Pelle’s Nevada range of leather is the perfect choice in the newly refurbished Hotel Esplanade, aka The Espy, in St Kilda, Melbourne. Its aged, worn-in appearance complements the glory and grandeur of the historic venue, updated by Sand Hill Road and Technē Architecture + Interior Design.
Opened in 1878, The Espy is a Victorian-era seaside pub now owned by the Sand Hill Road hospitality group, which has revived many iconic venues including Garden State Hotel and Terminus Hotel. Sand Hill Road closed The Espy in 2015 for renovation, engaging Technē to create a modern-day venue that preserves its character and soul.
Reopened in 2018, the design brings The Espy’s history to the forefront as Technē took inspiration from its long legacy. Different eras are highlighted across the 12 bars, three performance spaces, two restaurants and many intimate areas in the 3000-square-metre venue.
The original 140-year-old staircase still makes a grand and sweeping statement. The floorboards are original, the back wall is faded and peeling, and intimate booths nestle in the corner on each side. Upholstered in Nevada leather, they have a rich plum colour, patinaed appearance and quilted backrest that complements the Victorian age of design.
Nevada is a pull-up aniline leather produced on European hides. Pull-up leather is aniline dyed in the drum to create deep, vibrant colours, and it is finished with transparent waxes and oils to give a very soft hand. The colour migrates as the leather is stretched and pulled, becoming lighter in those areas. The variations increase as the leather is handled, giving the aged, distressed appearance, which becomes more evident as the leather is stretched around furniture frames.
Nevada leather is also used to upholster the diner-style booths in the 1970s-inspired Studio Bar, which has a slightly more modern character. The plum colour against the wooden wall panelling creates a dark, cosy and comfortable space, and like The Espy, the leather will continue to age and patina over time adding to its worn-in, vintage character.