Design Study: From Hospitality To Residential
I have so much fun designing spaces, guys. So, so much fun, I feel giddy with the thought. One of my dreams, which I've always had, is to one day open a boutique hotel and/or Bed & Breakfast. I want to treat people to a sophisticated, soothing and homey approach to Hospitality. An establishment that feels like a refreshing, well deserved treat. Who knows when that'll happen, though. HA! For now, since I like to gather inspiration from hotels when designing homes, I really wanted to create a guide where you can all learn our proven tips for getting that quintessential hotel look at home. This is...
From Hospitality To Residential
Observe how hotels always feel put together. There are a few details that make them feel incredibly comfortable, welcoming and luxurious.
- Start with the foundation: As always, make sure the bones of the home / space are equipped to hold and balance out the furniture and accessories. These include wall color, wall treatments like moulding details, flooring, finishes, etc. We recommend neutral selections paired with coordinating depth filled shades. Check out our post on Muted Color Combinations for a starting point.
- Set a rigid color palette: Aside from electric, playful designs, luxury hotels around the world have something in common and this is a definitive color scheme throughout. Commercial businesses are hoping to illustrate their aesthetic and showcase their branding through their interiors as much as they can. This is why it is only natural that there be a strict color scheme in place, usually in the neutrals with two or three accent colors that represent their company. At home, you can recreate this by doing the exact same thing. Choose a few neutral colors to use as a base in furniture (whites, creams, taupes, grays, etc) and inject color through art and accessories. We recommend you keep a monochromatic scheme with a limit of 3 accent colors for a sophisticated, timeless look.
- Stay away from trends: For a truly timeless home that won't need redecorating every 5 years or so, stay away from harsh design trends at all costs. Instead, reinvent those trends if you're really into them in a sophisticated, subtle way. One trend that I absolutely love is the patterned tile trend; it's so big right now. We even have a post featuring our favorite patterned tiles, so you could see the love is real. By reinventing the trend, we mean taking classic materials like marble for example, and using it to create a pattern with it. Mosaics are great for this, now available in so many styles, or the chic herringbone, chevron patterns are always a great idea that also manage to feel timeless.
- Avoid unnecessary grout lines: This one is huge for us because grout lines are one of those things I honestly don't like. They are so unsightly. Hotels are great at preventing them because wherever tiles are used, they are usually bigger. This can be seen in on the floors of hotel lobbies and floors + walls of hotel bathrooms. The bigger the tiles, the less grout lines and the more impact your tile selection will have on the space. This is specially suitable for natural stones like marble. Read our post on Why We Prefer The Solid Backsplash to learn our reasons for preventing too many grout lines. If you must use smaller tiles, install them with minimal gaps between them and use a grout color that matches the tiles exactly, as the lines seem to disappear this way.
- Use Luxurious Materials: One of the easiest ways to get the hotel look at home is to use luxurious materials such as grasscloth (great as wallcovering), silk, velvet, linen, bronze or brass. Actually, all of these materials combined and strategically placed create such gorgeousness. We like the idea of upholstering accent furniture in luxurious fabrics or splurging on beautiful textiles for throw pillows. Another way to increase the luxury factor is by considering substantial lighting like these oversized bronze beauty (shown below), which are seriously one of our very favorite table lamps of all time. Not even kidding. We think of ways to use them on every design if we could.
- Consider Sleek Lines + Substantial Upholstery: Choose upholstered furniture pieces with sleek, sophisticated lines that seem to interlock with one another. The classic contemporary style, which we discussed in our post on How To Discover Your Interior Design Style, is a great example as lines are very much rigid. You don't see as many ornamentations on the furniture silhouette, aiding in a more fresh, updated approach. This is good if you're aiming to create a classic, but "uptight, tailored look" often used to describe hotels. We find this is the beauty of commercial spaces; furniture pieces (often custom made) literally seem to coordinate so beautifully as there is usually lots of interested shaped upholstered furniture.
- Composition is very important: When placing furniture, it is important to keep in mind a balanced composition and the best way to do this is by using symmetry. That's it. Wherever possible, of course. Bedroom nightstands, lamps, cabinets or built-ins flanking a fireplace are great examples of when to use symmetry. Now, you don't always have to place a table lamp by either side of a sofa, you could use a table lamp on one side and a floor lamp on the other. This doesn't illustrate symmetry, but there are instances where this approach feels more relaxed and not so matchy-matchy.
- Create practical seating arrangements + conversation area: For a comfortable, useful and totally practical conversation area such as a living room or family room, please make sure that seats follow a side table, coffee table or ottoman in which you or your guests may place down drinks. If your seat offers no nearby surface, then you'll have to either keep your drink on hand or reach too far to place it down. Avoid this hassle by placing side tables in strategic spots. Place furniture in such a way where seats surround a center feature (this could be the coffee table + fireplace), so that as people are sitting down, it is easy to talk to another with ease. Also, propose interesting seating arrangements such as a combination of sofas, upholstered chairs or low ottomans surrounding a round table for a more relaxed nook. There are so many ways you can create a conversation area that doesn't always involve sofas.
Design board by Synonymous for our Luxuriously Golden Study
- Aim to create memorable vignettes throughout the home: Vignettes are little moments or physical illustrations created by the combination of furniture, art and accessories. These moments blend with the rest of the design, but should be impactful. These could be the feature wall in a bedroom, fireplace wall or at your entryway. Actually, in your entryway, if you have a console table, lamp, mirror or art, that alone is a vignette, which you can elevate by utilizing special, coordinating shapes, colors and materials to create a beautiful capture. We've shared our Essentials For The Perfect Entryway Vignette, so refer to this post to see how it's done.
In short, the key to beautiful hotel features at home is to keep the design concept completely timeless, sophisticated with the use of neutrals, a few accent colors, and a strong definitive foundation for furniture and accessories. We hope this guide was helpful. As always, gather inspiration from our featured interiors :)