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Boudoir chic; INTERIORS Take inspiration from boutique hotels and create your own chic boudoir. Karen Wilson explains how to get the look.

Byline: Karen Wilson

SPENDING the weekend in a boutique hotel invariably makes you want to redecorate your bedroom the moment you get home.

These hip hotels, full of chic design, have been influencing home collections in many department stores. And with two boutique hotels opening in Newcastle recently - Hotel du Vin on the Quayside and The Townhouse Hotel in Gosforth - you needn't travel far for inspiration.

While most of us can only dream of a bedroom the size of the Dom Perignon suite at Hotel du Vin - with 20ft high ceilings, a 9ft custom-made bed, twin freestanding baths and double walk-in monsoon shower - you can still make it work on a smaller scale. Just have fun and be adventurous.

Chris Senior, of Newcastle's Q Design, who was responsible for The Townhouse Hotel at Gosforth, advises homeowners to be brave. "Don't be afraid of sumptuous big patterns and dark colours," he advises. "They often have the opposite effect to what people think. They can make a room feel bigger and furniture and pictures appear to stand out a lot more.

"The key is balance. If you're going for an OTT wallpaper, don't go for a wacky blind, headboard and cushions. You can have overkill."

Lighting is also vital. "It has a huge effect on how the room feels and how usable it is," he says. "You need to layer the lighting with a centre light, spotlights, side lamps and task lighting for the dressing table."

Stephanie Briggs, 36, is director of design at Hotel du Vin and Malmaison. She was responsible for transforming the former Tyne Tees Steam Shipping Company headquarters into the luxurious 42-room Hotel du Vin, which opened last year.

Stephanie says: "It was an old joinery workshop and has a real warehouse feel, so we have gone for lots of exposed brickwork and timber. It reflects Newcastle's industrial heritage." This industrial backdrop has been softened with lots of warm colours, warm timbers and tongue and groove panelling, giving a nautical feel.

"The bedrooms had to be very, very comfortable and everything is soft to the touch with lots of cushions," Stephanie said.

When it comes to recreating the look at home, she advises spending as much time as possible gathering ideas from different places before creating a colour board. She says: "While big stores such as Habitat and Heals are great, there are some lovely little local boutiques where you can get more individual pieces."

She also believes revamping a room in one fell swoop will result in a more cohesive look. "If you can't do that, take a photo of the room round the shops or bring any swatches of fabric," she says. "Whatever you do, don't rely on your memory of a colour!

"Have a scheme in mind, such as warm greys. Start with the big things first. I tend to begin with the floor, then the paint or wallpaper, then the furniture and then finally the accessories."

But ultimately it's about creating a private sanctuary that reflects your personality. Chris Senior says: "A lot of people take it too seriously. But you shouldn't dress your house to appeal to the masses. You're the one who has to live with it."

The Townhouse Hotel, 1 West Ave, Gosforth, Newcastle, tel: (0191) 285-6812. www.thetownhouse Hotel du Vin, Allan House, City Road, tel: (0191) 229-2200.


CONFIDENT The Townhouse Hotel at Gosforth demonstrates the value of a bold approach to pattern and colour.; VISION Designer Chris Senior advises home decorators to be brave.; DETAIL A bedroom at The Townhouse in more muted mood.; PROJECT Stephanie Briggs worked on Hotel du Vin.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 24, 2009
Previous Article:three of a kind.

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