When it comes to comparing boutique hotels to our own spaces it is like comparing Meryl Strep and Tara Ried, IE one has class, charm, talent and beauty and one well… doesn’t quite add up to the same. Not to say that our homes aren’t beautiful (or Tara Ried – she was one of my faves circa 2007), but for the most part boutique hotels take the cake for design and for a good reason. That is their job. They are out there to give you inspiration, make you want to check in, and make you want to pay the exorbitant prices to sleep in them just for a night. In case you need a few examples check out The Lokal Hotel, The Ludlow Hotel, or Casa Cook all of which I am pretty damn obsessed with – obviously.
But, in the name of public services announcements i’ve decided to break it down a little bit and go through some of the things that typically make boutique hotels, boutique hotels. All whilst touring one of Hotel Panache, a new boutique hotel in Paris (well new to me at least) designed by the insanely talented Chzon. So grab your beret, butter up that bagette, and get ready for my crash course in “Boutique Hotel Design 101”.
A Statement Bed
Walk into any hotel room, and what do you notice first? It’s probably not going to be the bedside lamps, the free coffee, the soft towels, or the spa like bathroom stocked with mini shampoo bottles. In the vast majority of cases, the bed is the focal point of the room. If you’re trying to go from blah to muah with that boutique hotel vibe at home, the best way to start is making a statement with your bed. IE, it might be time to retire that Ikea hand me down you have been sporting since college. You can do this by buying a unique bed frame, but if you aren’t ready for a whole new bedframe, there are a few other ways. Think about adding a new headboard into the room as those can be drastically more affordable than buy an entire bed, or letting your textiles do the talking. If your walls a neutral, then bring in some colored or patterned bed textiles. Less is more when it comes to the bed so leave the cushions by Versace home for the yachts of Miami Beach and go with a simple pattern.
Soft furnishings can make such an impact when it comes to the both the aesthetic and the ambiance of a your boutique hotel room. And hello, even the saddest of hotels have floor to ceiling custom shades with blackout curtains. So, whatever your style, getting some custom drapes or at least layering materials like a woven shade and a curtain is the quickest way to bring a bit of the boutique into your own home. And just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t get that expensive feel and look. Ikea, West Elm, Target and most of the big box stores have some great ready made options that you can have hemmed to fit the exact height of your ceiling so that they look custom. Just remember to hang the rod a few inches from the ceiling rather than on the top of the window molding. And if I lost you at “hang” then head over to Emily’s post where she breaks it all down.
Expensive (looking) Materials
Boutique Hotel and Pleather just don’t go together, so leave the pleather at the discount home furniture store and get yourself the real thing. If you aren’t ready to invest in a beautiful leather chair then get something simple in a good quality material that will last like cotton, canvas or linen and accent the shit out of it with a quality throw or decorative pillow. Mixing and matching the high and the low are one of the keys to a getting the “lived in” and “curated” look. And yes, I hate myself just as much as you do after putting those two words into quotations. But, hey you aren’t going to get those “luxe looks” without some actual “luxe”. Ok, “I” “am” “done”.
Somewhere to Sit
Typically with the lack of space in our bedrooms, the first item to get cut from the list of things in the room is a seating area – and I get it, we need room for our clothes and beds before we need a lounging area for our bums. But, if you do have room, creating a seating area to lounge, relax, read, pick your nose in is one of the quickest ways to get the boutique look.
Spa Like Bathrooms
Pretty self explanatory on this one as everyone is down to get down in a huge soaking tub at the end of the night. But if you’ve noticed yourself looking better in every boutique hotel bathroom mirror it’s probably because the room in the reflection is clean, filled with light, and well designed. So, if you haven’t yet, clear of those counter tops, give your dingy bathroom some fresh paint, and bring a few elements in to go from blah to spa. Putting some TLC into my old and dingy bathroom was one of the best things I did to my apartment and made the morning routine much less MOURNing full.
Oh.. and someone please take me to Paris so that I can visit this lovely little gem. Until then I’ll be chowing down on my 4th pot de creme. A beintot!
[Photos via Hotel Panache]