Boutique Hotels, what’s the hype?

Friday, April 14th, 2017

Originated in the 1980s as an alternative to the entirely standardized and familiar hospitality industry, a boutique hotel concept intended to deliver a unique and highly luxurious experience.  In contrast to the desired familiarity that defined the international hotel scene of the 1950s, with the introduction of boutique hotels, guests’ unique travel experiences started when they checked into their boutique hotel.  So what exactly make the boutique hotel so appealing and revolutionary for over three decades?

The largest defining element that separates boutique hotels from any other travel accommodations is the exclusive interior design that often dictates the hotel’s unique guest experience.  With the highest sophistication and the extraordinary ability to connect sensorial associations to interior design elements, boutique hotel’s authenticity changed the way people travel for work and leisure.

Boutique hotel concept also had a large influence on the growth of modern design within the residential space with travelers finding inspiration during their stay and recreating it in their homes.  Chic, individually curated properties like the Sanderson Hotel in London that was conceived by Ian Schrager and designed by Philippe Starck or the Mondrian Hotel in Miami that was designed by Marcel Wanders, transport its guests to fantasy-style spaces depicting elements from Sleeping Beauty’s castle and Alice’s journey to Wonderland, and subsequently creating unforgettable hotel stays full of lasting memories.

Sanderson Hotel in London, United Kingdom designed by Philippe Starck

Sanderson Hotel in London, United Kingdom designed by Philippe Starck

Sanderson Hotel in London conceived by Ian Schrager and designed by Philippe Starck

Sanderson Hotel in London conceived by Ian Schrager and designed by Philippe Starck

Mondrian South Beach by Marcel Wanders

Mondrian South Beach by Marcel Wanders

Mondrian Hotel in Miami designed by Marcel Wanders

Mondrian Hotel in Miami designed by Marcel Wanders

Difference between Interior Design & Interior Decor

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

The two professions are very often confused and used interchangeably.  But while both involve interiors, they are profoundly different.  Design is a spectrum of elements that collectively contribute to the congruency of a space; the connection between people’s behaviors and the corresponding functional expectation from all composing elements of a room.

Decoration on the other hand, focuses on the space in-parallel to how it’s being used and by whom.  It might meet all functional expectation through furniture, colors, textiles and textures but fall short in the ideal scale, layout and proportions.

Interior decorators often help with fabrics, paint and furnishings while designers dig deeper and are more involved with space planning, finishes and structural details, by considering light and sound as well as other sensorial experiences.  Designers will likewise provide technical expertise through three-dimensional programs like AutoCAD, Revit, Rhino and 3DMax.

In the framework of a project, both decorators and designers can help select and purchase furniture, lighting and accessories.  The difference will be apparent when designer may also help with the room’s layout and construction finishes.

Below is a brief example of what to expect from an interior designer.  In this 3D rendering of a modern living room, customer was able to see their space along with the color choices, furniture selections, as well as the layout of a challenging (partially) rounded structure prior to making a large investment.

Custom interior design 3D rendering by room service 360°

Custom interior design 3D rendering by room service 360°

Furniture used in this space: Soleado sectional sofa by Gamma Arredamenti, I-modulART wall unit by Presotto, Twiggy floor lamp by Foscarini, convertible coffee table by Ozzio, Bamboo silk rug by Surya and glass art.

5 must have furniture pieces for small spaces

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Small spaces are challenges but not hopeless especially with the help of innovative furniture solutions that make modern decor in any size room possible.  Regardless whether the small space came about because of its urban geography or construction oversight, its functional disposition remains undisputed.  Thanks to many brilliant designers that look to better our daily lives with smart furniture, the list of must have pieces for such demanding layouts, is quite long.

Extension Consoles Tables – if there is no room for a dining table, opt for an extendible console like the Convivium, Party or Nemo cosole tables by Cattelan Italia.  Each of these modern marvels offers that ability to accommodate up to 12 dinner guests.  This is a great solution to have as an additional table that can be used in case of big parties.

Convivium console table by Cattelan Italia

Convivium console table by Cattelan Italia

Sleeper Sofas & Armchairs – nothing maximizes the space more than a sofa that can convert to a queen or full size bed or an armchair that can lodge a guest.  The selection of sleeper sofas and armchairs is very vast and includes beautiful designs like Capri sleeper sofa by Gamma Arredamenti or the Magica sleeper armchair by Bonaldo.

Magica sleeper chair by Bonaldo

Magica sleeper chair by Bonaldo

Small Extension Dining Tables – dining tables that extend are certainly nothing new but the technology and innovation with which they now extend has evolved tremendously with inspiring pieces like the Livingstone table by Tonelli.

Livingstone dining table by Tonelli

Livingstone dining table by Tonelli

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Interior Design Trend – Exposed Brickwork

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Exposed brick wall trend is raw, unfiltered, and primal, perhaps indicative a previous life of the space or of a life that earned a new meaning.  Interior decor is full of controversial fads and the exposed brick wall is one such statement.  The origin of this interior trend can be traced to globalization of manufacturing and de-industrialization of urban neighborhoods, more specifically the conversion of abandoned factories whose products are no longer needed or have moved to an overseas production plants.  Repurposing former industrial spaces for residential purposes left traces of rustic aesthetic that feels “naked” but also evocative of history.

When it comes to the decor of such spaces, it is a hit or miss with plenty of times when the unfinished element is inflated in an unflattering way.  However, more times than not, this unique design element builds momentum because of its flaws and subsequently makes everything else in the space look and feel “pulled-together”.

Check out these amazing examples that make the exposed brick feel like an integral and necessary decor element.

Skorpio dining table with Bolero pendants by Cattelan Italia

Skorpio dining table with Bolero pendants by Cattelan Italia

Oxford sideboard, Kos occasional table collection and Flag floor lamp by Cattelan Italia

Oxford sideboard, Kos occasional table collection and Flag floor lamp by Cattelan Italia

Drop wine rack by Cattelan Italia

Drop wine rack by Cattelan Italia

New Year Resolution: work out more, at home

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

It’s January of a new year and of course everyone is still in “resolution” mode.  With the best intentions, we all want to start over, reduce our bad habits and vices, reset our excuses and infuse our motivations with new vigor, with ‘being healthier’ landing at the top of most people’s lists.  To be healthy is directly intertwined with proper nutrition and a consistent workout regiment, and yet very few consider leaving the house to eat healthier, so why do people leave the house to engage in a routine workout.

Instead of leaving the house, the inspiration, motivation and lack of distraction should be the primary reason behind the investment in a home gym.  Small space is no longer an issue because machines are now reduced to their smallest footprint and maximum utility allowing for increased physical fitness and enhanced mental wellness.

Technogym is an Italian manufacturer that specializes in unique, highly innovative gym equipment that is perfect for both commercial and residential fitness.  With welcoming, zen-like vibe and seamless design, Technogym offers solutions that are functional, user focused, and guarantee “speed, agility, efficiency, safety and hygiene.” Offering many collections, Technogym boasts with advanced research and modern aesthetics for the home through its most modern Forma line that’s designed “to minimize space, maximize interaction and fun during workouts.”  Forma collection of products integrates professional equipment with sleek ergonomics fitting for home use.  In addition to Foam, Technogym also includes the Artis Line of cardio and strength products, Kinesis Line for strength training and the Unity console of interactive fitness.

Unique and highly innovative gym equipment by Technogym