I am constantly looking all over for design inspiration from hotels. The design in hotels is almost always cutting edge and you can see design elements done in a much larger scale. But you can easily take some of the elements used in hotels to inspire design in your own home.
I was looking through a hospitality trade mag a couple of weeks ago and saw some photos of the new Trump Hotel Soho. With a name like Trump you know it would be luxurious and over the top.
Not So! It is definitely luxurious but I was pleasantly surprised by the restraint taken in the design and how timeless and cozy it looked. The lobby, though a large space, seems comfortable. I love the idea of bringing the pendants (light boxes) down to make the space feel more intimate. It helps to draw the eye down instead of highlighting the height of the ceilings. Same thing can be achieved if you pull your dining pendant down closer to the table for a more intimate dinner feel.
The lounge area off the lobby called "The Library" is very enjoyable looking and resembles a living room where you can relax, read, and drink a cup of coffee or cocktail. What a perfect way to end a busy day if you are a business traveler. This type of atmosphere is becoming more and more prevalent in hotels catered to the frequent traveler so they can feel comfortable on the road. In this case, hotel design is taking a cue from residential design instead.
Now, I am not sure how much you want to take from bar design at a hotel (unless you happen to need that much liquor - and if you do, I'll be there in 20 minutes), but the two bars shown above have wonderful finishes and amazing design!
The top bar is part of the hotel's restaurant "Quattro" and I love the mirrored subway tile on the walls. It almost looks like gold bars because of the lighting in the photo. Who better than Trump to have walls that look like gold bars!
The bottom bar is the bar/lounge "Kastel". This bar's main focus is on the cocktails and lounge-like atmosphere. There is music every night, and I can just imagine all the beautiful people coming here to have drinks.
Last but certainly not least are the guestrooms. The rooms at Trump Soho are very luxurious and feel very calm and serene. There are so many things you can take from hotel rooms and incorporate into your own bedrooms and homes. When you happen to stay in a nice hotel there are things that definitely stand out. The main one for me is the bed. Having a comfortable mattress, great feeling sheets, and the best pillows makes the bed a haven. Now I'm not saying you should iron your sheets (unless you want to) but hotels do to make even the lower thread count sheets feel smoother and more luxurious. And the mattress....buy the best one you can afford! Go without a bed frame for awhile if you have to but in my opinion you should never settle for anything less than the best for something you sleep on every night. I actually, after so many nights sleeping on great mattresses in hotels went and bought my favorite... The Westin Heavenly Bed.
Another great thing to take away from hotels is the lighting. To me, lighting makes or breaks a space. Especially a hotel! Ever notice how many lamps there are in a hotel room? 4 or 5 is usually the norm. Hospitality designers want to make sure the room is well lit because there is nothing worse than staying in a hotel room with dim grey lighting. It automatically makes the room feel dirty to me. Light and bright is the way to go. Now, if you are one of those people who likes a dark bedroom, then fine, take the lighting rule into the rest of your home.
Bathrooms are another great place to steal tons of tips and ideas (and shampoos) from hotels. Lighting is also very important here as well. Light up your vanity the best you can. Nothing brings out the wrinkles and dark under eye circles more than bad vanity lighting.
Another great thing about the bathroom in a hotel is a fabulous shower head! I have stayed at quite a few hotels and I have to say practically every single one has a great shower head.
Tons of towels are great too. Oh, and if you can, make sure you take advantage of the view from the tub. If you happen to have a view like the one above from your tub please invite me over soon! Please!
So, next time you stay in a hotel pay attention to the things you love about it. Many ideas can be utilized in your own home to make things feel extra luxurious. It would be even better if you had a maid to pick up all the towels off the floor....well, we can wish anyway.
Images: Trump Soho