Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery . . .
Not long ago when I traveled on business, I can remember that after a long plane flight I would dread the “hotel bed” – and even worse, the lumpy, hard pillows and unwashed bedspreads (the variety my mother told me never to put my face on when we traveled).
I must admit, however, that the hospitality industry has stepped up to the plate in recent years. Now when I check into a room, I am often greeted with cushy beds, downy comforters, soft pillows and a freshly washed cotton duvet covering a blanket . In fact, there are definitely things about hotel rooms I’ve stayed in that gave me ideas for home decorating. It seems I am not alone.
400 –thread count sheets and Egyptian cotton towels can now be found on the shelves of many home goods stores, oftentimes dubbed “hotel” quality. I noticed that homebuilders routinely offer options for “coffee bars” with mini-fridges in master bedrooms these days. I fell for the telescoping wall-mounted magnifying mirrors. And, even though I’ve haven’t employed the idea, it even occurs to me that bolting a headboard to the wall instead of attaching it to the bed frame would make it easier to change sheets.
In “Endless Summer,” a recent Move.com article, Veronique Kipen writes that the right kind of hotel actually does things better than you. “Towels are thicker, the carpets deeper, the drapes actually keep out the light, the beds are in league with Morpheus and the bathroom amenities would make a Puritan weep.”
Kipen reports that NBC Today Show’s travel editor, Peter Greenberg, discovered how much he liked about hotel design and décor when he had to rebuild his Los Angeles home after the 1994 Northridge earthquake took its toll. His architect took ideas and concepts from 47 different hotel rooms – some resort-like or hotel-like but most concepts not high-priced in nature. Things like the deluge showerhead, beds on platforms and entertainment centers whose doors rotated out of sight were just a few. The royalty-sized king-sized bed he adopted was an idea taken from the Four Seasons in New York, the bathtub from the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong, the sink was reminiscent of Caesar’s Palace, the toilet from Tokyo’s Park Hyatt and door locks from the St. Regis were all incorporated into the design. Greenberg’s 15 years of traveling had put him in touch with CEOs and managers of hotels like these, so he used his familiarity to find out how to buy the items. And so, it seems, can anyone else.
Many of the manufacturers are well-known names, such as Kohler, Viking, Sub-Zero and others, like Kahrs flooring, Karastan rugs, Closet by Design, Sealy mattresses, Nortel phones and Howard Miller clocks are a phone call away for any decorator, according to Kipen.
So next time you’re in a hotel room that takes your breath away and you’re just TOO curious about how to add similar amenities or products to your own home, why not take a stroll to the front desk and see if the hotel staff can find out more for you? Your home might take on that vacation-like quality and you’ll feel brilliant for implementing such novel concepts.