Recently, the Blue Room, an exclusive members-only speak easy, has reopened its doors with a new look thanks to Timothy Oulton. Founded in 1880, The Los Angeles Athletic Club (LAAC) was the city’s first private members club, and has counted members such as Clark Gable and Walt Disney among its ranks. Steeped in such history, a pairing with iconic designer Timothy Oulton was the perfect fit for the transformation of a conference room into a sophisticated bar and lounge.
During the four week project, the false ceiling was removed to expose the pipework and sprayed black to set the tone of the interior. Old carpet was lifted and the concrete underneath was polished to create an industrial look which sits perfectly next to an assortment of vintage curiosities that are found throughout the space. Memorabilia from the club has been used to bring the history into the Blue Room: trophies, books and art from throughout the years sit proudly on the American Lockers which act as liquor lockers for The Macallan’s ‘by the bottle’ list.
A long-forgotten hidden staircase was unearthed during the renovation and has been turned into the main entrance for the lounge. Acting as a clandestine escape route during the prohibition era, the designer’s felt it added a touch of playfulness to the project. The trick bookcase on the third floor now opens onto the stairwell that is surrounded by framed pictures chosen from the LAAC’s archive, each one telling a unique piece of the club’s history.
Signature Timothy Oulton elements can be found in most corners of the interior too. The floor-to-ceiling tower of books, known as the Pillar of Knowledge, includes books written by members of the club and drum bookcases artfully arrange hockey sticks and shinpads. Of the project, Oulton says, “Heritage and authenticity are hugely instrumental in everything we do so this was an exciting collaboration, to put our stamp on such an iconic landmark. The idea of hosting, creating inspiring spaces where people can relax together and connect, that's what our collections are all about, whether it's in your own home or in a setting like the Blue Room.”