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Inspired Design – Anderson, SC Downtown Hotel by Cheek Interiors

The inn downtown
By Charmaine Smith-Miles
From the Anderson Independent Mail
Posted March 16, 2011 at 6:46 p.m.

Lynn and Steve Kay buzzed around their 14-room boutique hotel in downtown Anderson Wednesday, stocking cabinets with dishes, checking lights and giving suites a last check.

“I want someone to come here and experience the most restful night of sleep they’ve ever had,” Lynn said. “That’s what I would want. So that was my goal when I picked out the mattresses, the pillows and the linens. I want it to be perfect.”
Welcome to The Bleckley Inn, the first boutique hotel for Anderson, located in the city’s heart. The inn has been under construction for two years and opened for guests this week.

Two fountains frame the covered entry way into the inn. Once inside, guests can ascend the winding staircase with its metal and wood railing and crystal chandelier, which leads to the rooms and suites. A large living area sits just to the left and is furnished with comfy chairs, couches and a fireplace.
There is a dining area, which can seat 100 people, also located on the first floor of the inn. Bare brick and stone walls decorate the space and a skylight lets in the afternoon sun. A full kitchen is at the rear of the dining room, in a separate space along one end of the first floor.

The Kays bought the Benson Street property first, about six years ago. Then, in quick succession, they purchased the other properties.

“We didn’t have an idea for how to develop it until we had the Clydesdale horses here in and we saw the needs of their staff,” Kay said.

The Budweiser Clydesdales were a main attraction for Anderson’s 2009 Soiree. The team of draft horses stayed in the Carriage House for the weekend of the event. But their handlers had to travel up Clemson Boulevard, near Interstate 85, every night, Kay said.

“There was no option for them downtown really,” Kay said.

He and Lynn began their research immediately. Don Chapman, and his architectural firm, Chapman and Associates, designed the inn. Anna Cheek of Cheek Interiors — also an Anderson native — designed the inn’s interior.

There’s the expected presence of hardwood floors, granite counters, and rich earth colors through the inn. But there are unexpected details, such as the stained glass in the ceilings in the business meeting room, the decorated tile trim in the bathrooms and the balconies from some of the rooms that overlook the courtyard.

And Lynn Kay is particularly proud of the Aveda bath products in every room, which she had to apply for. In order to approve to carry the products in the rooms, Kay said she had to show that the inn is environmentally friendly.

Indeed, the Kays have installed energy-efficient appliances here and will have waste bins in each room where guests can discard the recyclable items. It shows that this Anderson couple has tried to think of everything.

“It’s very overwhelming,” Lynn said. “But we want it to be perfect. And we want this to enhance downtown Anderson, because we feel like downtown Anderson is important to this community.”

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