Ten minutes with The Vices

We chat to Moreno Carbone, co-owner of The Vices hotel in York, about designing immersive, art-led spaces.

In a nutshell
The Vices is a modern, private-house hotel set in a Victorian police station in York. From its three, individually designed suites to its restaurant, The Allium, which serves no more than 14 people across its Dining Room and private Wine Library, The Vices is a unique, intimate experience. It’s a collaboration between Moreno Carbone, responsible for the design of the interiors, and chef and sommelier Daniel Curro.
In detail
‘I think interior design is powerful. Your surroundings are transformative to your mood, so why wouldn’t we spend time on making sure they’re beautiful, calming, inspiring?’ Moreno tells us.

It’s clear as soon as you step through the door of The Vices that Moreno and Daniel feel strongly about the way design and hospitality combine.

‘I have a passion for art and interior design, and I’m really interested in creating captivating spaces,’ says Moreno. ‘My partner, Daniel, is an expert in flavour. He’s a professional sommelier and his knowledge of food is outstanding, so I knew that our joined efforts could create a really special hotel.’
One of the ways they’ve done that is through art, carefully chosen to add to the mood of each room. ‘I’ve been a collector of art for years, and I really enjoy pieces which cause the guests to stop and reflect.

‘I designed each suite around gender, and so I found that I was naturally drawn to certain pieces for certain spaces. The Third Suite is themed around masculinity and strength but has strong nods to the natural world. We have a piece in there by Alessandra Maria that brought this to life beautifully.’
Although the design of The Vices is distinctly contemporary, Moreno was careful to reference its past. ‘The building has a story behind it, and it felt integral to honour that. It’s a Victorian police station, and as you walk through the building you see nods to its heritage – the exposed cast iron pipes, and the curved cells which now form our kitchen and downstairs toilet.

‘And yet, what you actually take in on first glance is a stylish and contemporary space. The architecture gives us depth. It takes modern design and backs it up with heritage.’
Moreno and Daniel have considered each and every experience at The Vices down to the last, meticulous detail. ‘We’ve played a lot with how the spaces can change throughout the day but also adapt to each guest,’ Moreno says. ‘Wake up and feel nurtured to start your day right. End each day with comforting, soothing lights and soft music.

‘You can take a simple task and make it beautiful. Switching on a bedside light can become lighting a Japanese paper moon.’
Which is where Corston comes in. ‘The finishing touches are the final piece to the puzzle. When I came across Corston, I loved how well thought through each product was in terms of the finish. You’d really thought about how the pieces would work in a modern space, which was exactly what The Vices needed.

‘Even to touch, the products feel special, which is so important for our guests. We want them to notice the fine details from the moment they turn on the light.’

Moreno has used each of our finishes for switches, sockets and hardware to match the personality of the individual rooms. ‘We’ve been able to have consistency across the building while never jarring against the suites’ individual designs. The clear switches and sockets work perfectly in the neutral, open space of the First Suite. While the Antique Brass complements the softness of the Second Suite beautifully.’