Hospitality Design – Thompson Hotel Chicago – Tara Bernerd

Thompson Hotel Restaurant Chicago | Convex Mirrors

Client: Thompson Hotels / A J Capital / Walton St Capital
Location: Chicago USA
Completed February 2012

Thompson Chicago is a landmark Chicago hotel. Tara Bernerd & Partners was responsible for the full interior architecture and design of the 246 bedrooms and all public areas, including two bars and the restaurant, Nico Osteria, for renowned Chicago restaurateurs One Off Hospitality.

The first thing Bernerd and her team did on being hired was to analyze the floor plans. The original configuration had a porte-cochère entrance, which was deemed a waste of prime space. They quickly realized that by eliminating this feature and substituting it with a glazed facade, the internal floor space of the building would increase considerably.

The design scheme for the hotel sets a warm, seductive ambience, paying homage to its urban location. Raw components such as exposed brick, iron framework and timber beams were balanced out with rich, smoky velvets, fantastic grey flannels and soft leathers to create an overall sensation of rough luxury.


Reflecting Design supplied Lola Convex Mirrors in Black Grain and Pewter finish for two areas of the hotel; the lobby seating area and the restaurant Nico Osteria.

As the images show these mirrors define the space with elegance. Circles are rich in symbolism. They represent; the feminine or maternal, the infinite, timelessness, the cycle of life, potential. A circle is a symbol of many positive concepts. No doubt positivity permeates the space in Nico Osteria. Light, height, life, all reinforce a charming design.

In the lobby the convex mirror provides an engaging visual center. It also offers something especially useful in this setting. To someone seated a flat mirror reflects back the ceiling. Here the convex mirror reflects back the room offering a contemplative mood.