As a writer, I cover both travel and design, and one of my favorite recent trends is boutique hotels that create welcoming, personal, intimate spaces that feel unusual. Many hoteliers understand that unique design is a way to stand out from the pack (and the multitude of boring beige guest rooms). It makes travel more exciting when your hotel — as well as your destination — is worth the trip.
A beautifully-designed hotel also happens to provide an abundance of clever design ideas. My new book "" takes you through some of the most stunning hotel bedrooms, kitchens, living spaces, libraries, and bathrooms to provide a global variety of unique design ideas. Here are 10 ideas to steal from luxury hotels around the world.
This is a signature design move by Kit Kemp, the creative genius and co-owner behind all of . Kemp loves to upholster walls in fabric s— in bedrooms, living rooms and even the bar at the Crosby Street Hotel which is enveloped in green felt. Fabric-covered walls instantly make a room feel cozier and warmer in a way that paint or wallpaper just doesn't. At the Ham Yard hotel in London, one of most gorgeous bedrooms features a rich gray wool on walls paired with two vibrant prints. One way to get the look is to have a wallpaper installer back fabric with paper and then affix to the wall.
At the , designed by designers Blake Pike and Jane Hines, sheepskin is wrapped around basic wood chairs to not only create a softer perch but to capture the glamorous spirit of the French Alps where the hotel is located. It's an easy move that can be added to any chair or sofa.
The next best thing to waking up in a garden would be starting and ending the day in the enchanting Garden Suite at the in Manhattan designed by . The de Gourney wallpaper which features blossoming branches and birds is a beautiful way to make a city bedroom feel more connected to the outdoors.
The easiest, least expensive way to make a big change in a room is with paint — especially darker hues. Inky blues, rich greens, charcoal grays and striking aubergine feel especially current and can be found in hotels like the , the , , the (above) and the . Dark bedrooms create a cozy, cocooning effect. In a living room, deep hues can be entirely unexpected and create a fantastic backdrop for brighter upholstery or art.
One of the great joys of vacation is lingering over an amazing meal and a bottle of wine, talking away the night. It's a contrast to daily life where meals are more often rushed. But what if you designed your dining space to be that much more comfortable? What if instead of basic wood chairs, you invested in generously proportioned armchairs that envelope you in velvet like they do at in the Cotswalds?
A bathroom doesn't have to feel sterile. At the unexpected details like a vintage chandelier, velvet curtains and art make a bathroom feel more inviting. Why not bring in elements from other parts of the house to the bathroom? A pretty stool, an interesting mirror, art and pretty lighting will immediately warm up the space.
A standout pattern is the perfect way to enliven a dark, narrow hallway. At in Sydney, Australia a marbelized wallpaper adds some pizazz to the space. Doors and trim in charcoal gray enhances the dazzling print.
Tiles come in a variety of rich patterns that can act as art in a bathroom bringing enticing colors and patterns to the space. A beautiful example is the in Italy, owned by Frances Ford Coppola. Designer Jacques Grange gave each room and bathroom its own individual look. Here, exceptionally stunning tile, sponge painted walls, marble moldings, and soaring richly patterned ceilings create an alluring space.
Rich wood floors warm up any space, but they often go unnoticed. At the designed by , however, a herringbone pattern creates an eye-catching twist to the standard wood floor. The graphic pattern results in floors that are too gorgeous to cover up with carpet.
Semi-gloss white paint is a standard go-to for doors and trim, but black is a less-expected, but very sophisticated alternative. In a suite at the in Salem, Massachusetts, Boston-based designer painted ceiling beams, doors, moldings and baseboards in a high gloss black which immediately adds a glamorous edge. In keeping with the look, note the lampshades are black too. It's an inexpensive way to really transform the mood of a room.