Fettle Design Has a Knack for Creating Hip Hotels and Restaurants

Tom Parker and Andy Goodwin share secrets from the hospitality world that work at home.

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David Titlow
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Los Angeles-base Parker (above left) with Goodwin (above right) , who is based in London, at Chucs in Kensington, one of their newest projects.
David Titlow

Tom Parker and Andy Goodwin may be responsible for some of the world’s hippest new bars, hotels, and restaurants, but as Parker jokingly says, “We’re basically two little old ladies in 30-year-old men’s bodies.” Exhibit A: The pair have a passion for tassels.

This quirky fascination, though, just may be the perfect symbol for their unique manner of riffing on stuffy tradition in unexpected ways. Parker and Goodwin tend to channel their love of traditional style into spaces that feel unexpectedly cool. Since starting their own firm, Fettle, in 2013—after working together for hospitality master Martin Brudnizki— they’ve brought a fresh, layered look to the likes of the Hoxton hotel in Portland, Oregon, and London’s Moncks—and customers are loving the easy elegance. “We want our projects to feel added to over time,” says Goodwin, “not designed to within an inch of their lives.”


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6 Ways to Live Like You're on Vacation

The Fettle guys reveal secrets from the hospitality industry.

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Helen Cathcart
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David Titlow

1. Build the room around your habits.
Hospitality design is all about process (How do servers enter? Where do patrons wait?), and your home should be, too. “Think not only about what you like aesthetically but how your day progresses,” Parker says.

2. Try a statement wall.
“People are often scared to do something bold in their homes,” Parker says. “But that’s usually just what makes commercial projects so striking.”

3. Mix old furniture from different eras.
Parker and Goodwin confess that they are so obsessed with vintage furniture they’ve banned themselves from vintage markets unless it’s for work. Their mix of time periods yields a comfortable look.

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Frank Wonho

4. Obsess over seating areas.
“I hate it when table and seat heights don’t work together,” Goodwin says. Sit in a chair
at your table—does it feel right?—before committing to a whole set of them.

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Frank Wonho

5. Don’t be afraid to go custom.
It’s not about excess, though: “That one chair you’re going to spend most of your day in? That’s what you want to customize,” Goodwin explains. Plus, it’ll make for a room that’s totally unique.

6. Vary your lighting sources.
“You’re in a space at different times of the day, so the light needs to reflect that,” Goodwin says. A mix of table, floor, and pendant lights (put them on dimmers!) will give you lots of options.


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