(Photos © Caroline Allison)An upcycled shipping container may be the last place you'd want to spend a fun evening out, but a transcendent meal in an unlikely spot is just one way Nashville's brand new 404 Hotel is challenging traditional expectations. Keeping in tact the steel trusses and wood ceilings of a former mechanic's garage, the hotel is the latest addition to the Gulch, an early 20th-century rail yard that in recent years has been transformed into a sleek LEED-certified neighborhood in the shadow of downtown Nashville.
Why stay here? Architect Nick Dryden of the Nashville firm DA|AD has infused the space with plenty of stylish local touches (yes, Tennessee has become something of a design hotspot!), including industrial pendant lamps with Edison-style bulbs by Southern Lights Electric Company; photography in the five guest rooms by Nashville artist Caroline Allison; and custom furniture—including wooden wardrobe units made from locally harvested ash and marble-and-steel bathroom vanities—designed by Dryden himself and made right in town. The decor is rounded out with sumptuous Sferra linens, desks and console tables by BlueDot, and mohair swivel chairs by Mitchell Gold.
Though the locally made sliding barn doors that separate guest room sleeping quarters from their private bathrooms are some of my favorite elements, I can't get over the ingenuity on display in the 404 Kitchen, the hotel's adjacent restaurant. Tables were crafted from the shipping container's original metal flooring, charred cedar siding add warmth to the brightly painted metal walls, and pale bentwood chairs add an air of European elegance. All this and environmentally friendly? If only all decisions were this easy.