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5 Design Ideas We're Stealing from Hotel Covell in L.A.

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With just five rooms converted from apartments above a wine bar on Hollywood Boulevard, you would think that Dustin Lancaster's Hotel Covell would be the epitome of a scene. Kate, our Director of Events, is adamant that it isn't: "It's laid back. Cool. No lobby. There is no scene." This delighted me—and made me very curious: No lobby?

A window into the next room keeps the space open.
A window into the next room keeps the space open. Photo by Hotel Covell

To be up front, Hotel Covell put up Kate and our Buyer, Kristina, while they were in L.A. running our pop-up. They came back insisting that staying at Hotel Covell felt more like vacationing in their dream apartment rather than anything akin to a traditional boutique hotel experience. There are kitchens and dishes, sitting rooms for plopping down, and a general sense of home that pervades each space.

Kate and Kristina were obsessed with this pink leather headboard.
Kate and Kristina were obsessed with this pink leather headboard. Photo by Hotel Covell

Which is fitting, because the rooms were inspired by fictional residences of a fictional character: the writer George Covell, made up by the hotel's interior designer Sally Breer. Each room is completely distinct in era and style: Oklahoma, New York City, Monaco, India, and Paris are all represented—which means there's tons of interesting design to consider despite how small it is.

These are our favorite design ideas from Hotel Covell, all which could work for your non-fictional, real-life, big or small apartment.

Open shelves—under the counter.

Photo by Hotel Covell

In Room 1 (Chapter 1), the frontier-vibe is enhanced by rustic accents on spare, schoolhouse-style basics. The open shelves beneath the counter in this image are located where open shelves never seem to be: under the counter. They're deep, great for big cutting boards, and roomy enough to also house books, pots or pans, and even plates and bowls.


And if you already have low cabinets, you can make them open by removing the doors and painting the inside shelves a color you like.

A table made by mounting a piece of wood between two beams.

The Oklahoma-inspired room.
The Oklahoma-inspired room. Photo by Hotel Covell

True, this would require some mild construction, but it's a great option for those who are interested in adding a custom piece without finding someone to design an entire wall of built-in cabinetry. Or anyone whose acquired a unique slab of wood they haven't gotten around to mounting on IKEA trestles.

In this case, the suspended live-edge wood beam doubles as a room divider, separating the kitchen from the sitting space just enough.

A low shelf that doubles as a desk.

I also love the asymmetry of this space—in the kitchen shelf and the painting above the bed, specifically.
I also love the asymmetry of this space—in the kitchen shelf and the painting above the bed, specifically. Photo by Hotel Covell

We've all lusted over those mid-century shelving units that run up an entire wall and are equipped with a low section that you can pull a chair up to—and in fact that's what's happening in this space.

But the way Breer did it in this room could almost be replicated by hip-height wainscotting with a shelf at the top. The perfect place to drop your keys or plop down on a step stool to jot out a note.

A desk in the kitchen.

Those tiles!
Those tiles! Photo by Hotel Covell

Of course not every kitchen is large enough to pull this off, but a place where recipes and cookbooks live is definitely a room deserving of a space to write and read.

If you're short on room for a credenza and a stool, consider clearing part of an open shelf: If it's tall, you can use it as a standing desk, and a low one (as seen in the shelving unit in the image two above) will work even with a step stool.

An exposed sink in the kitchen.

A console turned sink holder.
A console turned sink holder. Photo by Hotel Covell

We're all about the idea of taking a piece of furniture and converting it into a vanity for a sink—but what about trying that in the kitchen?

You'd absolutely be forfeiting storage and exposing some unsightlies (like the plumbing), but if you have the room it injects airiness into a room that can otherwise close in quickly.

Have you stayed in any hotels recently that you loved? Share your favorite travel pitstops in the comments.

Tags: hospitality, Hotel Covell, room design