a teal maximalist cocktail bar in Philadelphia
The ground floor of Andra Hem in Philadelphia by Ghislaine Viñas houses a bilevel cocktail bar with an 1800’s painting embellished by artist Mark Mulroney that serves as the mascot of the four-story prop­erty, which has a second bar as well as two private guest suites on the upper levels.

Ghislaine Viñas Co-Designs Andra Hem, an Atypical B&B

If you can survive the 2-hour line to get into Andra Hem, Philadelphia’s chicest new night spot, you’re in for a rather delicious cocktail. The recipe: An ounce of hotel, a teaspoon of art, a twist of bar, a shot of lounge. Shake vigorously! Pour over ice and garnish with honey from the rooftop bee farm. Who is the crafty mixologist behind this spirited typological concoction? Why, it’s New York designer Ghislaine Viñas, teaming with her longtime friend and client/muse, art collector and dealer Paige West. The creative partners in crime have collaborated on too-many-to-count endeavors over just as many years. “Paige and I have been working together forever,” Viñas happily affirms. “One day we’re gonna be little old ladies, still designing projects.”

Let’s hope so! Each joint effort gets more intriguing. This 7,700-square-foot, four-story property, for instance, encompasses an intimate bilevel bar and, above, two one-bedroom floor-through suites. Although Andra Hem is the pair’s first full-on hospitality venture, the typology is not entirely without precedent: West makes an art form of giving her houseguests the hotel treatment. “It’s how Paige hosts friends and family,” Viñas notes of the Philadelphia native. “There’s always a minibar in the guest bedroom, a signature cocktail, branded towels, and things like that. It’s what spins her wheels.”

Envisioning the Design of Andra Hem, a Bar With Guest Suites Above

West initially purchased the Rittenhouse Square site, a quaint but derelict former apartment building with a ground-floor restaurant, intending to convert it into an exhibition space, but ultimately realized it was too small to house the program she’d envisioned. She secured another spot in the city for that purpose and hatched the idea to use this edifice as a kind of artsy micro B&B—albeit with booze instead of breakfast—maybe for rental, maybe just for use by acquaintances (so far, it’s been only the latter). In search of a strong concept, designer and client dove into Philly history, and discovered that Swedes were among the first settlers. Honoring that Scandinavian heritage made sense on a personal level, too, given that West is of Danish ancestry.

The venue’s name came first: “Andra hem means second home in Swedish,” Viñas explains. “It sounded like a lady’s name, so we conceived this as her residence.” The duo embarked on a tour of Stockholm for inspiration, but ultimately decided to be more irreverent than culturally slavish. “It’s not supposed to be a Swedish establishment at all,” Viñas emphasizes. “If you come here expecting traditional Swedish food, you’re going to be disappointed! It’s more about ripping off ingredients and classics and creating something new.”

a black-cloaked seating area in a cocktail bar with gold floral pendant fixtures
Vintage pendant fixtures from Sweden and miniature portraits painted on crushed beer cans by Philadelphia artist Kim Alsbrooks animate a corner of the upstairs bar, with a mohair-covered banquette.

Artful Accents and Custom Designs Create an Inviting Interior

That goes for the décor as well, starting with the artwork that hangs behind the ground-floor bar, an 1800’s portrait from West’s private collection that lacked provenance so had minimal market value. The two had the canvas doctored with a layer of painted-on iconography—a bee, flowers, stylized waves—by Mark Mulroney, another frequent collaborator. (His quirkily surrealist murals also embellish the bar’s restrooms.) That retro-meets-futurist mashup encapsulates the entire project. “We juxtaposed a very traditional Swedish architecture layer with these wacky elements that tie into the overall narrative,” Viñas explains. Firmly in the trad column is the custom wall paneling, a concentric-square relief pattern based on one they’d encountered in an ancient Stockholm restaurant. In the wacky column, meanwhile, is Kim Alsbrooks’s framed miniature portraits painted on crushed beer cans. Lying somewhere in between classic and wack-tastic are David Trubridge’s swirly bentwood pendant globe upstairs, which call to mind barber poles or maybe sinister hard candy. “I get butterflies when I see those lights,” Viñas says. “Something about them ties back to a childhood memory I can’t quite place. I have a very beautiful emotional connection to these.”

a teal maximalist cocktail bar in Philadelphia
The ground floor of Andra Hem in Philadelphia by Ghislaine Viñas houses a bilevel cocktail bar with an 1800’s painting embellished by artist Mark Mulroney that serves as the mascot of the four-story prop­erty, which has a second bar as well as two private guest suites on the upper levels.

The two floors of the bar are a pas de deux of similarity and difference. Viñas used the same furniture, paneling, and floral wallpaper on both levels, but altered the color palette (peacock-blue downstairs, mustard-and-black upstairs). She performed the same sleight of hand in the stacked suites, which share an identical layout and furniture plan but feature different fabrics—all bowl-you-over botanicals by mid-century Swedish icon Josef Frank. The trippy DayGlo-toned linen tenting the fourth-floor suite’s bedroom is Viñas’s favorite. “I could just stare at it all day; it’s so vibrant and exquisite.”

The riot of color and pattern that unifies the petite property is both a constant in Vinas’s work yet something of a departure. “I love when things clash, especially in small rooms,” she says. “Here, I really pushed for things to live together that shouldn’t, which was hard for me to do, because my design is so much about control.” It was worth it, she adds. “I loved being pushed outside my comfort zone.” All in the interest of putting guests into theirs, of course.

A Closer Look at the Colorful Cocktail Bar

a teal lounge-like room in Andra Hem in Philadelphia
Back downstairs, custom paneling is based on a his­toric design Viñas saw in a Stockholm eatery.
yellow banquette seating against a yellow wall
In the upstairs bar, vinyl up­hol­stery dresses a banquette, serviced by marble-top tables, all custom.
a partition with cutouts inside a seating area of cocktail bar Andra Hem
Hot dog–shape cutouts create graphic pattern play in the partition alongside the staircase con­nect­ing the two bars.
pendant globes hang above a banquette seating and ottomans in a bar
Bentwood strips encircle David Trubridge’s pendant globes in the upper bar; ottomans in both bars are the velvet-upholstered Fresno.
a wallpaper with Native American iconography
A custom wallpaper pattern incorporating Native American iconography graces the lobby.
a floral mural is on the wall of a bathroom at Andra Hem
A mural by Mulroney brings verve to the bar’s restroom.
the exterior of Andra Hem, a Philadelphia cocktail bar
A globe sconce and a mirror-polished brass plaque, both custom, announce the Rittenhouse Square property.

Inside the Guest Suites at Andra Hem

Ghislaine Viñas: jenna pino; jaime viñas; lauren mercuri; ashika amarnath
Stokes Architecture + Design: architect of record
bold lighting: lighting design
west collection: art consultant
harmony contract furniture: custom furniture workshop
coil + drift: glass pendant fixtures (blue bar)
vescom: curtain fabric
flavor paper: wallpaper
schumacher: banquette fabric
collector: custom tables (bars)
joss & main: ottomans
amazon: table lamps (yellow/black bar)
contardi: fabric pendant fixtures (blue bar), bedside lamps (suites)
lumen 8: custom sconce (exterior)
signs visual industries: custom plaque
imagine tile: custom tile (bath­room)
grout 360: custom grout
kjartan oskarsson studio: custom mirrors
fantini: sink fittings
schoolhouse: cabinet hardware
p.e. guerin: sink fittings (restroom)
established & sons: yellow pendant fixtures (suite)
david trubridge: pendant globes (yellow/black bar)
Wolf Gordon: custom wallpaper (lobby)
georgia lacey interiors: custom desk (suite)
through 1stdibs: desk lamp
ligne roset: sofa
Blu Dot: coffee table
kardiel: ottomans
kasthall: custom rug
design public group: white pendant fixture
57st. design: custom nightstands, custom media console (suites)
svenskt tenn: wallcovering, ottoman fabric
benjamin moore & co.: paint
designtex; hbf textiles: seating fabric
beautiful bed company: beds

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