THE ART OF WORK
Abstract paintings light up the redesigned headquarters of Meyer Jabara Hotels.
A corporate office may not sound like the ideal commission for an interior designer, but when Elena Starr of Safavieh got the chance to reimagine the offices of Meyer Jabara Hotels, an award-winning hospitality company operating in 14 states, she saw it as a plum assignment. Based in Danbury, Connecticut, MJ Hotels, as it’s known for short, is a 45-year-old business with a diverse hotel portfolio that ranges from boutiques to large convention-style settings. The shared vision is to provide exceptional destination experiences, and senior leadership wanted that vision embodied in its workspace. “In other words,” explains Starr, “the office suite needed to exude hospitality. It had to be fresh, inviting and pulsing with positive energy.”
Color and artwork played a big role in achieving these results. "I used yellows and blues to make the space happy and bright," says Starr, "and the combination generates a lot of compliments." She hung large, abstract paintings in these colors to create the feeling of a gallery.
Most of the furniture was custom designed and sourced through Safavieh. For example, the marble-topped coffee table in the reception area was custom made in Italy by Stone International, and the conference table, chairs and media cabinet were custom made in Canada by Dinec. After the project was completed, Starr received a phone call from the president, thanking her for the extremely comfortable conference chairs: An eight-hour meeting in these chairs was a breeze!
Accessories speak to Starr’s attention to detail. Tabletop sculptures of two figures ascending ladders, she says, represent father and son, the second and third generations of management. Together they’re taking the company to a higher level, and this being a hospitality business, they’re doing it, in part, through the power of great design.