Timothy Oulton redesigns a club within a club


In downtown L.A, the historic Los Angeles Athletic Club (LAAC) recently unveiled its redesigned “Blue Room“, which is essentially a club hidden within it’s own club. Designed by Timothy Oulton this exclusive members-only club has all the nostalgia and sophistication of yesteryear, when Walt Disney and Clark Gable were some of its prestigious regulars, yet with it’s new edgy, industrial decor mixed with historical pieces it is perfectly suited to todays movers and shakers.

The LA Athletics Club dates back to 1880 and was the first ever members club in Los Angeles. Today it encompasses a hotel; a gym; swimming pool and spa; basketball, racquetball and squash courts, fitness rooms, several restaurants, a cafe, and the newly revamped “Blue Room” which is a watering hole, a meeting place, a spot for business to happen and deals to be made, but also a place to celebrate.

Danielle Monti-Morren, Global brand director of Timothy Oulton explains; “Our aesthetic always begins with authenticity. We wanted to preserve the history of the club but marry it with something daring and modern”


A trick bookcase in the third floor bar now opens on to the secret stairwell leading to the lounge, where black walls are covered from floor to ceiling with framed photographs chosen from the LAAC’s archives, each one telling a piece of the club’s history.


A hidden staircase used as a clandestine passage during Prohibition in the 1920s was just one of the treasures Timothy Oulton discovered when renovating the club. It was decided to turn this into the main entrance for the Blue Room, celebrating the club’s heritage.


Timothy Oulton’s signature flair for juxtaposing the classic with the contemporary is evident with the mix of hand-softened leather armchairs and Westminster Union Jack sofa. Side tables are handmade from reclaimed boat wood, and the Gyro lamps above them are inspired by ancient navigational instruments. An old projector and movie screen are set up to enjoy some black and white classics.


In a nook by the window, the style is classic gentlemen’s lounge. Seated around brass Drum side tables, inspired by 19th century British military drums, are oversized leather wing chairs which offer comfort and elegance under the glow of Crystal chandeliers.


Vintage curiosities appear everywhere, from the violin medley above the huge Drum bookcase to rows of artfully arranged hockey sticks on the front of the cocktail and whiskey bar.


Juxtaposing elegance with industrial decor, Timothy suspends a refined Crystal chandelier above the rustic oak Boston dining table topped with distressed aluminium.

Memorabilia, books art and trophies that were found in the building now sit proudly on the American Lockers, which act as liquor lockers for The Macallan’s “by the bottle” list, so members can dip into their favourite single malt at leisure.

Whilst LA is not lacking in private members clubs, this artfully designed space which is steeped in history is bound to be a hit with LA’s best and brightest. A perfect place to do business in, or relax in after a session in LAAC’s pool, gym, sauna, or courts and/or during a stay in one of the 72 elegantly appointed hotel rooms.

For more info visit Los Angeles Athletics Club 







Jill Brandenburg is a Freelance Interiors Writer & Stylist and Co-Editor of Design Lovers Blog.
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One Response to “Timothy Oulton redesigns a club within a club”
  1. creativeinspiration@arcor.de' Decorator says:

    Incl. a hidden staircase… just like one would imagine it. Anyway, beautiful light created here.

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