Hotels and in particular hotel bars and lounge areas are a great source of inspiration. Every ‘over the top’ design feature is possible. What works in a hotel might not work exactly for your living room or bedroom but you can definitely get great ideas and make them work for your own smaller, child and/or pet friendly space. Hotels are particularly great as often great designers are commissioned to take care of the designs and hotel designs are therefore far more experimental (read daring) than private commissions. I really don’t know where to start as I have a long list of hotels I have either visited or would still really love to visit. Of course there are many hotels to visit, some of which may be good for location, hospitality, dining experience etc. etc. Again it is easy to create an impressive design if money is no object but it is also extremely reassuring to find that equally great designs have been created by smaller hotels where it is important to balance quality and value for money. Therefore my choices are not perhaps all as obvious. Some of my best experiences – from a design point of view – have more often than not been impacted by how individualistic the design has been combined with a bit of extravagance. I fear I can go on and on about this so better to just let the photos speak for themselves. I have made a selection of a few hotel bars and restaurants I have actually been to and some I have yet to visit. The list is – by no means – exclusive and I will probably have to come back to you with more inspirational places…..but for now some of the places I would like to visit:
1) Hotel Thoumieux – Paris – design by India Mahdavi
2) Hote Costes – Paris – design by Jacques Garcia
Some of the places I have visited and I love are:
1) Sketch – Gallery and restaurant – London – design by India Mahdavi
2) The Connaught – London design by India Mahdavi
3) The Quay House – Clifden Ireland
Hotel Thoumieux – Paris
For the great art deco features, mix of patterns (leopard and floral) and textures, and then the subtle splash of colour – yellow! I should have featured this in my ” A bit of summer” post!
Hotel Costes – Paris
I realize this one is a bit predictable but from a design perspective I love the dark, lush, ambiance. The colour red combined with gold mirrors, beautiful chandeliers, and the flickering light of candles. Dark sophistication meets Moulin Rouge.
Sketch – London
A beautiful place, designed by India Mahdavi. A restaurant and gallery in the most beautiful powdery pink with brass/gold accents on chairs and tables. A great design not many of us (with male occupants in the house) would probably want to copy at home or even could do, but a great design and dining experience nevertheless. Fabulous glam 70’s Beverly Hills meets traditional Brasserie.
The Connaught – London.
Another great design by India Mahdavi, I notice a trend! An interior I love for the true gentleman’s club feel. The cozy and dark interior with some pops of colour (purple and coral) but most of all I love the wood paneling. Of all the hotel bar and restaurant designs mentioned here I am most likely inclined to copy some ideas from the Connaught starting with the library feel which I am definitely going to give a go in my own pad!
The Quay House – Clifden Ireland
A beautiful place in Ireland. We came across a long time ago and sadly couldn’t stay as they were fully booked….no surprise. We had a little house tour anyway and although not one of the most obvious choices here, I just had to feature it as it just stuck in my mind. An individual guest house with such a feel for individuality it just couldn’t go unmentioned. Great antiques but more importantly to me, the quirky accessories and feel for scale and proportion. A life-sized leopard or lion (not quite sure!). Beautiful zebra and leopard rugs. A huge lobster-like crustacean in the living room and pops of pink on the sofas. I wanted to keep this one quiet but I fear it’s already out there…..