Relaxing makeover

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 September, 2011, 12:00am


If you're just back from holiday and pining for more, try giving your flat a makeover reminiscent of your favourite hotel.

Christopher Bene, from Chang Bene Design, says a simple layout and all-white interior with unique lighting fixtures are good starting points. A relaxed, calm and inviting environment are hotel signatures, and loud, bright colours are out.

Bene also recommends incorporating the present trend for recycled wood for floors and walls - these provide a cosy, warm atmosphere and a tactile feel under foot.

To display your belongings, Bene suggests installing shelves that seem to float in front of a window, or using shelves and glass as a floating room divider. 'Unusual fixtures and details will give it a more commercial feel,' he explains.

A stylish, hotel-style living room is all about creating atmosphere, so consider a dramatic scheme such as dark neutrals to give an otherwise boxy room some character.

Simple tricks include layering surfaces with piles of cushions, books or groups of vases, to make the room feel luxurious. For extra comfort, consider footstools. But remember to avoid clutter and go for a simple configuration grouped around a coffee table or ottoman - making it a focal point will help make the room feel centred and streamlined.

Commercial kitchens come with lots of space, as they are designed to allow chefs to cook and move around.

This may not always be practical for small Hong Kong, so consider an open-plan space that combines the living area, and include larger appliances where possible.

If your living room opens to the kitchen it is important they blend seamlessly together.

Efficiency is also important in the bedroom.

Great hotel rooms are designed to be restful, welcoming spaces with thoughtful, comforting touches. Bene suggests integrating controls for lighting, television and music by the bedside. Well-positioned reading lamps, nightstands with spacious drawers, a comfy chair, simple and clean bed linens (preferably white), fluffy pillows and blackout curtains are standard in hotel bedrooms. Other items to consider include an alarm clock and reading lamp, glasses and a carafe, and a vase of flowers.

The key to designing bedrooms that open to bathrooms and workspaces is to allow them to be closed when you want privacy, Bene says. Consider using pivoting panels that open to combine the bedroom with the bathroom.

Selection of materials should also be a priority. 'Let the [same] materials flow from one space to the next for a seamless look,' Bene says.

In the bathroom, a glass door instead of a shower curtain makes a small cubical feel more spa-like. Towel racks provide a shelf to stack clean linen without taking up valuable floor space. Finally, invest in high-quality white bath towels and organise soaps and shampoos in a tray to set the bath products apart.