Visual storyteller creating luxury design experiences

Yang Di
Elliott Hambrook is a senior interior designer at Shanghai studio of Wilson Associates on hospitality projects for worldwide groups including IHG, Marriott and Hyatt. 
Yang Di
Visual storyteller creating luxury design experiences
Courtesy of Wilson Associates / Ti Gong

Elliott Hambrook

Who is he?

Elliott Hambrook is a senior interior designer at Shanghai studio of Wilson Associates on hospitality projects for worldwide groups including IHG, Marriott and Hyatt. Based in China since 2003, he has more than 15 years of experience working in one of the world’s fastest growing and most demanding property markets.

Tell us some of your works and name the one you are most proud of?

I am really pleased to be working on a Renaissance hotel project in Zhengzhou right now. This project features some outside the box design. Based on a modernized “Yellow Emperor” theme, it takes a modern and youthful approach to showcasing the ancient culture of the area. This includes cartoon imagery and “mascots,” which have been boldly but tactfully incorporated into a kind of luxury playground. We have been working on this with our New York team and it is amazing that this cross-continent collaboration of minds all over the world can focus on this single project right in the center of China. It is under construction right now and working on it has inspired many innovations that I cannot wait to see come into reality!

Describe your design style.

I take a personalized and holistic approach to design, navigating the practical functional needs of a client, and signature details, which set apart luxury bespoke interior designs. Working at Wilson Associates, I am lucky to find myself frequently aligned with clients whose love of detail and aspirations of quality match our own and push us to new frontiers. Within our worldwide team we are fortunate to have some fantastic mentors like Tristian Auer in Paris, whose style and approach to design is a constant source of inspiration. Closer to home we have our Shanghai Director Patrick Fung, whose knowledge of hotel design has ensured that our ideas remain feasible and consistent throughout the lengthy design process. These strong players have been a big influence on the way I design.

As we are focused on the hospitality sector, we deal primarily with hotels and restaurants. This means as designers we frequently range between a lot of different styles and periods, working as visual storytellers, creating luxury experiences. These experiences must be relevant to the changing needs of hospitality guests. Luxury is not simply a visual identification. Guests must have seamless and uninterrupted experiences as they transition around a space, and it is these needs, which determine my design style.

What does your home mean to you?

Home right now is essentially all about my one-year-old son, who is the driving force behind most of our home design decisions!

What do you collect?

Instruments! I have about 45 unique pieces from all over the world. Finding ways to display them is almost as challenging as finding time to practice them all.

What will be the next big design trend?

In our industry, hospitality that caters for the very real needs of a post-pandemic society, while incorporating the workspace trends, which were prevalent in 2019 is going to be important.

Special Reports