Embrace opulence or shabby chic look

I have been checking out hotels in New York in anticipation for a trip I am taking with my daughter and am fascinated at the different design styles in the buildings (and horrified at some of the prices at the same time!)

New York has a broad range of designer hotels from the ultra contemporary to traditional and old fashioned.

My heart always goes to the older opulent buildings and the decorating that goes along with it. French boutique hotels, old bed and breakfasts and classic buildings like the Plaza always capture my interest.

It is something that I consider to be an event when I get to visit these century old beauties and see different aspects of design.

French boutique design embraces the past in its purest form. Shabby is very chic and some items that we may not have use for are put on display and considered attractive. French boutique is all about patterns, adornments and opulence. Patterns grace the floors, walls, upholstery and drapery and most often the patterns are mixed and somewhat matched. Colours are bright yet faded on upholstery and bedding, drapery is heavy and multi-layered with fringe tassels and luxurious tie backs.

Nothing feels as embracing as being able to crawl into a high four poster bed which is canopied and draped with heavy velvet. Close the drapery to block out the sound of the street below and enjoy a cocoon of quiet and dark – how often do we get to indulge in this kind of seclusion?

Turn your home into a boutique by embracing the shabby chic look, scour through antique stores and yard sales to find unique and stylish furniture pieces which can be recovered and refinished.

Consider opulence when you are designing your home – gold/gilt/glass and mirror are always used in French boutique design. All things which dangle are appropriate whether it be crystals from a favorite light fixture or tassels and bullion fringe from draperies, cushions or bedding.

Towering, gaudy floral displays are a must when employing the French boutique look. Often they are the centerpiece of a room or at least a major focal point. They are wild, colourful and ‘a la Francaise” they provide a natural addition to the eclectic mix of fabrics in the room. Flower arrangements are a lot to maintain yet they are the epitome of French boutique design.

If you are yearning for things past and desire to have opulence and elegance surrounding you, make an escape to a century old hotel, boutique or bed and breakfast for a weekend or holiday. It will inspire you to bring some of the past into your home as you dream of a home or boudoir which personifies that ‘quelque chose de special’ (special something) that makes a house a home.

Please join us for our “Paint in the City” gala event on Thursday Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. as we premiere C2 LOVO paint! Live music, painting demonstrations and all things fabulous. Call (403) 343-7711 to RSVP. Merci!

Kim Lewis is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre. Feel free to contact her at 343-7711 ext 227, email her at klewis@carpetcolourcentre.com or join her facebook group called “Ask a Designer”