design edit issue 5
One of my favourite parts of travelling is staying in a special hotel - as well as being that perfect escape, they are also a fun source of design inspiration. Boutique hotels are the perfect combination of style and comfort, creating maximum impact in a small space.
So if you're looking for some design inspiration, take some cues from these cleverly designed spaces to create your own getaway for every day.
1. Daring design
Boutique hotels excel in making daring design decisions - often a funky mix of textures and materials, and colour palettes that always include a pop of the unexpected. To make this work in your space, choose a varied palette of materials, but limit yourself to three or four - choose one stone, one metal, one timber and various fabrics. Choose something patterned too, maybe a gorgeous wallpaper or a rug that you love. Repeat your chosen palette of materials, colours and patterns throughout your home for a cohesive, designed look. The Primus Hotel in Sydney is super clever at layering colour, patterns and textures. The diamond pattern is repeated in the artwork, cushions, rug and the timber dealing on the sideboard. Limiting the colour palette and pattern detail makes the space feel calming.
2. Maximising with mirrors
High-sheen surfaces are a clever fix for smaller spaces. Boutique hotels use even a single strategically placed mirror to create the illusion of more space. These surfaces reflect light, adding a bright and airy feel to a space. Hotel Adriatic in Croatia has amped up the style factor by using smoked mirrored walls - these smokey hues combined with the black furniture starkly contrasts the white walls and pale furnishings. A great reason to add Croatia to my travel bucket list!
3. Break the furniture rules
One rule that boutique hotels consistently ignore is using oversized furniture in smaller spaces. Go for a few key, statement pieces, instead of filling a space with several smaller pieces of furniture. The space will look designed and full of drama. Don't be afraid to go big! The Adelphi Hotel in Melbourne does this well with structured leather sofas and sculptured metal tables, desk and chairs - a few well chosen, oversized, statement pieces creating a fun and definitely unique feel. And if you stay there, be sure to take your togs for a swim in their incredible pool cantilevered over the laneways!
4. The headboard
One of the key features of boutique hotel rooms is the headboard. They are often oversized, in amazing textures and fabrics. Think gorgeous jewel coloured velvet, leathers or quirky prints for a dramatic feature. Dress the bed simply - Euro pillows and a bolster in amazing fabrics, with crisp white bedding allowing the other pieces to be the hero. Halcyon House in Cabarita Beach has been called the Hamptons of Australia and the the mix of patterns and textures in their bedroom wallpapers and headboards is stunning - bold and unexpected it works by limiting the colour palette but amping up everything else!
5. Statement mood lighting
The final touch for a boutique-inspired boudoir is all about creating a mood with lighting. Hotels make great use of wall lights, floor lights and pendants to provide subtle light. At home lower your overall lighting levels and create a relaxed and intimate feel by using a warm, soft light from your feature lighting - install dimmers where you can and keep the use of harsher downlights to a minimum. Chosen well, this lighting is also a design feature - Panache Hotel in Paris makes it an art form with their pendants. This hotel is definitely on my wish list too!
So for a hip hotel feel, forget safe and neutral - be bold and a little bit daring to create your own get away for every day! And if you need a bit of help, just call or email me - I'd love to help you create a space that you absolutely love.