A Room With a Point of View
Why would anyone
want to recreate an
impersonaL cookie cutter
hotel room at home?
By SHAGORIKA EASWAR
At first, Hotel Chic At Home sounds like an oxymoron. After all, aren’t hotel rooms supposed to make you feel at home? Don’t they replicate the feeling of home? So why would anyone want to recreate an impersonal cookie cutter hotel room at home?
Ah, but, these are not your usual hotel rooms, as is evident from the image on the cover.
The book covers boutique hotels, and one can pick from glamorous interiors to sparse, all-white spaces to recreate that one-of-a-kind feel at home.
There are debates as to which hotel started the craze, but Manhattan’s Morgans Hotel was definitely one of the first, writes Sara Bliss in the preface.
The powerfully transformative effect of travel often leads to that moment on vacation when we think, “Why can’t my life be more like this every day?”
That’s really the idea behind Hotel Chic at Home – inspiring readers to recreate the coolest aspects of hotel life in real life.
Whether you are looking for the colour of Marrakech or the no-clutter feel of a Zen-inspired interior, you find a whole spectrum of ideas to inspire you.
I think of the ceiling in my ocean-facing room at a Mexican resort that was painted a cerulean blue, of the unique clay planters in the courtyard of the heritage property in the French Quarter of Pondicherry, India, where we spent a few days, and dive right into the book.
The tips and looks in the book can be incorporated in all sizes of rooms in all styles of homes. Bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens and bathrooms, even children’s rooms, they can all be revamped a little – or lots – with the ideas in this book.
Got a tiny nook? Follow the Ace Hotel in Oregon with a dark blanket and bolster on a platform bed. Sometimes the best way to solve a problem with a small space is to call attention to it.
Got colourful textiles from back home that are just crying out to be displayed? Create a canopy in the bedroom like in the Hotel Recamier’s rooms. Fabric is second only to paint in its ability to immediately refresh a room or to make it memorable.
Got an eclectic collection of glassware or pottery? Display it in open shelves to add instant interest to your kitchen.
Create a tropical escape by draping the bed in a veil of transparent white fabric, add a little rustic charm with a collection of ceramic pendant lights over a simple dining table. Or recreate the chairless dining concept from Raas Devi Garh in India.
Forget the standard shelves for your books. Display them in stacks on their sides, as at The Brice in Savannah, Georgia. Or in custom diamond cubbies of the sort usually used to store wine bottles.
Several hotels are featured in detail, including The Imperial Hotel in New Delhi and the descriptions are enough to make me want to hop onto a flight.
While most of us may not be able to imagine placing a bathtub on a terrace as in the Auberge du Soleil, the image does make one go, hmm, what if..! And there’s the bathroom as an oasis concept with plaster walls and tub painted an intense blue-green at the El Fenn in Morocco.
Incorporate colour in bold splashes across an accent wall or even the ceiling, or use it in accents to add a punch to your decor.
The chapter headed Details has neat little ideas that can transform a space. For instance, the wall of framed pictures of Shrinath ji, again from Raas Devi Garh. Hung in multiples and arranged by colour, this can be replicated with any motif or print.
But my favourite chapter has to be Terraces and Rooftops, bursting with ideas for decks and balconies.
A daybed with crisp white cushions, simple shelves with a random collection of terracotta pots, woven mats stacked with colourful cushions...
The takeaway for me from this book was that mix-and-match styles, colours, textures, all work if done with a little hotel chic!