The Ketch: a new Catch in Ketchikan.

The Ketch, Alaska, Queen room design

Picture of a typical guest room at The Ketch, in Ketchikan, Alaska. The new interior scheme by artist and designer Henry Chebaane, featuring teal blue, burnt orange, indigenous art, flannel cushions by Carhartt

The Ketch, Alaska, Twin room design

The Ketch inn, Ketchikan, Alaska, Seaview of the Tongass Narrows, from a guest room balcony.

The Ketch, Alaska, Seaview over Tongass Narrows

The Pacific North-West has a new hot spot for urban dwellers looking to cool their heels in style, thanks to a refresh by renowned designer Henry Chebaane.

I found Ketchikan totally enchanting. Just a short flight from the thriving urban cultures of Seattle and Vancouver, Southern Alaska’s nature and its wildlife offer an inspired rest from city life.”

— Henry Chebaane, Chief Creative Officer.

LONDON, UK, May 15, 2023/ — The Ketch reopens on 15th May for the summer season after completing the renovations of its guestrooms started in 2022. The new design aims to offer a fresh, genuine and spirited experience of its magnificent Tongass Narrows location, right at the water’s edge, a few minutes from the town of Ketchikan.

The new interior design is a mix of vibrant teal blue, light driftwood grey and warm amber tones juxtaposed with cedar wood, vintage brass, nautical lighting fixtures and boat cleats for hooks and handles.

The French-British artist and designer is a long-time fan of the region. Inspired by the heritage of Ketchikan as the historical gateway from Seattle into Alaska, he conceptualised the brand identity of The Ketch as a casual-chic fishing lodge steeped into its cultural crossroad between sea and forest, town and nature.

As an experienced storyteller, Henry Chebaane created a conceptual world and design scheme that he calls “Tongass Explorer”. His narrative premise is to pay homage to the extraordinary setting and heritage of the Alaskan panhandle, while treading carefully on the environment and local resources.

To achieve this goal, the designer made use of deconstructed and upcycled clothing and accessories traditionally associated with fishing, logging and hiking in the region. The furnishing includes curtains made from thermal fleece fabric, edged with indigenous salmon-pattern embroidery, storage bins formed from waxed tin cloth, and floor mats woven from marine ropes.

The design narrative conceived as a ‘long week-end blending activity with leisure’ includes humorous pop culture details that have become synonymous with the globe-trotting designer, who is also a novelist and music producer.

One example for The Ketch, includes the creation of decorative bed pillows, made with repurposed flannel shirts, complete with pockets and buttons, from cultural phenomenon Carhartt. For some, the fashion label evokes outdoor pursuits, while for many it is associated with global entertainment stars like Rihanna, Kanye West, and Daniel Day-Lewis.

Henry Chebaane was also mindful to include a respectful introduction to local indigenous art and culture. So, he collaborated with Juneau-based artist Crystal Worl to produce artwork for The Ketch. The result is an engaging wall composition of two timber salmons greeting each other. The piece is titled ” éek + daak”, two Tinglit words which roughly translate to “to the sea, to the forest”. The fish duet also symbolizes the location of The Ketch, one pointing towards the water edge, the other towards the rainforest.

Art and Culture are two fundamental pillars on which the designer and his team at Blue Sky Hospitality studio, build the brand identity for each of their projects. Also opening May 2023 is their latest food and beverage extravaganza: ‘Olivina’, the new flagship restaurant of Castelfalfi resort, a magnificent 1100 hectares agricultural estate in Tuscany, located between Pisa and Florence.

Note to editors: Blue Sky Hospitality is a multi-disciplinary design studio founded in 2002 by Henry Chebaane, its Chief Creative Officer. It is specialised in the creation of branded concepts for the entertainment, leisure and hospitality industries. It has consulted on over 400 projects in 40 countries, from Alaska to Korea, and from Iceland to India.

Suzy Smith
Blue Sky Hospitality
[email protected]
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