Category Archives: Living room

Boutique bolt-holes

I don’t know about you, but it’s at this time of year that I like to whisk the other half off, sans children, for a night or two of “boutique-hotel” stay yumminess.

I’ve found fantastic deals on Groupon; truly stunning accommodation on a par with any boutique hotel on airbnb; riffled through the virtual pages of Mr & Mrs Smith for a super-cool destination; or trusted the word of friends and family… And I can’t say we’ve experienced a dud yet. In recent years we’ve visited Prague, The George in Rye, The Tunbridge Wells Hotel, Hastings Old Town, Barcelona, London, Paris, and Castell Deudraeth in Portmeirion in Wales, to name but a few.

And it’s not just about grownup time away from the kids. I get so much inspiration from the places we’ve stayed in that I come away bursting with ideas of how to add a touch of luxe living to my own home. So why not treat yourself to a night away from home and steal some fantastic home styling ideas while you’re at it! Here are some visuals to inspire you. It’s all about creating an indulgent and intimate space, full of layers of lighting, sumptuous bedding, and the odd roll-top bath for good measure.

Next stop a riad in Morocco! Well El Fenn to be precise. It’s on my Christmas list…

A page from one of my scrapbooks.
A page from one of my scrapbooks.
Create an intimate environment with clever lighting. (Photo: Natalia Price-Cabrera / Location: The Tunbridge Wells Hotel)
Create an intimate environment with clever lighting. (Photo: Natalia Price-Cabrera / Location: The Tunbridge Wells Hotel)
Dark walls and aubergine velvet upholstery, together with a gallery wall work beautifully to create an intimate corner. The Palladian Hotel in Seattle. (lonny.com)
Dark walls and aubergine velvet upholstery, together with a gallery wall work beautifully to create an intimate corner. The Palladian Hotel in Seattle. (lonny.com)
The gorgeous Artist Residence Hotel in London. http://artistresidencelondon.co.uk/
The gorgeous Artist Residence Hotel in London. http://artistresidencelondon.co.uk/
Artwork in Prague.
Artwork in Prague. 
A bathroom to hide in... for hours!
A bathroom to hide in… for hours! El Fenn. 
Statement lighting in Barcelona. (photo: Natalia Price-Cabrera)
Statement lighting in Barcelona. (photo: Natalia Price-Cabrera)
Aim high. The foyer at St Martin's Lane Hotel, designed by Philippe Starck. http://www.starck.com/
Aim high. The foyer at St Martin’s Lane Hotel, designed by Philippe Starck. http://www.starck.com/
Barcelona.
Barcelona.
The tiny Alma Boutique Hotel in Tel Aviv features boho-chic rooms inspired by the 1920s. (travelandleisure.com)
The tiny Alma Boutique Hotel in Tel Aviv features boho-chic rooms inspired by the 1920s.
(travelandleisure.com)
Lighting ideas to steal. Cluster pendants at The Tunbridge Wells Hotel.
Lighting ideas to steal. Cluster pendants at The Tunbridge Wells Hotel.
Why go for understated?! This is an amazing riot of pattern and colour, but the restricted palette means it works beautifully. Toronto-based The Design Agency designed the Generator Hostel in Barcelona, Spain. (contemporist.com)
Why go for understated?! This is an amazing riot of pattern and colour, but the restricted palette means it works beautifully. Toronto-based The Design Agency designed the Generator Hostel in Barcelona, Spain.
(contemporist.com)
Bold statement lighting in Prague.
Bold statement lighting in Prague.
A bedroom fit for a Queen. Coqui Coqui Mérida Hotel in Mexico. (bloglovin.com)
A bedroom fit for a Queen. Coqui Coqui Mérida Hotel in Mexico. (bloglovin.com)
Add a little hotel glamour to your home with bespoke lighting by Mols & Tati-Lois. http://www.molsandtatilois.com/
Add a little hotel glamour to your home with bespoke lighting by Mols & Tati-Lois. http://www.molsandtatilois.com/
Designer Ilse Crawford and her team realise a passion for ‘homeliness’ in the creation of Stockholm boutique hotel Ett Hem. Vogue Living November/December 2012. Photograph by Magnus Marding. (voguelivingmagazine.tumblr.com)
Designer Ilse Crawford and her team realise a passion for ‘homeliness’ in the creation of Stockholm boutique hotel Ett Hem. Vogue Living November/December 2012. Photograph by Magnus Marding. (voguelivingmagazine.tumblr.com)
More El Fenn, Morocco. (sfgirlbybay.com)
More El Fenn, Morocco. (sfgirlbybay.com)
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Blinging up the boudoir look

boudoir. (ˈbuːdwɑː; -dwɔː) 1. a woman’s dressing room, bedroom or private sitting room or salon. [C18: from French, literally: room for sulking in, from ‘bouder’ to sulk]

Now the weather is turning decidedly autumnal how about creating a warm and relaxing sanctuary in the home where you can snuggle up with a good book, a hot drink and some cake, or luxuriate in a roll-top glass with some tunes and an indulgent glass of bubbly… I’m in!

For me the boudoir look is all about opulence, texture, pattern, drama, deep rich colours, and some female charm. Lighting is key too. This is a fantastic look to work with in a bedroom, dressing room, powder room or snug. If you are not a fan of bright colours you can always adopt a more sedate palette of nudes, creams, sorbet pinks and chocolatey browns.

A page from my scrapbook.
A page from my scrapbook.
boudoir002
Getting that boudoir feeling. Another page from one of my scrapbooks.
Photographer: Miss Aniela. Series: Surreal Fashion. Model: Faye Shearwood Stylist: Minna Attala. Dress: Busardi. Feather cape:National Theatre Costume Archive. Hair: Doubravka Marcinkova. Make-up: Rhiannon Chalmers. Stylist’s assistant: Becky Smith. Photographer's assistant: Tim Charles Matthews.
Photographer: Miss Aniela. Series: Surreal Fashion. Model: Faye Shearwood Stylist: Minna Attala. Dress: Busardi. Feather cape:National Theatre Costume Archive. Hair: Doubravka Marcinkova. Make-up: Rhiannon Chalmers. Stylist’s assistant: Becky Smith. Photographer’s assistant: Tim Charles Matthews.
More Miss Aniela gorgeousness.
More Miss Aniela gorgeousness.
Photographer: Miss Aniela / Model: Kim Davis / Dress created by Kirsty Mitchell Photography / Stylist: Minna Attala / Hair: Anne Veck / Makeup: Grace Gray / Photographer's assistants: Greg Sikorski, Matt Lennard, Ian Mears
Photographer: Miss Aniela / Model: Kim Davis / Dress created by Kirsty Mitchell Photography / Stylist: Minna Attala / Hair: Anne Veck / Makeup: Grace Gray / Photographer’s assistants: Greg Sikorski, Matt Lennard, Ian Mears
Somewhere to recline with a glass of fizz. (image from pinterest)
Somewhere to recline with a glass of fizz. (image from pinterest)
Grab a book and doze in this delightful space.
Grab a book and doze in this delightful space. (pinterest)
A dressing room fit for any discerning boudoir fan. Loving the lampshade by Zoe Darlington. (Image from Pearl Lowe's Vintage book/pinterest)
A dressing room fit for any discerning boudoir fan. Loving the lampshade by Zoe Darlington. (Image from Pearl Lowe’s Vintage book/pinterest)
Matisse's 'Seville Still Life'
Matisse’s ‘Seville Still Life’. (google images)
Matisse's 'Reclining Nude Back'.
Matisse’s ‘Reclining Nude Back’. (google images)
Sumptuous lighting design by the extremely talented Zoe Darlington. Lush!
Sumptuous lighting design by the extremely talented Zoe Darlington. Lush! (www.zoedarlington.co.uk)
More yumminess from Zoe Darlington.
More yumminess from Zoe Darlington. (www.zoedarlington.co.uk)
The Bluebell sofa from sofa.com.
The Bluebell sofa from sofa.com.
Waterblooms Crewelwork Rug by anthropologie.
Waterblooms Crewelwork Rug by anthropologie. (www.anthropologie.com)
Inject some colour into your scheme with the Maud Deco by Mols & Tati-Lois.
Inject some colour into your scheme with the Maud Deco by Mols & Tati-Lois. (Photo by Chris Gatcum)
The Club Tartan from Mols & Tati-Lois. (Photo by Chris Gatcum)
The Club Tartan from Mols & Tati-Lois. (Photo by Chris Gatcum)
Pineapple wall sconce from www.abigailahern.com.
Pineapple wall sconce from http://www.abigailahern.com.
Anthropologie's Nature Table Dessert Plate... perfect for eating cake off.
Anthropologie’s Nature Table Dessert Plate… perfect for eating cake off. (www.anthropologie.com)
Elegant perfume bottles are a must. (fredmiranda.com)
Elegant perfume bottles are a must. (fredmiranda.com)
The bubbly is beckoning... so let's get supping. Enjoy. (pinterest)
The bubbly is beckoning… so let’s get supping. Enjoy. (pinterest)

The work of the extremely talented artist/photographer, Miss Aniela, encapsulates the boudoir look perfectly in my opinion and she adds a healthy injection of attitude. A very modern boudoir I would say.

Historical references include Ingres’ Grande Odalisque, Manet’s Olympia, works by Egon Schiele, and Matisse’s many vibrant nudes, to name but a few.

Think lush fabrics such as velvet combined with sheers, fresh flowers releasing a heady aroma, ornate mirrors, furniture to recline on (sofa.com has some beautiful customisable sofas), pattern clashing, flamboyant lighting (visit Zoe Darlington, she rocks, and of course Mols & Tati-Lois), beads, tassels, fringing, dark corners, rugs, throws, cushions, arresting wall art.

There’s so much scope with this interior style so let your imagination run wild.