The Dallas-based founder of Studio 11 Designknown for her high profile hospitality projects, uses color, form and context to draw guests deep into the mystique of the Arizona desert at Scottsdale’s Senna House.
Jhe desert has a special allure that contrasts with the formality of five-star hotels in big cities and the breezy atmosphere of seaside resorts. A memorable American Southwest retreat, even if located in the heart of a major metropolitan area, should fall somewhere in between while still having its own personality. And if designed with care, it will offer the customer a real sense of place thanks to the integration of 21st Comfort of the century and Mid-Century Modern Design with the history and sensory elements of the place.
When Kellie Sirna, co-founder and sole director of Dallas Studio 11 Designwas tasked with bringing Senna House to life, her starting point was two of the Scottsdale’s most ICONIC natural active ingredients—Camel and the McDowell Mountains.
From there, she set out to create an interior space that blends easily into the exterior view by applying the “five Cs of arizona(citrus fruits, cattle, cotton, copper and climate). She rooted the color story (terracotta, dusty pink and deep navy blue) with bright copper tones to tie public and private space together. One of his main goals was to make sure that guests occupying rooms and suites would feel like they were in their own private Sonoran Desert home, no matter where they came from. whether it be ScottsdaleScotland, Seattle or Singapore.
In other words, Sirna designs the type of destination properties she would like to stay at.
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“I have always enjoyed traveling and immersing myself in different styles of architecture and fashion,” she says, moving fluidly back to her “origin” story in design. “After college I worked as a furniture buyer and saw another side of the business before moving into design, which gave me a full picture of the industry and the honed skills that I still use every day. My natural inclination for travel and my love for building people-to-people relationships led me to hospitality. Fulfillment comes from discovering the heart of a destination and developing it. an approach that incorporates local elements in an authentic and welcoming way.
“I have always enjoyed traveling and immersing myself in different styles of architecture and fashion.”
Other high-profile destination properties designed in Sirna’s signature style include the Hutton Hotel in Nashville (a collaboration with musicians Dierks Bentley and Ryan Tedder) and Le Meridien DallasThe Stoneleigh.
She has also built a reputation for her residential interior design, which incorporates the retreat aspects of a fine boutique hotel into the function and form of a private home. Senna Houselocated in the old town Scottsdale’s Entertainment District, is a 4,500 sq. detail. offerings in line with local tastes and international lifestyle trends.
The Kansas City, Missouri native feels a kinship with hospitality guests who seek to create unique environments that only a well-dressed and appointed boutique hotel can provide. She believes that her ability to understand the specific needs of her clients comes from the fact that she became interested in entrepreneurship even before learning interior design and gaining practical experience in different design companies after. obtaining his diploma. To do her best and be able to make meaningful connections with clients and colleagues, she knew she had designed her own ideal workplace.
“The unique blend of creativity and industry bustle is what sparked my interest as an interior design student at the University of North Texas,” she continues. “Early in my career, I was inspired by the challenge of creating an authentic story for each client and I always love the thrill of developing a design narrative that tells the story of a destination through material elements. When I decided to launch Studio 11 Design, I knew I was going to have to do things differently. I wanted the flexibility to lean more on my strengths as a business owner and my needs as a single mother while maintaining very close and practical relationships with my clients. To achieve the dynamic I knew I wanted in a workplace, starting my own business was the best option.
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Senna House was a perfect place for Sirna to put her ideas into practice, as the concept of the hotel fitted perfectly with Scottsdale’s natural landscape and its place in the culture of the American Southwest. She describes how she brought the natural flora and geography of the region into the interior spaces of Senna House as a design approach reflecting daily life in Scottsdale. She also wanted the property’s public spaces to be truly adaptable to each guest and occasion. For example, the pool deck needed to be upscale and elevated for poolside gatherings and workspaces to feel relaxed and laid back to while away an afternoon.
This versatility is achieved through a flow created by the open floor concepts. However, creating the pool deck on the second floor of the hotel presented a challenge when crafting the ceiling for the restaurant below.
“The need to conceal mechanical equipment led to the design of a soffit element that wrapped around the bar and flowed into the lobby, which then cascaded through the floor tiling to connect the open-plan public areas intentionally,” she said. . “Understanding how function and style would converge was no small feat, especially since this was a project that went through the final design stages during the height of the pandemic, and the designers had to navigate a virtual review of the model room.”
Collaborating with businesses in the Phoenix area was also essential to the success of the project to gain not only visitors, but also Scottsdale residents and the community as a whole. If it was obvious that the space of the Senna house had to adapt not only Scottsdale visually, it also had to capture the heart and soul of the place. Working with teams who have deeply understood Scottsdale brought a collaborative element to the project that made it possible. As Scottsdale locals are sophisticated and seek opportunities to explore and experience their city in new ways, she recognized the importance of ensuring that public spaces pay homage to the city in thoughtful ways.
“Their knowledge and experience in the area, coupled with our fresh perspective, has enabled us to create a characterful property that honors Scottsdale’s traditions while bringing something new to their hospitality scene,” says Sirna. “As the design of all our projects should reflect the local community, supporting creativity and connecting through art is my favorite aspect of interior design, and this opportunity completes the design narrative of the hotel. central cactus artwork in the bedrooms was a collaboration between Art Saatchi and At Chase (a specialty school in the Dallas area that is one of our favorite causes because art is incorporated as a therapeutic activity). The guest bedroom art began as a painting by one of the students and was embellished by leading artists, and some of the production costs were donated to the school.
As a cohesive whole, Sirna’s vision for Senna House captures the soul of Scottsdale while introducing the excitement and novelty associated with visiting a hotel. While it has already been eliciting visitors since it opened last December, she enjoys the process of seeing how Scottsdale the residents themselves embrace this addition to the community.
“As I intended to take inspiration from daily life in the desert and elevate it with taste, I am thrilled to give locals the opportunity to see their own city through fresh eyes,” says -she.