A far cry from its ill lit, over-grown, demolition-pending state merely a year ago, designers Tara Oxley of BRGuest and Chris Sheffield of SL Design have collaborated to breathe life into the 1957 structure, now home to our beloved Postcard Inn on the Beach and Wildwood BBQ. With an overlying theme of “free space” and a powerful use of color, PCI echos mid-century Florida vernacular with a few modern improvements thrown in for good measure.
Upon entry to the lobby, one is immediately aware of the spacial immensity; open, natural lighting, and plenty of seating areas combine with industrial sized ceilings fans and a strategically stenciled, bare concrete floor. The shelf spanning the north wall of the lobby is filled with books chosen for both their color and content; creating a tangible, pattern of hues and took three and a half days to assemble. Plenty of breathing room and seating areas push the tendency for conversation, intended to encourage a communal feeling between guest and patron alike. Furniture and lighting were gathered from vintage shops around the Bay Area, new skate decks were made into art pieces, snapped skate decks for seating.
The ambient lighting flows freely through the lobby out to an inviting courtyard that isn’t just for show. The designer’s goal in the garden area was to utilize the real estate and continue the open feel of the design. The pathways, which once ran directly in front of the rooms, was pulled back to allow for a planter, and give the guest needed ”privacy and a sense of place” as Chris puts it. A manicure of the courtyard freed up an area for a fire pit and lamps were hung from surrounding tree limbs. When seen at night, the space takes on an almost dreamlike ambiance.
Inspiration for the rooms is undeniably contrived from American surf culture. A Bohemian’s paradise, no two are alike. And of the 197 rooms on the property, 32 overlook the pool area offering either a hammock or a pair of Adirondacks. Surf boards, beaded curtains and retro lamps and wall art drench the rooms in good vibes and the result is a sort of “found quality”. Iconic quotes adorn the two-tone walls of some rooms, while others feature large murals or vintage photography.
In short Tara and Chris nailed it. Their ability to meld aesthetics and functionality make PCI a logical, comfortable, down-right cool place to experience and give it a vibrant personality as rich as their own.