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Give the Gift of Boutique Design

By Elicia Sacharow

One of the things we love most about boutique hotels is their inspired design. Whether the hotel is trendy or classically gorgeous, we love how the design permeates every aspect of the hotel. Obviously the best way to enjoy boutique design is to visit your favorite boutique hotel, but if you’re booked solid for the holidays you can still get inspired. Think you can’t bring the feeling home? Think again! We’ve got some tips to help turn your space from boring to boutique.

Pick a funky piece and run with your ideas.

The beauty of this is that you finally have an excuse to pick up that crazy piece you found at the flea market! With the right piece, it’s easy to splash the idea over a whole room like Sanderson Hotel…or simply to be a focal point in your space like Vintro. Blending in is for the birds–let the piece stand on its own or elevate it to a new level of zany with a coat of paint. It’s amazing what one piece can do for a room; this is an excellent first step towards changing up your space and making it special.

Sanderson Hotel London Philippe Starck

The trademark lips live at the entrance to Sanderson

Vintro Hotel Miami

Vintro Hotel uses vintage-inspired art as focal points in its rooms (all for sale, by the way!)

Quality matters.

Have you ever seen those hotels that seem to have very little by way of luxurious trappings but clearly ooze luxury? It’s all in the quality! Hotel de Nell is the perfect example of a style that favors minimalist designs, showcasing quality over quantity. For example, some rooms in Hotel de Nell feature soak tubs carved from a single block of marble; all rooms have door customized by an acoustician to ensure the ultimate peaceful environment free of slamming doors. While these things may be on the difficult side to attain, you can take smaller steps like upgrading your linens (think Frette) or perhaps invest in high-end furniture (frankly worth its weight in gold).

Hotel de Nell Paris

Simply decorated, but with magnificent attention to quality

Colors and textures are a great way to add life to a room.

One of the simplest and most effective techniques to revitalize a room is to find a fabric you love and frame it. Just check out the rooms at The High Line Hotel in New York–with the addition of a vintage fabric, a cool retro vibe is clear as well as a beautiful pop of color that isn’t overwhelming at all. Hotel Odyssey in Paris also uses colors and wood quite dramatically along with sleek surfaces to create the illusion of a beehive. The best advice? Play around!

High Line Hotel NYC

Framed fabric adds a punch of texture and color in one fell swoop at The High Line Hotel in NYC.


Hotel Odyssey Paris

The bar of the Hotel Odyssey is reminiscent of a beehive.

Get inspired!

Whether you hit up Pinterest, Google image search, or excellent resources like to get your design ideas, the important thing is that you make your dreams reality. Trust us when we say you don’t have to get a degree in interior design to make a space that makes you happy. In fact, some of our favorite boutique hotel designers got their start with a zany style and chutzpah–like Kit Kemp of Firmdale Hotels. One look at any hotel in the Firmdale collection and it’s plain that this is unquestionably Kit Kemp’s design and was made into a space that she put together just for you, the guest.

Soho Hotel London Firmdale Hotels

Just one awesome room of The Soho Hotel London.

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