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A balance of city and nature

Travel to a boutique hotel and be inspired. They are always at the forefront of design. I recently travelled to Vancouver and was inspired by the sophisticated and trendy design while staying at the Douglas Hotel, the JW Marriot’s autograph collection hotel, it was a harmony of elegance and rustic, a true reflection of Vancouver.  If you’re thinking of renovating look to your travels for inspiration.

Hotels like The Douglas have perfected the formula for design. A luxury home away from home needs to be something to captivate your imagination yet also be calm and comforting. After all we all want to relax on vacation! Why not repeat this formula in your own home.

Paying homage to the original Douglas firs that laid the foundation for Vancouver’s thriving economy, the DOUGLAS, an Autograph Collection Hotel, masterfully reconnects people and place, while seamlessly introducing nature into an elegant, urban environment. The 188 rooms and suites are attentively appointed, with careful consideration to the needs of the modern traveler. The hotel impresses with a curated collection of social spaces, including an exquisitely furnished lobby bar leading out into the elevated sixth floor park.


Sparing no attention to detail, the DOUGLAS pairs original touch points from Rob Wells of SixteenFifty Creative Intelligence with thoughtful interiors by Vincent Celano of Celano Design Studio.

In this hotel it is all about the lighting. My first contact with the hotel started with the elevator. A major wow factor with a mirror surrounded by bulbs creating a 3D effect. It’s a reminder: Don’t overlook the power of lighting!  The corridors and rooms by contrast remind you: Don’t overdo your lighting. This hotel was an example of why your DON’T need pot lights everywhere. Inviting like a cozy cabin the guest rooms have layers of lighting creating a warm and quiet vibe. Even the bathrooms had simple well-lit vanities with the latest in motion sensor technology. Even the bookshelves in the lobby bar with built-in LED lighting add depth and elegance. The main lobby reception is a back-lit Douglas fir tree paying homage to the original Douglas firs that laid the foundation for Vancouver’s thriving lumbar economy.

Bring luxury into your home in small doses. It’s the simple tricks that make a space luxurious like a boutique hotel. These details can be incorporated into your own home very simply. Small details like bedside USB ports for cell phone charging and an espresso machine add modern conveniences for travellers but are also ideas we can incorporate into our own homes.

Maybe the next time you think about travel you’ll just want to stay and enjoy the luxuries of your own home!

About the Author:  Designer Rebecca Hay is principal of Rebecca Hay Designs Inc., a Toronto based Design firm specializing in classically livable family homes. Offering complete decorating and renovating services for over a decade Rebecca and her team manage all of the details from start to finish. Known and celebrated for her design work and appearances on various acclaimed HGTV shows Rebecca is an active YouTuber  follow her daily design adventures on INSTAGRAM. Servicing clientele throughout Toronto, Muskoka and Canada.

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