A Boutique Hotel in Wine Country

Rooted in Oregon’s Wine Country, the Atticus is an independently owned and operated luxury hotel that reflects the charm of the local community. We spoke with Christina Tello of Tello Interiors on how she created unique and intimate spaces within the hotel which embody true “Oregon Romanticism."

Photography by Greg Kozawa 



How did you get started as a designer?

I have always loved design and history. In high school I worked at antique stores and was fascinated by all the stories each piece embodied. The collectors that came in knew an endless amount of information about the items they collected and I really loved learning from them. At that same time my sister was going to architecture school and I started to think more about the built world. Knowing that I had a love for history, I became interested in adaptive reuse projects and helping buildings come back to life, that is one of the main things that attracted me to a design school that had a strong architecture foundation. My career has evolved and I work on both remodels and new construction projects and I try to bring that depth of history into a fresh modern perspective.

Tell us about how you approach hospitality design?

I find a lot of inspiration from local stories. My clients on the Atticus were a wealth of information about their local community.  They connected me to farmers, wine makers, restaurant owners, artists, makers and all kinds of local characters that really helped inform the story of the project.  Research and observation skills come in really handy when you want to create something that deeply reflects its locale. Inspiration is all around us all the time. For me, it's about finding that special lense and focusing on elevating the experience to its highest potential. Boutique hospitality projects are about pushing further than most people would go in the design of their homes but still connecting to the intimacy of a home.

What were the goals for this project?

The goal for the Atticus was to create a luxury hotel in the heart of Oregon wine country. It was important that this project didn't look like Napa or anywhere else on the West Coast or the world. It is in Oregon and the Willamette Valley is setting its identity right now.  This project needed to elevate the experience of staying in a charming small town to a level of luxury that surpassed expectations. We did that in spades in this project. It is a warm inviting luxury experience that tells a deeply local story. There are so many great stories inside this project. If you ever want to hear more, just ask the concierge team. The goal for the interior experience was to express that perfect moody Oregon vibe in a spirited manner. 

Each room has a different look, but still feels cohesive. How did you achieve this?

This was a challenge. Figuring out how different they could be but still being cohesive was important. Ultimately, I put together a mix and match palette that all worked together but was iterated throughout the units. One of the bigger moves that gives the rooms distinct personality is that I used different wallpaper at the headboard of each bed. Then that wallpaper paired with a selection of paint colors that all compliment each other. I sourced a series of different coffee tables and mirrors which were then mixed around to get the best combination in each unit. The final styling was fun. The rooms have their own custom selected antique touches and individual brass door knockers on each door. One of my other favorite touches is the book selection in each room, that was curated by a local and the owners put a bio card in a book to tell the local's story. That was the last piece we installed and it made me so happy to see it all come together so well.

How did you select the tile combinations for this project?

The Ann Sacks tile used throughout was a perfect fit for a project about local love and style. The black penny rounds on the shower floor were selected as a modern spin on the classic mosaic. The Savoy backsplash at the sinks were also a spin off the classic hex into something that reflected that unique Oregon spirit. One of my favorite Ann Sacks tile is the Paccha Zigzag concrete tile we used in the Penthouse Bathroom floors! I played with the patterns in each of the three bathrooms in the Penthouse, all having the same tile but a different expression of the pattern. Love that tile.  Then we also used the Savoy Herringbone for the backsplash at the penthouse sinks because it pairs so well with the Paccha. The other showstopping tile is the fireplace surround tile. That was selected for its fun geometry evoking a primitive playful pattern but done in a lux marble material. It was perfect.

Why was showcasing local brands important?

Showcasing local design brands in Oregon was very important. This project was inspired by the owners wanting to bring a luxury hotel to their hometown. Making sure the experience was one that expressed Oregon was at the heart of the mission. The term I use to describe the style of this project is "Oregon Romanticism". That could not have been achieved without also celebrating all the local design brands and talent we have in our region. Guests from out of the area are coming to experience the unique offerings of Oregon and we need the local brands to help deliver on all that Oregon has to offer!

August 5, 2021

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