Design Dilemma: Lessons Learned from Hotel Stays | Home Design Find

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Design Dilemma: Lessons Learned from Hotel Stays

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Have you ever stayed in a hotel that’s so well-designed it’s inspired you to rethink your design at home? We have! There’s nothing better than returning from a vacation refreshed and armed with a new perspective, even if it’s only about what color to paint the dining room.

Here are some design lessons we’ve learned from our own hotel stays:

1)From the Art’otel, Budapest:  Hang original art.

The Art’otel is actually a chain of boutique hotels located in Berlin, Dresden, Budapest and Cologne (two others will be opening in London and Amsterdam). Each hotel is filled with the work of a specific artist. You can see Georg Baselitz or Andy Warhol, for example, in Berlin. In Budapest, we got Donald Sultan. Every guestroom, conference room, hallway, dining area and lobby was filled with large, dramatic original abstract works, which lent a glamorous and personalized air to what would have been otherwise just a nice, but normal hotel.  Stepping away from that vacation, we realized the value of hanging original art that provides an energy all it’s own. Another idea inspired by this trip:  collect the work of just one artist throughout the home which lends a feeling of cohesion to rooms while providing a sense of depth to an art collection.

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Above, check out the dining room in Art’otel Budapest that exudes class and drama with the help of Donald Sultan’s print. The hotel has hung 579 of Sultan’s works throughout. Below, check out a view of the Dresden Art’otel which features the work of A.R. Penck.

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2) From the Hotel Stureplan in Stockholm: Rigorous modernity can live with Old World charm.

We visited the Hotel Stureplan a couple of years back and were wowed by the Swedes ability to mix rigorous modernity with more baroque architectural details of the past.  Our room on the penthouse floor was a study of contemporary calm, featuring modern furniture, elegant minimalist bathroom fixtures and a quiet palette of black , gray and white. Other floors were furnished much more traditionally, though fixtures were always modern and design-oriented. In general, the Swedes made perfect use of every available nook and cranny, keeping things functional, comfortable and restful. Below, you can see the kind of room we stayed in:

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And here’s an example of what the hotel calls a more “classic” room:

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Among the other design lessons we learned is that although we do enjoy color, the lack of color (favored in Sweden) can provide a sense of peace.

3) From the Hotel Valadier in Rome:  Built-ins can be a wonderful thing. Years ago, we stayed in the Hotel Valadier in downtown Rome.  Though our room was a tiny one, we were amazed at the ingenious way in which the Italians managed to take a minute room and make it luxurious and extremely functional— simply by adding built-ins.  Here’s the room where we stayed:

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Though barely larger than a queen size bed, the room was a little jewel box of splendor. A built-in table and banquette and built-in side tables and wall sconces meant floor space wasn’t occupied by furniture. Though there was not much light in the room, the use of mirrors kept everything feeling bright. All fixtures, of course, were elegant and of the highest quality. Here’s a view of the bathroom, where materials of the highest quality have kept things feeling classic and elegant years later:

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4) From the Byblos Hotel, Verona: Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously. We actually haven’t stayed here yet, but it’s on our list! At Byblos Art Hotel, Every room is  a riot of color and irreverant design. And if there’s one lesson to apply to home design, it’s the message to have fun and lighten up. Take a look:

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And here’s a bird’s eye view of chairs in the hotel’s lobby:

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It’s nice to know that a little rest and relaxation in a really cool place can get the design wheels turning. What inspiration have you brought home from hotel stays?

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