My Design Travels

loving london's boutique hôtels 2014

Deirdre Brennan - Friday, April 11, 2014

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The Pelham Hotel in Sth Kensington is, for me the perfect location in London.  A short stroll to the V&A or along the gorgeous Walton Street to Harrods ... more specifically, their Stationary Department. 

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Kit Kemp the designer has created a luxury town house style hotel, the interiors 'a tailored version of grand English style'.  I love the idea of individually designed bedrooms, and there are 52 to choose from.

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What sets these hotels apart is the unexpected ... the combination of antique and contemporary furniture ... quirky lighting and modern art set within a a wood panelled drawing room or library ... it is perfect. 






hotel guestrooms with a difference... the siam, bangkok

Deirdre Brennan - Saturday, April 20, 2013

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Without doubt it is the individuality of The Siam that sets it apart.  Renowned hotel designer Bill Bensley has incorporated the old with the new and created a unique 5 star hotel, full of charm. 

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This is not your typical hotel guestroom ... with Thai Colonial influences, lamps hanging on black silk ribbons, travel collections ... all so very personal. 

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The elegance of suites with sumptuous furnishings, exquisite detailing and such interesting memorabilia.  

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Memorabilia that has been collected and sourced for each of the individually themed suites.

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Always glimpses to the exotic orchid filled gardens ...

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Black and white and distinctly Art Deco.  Such attention to detail.

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I ask the question again, why can't your average hotel guestroom, or even just the expensive ones, be that little bit more exciting or individual.  It isn't only about the finishes and furnishings ... it is about creating spaces that make patrons feel at home or somewhere better than home.

 

 

hotel plaza athenee, paris .... a stylists dream

Deirdre Brennan - Wednesday, June 27, 2012

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I fell in love with these images as soon as I saw them however just couldn't help but wish all hotel rooms felt this inviting.  It seems that no matter how much money one pays for that touch of luxury, hotel rooms do seem a little lacklustre. Yes it is the finishing touches .... flowers, candles, magazines and the extra scatter cushions .... and yes I have spoken about it before.  For any number of reasons this is the area that seems to have been eliminated from either the brief or the budget or both.  Therefore it is the boutique hotel with the fastidious attention to this sort of detail that we seek out .... the hotels that appear in glossy magazines and coffee table books.    

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These images show the beautiful Plaza Athenee in Paris .... a stylists dream ....miles of silk curtaining, elegant panelling and architectural detail, glamorous chandelier and sumptuous furniture.  Why aren't all hotel rooms filled with armfuls of fully blown roses, french champagne on ice and fragrant room candles !!!! 

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swedish apartments .... white on white

Deirdre Brennan - Saturday, June 23, 2012

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Scandinavian countries do white or pale interiors with great style.  Both rustic and refined.  Different shades of soft white, cream and grey ... each used exclusively creates an elegant retreat from the chaos of colour and pattern in everyday life.

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White interiors accentuate architectural detail, texture ... and capture light.  They have a purity .... like a crisp white shirt or a fluffy white bath towel.

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There is a certain serenity to a white or pale interior. White provides the blank canvas from which to showcase beautiful furniture, artwork ... even the view from the window.

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the word from the milan furniture fair 2012 via Gervasoni

Deirdre Brennan - Monday, May 14, 2012

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I was thrilled to chat with Jenny Gill, Australian agent for the fabulous Gervasoni furniture, on her return from the Milan Furniture Fair. This is the word from Milan.

What were the trends and future direction in furniture seen in Milan ?

loose covers, lots of timber furniture, 'big' sofas, the new 'big look' for most furniture, shiny fabrics, flokati style rugs and long pile carpet in general, over sized/exaggerated pendant lighting

What were the colours shown for the new season ?

orange, purple, grey and soft grey/green

Which range proved to be particularly popular at the Fair for Gervasoni ?

inout range which is modular furniture for outdoor use and upholstered in waterproof removable covers

Apart from the Gervasoni range, which collection had an impact ?

Minotti's large furniture range

What are your tips for a visit to Milan for the Furniture Fair ?

it is a distinct advantage to be as close to the centre as possible, near the Duomo and furniture showrooms

Can you recommend a hotel in Milan that you have stayed at ?

the NH President, Milan is where I stayed this trip and it is terrific (4 star)

Any fabulous cafe's you can recommend ?

bar erri, via durine near hotel

Do you have a final tip for visitors to the Fair ?

a must .... visiting the area where the new designers not able to afford the Fair exhibit ..... Zona Tortona

 

Retail Showroom for Gervasoni : Anibou, Sydney  

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home away from home at the greenwich hotel new york

Deirdre Brennan - Wednesday, April 18, 2012

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There is something rather special about boutique hotels like The Greenwich Hotel in New York.....they are so much more homely and inviting than the larger hotel chains....even if they are 5 star !!  The attention to detail during the design process is one thing but the concept of the smaller hotel offering a little more is what really makes the difference to its clientele. 

The additional decorative items that you don't see in the bigger hotels such as the occasional throw rug, coffee table books, magazines....the sort of decorative pieces that you would have in your own home or would like to have, are generously incorporated into both guestrooms and public spaces.   

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Having spent a number of years working on the interior design of large hotels and small, there is only so far the big hotels are prepared to go when it comes to individualizing either the guestrooms, lobbies, restaurants or bars.  Yes it is a staffing issue.....after all straightening books and decorative items does take time!!! 

The reason I don't go back to hotels I have worked on is that I have been known to plump up cushions or reposition a collection of items on a coffee table !! I have to say that a large part of the thought process when incorporating all the gorgeous extras is how it will stand the test of time .... and the general public.

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Wonderful boutique hotels like The Greenwich have no two guestrooms alike.  They are elegantly eclectic .... incorporating delicate silk rugs, interesting art collections, glamorous mirrors and libraries of books...and are truly a luxurious home away from home.

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white on white ......

Deirdre Brennan - Wednesday, March 14, 2012

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There are so many beautiful books published about a predominantly white interior. The look can be rustic, slick and contemporary, opulent or minimalist.  It also allows you to showcase anything you choose. 

It could be bookcases filled with books, artwork, flowers in a vase, baskets, gilt mirrors or picture frames, porcelain ..... patterned, cream or white, architectural detailing or warm timbers.

Everything else in the room will be in contrast or shadow against the crispness of the white.

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My favourite shade of white has never altered.....Dulux White Birch.  It has enough warmth to give the room a certain glow.  For a very polished, state of the art interior I adore Dulux Vivid White !!!

An all white kitchen gives a feeling of orderliness and cleanliness.....an all white bathroom.....elegance and an all white bedroom......peacefulness.

Be bold.....floors can be cream or a light coloured carpet to complete the look. White painted timber floors can be both rustic or contemporary.....rather Scandinavian.

Don't stop with the fabrics......what could be more divine than cream, white or antique linen in varying textures.....have fun!   

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Ribbons, trimmings and all things passementerie at VVRouleaux in London

Deirdre Brennan - Wednesday, November 23, 2011

'The Chanel of ribbons and trimmings shops' Red Magazine. This is one of my favourite shops in London... V V Rouleaux.  Opened by Annabel Lewis in 1990 and now in a new shop in Sloane Square and also Marylebone . 

You can't help but buy miles of ribbon for wrapping and the selection process does seem to take forever, there is just too much choice.

Her belief 'there are no barriers between fashion and decorating, home and catwalk'. 

There are irresistible tassles and braids and trims, all very unique.  What did the design world do before V V Rouleaux.

Individual furniture and clothing items in store capture the V V Style far beyond the traditional use of ribbons and trims.

PS. I did love the old shop on the other side of Sloane Square....yes tiny but more of an Aladin's Cave full of sumptuous jewels

 

 


 

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    1. Beach House Inspiration ... with a touch of black and white Deirdre Brennan 06-Jan-2016
    2. rustic kitchens with style Deirdre Brennan 12-Jul-2015
    3. Latest Stylish Hotel Design in Madrid Deirdre Brennan 23-Jun-2015
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