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.