Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. O'Kelly

Belinda O'Kelly

Principal, O'Kelly Kasprak

Belinda O'Kelly earned her Bachelor's degree in architecture at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, a school with a rich history in the architectural field. During that time she studied abroad in Versailles, France at the Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Architecture, where she savored the tension between the city's old world look and modern culture. Ms. O'Kelly appreciates diverse, urban spaces, which is something she loves about living in Chicago.

Early on, Ms. O'Kelly was captivated by the world of hospitality design. Starting her career with with Aumiller Youngquist, she learned the art of restaurant design from the masters: Bill Aumiller and Keith Youngquist. After building that foundation, she moved on to Simeone Deary Design Group, learning the nuances of hotel design directly from Lisa Simeone and Gina Deary. Here she gained her appreciation for lighting and texture.

Today, as a Principal of O'Kelly Kasprak, Ms. O'Kelly oversees the firm's growth and development while leading its creative direction. With a flair for expression and ingenuity, she guarantees every project to stand out in its own right and leave memorable impressions.

Ms. O'Kelly is drawn to hospitality projects for their sense of tactile fulfillment. She appreciates seeing spaces being used and shared, knowing she's helped create environments that not only achieve their goals, but provide comfort and enjoyment for everyone passing through them. And as a foodie, she is always exploring new bars and restaurants, eager to keep her finger on the pulse and uncover her next inspiration.

One of Ms. O'Kelly's favorite parts of the design process is helping her clients visualize their own ideas. Whether the project begins from a clear and specific vision, or needs to be shaped, she enjoys working closely with her clients to fine-tune every aspect of the design to fit their tastes and needs.

Please visit http://www.okellykasprak.com for more information.

Linkedin Profile: www.linkedin.com/in/belindaokelly

Ms. O'Kelly can be contacted at +1 630-674-8933 or belinda@okellykasprak.com

Coming up in November 2020...

Hotel Design: Home Away From Home

With the rise of the sharing economy and the peer-to-peer marketplace for lodging options, hoteliers are re-thinking the look, feel and appeal of their locations. There is an emphasis on re-creating a feeling of homeyness - a comfortable, cozy and inviting space that feels like home. 'This is accomplished through the careful selection of furniture design, paint colors, lighting design, artwork, bathroom fixtures and textile accessories. In addition, some hotels are providing their guests with upscale amenities, such as a book and movie library, home-style kitchenettes, a coffee machine with locally-sourced beans and tea, or even a batch of fresh-baked cookies. Similarly, there is a growing design trend based on the concept of place-making. Travelers are searching for experiences that are unique and authentic to the locale in which they find themselves, and so hotel designers are integrating a sense of place into their work. This is partially achieved by incorporating traditional artisanal crafts and other local artwork into hotel rooms and communal spaces. Another design trend includes the creation of full-service, co-working environments within the hotel. Guests don't like to stay alone in their room when they need to work, so now they can go downstairs to the lobby-or up to the roof-to work among others. These areas encourage guests - and non-guests alike - to stay as long as they like and to partake of hotel amenities. Finally, recognizing the importance of the Wellness Movement, some designers are exploring how room design can increase the likelihood of deep and restorative sleep. Creating dark and quiet spaces, blocking excessive light, providing guests with a selection of different kinds of pillows, and the ability to control room temperature, are a few of the best practices in this area. These are some of the architecture and design topics that will be covered in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.