A Cut above Contemporary: Blackstone Tower, Riyadh

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A new hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is prepared to surround you in luxury — courtesy of a cutting-edge contemporary design by Antoni Associates of Cape Town, South Africa. The Blackstone Tower includes such “suite” pampering touches (pun intended) as deep soaking tubs, “star” lighting in the ceiling, and separate lounge, dining, and snack bar areas with an entertainment center. Décor is modern without being stark: neutral shades on couches and bedding are brightened with colorful chairs in reds and blues. Visually, the space expands with reflective touches: mirrors, gleaming modern sculpture, a glistening marbleized wall behind the tub. An abundance of backlighting gives the suite a subtle, sophisticated touch; modern fixtures hanging above you are ovals or rounds, with dark shades that make the light seem to beam spontaneously on its own.

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Speaking of rounds or ovals, that’s what mellows the strictly-modern lines of this design: the lavish use of curves. Yes, the (many) sinks are rectangles…but the doorways to the bath and bed area are rounded. Yes, the paneled grain on your wall is linear…but the ceiling above your head has curves in it, with round recessed lighting. Below your flat-screen television — very rectangular! — is a curved wooden shelf on which you can stash the remote control…in the decorative ceramic bowl, if you like. Pillows are extra-plump, your dining table is a shining oval, and seating is comfortably and casually close to the floor, with curved chairs and a whimsical “asterisk”-shaped coffee table. The combination of sophistication, casual comfort, and whimsy is a winner — a trademark of the easy styles of Antoni.

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Written by Janet Butler

Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).