With so many character-filled concepts to choose from – from industrial loft living and coastal chic to countryside cottages and the Scandi barn look – landing on one that’s right for you and for your home can be tricky.
Interior design articles, magazines and Pinterest boards are all useful tools for inspiration when it comes to choosing a concept for your home, but there’s simply no better way to trial if a concept suits you than by immersing yourself in the design features entirely, even for just one night.
Colour shouldn’t always be limited to the walls and soft furnishings. Why not take your palette to the carpet?
Boutique or concept hotels are nothing new, despite more and more cropping up every few months. Some carry historic design features and structural elements that have been around for many years, like the Ovolo in Woolloomooloo; its bones date back to 1912.
As we tour this floating, pier hotel on the Sydney Harbour, interior designer Tim Leveson shares his favourite features and tips to recreate the look at home.
The Ovolo in Woolloomooloo, like Tim’s Volkswagen Touareg, makes concept luxury feel like the new necessary.
How concept hotels like Ovolo can inspire our homes
You won’t find a lot of white inside this timber dwelling; rich colours like teal and baby pink dominate the suites, and Tim says we can expect to see this ‘playfulness’ with colour be implemented in our own homes.
More and more, people are becoming less afraid of making a bold statement with striking colour palettes and design.
“There was a period of time in home design where everything was white-on-white on white, but the spaces that leave a lasting impression – whether you see them in a magazine or experience them in a hotel room – are the rooms that are colourful and expressive,” Tim says.
Art is so important to homemakers now, says Tim. “People are understanding how fun it can be to buy artwork and how it can give your interior spaces a bit of personality.”
Out-of-the-box decor ideas are key to making an impact in your space, and what better way to get creative with your art than to take it off the walls and display it on your headboard?
Art on the walls is one thing, but a painted headboard? Now that’s out of the box.
Make the most of old when adding new features
Inside, the Ovolo’s original exposed wooden beams and timber floors play nice with ultra-contemporary finishes and artworks. It’s a juxtaposition that “just works”, says Tim.
He suggests when undergoing any sort of renovation or refurbishment to first take note of the original design features that could be kept or simply updated. It’s the single easiest way to enhance your space’s original character and personality, he says.
“I would always encourage people not to throw away everything and start again. It’s really good, both for the environment and for your home’s personality, to keep things that have a story and history.”
Upcycle old furniture for a lived-in feel that separates your home from others.
Instead of gutting your home during a reno, a great checklist to start is with the floors, the walls, and some designer lighting. “Strip the floors back and give them a cool polish, paint the walls in a cool grey or white, furnish with marbles and timber tones and install some stunning designer lighting,” Tim says.
“The juxtaposition between these new features with your old skirting boards and ornate ceilings is enough of a start to bringing personality into your space.”
“An old interior can look sensational with a splash of modern art or furniture,” says Tim.
Invest in custom finishes, or make your own!
It only takes one statement feature to leave a lasting impression. The suites at the Ovolo are packed with memorable artworks, but none get the guests talking more than the neon fireplace.
Tim says: “What Ovolo has done so well is the use of colour, art and surprise. There’ll be a neon size says ‘I want you tonight’ and the neon fire in the ‘INXS Rockstar’ room.”
Of course, you could have your own neon sign made, or you could play around with another idea that allows you to create a feature of your very own to love and cherish.
“In my home, we have a huge old gum pine table. It’s a huge old school table and it has names of past students carved into it. I could have purchased a brand new table, but I loved the story and the history of the piece. Plus, it really makes the room,” says Tim.
Toasty, and hardly a fire risk!
It may feel extravagant, but investing in designer finishes in your home can make you realise you’re worth a little bit more. Soon they won’t feel extravagant, but altogether necessary.