual could experience the same room in new and different ways. An adaptable room layout helps, but be sure to think about flexible furniture options that demand interaction and personalization. One open storage concept we love is a peg wall. It’s a Moxy brand staple, and it invites guests to hang up their clothes. That helps any room look less cluttered.
2. Think carefully about how each space will be used.
Think about the layout of your space. Where can space be saved or maximized? For the Moxy Times Square bedrooms, we designed uniquely deconstructed bathrooms—the sinks are placed outside the glass enclosed wet-rooms. The entryway space now serves two purposes—as a place for grooming and as a space to transition from the outside world to the inside world. The sinks are made of custom-glazed, carved lava stones and help bring the pared-down desert aesthetic to wherever you live.
3. Balance creature comforts with functionality.
Lighting is always important and is often overlooked when thinking about comfort. Choose pieces that are sleek yet allow individual spaces to be defined, such as a chair for reading or a dining table. The desert’s light can shift from a strong glare at midday to a soft glow in the early evening. Similarly, an apartment’s light – and the needs of the apartment dwellers – changes throughout the day. Choose lighting that gives maximum flexibility. Gentle light cascades into the bedroom through the smoked glass that frames the bathroom. Hand-wrought and handcrafted items, such as pillows, blankets, and area rugs, can also add whimsy, a pop of color, and a distinct sense of place.
4. Choose a muted color palette.
Color palette is crucial to the design and feel of each room. Keeping in mind the colors of the traditional ryokan—pale birch and white, for example— helps convey a feeling of overall lightness and of openness. The muted tones in warm wood-textured floors and army-green mosaic tile are punctuated with bold color accents of light fixtures and textiles. This concept could be applied to any space to give it an open and airy vibe.
5. Moveable furniture is a must.
Moveable furniture can transform a compact space into a comfortable and highly functional environment. A single, well-designed piece can transform a space and give the guest the opportunity to customize their space based on their specific needs. We created custom, multi-purpose foldaway tables and chairs for Moxy Times Square to give guests the opportunity and ability to modify the furniture layout and make up of the room based on personal preference and activity. Whether working, dining, packing, or dressing, furniture pieces can be added or removed to free up precious space for other activities.
6. Avoid a cluttered look.
Don’t put too much stuff in a room! Take an edited approach, and design in a way in which functional things are beautiful and make sense in the context of the whole. Provide places to put things that are necessary to modern life; a place to put personal devices, luggage, etc. Simple, honest, accessible materials such as ash wood, powder-coated metal, denim, leather, and cord are used throughout Moxy Times Square and are very Coachella.