Looking for a stylish, warm and inviting place to stay in Bath? We think we've found the perfect place to crash if you're planning a trip to Somerset - the gorgeous Curator's Apartment in Bath. We caught up with its founder, Tina Liu, to find out a little bit more about the apartment and her approach to creating a truly magical place to stay.
What's the story behind the Curator's Apartment?
As a design-conscious traveller myself, I'm guilty of picking hotels based on their design rather than its food or location. While there are lots of design hotels out there, the same standards are not as often seen in holiday rental apartments. It's often seen as a cheaper alternative way to travel. I wanted a create a modern way of hospitality, creating design-led individually crafted spaces that guests can feel at ease in. The Curator's Apartment is the first of such spaces.
What do you like about Bath, and in particular Walcot Street?
I lived and studied in Bath as a student and I've loved Bath from the day I attended an open day as a 16-year-old. Even though I live in London now, every time I come to Bath I'm amazed by its beauty. Every corner of Bath is beautiful, filled with history and stories. Although it's quite a small city really, it has many things to offer, good food and wine, excellent coffee and artisan shops. Walcot Street is the centre of that artisan vibe, lined up with boutique shops and eats. It's a place to feel like a resident of the city, rather than just a passing tourist.
Talk us through your approach to the interiors - did you have a clear vision for the whole apartment right from the start?
As part of this vision to create individually crafted spaces, I look to tell a story with each of the spaces that I create. I'd draw design and inspiration from the building itself, as well as its local neighbourhood and history. At the top of Walcot Street, there are lots of antique dealers and small galleries. The apartment itself is also on top of a vintage clothing store that has been there since the 60s. So I imagine this could be the apartment of a curator, who is into art, loves to collect vintage furniture but lives with modern comforts too. This drove the furniture and decoration choices. I also knew that I wanted to create a very calm space, so that drove the core colour schemes of the apartment.
What are your top tips for recreating a similar style to The Curated Apartment?
Experiment with mix and match, I really love the styles created by mixing modern with vintage. It really adds interest and contrast. In the dining area, we used 3 pairs of chairs that came from different periods. We have a pair of vintage Victorian salon chairs with rattan base that were sourced from South of France, a pair of vintage Danish mid-century chairs and a pair of more modern black painted chairs. For the walls, to make more of a visual impact, paint the woodwork the same colour as the walls.
What is your favourite space in the apartment?
It's quite hard to pick a favourite as they are all a bit different, but the living room is probably where I'd spend most of my time and it's filled with interesting objects and art. The view onto the historic St Swithin's Church through the window is stunning as well. I also really enjoy moving around in the apartment, each time catching a glimpse of one of several of the floral arrangements, that experience I think is quite special as many people don't bother to decorate the hallway or a corner.
You talk about the apartment as being more 'home' than 'hotel' - can you expand on what this means and what people can expect to find if they stay with you?
Personally, I find a lot of luxury hotels quite "cold" and "commercial", although often beautifully designed. It's often too grand to give a cosy warm feeling and all the rooms look the same. I would often look at houses that appear on The Modern House, and think 'yes I'd love to stay at every single one of these' if they were to open as a holiday let. I hope The Curator's Apartment gives a more authentic feeling to guests, in that each room is unique yet connects to each other to create a calm and cosy space that feels more like a home.
What are your top Bath recommendations for food, drink, shopping and culture?
I love the bread and pastries made by Landrace Bakery, a place I always make sure to stop by whenever I'm in Bath. The Beckford Bottle Shop is also a regular place that I go to for a glass of wine and small dishes. Anyone who visits Bath needs to go to Francis Gallery too, it's such a special place I feel lucky to have them here in Bath. Bath is not a big place either, so I'd recommend just walking around and randomly getting lost, you'll discover many hidden treasures that way.
To find out more about the Curator's Apartment, to check availability and to book a stay head to www.thecuratorsapartment.com/
All photos by Toby Mitchell Photography