I remember the day distinctly. It was pouring down rain and painfully cold outside. We were in the middle of the negotiation process to purchase the Husum Riverside Bed & Breakfast. Aaron, Rachel and I decided to pass the time by brainstorming ideas for revamping the guest rooms at the B&B. It was great fun. I still have the scratch pad of paper that held our doodles and thoughts as we created our new room themes. This paper became my “map” moving forward to our eventual purchase of bedding and then preparing for our grand opening. So, how’d we do it? Follow along. YOU can utilize this same process to create beautiful hospitality spaces in your own home or business.
First, we started with the main theme. “Super-heroes” was a popular option, but was overruled and outvoted by our love of the European style of hospitality. Over the years, we have been blessed to travel to Europe, mostly Germany and Austria, to experience first-hand the joys of sitting on a secluded brick patio on a warm summer night, sipping a beautiful rose’ wine. Or, sliding into a welcoming bed after a long day of sight-seeing; pull the fluffy duvet up to your chin and fall asleep to the sounds of Mozart and Beethoven. Yes, the Europeans have the art of gracious hospitality down. That is the feeling we wanted to recreate with our guest rooms, breakfast room and our intimate, cozy patio courtyard.
Once we had the theme, we turned our focus to which countries would be represented. With five rooms, we needed five distinct countries with very different styles of décor. Germany/Austria was a must so that went on the list first. Followed by France. Several of the existing pieces of furniture were French style and these would be repurposed into the new spaces. Repurposing is good when you have a tight budget. Next, we talked about places we hadn’t visited but had always wanted to. That led us to Greece – specifically Santorini with its stunning blue water and stark white buildings. Two more…we crafted a list of four options including Spain/Moroccan, Hungary, Italy, and United Kingdom.
Time to get some outside inspiration. Using our Chrome link with our TV, we pulled up Pinterest and started researching specific and distinctive décor styles for each of our options. Every country has their own history and culture that is uniquely reflected in their architecture and furniture. We started a folder and dropped pins in that we loved. Just a note, we did make a shuffle change in our original thoughts from that brainstorming day based on furniture we could affordably secure to fill one of the rooms that did not have anything in it when we arrived.
Armed with beautiful inspiring pins, we narrowed the list down to five. They ended up being; Greece (Room 1), Italy (Room 2), Germany/Austria (Room 3), France (Room 4) and Hungary (Room 5).
Now for colors. Together we created a palate based on movies and art that had in some way touched us and evoked an emotional connection…what color do you see in your mind when you say, “Italy”. The scene in Gladiator when the main character is walking through the field of grain brushing his fingertip across the tops of the wheat. Brick patios filled with green leaves and flowers. Straight sided houses with terra cotta tile roofs and beautiful gardens. You get the picture. For each country, we used our personal emotions and mind-pictures to create a list of colors that we felt represented it best.
How can you follow this process for your home? When designing a bedroom style and décor, the number one criteria in my mind is peaceful. Take a moment to think about a place you visited that made you feel relaxed, contented and able to truly let go and rest. Maybe your grandma’s house? Might have been a vacation to the beach, which is why I think beach themed bedrooms are so popular and never seem to go out of style. Maybe it was a special vacation? Whatever and wherever your most special, relaxed night’s sleep took place, use that as your starting point.
Once you narrow down the place, close your eyes and think about what colors and things were around you. What kinds of pillows were on the bed? What colors were on the walls? Was the décor white, simple and minimalist or dark, rich and woodsy?
Now hit Pinterest and start pinning. Create a folder filled with little snippets of color, décor, paint and overall style that best reflects your dreamy relaxed room. Ready to move on to the last step of selecting specific linens for the bed?
We’ll save that for February’s blog. Come back soon…