Why TwoFold Design Chose Dark White Oak Flooring For The Oaklander Hotel

Share Share this post

In the heart of Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood, known as the Cultural Hub and within walking distance of the Carnegie Museums and Phipps Conservatory, you will find this lively neighborhood’s newest gem, The Oaklander Hotel.  From its breathtaking panoramic views in the 10th-floor lobby to the dark prefinished white oak flooring in a traditional Herringbone pattern throughout the reception, lobby, library, and bar area, you will experience a sophisticated vibe that is both warm and welcoming.

To find out more about the design decisions and inspiration for this boutique hotel, we reached out to Ami Kahalekulu, Partner at Twofold Studio. TwoFold Studio is an interior design firm located in Chicago who was in charge of the interior architecture and design decisions.

C:  Can you tell us more about the project and how the neighborhood influenced the design?

AK:  The Oaklander Hotel was a new build. It’s part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection and is the first Autograph hotel to have opened in Pennsylvania.  The hotel is a reflection of the Oakland neighborhood in Pittsburgh, where it is located and was named after the acres and acres of oak trees which once covered the area. The community is also home to Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.  We incorporated some modern millwork detailing (using a pale oak veneer) to create a ‘hallowed halls’ experience in this collegiate community.

prefinished white oak flooring

C:  What was the inspiration for selecting the herringbone pattern for the flooring in the reception, lobby, library, and bar areas of the hotel?

AK:  Choosing Herringbone was a way to add additional texture to the large open spaces.  We also wanted to use the more traditional pattern on the floor, given the rest of the area was crisp and modern.

C:  You achieved that!  We have found choosing a floor color is often the most challenging decision for both homeowners and designers as there is an unlimited assortment of color possibilities available.  The custom color that your team selected for this project is stunning.  What drove the color decision? 

AK:  When it came to the flooring for The Oaklander Hotel, we knew early on we wanted a dark base to ground the space. Having visited Pittsburgh several times to get a feel for the city, it just made sense to us.  One of our favorite experiences is ‘entering’ into Pittsburgh.  When traveling from the airport, you go through a long tunnel and then the city explodes around you into view.  It’s lower and surrounded by the three rivers.  The view is spectacular and sets the stage for our designs and spatial sequences.  We wanted a dark, textured floor to ground the rooms, with the rest of the space opening up in lightness and volume as you moved through the building.

Another consideration was that the finish for the oak paneling used throughout the public spaces was selected very early on in the process, and finding the right stain finish that worked with the pale golden hue resulted in a custom stain.  We started with some standard options and tweaked several times until we had a charcoal finish that was both warm and worked with the golden walls, yet cool enough in tone to work with the blue velvet upholstery and charcoal plaid carpeting throughout the spaces.

C:  At what stage of the project do you typically select floor finishes?

AK:  In general, it seems we pick floor finishes (wood/ tile/ carpet) early in the project, as they’re the most critical elements to get right (and the hardest to get right).  The rest can be selected to work with the flooring, such as complementing, matching, etc., but the foundation needs to be there first before it can all come together.

C:   Was it necessary to work with a flooring company that could provide custom options for you? 

AK:  Yes, in fact, from experience, we knew how easy and seamless it is to work with Carlisle – from a custom standpoint and for their high quality hardwood flooring As such, we did not reach out to any other vendor for options.

C:  Thank you, Ami, for your time and for providing insight into the design decisions your team made for this new boutique hotel.  We look forward to working on another project with you and the team at TwoFold Design. 

Like these dark floors?  See other examples of Carlisle Dark White Oak Floors in our Signature Projects below.

White Oak in a City Loft

White Oak 200 Central Park South Towers, NYC

Custom Gray White Oak in Pop Culture Infused Estate

White Oak in Chicago Waldorf Astoria


Twofold Studio is a full-service interior design firm specializing in corporate, hospitality, and residential spaces.  Based in Chicago, Twofold Studio offers an imaginative and direct approach to design. Founding partner, Ami Kahalekulu established Twofold Studio out of her desire to expand and build on relationships with fellow designers and fabricators and, most importantly, her clients. Ami has a balanced experience base in corporate, hospitality, and residential design with a proven pedigree. She draws from her Architectural education to methodically analyze and creatively respond to projects at hand.  With a design portfolio that includes polished law firms, engaging marketing agencies, award-winning hotels, personalized residences, and custom furniture pieces – working with Ami and the rest of her studio is sure to engage and surprise you – Twofold.
hello@twofold-studio.com  |  688 N Milwaukee Ave, Suite 306, Chicago IL 60642  |  (312) 283_9977

ABOUT THE OAKLANDER HOTEL l  Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel

Welcome to The Oaklander Hotel, where Pittsburgh’s industrial past seamlessly intersects with its cutting edge future. This new Autograph Collection hotel in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood offers guests unparalleled service and comfort surrounded by a city that now thrives as a center for medical advancement, educational excellence, and technological marvels. Bustling with energy and innovation in the trails blazed by cultural giants, the old and new converge at The Oaklander.                                                                                   5130 Bigelow Boulevard | Pittsburgh, PA 15213 |(412) 578_8500

Share Share this post
Reston Dining Nook
Talk to a specialist about your project
Get custom color samples within 7-10 days.

Contact us to speak with a Carlisle Wide Plank Specialist about your project and the look you are trying to achieve. We can provide you with flooring and color recommendations to help you create the perfect look. Get custom color samples to help you with your final selections.

Talk to a Specialist