How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look

I don't know about you, but I would love to have my home look like a beautiful boutique hotel. I know it's not everyone's thing, some people like a more lived in homely look, and others, like me, have that lived in homely look, even though it's not actually what they want! Ha, I know, I'm never satisfied and I never stop thinking about the next changes I'll make to our home. It's exhausting, and on one hand, I wish I could just get everything 'finished' and stop. Be done, and be satisfied. But that's not who I am, that's not what I do, and it's very unlikely to happen any time soon!

Budget. Money. Lack of budget and money is what stops me achieving the look I really want in my home, but I chip away at it, and with each little change, I get a little bit closer to the look I actually want.

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog
A moodboard I put together to demonstrate the Boutique Hotel Look

In this moodboard I've included Lamps from Pooky and French Connection, a vintage coffee table, rug, and framed scarf, a sofa from, a hexagonal pouffe from Swoon Editions, and Tom Abbiss Smith artwork.

I've blogged before about getting a high-end glamorous look without breaking the bank, and many of these points cross-over, but today I'm gearing specifically towards a Boutique Hotel Lobby Inspired Look. Just rolls of the tongue doesn't it?

The walls:

Texture is important here and you could do a lot worse than going for some grasscloth (if you've got cash to splash), or some faux grasscloth or linen look textured wallpaper.

Look for actual texture rather than printed 'texture', and make sure you always order samples first. What can look great on screen can look terrible in the flesh and you do get what you pay for. And for some reason that I just can not figure out, some companies seem to think that glitter is a good thing on these papers. It's not.

Harlequin do some that look good, and I'm actually awaiting some samples to potentially use in my home, and you also may have seen the fab textured wallpaper that I used on the back of my living room shelves a while back from Graham & Brown, that is also a great option, but the colour options are very limited. Budget dependant, also look at Designers Guild, and if you've got really deep pockets (lucky you) look at Thibaut, Andrew Martin, Urbane Living and Phillip Jeffries.

The higher end brands have a much bigger and better colour range, so I do apologise in advance if you see an incredible colour but it's a gazillion pounds a metre or roll.

Let me know if you find any amazing options that don't cost the earth!

If you can't stretch to real or faux grasscloth, all is not lost. How about a bit of DIY wall moulding? No? Statement wallpaper? But not a feature wall - to make this look work you have to go all out. And of course if none of the above are an option, then go with a new lick of paint in a lovely, rich, saturated colour of choice. That doesn't have to mean super dark or super bright. In fact, please don't. There are plenty of saturated colour options for a huge impact without needing to live in a cave or a tacky nursery! I think my TV room is a great example of that, and there's a bit of DIY wall moulding in there too.

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog

The floor:

The dream is herringbone or chevron parquet. Obvs. There are loads of choices these days - real wood blocks, engineered wood, and incredibly convincing and virtually indestructible luxury vinyl tiles. Failing that, and even if you can have the perfect flooring already, you need to add a rug. More than one of your room is big. Think vintage Oriental, or Beni Ourain (real if budget allows), or an amazing pattern. Not a plain rug, which is basically just a piece of carpet.

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog
Image: Amtico Signature in Ink Wash

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog
Images: Moroc Tribal Beni Ourain Rugs

Add to the textured, layered look and think pattern and / or heavy texture like the incredible vintage Beni Ourain rugs from Moroc Tribal (firmly on my must own one day list). La Redoute have great rugs, as do Plantation Rug Company and Anthroplogie (tip: wait for the sale!). Places like Benuta and are also worth checking out.

Colour and Pattern:

Mix it up here. Although this is not my usual style, I do love this look (it's just not for me, in my home). So think mixed jewel tones in sumptuous fabrics like velvet and linens, and add lots of pattern. You can really just go for it with this look! Use a mixture of prints on upholstery, curtains, blinds, cushions and lampshades. If mixing patterns is terrifying to you, make sure to stick to a limited colour palette and there's less chance of it going horribly wrong.

It's not hard to make a lampshade with a kit and a piece of your favourite fabric, so they needn't cost a load. and Swoon Editions both do some amazingly decently priced sofas and pouffes with a gorgeous selection of coloured, alongside other boutique hotel lobby worthy furniture.

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog
Image: Ham Yard Hotel / Firmdale Hotels


To get a really unique room, you need to mix up the new pieces with vintage. Trawl your favourite vintage shops and eBay, for some real gems, like a Pierre Vendel brass and glass coffee table, and side tables. Or a big sculptural vase or ceramic creature! Something that no one else has. It's my vintage pieces that I most often get asked about.


As you know, lighting is super important and you can't have too many lamps. I have the French Connection brass floor lamp on the moodboard, and it's beautiful. There are some super glam lamps around these days, and places like Pooky, Vaughn (if you have deep pockets), OKA, and surprisingly, some cheaper places online, have some stunning lamps and shades that really make a room. Shop around. I'm a firm believer in the bigger the better with lamps.

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog

If you have very little budget, eBay is your friend again. Look for some bases that you like the shape of, and spray paint them if you don't like the colour like I've done in the image above. Then you can spend on some lovely shades like these fab Ikat ones from Pooky, or make some yourself with a lampshade kit as mentioned above.


Be creative here, and don't buy generic art for the sake of it that is meaningless.

Search for an up and coming artist for something different, something that really speaks to you. Maybe frame a vintage scarf. There's a constant stream of beautiful vintage Hermes scarves on eBay (Vintage though, you hear?), so you can wait to find the right one that works with your colour scheme, and you won't see it all over Pinterest and Instagram.

Don't discount galleries as being too expensive as you might just be pleasantly surprised. And you never know where it might lead you. I wrote a post about how to buy grown up art a while back with some more tips.

I'm a big fan of Alan Fears paintings.

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog
Image: Alan Fears 'English Country Fudge'


Cushions, ornaments, scented candles are all a must, but keep the ornaments under control so your room isn't crowded and chaotic and doesn't start to resemble a junk shop (a tip I often need to remind myself about!)

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog


Don't forget some plants! The bigger the better. Fiddle leaf fig trees are still very desirable and beautifully sculptural plants, but Kentia Palms, ZZ plants and are also beautiful and easy to care for options. Huge ferns in urns also make stunning additions.

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog

Luxe Details:

Add a bit of interest and a feeling of luxury by adding a splash of glam. Brass details (an oversized brass framed mirror for example), a leather topped cabinet, and antiqued mirrored wall, a marble side table. These materials all ooze glamour, but if you source and use them cleverly they needn't cost the earth. Try West Elm, Rockett St George and Swoon Editions for starters.

A Knockout Piece:

If you have the space / time / money, keep your eyes peeled for a knockout piece for the room. It could be anything from a 70's moulded plastic hanging chair, to a brass palm tree lamp, a giant Jonathan Adler lucite hand, a sculptural 80's stone coffee table or a piece of vintage taxidermy. It's these wow pieces, alongside the combination of all the other elements that can make for a really incredible room. Yes, I know that an Ostrich Feather lamp is out of most peoples price range, but this really does demonstrate the impact of a knockout piece in a room rather beautifully don't you think? Also firmly on my must own one day list!

How To Achieve A Boutique Hotel Lobby Look - French For Pineapple Blog
Image: A Modern Grand Tour

So there you go. This is a look that you can achieve yourself if you set your mind to it, and it doesn't have to cost billions, though obviously it can also cost plenty if you have the cash to splash! This look is primarily about texture, layering and colour and clever use of materials.

Smoke and Mirrors:

How to add glamour without breaking the bank

You know I love my glam interiors, but it's not necessarily the cheapest look to achieve. There are some pretty good tips and tricks however, to elevate your space without spending an absolute fortune.

Thinking about how you can incorporate the materials that we associate with a high end look, is a great place to start.

While I'm not a fan of faux finishes generally, there is one exception, which is the porcelain tile that does a damn good job of looking like marble. Not only does it have a much lower price tag, but it also means you don't have to worry about staining, etching and maintenance like you do with the real thing. It gives a high end look, without the high end price tag. Totally fabulous for bathrooms and splashbacks. Mandarin Stone have a great range, and this Mimico Statuario is my favourite.

French For Pineapple Blog - Smoke and Mirrors: How to add glamour without breaking the bank
Images: Mandarin Stone / Mimica Statuario Tiles

There's something inherently sexy and cool about smoked glass. Did you know that you can get it cut to size really easily online? How about replacing some clear glass shelves with smoked glass, or even using it as a shower screen instead of clear glass. See? Sexy.

French For Pineapple Blog - Smoke and Mirrors: How to add glamour without breaking the bank
Image: Alessandro Isola
Cut to size mirror is another great trick for elevating the look of a room. Again, you could consider it to replace clear glass shelves, but it also looks amazing backing shelves. Tinted mirror is also great for this - we have bronze tinted mirror back on a little kitchen shelf, it's like someone has dimmed the light on standard silver mirror! I love it. Foxed mirror is right up there too. No, it's not peanuts, but it's a hell of a lot cheaper than a tinted mirror cabinet would be, and the impact is big!

French For Pineapple Blog - Smoke and Mirrors: How to add glamour without breaking the bank
Images: Terrat Elms Interior Design / Unknown

I've always wanted to mirror an entire wall in either tinted bronze, gold, or foxed mirror. Big panels from floor to ceiling look incredible, and it's something I'll consider for one wall when we finally do our bathroom. Another great trick is to mirror a section of wall framed by moulding, like this...

French For Pineapple Blog - Smoke and Mirrors: How to add glamour without breaking the bank
Image: Darcy Bonner And Associates
Or cladding a chimney breast or alcoves in mirror is another way of avoiding doing an entire wall - getting the glam look, but keeping the costs down.

French For Pineapple Blog - Smoke and Mirrors: How to add glamour without breaking the bank
Image: Darcy Bonner And Associates
A marble top on a small side table is a trick I've used in our kitchen, and we also have a narrow marble ledge in our second bathroom. Bringing just a small bit in, of course won't have as big an impact as an entire kitchen island clad in marble does, but it will still lift the overall look. Don't just stick with 'safe' carrara marble either, why not try something more extreme like calacatta or salome? They're both stunning marbles that make a real impact. Or consider something like Onyx for a really unique look. Go along to your local stone yard (check to see if you need to make an appointment first) and have a look at what's on offer.

French For Pineapple Blog - Smoke and Mirrors: How to add glamour without breaking the bank
Image: Bianca Hall / French For Pineapple
Grasscloth is another material worth considering for really elegant look, and something I think we'll start to see a lot more of in the UK. Whilst a whole room looks amazing, you can do smaller areas to bring it in without such a big outlay. Think alcoves, nooks and shelf backs. The real thing has a high price tag, but there's a big selection of faux grasscloth wallpaper that looks pretty good too. Yes, another exception to the rule! Make sure you get samples first, because some cheaper versions have too much of a sheen. These one's from Designers Guild look lovely, and they're not hideously expensive if you're just doing a small area.

French For Pineapple Blog - Smoke and Mirrors: How to add glamour without breaking the bank
Image: Designers Guild (Gunmetal and Teal Grasscloth Wallpaper)
Brass trims or brass sheeting used as splashback or kickboards in the kitchen, or even a bath panel in the bathroom (make sure it's correctly sealed though!), is a great way to bring in the most beautiful of metallics. Again, brass backed shelves look fab, and would be much cheaper than a bespoke brass clad kitchen would be! Even changing your old handles for brass ones can make a big difference.

This kitchen that used to belong to Athena Calderone, is a perfect example of a how brass trim can transform a kitchen. There's SO much to love about this entire apartment - you actually NEED to check it out. It's one of my all time favourite homes to ogle.

French For Pineapple Blog - Smoke and Mirrors: How to add glamour without breaking the bank
Image: Harper's Bazaar / Christopher Sturman
Adding panelling or moulding to walls can make a room feel instantly grand. It's a great trick that we don't see enough of here - our US friends have been at it for yonks!

French For Pineapple Blog - Smoke and Mirrors: How to add glamour without breaking the bank
Image: Kelly Wearster
And last but definitely not least, is paint. Yes, paint. I know I've been banging on recently about Colour Washing and Colour Drenching, but they are both SO effective, and it's the cheapest way of all to take a room from average to fabulous.

Okay, that turned into a much more epic post than planned, but I really am passionate about these things! You can make such a difference to your home on a small budget - where there's a will there's a way, right?

Have you, or would you consider any of these tips or tricks? Do tell!

Bed Inspiration - plotting a bed hack!

When I wrote recently about my dislike for our current bed frame I was kind of resigned to just putting up with it until we had the budget to replace it. I would absolutely love a contemporary four poster bed one day, but as that day is nowhere in sight, and I'm incredibly impatient, I decided I needed to do something cheapish in the interim to change it.

And who knows, if my plan works, I may not want to replace it at all! Now that really would be a result.

So what on earth am I planning I hear you ask? Well, here's what it looks like at the moment...

Yep, that cream metal frame stands out like a sore thumb against the dark sooty walls, and I hate it.

I'm not going to paint it which was my original plan, I've decided to make some loose slipcovers from linen, lined with thick wadding in to cover it, giving it a modern, relaxed, deconstructed look. I'll do covers for both the head and foot of the frame, and along the sides I plan to Velcro panels to the frame, which will hide the inside of the covers and the metal legs of the bed, along with all the stuff we have stored underneath.

I know it's not good Feng Shiu to have anything under your bed, but you try telling the taxman that we threw away the last seven years of accounts because it was bad Feng Shui to keep it all. Exactly.

The fabric won't be attached to the wadding, it'll be a slip over a slip, so changing the colour if/when I get bored will be easy. In theory. And if I have the money to buy 6 metres of fabric. 

Here's my inspiration. Do click through to the article to see this absolutely stunning apartment in Lyon, France. It's what dreams are made of. And the wall mouldings have reignited my desire to add some moulding to the wall behind our bed and the wardrobe doors on the opposite wall, so that's back on the list! Sorry Ed.

Felix Forest for Vogue Living
But back to the job at hand. My sewing skills are basic, and although I've always wanted to learn upholstery, I am most definitely not skilled in that area, so I'll be keeping this design as simple as possible.

Hopefully it will have the desired effect of completely hiding what's underneath and looking like a soft upholstered bed like the one above, but not quite as padded.

Wish me luck and check back next week for the reveal! I've got a busy weekend ahead of me...