This exciting project consisted of the total ground up restoration and transformation of a significant Victorian homestead to become a luxury boutique hotel. The client’s brief was to recognise and enhance the inherent heritage values of the building, while transforming it into a practical, luxurious hotel with all modern conveniences incorporated. The atmosphere was requested to be relaxed while having a clear aesthetic link to the Victorian period. A new public gathering space was required to fill in the exterior courtyard between the main house and the rear service wing and had to be versatile enough to serve as an evening cocktail lounge as well as a breakfast room. The attic space was to be converted into further suites with commanding views of lake Wakatipu.The clients requested there be a link to the town and indeed the building’s history of gold mining – the building was originally commissioned by the keeper of the gold when Queenstown was a booming gold mining centre in the 19th century – hence the artwork throughout the property consists of period photographs enlarged and ornately framed. Each suite was to be quite individual and named to reflect an aspect of the building’s history. The landscaping was to complement the interiors and a cohesion to the overall design was required. Hulbert House was to be a stand out international boutique hotel in a picturesque town frequented by the most discerning of world travellers.Lead designer, Neil Mclachlan, loved being able to use period design elements as a starting point but give them a contemporary feel by combining them in new ways. e.g. designing the custom carpet which was inspired by Willow Pattern China – a nod to the Chinese gold miners of the period when Hulbert House was constructed. The design achieves the grandeur associated with the Victorian period with much drama and pattern, but has a sense of fun and lightness at the same time. It is luxurious but not intimidating.