Hotel Design


This past week Derek had to go to Austin, TX for work and I was lucky enough to join him. The city’s incredible energy reignited my creative fire and I absolutely loved every minute of it! To top it off his company was kind enough to put us up at the chic Hotel San Jose. I immediately felt at home amidst the harmonious blend of rustic gardens, natural materials, and urban modern decor.

I love the story behind the space as well. Liz Lambert, originally a New York trial lawyer turned hospitality designer, transformed this 1930s motor lodge into an urban bungalow-style hotel with a communal outdoor courtyard, lounge, and pool area. Located in downtown Austin it is the perfect oasis to retreat to at any time of day.  I loved walking out our bedroom door into an open garden, filled with native Texas plants, rustic pathways, and tucked away seating areas. I am more than ready to go back and stay there again!

(Unfortunately I forgot my camera and wasn’t able to document the space so I had to go to the trusty internet to find images. In doing so I learned the Hotel San Jose has Polaroid cameras for guests to use!!)


14_Jos-coffee-from-seedsandfruit3We ate breakfast every morning at the adjoining coffee shop, designed by Liz Lambert.

{images via Seeds and Fruit, Free People Blog, Remodelista, More Ways to Waste Time, and Claudia Bravo!}






Turkey is still on my mind…what an incredible place to travel. One of the many things I love about travel is the exposure to landscapes that are completely foreign to me. The region of Cappadocia captures that sense of awe, mystery, and romance that every traveler dreams of. It is characterized by its unusual rock formations, cave dwellings, and is engulfed in a rich history dating back before Christ.  Being an Interior Designer and an artist I love to see places, homes, designs out of the ordinary…it really puts the imagination to work. Cappadocia did exactly that! Since this area has been discovered by tourism some of the cave homes in town have been converted into hotels. Derek and I had the opportunity to stay in a couple of these super cool and unique cave pensions. It was such a fantastic experience!

The town of Goreme


Spelunca Cave Hotel – one of the places we stayed

At one time each of these rooms were individual homes that each family carved out by hand.

The niches, fireplace, and bathroom were all carved out of the rock itself. In the past if a family needed more room they would add a room or space by just carving out a new area.


{image via Escapio – Unique Hotels}

Village Cave House Hotel – another wonderful cave pension we stayed in.

It is a traditional family run cave pension with a delicious freshly prepared breakfast.

{image via Escapio – Unique Hotels}

Each room has a balcony.

The entrance to our room.

{image via Escapio – Unique Hotels}

I love the character of the rooms!

One of the best ways to explore the unusual landscape is by bike. Derek and I rented mountain bikes and spent the day riding the crazy terrain.

We could not have picked a more perfect place for our honeymoon. Turkey is an amazing country that has it all… great food, wonderful people, an amazing history, picturesque landscapes, ancient ruins, loads of hiking trails and water activites…the options are endless. One of our favorite places along our journey was the area of Olimpos and Cirali. We were fortunate  enough to enjoy it at the beginning and the end of our trip, giving us the opportunity to stay at two different pensions…one on the beach, Olympos Lodge, and one in the forest, Daphne House. Both places understand the importance of landscaping, not only as a functional purpose of protecting their guests from the intense heat of the summer months but also to create a marvelous retreat full of serenity and peacefulness.

View of Olimpos and Cirali beach from the castle ruins


The straw umbrellas and huts are an integral part of the hotel to protect the guests from the hot summer sun. During the hottest part of the day we were either in the water or in the shade of the hut drinking mint lemonade. You could also find hammocks and comfortable lounging areas throughout the property to retreat to.

Their restaurant is set in the shade of palm trees and Mimosa trees.

Peacocks (even and albino one!), chickens, cats, and a dog roam their property enhancing the beautiful atmosphere.

rOh how I love outdoor showers. I think I have found the coolest one yet, surrounded by bamboo, Mimosa trees, Melisa plants, and set over a pond on a rock slab. Perfection!

White rocks, deep purple plants, angel trumpets, and mimosa trees were incorporated into their landscaping. This lodge was a perfect match to my wedding day decor!

The restaurant/lobby interior…exceptionally crafted building with a floor pattern mirroring its shape.

Gorgeous landscaped paths leading to each of the bungalows.

The material choice for the rooms and bathrooms were simple elegance using natural materials and a natural palette. Loved it!

As we wandered through the extensive paths and gardens we came upon an awesome greenhouse.

Not only is it beautiful during the day, the night-time is just as magical. The ambient lighting and the night-time fragrance from the Melisa plants and the Angel Trumpets are just out of this world!


Daphne House is a home away from home. Bulent and Refi are the warmest hosts I have ever encountered. They welcome you into their house with open arms and the most outstanding food we had in Turkey. Their stone house was built by their own hands through hard work, dedication, and love. And you can feel that love as soon as you enter their space. The backyard is a magical place set amongst tall pine trees and  beautifully landscaped.

An image of their backyard taken by one of their guests.

The hammocks and “tent” are great places to relax under the shade of the tall pines

To get to the beach from the Daphne House you walk through ruins dating back 1,000’s of years

Every evening together, joined by Bulent and Refi, the guests enjoy a delicious meal by candlelight on the beautiful wood table in their backyard garden.

Bulent and Refi enjoying the serene atmosphere they have created
Every evening a fire is lit to enjoy the peacefulness of the backyard and good conversation

Olympos Lodge and Daphne House were great sources of inspiration!

I have been asked to design a hotel room for a fundraising project and it really activated my creative energy! Instantly, the The Gladstone Hotel in Toronto popped into my head. I stayed there two years ago and fell in love with the concept. The Gladstone Hotel is a historic Victorian/turned Art Hotel in Toronto. Each of the 37 rooms is designed by a local artist from various disciplines including visual artists, interior designers, architects and material-based artists. Each room has its own vision, concept, and personality creating a unique experience for each guest. Not only is it a hotel, it is community oriented gathering place, holding a diverse array of events from film screenings, art exhibitions, wedding parties, and fundraising events hosted by artists, community groups, business, and individuals.