Hotel interiors are very carefully designed, created and curated to make us feel a range of emotions; luxury touches for that special stay, cool creative decor for a wild weekend in the city or sumptuous textures and tones for winding down and getting away from it all. A hotel’s vibe and aesthetic help us to really enjoy the time spent in that space. The good news is we can re-create this style at home and live with a little hotel-chic chez nous.
Of course it could be said its the other way round… exclusive members clubs and cool boutique hotels are beginning to look more like (uber stylish) homes and houses and less like hotels. There is definitely a ‘look’ where the two meet and this is what we can emulate . So successful is the aesthetic of the Soho House hotel/club brand, they’ve launched SohoHome “A beautiful, yet functional collection of pieces, used and tested in the Houses worldwide”. The interiors equivalent of Shop-My-Style, you can take a piece of the hotel chain home with you.
Aside from the obvious; (no large piles of laundry at the foot of the bed, clutter put away into cupboards or storage boxes, media disguised as much as possible) here are some tops tips for giving your place the hospitality touch no matter the area, or size of place you call home.
Zoning areas is an easy way of working the hotel vibe; create spaces with an obvious layout or function such as reading, working or socialising….( that’s a yes to the drinks trolley and home bar!) Under the stairs, on a landing or an un-used corner of the home are all perfect places for a statement armchair and a lamp to read by. A conservatory or even a corridor can all be transformed with the addition of the right furniture, an architectural plant or a piece of artwork into a useful workspace.
Books needn’t be formally in a bookcase. Ladders, drinks trolleys and even up and over a doorway are ideal spots to store your favourite reads. This alcove is a perfect way to store back copies of magazines (Mr Styleophile – please note – other people do this). The addition of a table or standard lamp instantly create a reading nook for catching up or winding down.
Likewise a desk or console table and some super-stylish storage instantly offers a place to work from home or simply to keep all the papers and admin away from your chilling out /socialising space. Hands up who constantly moves piles of breeding papers off the kitchen table so they can eat? Yep, me too.
Plants and flowers are another great way of emulating hotel interiors…whether a large centrepiece arrangement on a table in the hall or subtle succulents portraying a more relaxed feel, hotels use flowers and plants to convey their style and project their image. Try homely vessels with single varied stems in, or a collection of varied garden and shrub greenery, like arrangements at uber cool Babington House. No formal displays here, the relaxed but oh-so-cool vibe runs round the house, gardens, bar and their flowers.
You could also try something more quirky which can equally apply colour and impact. Its not just flowers providing the decorative touches at The Pig. As chains go, these guys have captured the essence of the modern country hotel holy grail – the point at which luxury /relaxation/great style all meet. Aspirational but by no means try-hard, their website should offer some great styling inspiration.
Furniture placement is probably the most important element considered by commercial interior designers and can be really impactful in the home. The layout of chairs to face each other over a coffee table (as opposed to sofas pushed back to the edge of a room) is a traditional hotel drawing room or foyer area layout. Encouraging conversation and socialising, chairs grouped away from walls and not pointing towards a TV are key in enhancing a welcoming, conversational feel. ( Obviously Game of Throne/Breaking Bad addicts are exempt from this.)
A sofa near to the centre of a room with a console table behind is another standard hotel layout for a lounge or living room. Try this with two lamps and your favourite books or potted plants to give the lounge the look. In a bedroom, funky lamps either side of a bed either ceiling hung or on nightstands will invoke a hotel feel. As will a high headboard (easy to make) and a feature wall of striking wallpaper and/or some favourite prints.
Forget I’m-saving-them-for-best products and get the luxury toiletries out on display by your kitchen sink or in the bathroom. Instantly helps to give an appearance of a cool country or city getaway pad. As does keeping the spot cream and the loo cleaner under the sink or in lidded storage baskets. You still can have all your favourite day-to-day products of course, just hide the hum-drum and make a feature of the fabulous.
Lighting – so, so important this one. There is little point arranging furniture and flowers if you’re illuminating a room with a strip light from a dodgy takeaway. Think soft, mood lighting. Lamps, wall lights and fire light are a really luxurious touch in a room. And candles. Everywhere. Not necessarily all different scents or you could induce a migraine and defeat the object.
Soft lighting is a top trick of the best hotels and members clubs for creating a relaxed, cool vibe. Flickering candle light makes everything (and almost everyone) look better.
Copy your favourite hotel’s style Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery they say, so go ahead and take snaps when you stay or go for a drink in the bar if you’re not staying. Failing proximity, you could simply try their website or their Instagram feed (which usually will have more vignettes) and get creative with colour. BE BRAVE and go for it in one room until you’re sure. I once totally renovated a bedroom just like a hotel I loved in Amsterdam complete with ceiling to floor white drapes all the way around the room (luckily Ikea came up trumps) and the identical giant wall clock feature. A memorable stay preserved. Unfortunately my latest hotel crush is going to be *slightly* more difficult to recreate at home, but I think its important to have goals….
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