Artisan Spotlight: Noelle
The shining new Noelle stands as a rare addition to the city’s hotel scene that was conceptualized, designed, and built by Nashvillians.
Written By: Trisha Boyer
Photographers: Emily Hall Dorio & Audrey Spillman
At a time when some of our city’s most iconic buildings seem to be getting scrapped in favor of shiny new structures—and with visitors and residents arriving in droves—a new hotel project, Noelle, is seamlessly celebrating Nashville’s past and present, while reminding us of what truly defines our city’s future: a thriving community of creatives.
Conceptualized by MAKEREADY, a distinctive operator of hotel, restaurant, and retail brands, in collaboration with parent company Rockbridge and Tribute Portfolio, Noelle is unique in that it came together with the guidance of the local art and design community.
“That’s a real asset about this town—it’s not talked about enough,” Nick Dryden of DAAD says. Dryden is credited with breathing new life into the historic building at 4th and Church, while keeping much of its rich history and design intact. “People talk about metrics, economics, and growth, but, really, what is under all that is a strong, local community. And, at the foundation of that is a creative community like nowhere else.”
From the hotel’s meticulously restored terrazzo floors to the Art Deco patterns carved into the ceilings of the luxuriously appointed rooms, the thoughtful design details that envelop every inch of the 224-room boutique property are only part of the story. Noelle presents an authentic Nashville experience, as seen through the eyes of some of Nashville’s top creative talent.
“Visitors and Nashvillians alike will be immersed in history and local culture,” Shannon Foster, general manager of Noelle, explains. “The minute you walk through the door, there’s so much to discover. Locals and guests are going to have a unique, local experience they absolutely can’t have anywhere else.”
Here, we take a look at a number of the names and faces that are bringing Noelle to life.
Kelly Diehl and Elizabeth Williams | New Hat Projects
New Hat Projects is known for creating immersive environments using handmade wallcoverings as art. Taking inspiration from the building’s Deco-era design, they created two different patterns for the ladies’ restroom on the main floor: one for the ceiling and one for the walls.
“For the walls, we played off the rich mint color of the floor,” Diehl explains, “and, to add in some glitz, used copper ink.”
They also sell exclusive products (including tea towels based on the bathroom motif) in Keep Shop.
Benji Peck | Creative Director and Owner, Peck & Company
Peck & Company is the creative force behind brand identity and design for Noelle, Makeready Libations & Liberation (the restaurant), Rare Bird (the rooftop bar), and Keep Shop, as well as design of hotel collateral, signage, and installation pieces throughout the space.
One thing that’s prevalent throughout the branding is a resident blue heron.
Peck explains, “These native birds, simultaneously majestic and awkward, friendly, yet not to be caged, stand as a representation of the spirit of the people of Nashville.”
Andy Mumma | Proprietor, Drug Store Coffee
Drug Store Coffee created a selection of exclusive, made-in-house sweet and savory pastries to complement the coffee program inside Noelle. From pour-overs to espresso drinks pulled from Nashville’s first Slayer Steam machine, guests will appreciate two different options for their coffee experience: in the shop or in the comfort of their room.
“Noelle features an in-room coffee service, where the guest will check a menu of which coffee and what time,” Mumma says. “It will be delivered the next morning in custom caddies and decanters.”
Zach Mason | Experience Curator, Noelle
“Experience Curator” is a title you don’t often see at a hotel.
Mason describes his role as “supporting the mood and mindset of Noelle—both inside and out,” stressing that Noelle is truly an “experiential” hotel, where “the level, depth, and quality of service is what really defines it.”
It also entails establishing meaningful partnerships with local influencers and industry leaders throughout Nashville, so Noelle can become even more ingrained with the local community, which can only serve to enhance the overall experience for locals and guests alike.
Bryce McCloud | Director of Art Programming and Proprietor, Little Prints
Eleven local artists created portraits of important Nashvillians—past and present, sung and unsung—to line Noelle’s corridors.
“But the art program is going to extend well beyond deciding what goes on the walls,” McCloud says.
Little Prints, which opens directly to Printer’s Alley, sells prints of the Nashvillians who grace the walls of the rooms, but also serves as an experiential workshop with a working letterpress.
“Beyond traditional retail expectations, we want to provide experiences that bring tourists and locals together in a city that’s going so fast,” he adds. “The focus will revolve around portraiture, but there will be other experiences that will bring people together in new and exciting ways, too.”
Nick Dryden | DAAD
The partners behind Noelle connected the dots and discovered that Nick Dryden was behind many of the boutique properties they admired in Nashville.
As a result, DAAD was hired not only to lead the design team, but also to oversee nearly every detail inside the project, granting them the rare opportunity to pull together a team of local, creative partners to bring Noelle to life.
“This was a very unique project for us,” Dryden explains. “We were asked to be engaged in the conceptualization of the overall project; it’s very unusual for a commercial development to add the depth of localization like this project did.”
Daniel Herget | Executive Chef, Makeready Libations & Liberation
The food and beverage program at Noelle mirrors the hotel’s focus on Nashville’s past, present, and future. For Makeready Libations & Liberation, that means simple and approachable tavern fare, inspired by the shift workers who took lunch in break rooms in Printer’s Alley decades ago.
“It’s thoughtful, intentional, familiar food served in a space where everyone will feel welcome,” Herget says. “There’s incredible attention to detail behind the scenes, but nobody will feel like the food or the space is too precious.”
Libby Callaway | Curator, Keep Shop
(Also editor-in-chief of The Line, the in-house publication that will have a place in every guest room.)
Not only does Keep Shop feature a distinctive collection of clothing, accessories, home goods, and print media, it will also be home to one-of-a-kind vintage selections and an impressive list of custom or semi-custom products from local designers, like Ceri Hoover, Otis James, and Tenure Ceramics, to name a few.
Callaway describes Keep Shop as “a luxury retail experience that will appeal to the Nashville community and visitors to Noelle who want to ‘shop like a local.’”
The shop boasts a highly edited selection of national brands that are difficult to find in Nashville and plans to host pop-up events throughout the year, providing the shop’s creative partners with a platform to share their work with the Nashville community.
200 4th Ave N, 615-649-5000; noelle-nashville.com