Channeling Florence: A Hotels to Home interior design case study


Travel journaling Hotels to Home style can make a tremendous impact on home décor, interior design, and homelife satisfaction. This method of travel journaling (see November’s blog for more details) focuses on a traveler’s physical response to something (a second glance or a smile) rather than more traditional landmark photos or meditative reflections, so the result becomes a personal “lookbook” of intuitive messaging and joy!

“People come alive when they intuitively discover what they adore, and if they heed the call to their inner wisdom, what enraptures them while they travel can greatly improve home life.” – Hotels to Home, Page 69

Let’s explore how Hotels to Home travel journaling works to evolve homelife satisfaction with a case study. We will follow one family who sojourned to Florence and decided to use the trip’s travel journal to stylize their dining room. The entire family was included in the process, from small children to adults, and each person took part in the activity. Anything goes when doing this type of journaling because you want to gather as much information as possible to confirm discoveries. This family primarily used digital photos, but also coveted hotel promotional items (as random as a children’s menu) and acquired fabric samplings. Even if you don’t quite realize WHY you might be drawn to something, record your findings. Unexpected themes have a way of emerging!

Vacation destinations and hotel reservations are typically a deliberate choice. This is the how and why of Hotels to Home’s lifestyle success – you probably already know what you like! Our case-study family was no different. This holiday was planned in a specific corner of the world – birthplace of the Renaissance - for the rich architecture and incredible artwork. A carefully researched hotel was booked because of historical significance (along with a beautiful aesthetic) so all this was confirmed as something they enjoyed. The fun-loving part of this process though is in the discovery of individual preferences and family biases as you journal! Finding you are Partial to this, or have penchant for that, and/or deciphering entirely new design desires is interesting. The family automatically draws together on a new (often very pleasurable, like enjoying a game) level when on holiday.

Once the family arrived back home, it was time to “unpack” or review the travel journal to unearth favorites and identify consistencies. The journal was viewed by each family member separately to identify personal preferences and then reviewed across the entire family to see if/what everyone appreciated. Merrymaking ensued as vacation moments were rehashed and the household discussed what moved them – which the journaling somewhat boldly confirmed – as it relates to architecture, color, and décor. Excavating the Florence trip certainly solidified some suspicions they thought about when trip planning, but it also brought some new design interests to the forefront!

Discoveries made!

When it came to architectural elements most of the household was drawn to archways. Arches somehow made them feel like they were continuously in a glorious location. Both interior and exterior archways were found across many pictures. Another finding included pictures of intricate woodwork. Carved furniture and ornamental wall designs made repeat appearances. Stonework also made an appearance - from countertops to tabletops, statues, and oversized staircases - stonework pictures were scattered across the journal. The stonework finding wasn’t unpredictable, but the draw to travertine rather than marble was an unexpected reflection, and gave the family pause for thought.

The color preferences were apparently the same across family members. A lighter color palette of white and cream appealed to all. An attraction to a variety of blue shades were identified. Warmer tones of tabletops and flooring were seen across a few pictures and metallic enhancements were also noted.

Décor was probably most journaled about by the adults, but the children had opinions when it came to artwork – which took center stage. A frescoed ceiling was everyone’s desire! Dining under a frescoed ceiling always conjured a fond holiday memory. Each person agreed that mealtimes under those beautiful ceilings made one feel a little bit like royalty. Beautiful glass chandeliers in the hotel suite often drew a second glance. Chandelier style was discussed too. Ornate was fine, but colorful ones were never journaled. The surprise finding: scrollwork! Some were painted, some were in sculptures, and still others were found on furniture as gold embellishments. Scrollwork was a main character in their décor discoveries. Wispy scrollwork was a new revelation no one had expected. Had the family not photo journaled even the most miniscule details, this finding may have never been uncovered!

Design time!

The family reviewed their highly personalized, much beloved “lookbook” and was ready to start designing the home’s dining room. They started with the ceiling and worked their way down . . .

The ceiling was adorned with a custom fresco that replicated the many that were admired during the trip. A Murano chandelier, very similar to the chandelier in their hotel suite, was installed above the table. These two ceiling enhancements brought that “regal feel” the family enjoyed in Florence to at-home dining moments. Luckily, the room’s entryway was already an archway, so new construction projects were avoided when ensuring the family’s archway design interests.

The walls were adorned with wainscoting panels as wood accents was something the journal confirmed as an important design element. Another decision was to have scrollwork painted within the wainscotting. Once this painting was complete, each rectangle that circled the entire room looked like its own piece of framed art. All painting projects aligned with the preferred color palette so light colors were utilized (tone on tone type color scheme) with a touch of metallic so the room had a slight glow when the chandelier was on. You could almost hear the walls whispering this is luxury dining. Wall art was also curated and included a painting, and tapestry from, you guessed it, Florence!

Dining furniture choices reflected their Florentine findings too. The dining table was imported Italian travertine and the dining chairs had scrollwork that mimicked both the “wainscotting paintings” and the wood embellishments that adorned the neighboring console. Fabrics were carefully selected for their weight, sheen, and detail orientation to compliment the opulent interior.

The room is complete!

As the finishing touches were completed on this interior design project, the household celebrated with a delicious Italian feast to commemorate the moment. A joyous time indeed since they were surrounded by floor to ceiling design features (they already knew) they treasured.

We can only imagine the significance of a heartfelt room design. This dining room is not only cherished by the household but transports them back to wonderful vacation moments even as beautiful new memories are being made. That’s Hotels to Home living!


The Concierge