Subdued Color at Beijing's Opposite House

Subdued Color at Beijing's Opposite House

Sarah Coffey
Oct 15, 2009

With a name like Opposite House, you might expect this Beijing hotel to have a lot of high-contrast color, but the decor is much more subtle and minimal than you'd think. In fact, its design offers several lessons in restraint...

The hotel's name comes from the Chinese expression for a guest house, which sits opposite the courtyard in a traditional home. Designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the building is sheathed in a grid of light green glass. The interior palette is simple and modern: reclaimed wood, white bedding, thin curtains, and floor-to-ceiling glass.

Color enters the equation in the form of lighting, stone accent walls, plants, and the occasional dark orange or red piece of furniture. Although at first glance the space may seem a little stark, it's because of its simplicity that any hint of color makes a big impact. In the first and fifth photos, for instance, what might otherwise seem like an oddly placed red trunk becomes the visual anchor of a room. Red is a lucky color in China, and its use throughout the space might be strategic on multiple levels.

Other great details include the molded plywood Gubi barstools (which have a subtle striped texture), the curtains used as both window coverings and room dividers, and the warm orange glow created by the recessed room lighting.

For more information and photos from Opposite House, click here.

Photos: Opposite House via Mr. and Mrs. Smith Boutique Hotels

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