At The DTLA Proper Hotel, Kelly Wearstler Converts a Former YWCA Basketball Court Into a Sophisticated Suite

This 1,300-square-foot guest space epitomizes the acclaimed designer's vision for the recently opened destination

In Downtown LA’s South Park District, the DTLA Proper hotel recently opened in a California Renaissance Revival landmark by the legendary Los Angeles architectural firm Curlett and Beelman. The iconic structure first housed a members club in the 1920s and then a YWCA in the ’60s. Acclaimed designer (and CH favorite) Kelly Wearstler worked with Proper Hospitality to transform the historic building into a warm-toned and welcoming hotel with 148 rooms and suites. Though the property features an extensive list of sought-after amenities—including a city-view rooftop pool and two destination restaurants—it’s one of the hotel’s suites that epitomizes Wearstler’s ethos.

Stretching 1,300 square feet across the hotel’s sixth floor, the DTLA Proper’s monumental Court Suite was once an athletic epicenter for the YWCA. “We wanted to celebrate the vestiges of the existing design from the building’s YWCA days including an indoor basketball court, which we reimagined as this incredible grand suite with original painted court timber and double-height ceilings,” Wearstler tells COOL HUNTING.

From vast walls to double-height ceilings, Wearstler worked with every inch of the raw space. “Color blocks of charcoal, ecru, moss and smoky blue ornament the living room walls as an abstract art installation,” she continues. “It speaks to bold graphics that feature throughout the hotel and plays off warm, patina-ed wood floors from the basketball court.”

“With ample space, we were able to design multiple lounge areas with unique sensibilities, featuring a spectrum of vintage and custom furnishings in rich materiality and geometric meditations. It’s an ideal suite for family time or entertaining,” she adds. Though Wearstler nods to DTLA, she also layers Mexican, Spanish, Portuguese and Moroccan influences.

Altogether, coupled with the elevated residential aesthetic of the property, the Court Suite (composed of two living areas, a dining space, bathroom and bedroom) feels much like a luxury apartment. Ample light further enhances the welcoming decor.

The opening of this boutique hotel follows that of its nearby sister, the Santa Monica Proper, another collaboration between the hospitality group and Wearstler. Similar to the first, this DTLA property both embraces and inspires guests. Whether its the 136 types of tile used throughout, the vintage rugs and rustic accoutrement, or the custom Judson Studios stained-glass installation, the hotel’s cultural infusion is sure to impress travelers, too.

Images courtesy of The Ingalls