When the renovation of the Oakhurst Inn began, no one would have believed it could turn out the way it did—including the designers. “We felt like we needed hazmat suits when we first got in here!” said Kathleen Blick, design director at Kenny Ball Design who, with Chloe Ball, created the look of the boutique hotel’s two Craftsman-era residences at 100 and 102 Oakhurst Cir., which comprise 17 guest rooms and 10 suites.
The homes were originally designed by UVA Hospital founder Paul Barringer as boarding houses, making the transformation from apartments (as they’ve been used most recently) to inn fairly smooth. But because the homes are located in a National Historic District, the designers were faced with some additional challenges: Unpainted wood trim had to remain unpainted (which determined the orange and charcoal gray color palette in 102) and exterior colors had to be approved by the Board of Architectural Review. They knew working on Oakhurst would be a little different than, say, a Hyatt. “It’s not a cookie-cutter project,” Ball said.
“We really looked at it like houses,” said Blick. “Each room had to be thought out differently.”
Now that the transformation is complete, there’s plenty to be proud of, with custom furniture, upholstery, and color palettes for each space, resulting in their original goal: to keep it fun, comfortable, and fashionable. Said Blick, “It’s ‘urban chic.”