Did Sam Nazarian give you a directive or give you creative freedom?
They let me go… I always design as if I’m going to be staying there. And I have many different sides. That’s the thing about Kravitz Design Inc.—the team is not a one-trick pony. I would say we’re as versatile as I am musically. People tend to think our design is going to be a certain rock and roll thing. There’s always an element of that but it’s not what people think it’s going to be.
Think of artists in the sixties and seventies who had the best homes and had amazing style—extravagant. That’s the inspiration for these suites—somebody who travels by aircraft, by train, by ship, by motor coach, who collects things and keeps adding to it. We’re designing our own couches – we’re doing our own furniture. I always like to put my own pieces in there. There’s stone. There’s pattern. That’s kind of the vibe. There’s a lot of texture. I like to use a lot of organic materials—I’m not someone who likes to just make a white box, which you get a lot in Miami.
Well, everyone rips off Delano.
And of course when Delano did it in the beginning it was new—it was a major statement and it was so—pardon the pun—stark. It had an amazing aesthetic quality but everybody kind of took that—but took that to the hilt and it just became overdone.
People don’t know a lot about Miami. They think it’s a beach town but there is a lot of history here and a lot of style and a lot of original architecture —and this building happens to be one of those examples.
Speaking of Delano, how do you feel about the hotel closing The Florida Room, which you designed?
I am very proud of what I did there. It had its day. A lot of people had good times at Florida Room. But I didn’t run it—it wasn't my club. I designed it; that was that. A lot of people think it was my club, and that’s just how it works. But it’s closing, it’s over, we move on—next door.
Stay tuned for more from Lenny on hotels, what inspires him, and how he makes design-hotel magic while on tour...