Houston’s Four Seasons Hotel opened way back in 1982, an eternity in an industry that almost measures time in dog years. For some time now, it has become increasingly clear that the spaces had become a little, well, dated. And with the arrival of Marriott Marquis and Hotel Alessandra nearby, it was high time for a spruce up.

In refurbishing the hotel’s public spaces, it might have been tempting for Meyer Davis to go big and bold. Instead, the New York-based design studio opted for a more intimate private club vibe. The wide-ranging works started with a completely new entrance, façade and lobby before moving onto a new bourbon bar lobby and a private dining room.

The flash comes by way of unfinished brass, blackened steel, gunmetal and bronze trims, alongside huge slabs of Arabascato marble, smoky onyx and grey marble. These are softened with wool shag rugs, white mohair chairs, George Chaplin paintings, and mirrored stainless steel origami sculptures by Israeli artist Illan Garibi.

The centrepiece of the refurbishment, though, is a new grand staircase of carved walnut panels that’s encircled by octahedron sculptures by local artist Garland Fielder, and spot-lit by a three-storey atrium which floods the interior space with natural light.