We returned from Miami to freezing temps and aspirational snow on the ground. Sad any way you look at it.
As I Tweeted, the hotel itself, the Royal Palm, was lovely. A page out of old Miami: a tidy and tasteful room (I’m not a believer in big bedrooms, let alone big hotel rooms) and a sweeping view of the sea.
For this color-obsessed design maven, the white walls, drapes and bedding – and I mean WHITE, not ivory, cream, light taupe, or gray – made a big impression.
It was peaceful. The white worked because there was a ton of light, and because the furnishings were coordinated, modern, and minimalist, but it worked.
(My notebook reads something like this: “White walls. And they’re NOT depressing, boring, or twee. Hmmph. Is THIS what all the fuss is about?!”)
Even the floor is white, 12 x 24″ white and light blue/gray striped ceramic tiles. Tile floors are popular in hot climates for all the obvious reasons, but this was a nice reminder that white walls with a white floor can be very effective. Practical for full-on family living, no, but definitely appropriate for a resorty hotel room.
The wood is “cerused,” a process by which white wood filler is rubbed into wood (often oak) to highlight the grain. It’s a popular finish right now. I’ll confess that I haven’t been a fan, having considered it most recently for several dining room tables.
Here, though, it’s nice. It can stand out; it doesn’t have to work with other wood tones or finishes…it can just be its edgy but kind of quirky self. And, of course, the white grain lightens the dark wood, which might have read too heavy otherwise.
Here’s my one beef with the room, though: what’s up with painting a taupe rectangle on the wall and ceiling above the built-in bench? I mean, I get it: they were trying to define the sitting area, blah, blah…
But it was unnecessary at best and hokey at worst.
The smoked amber pendant also gave me a ’70s rash, but I decided to grant the Royal Palm some artistic license. Like the taupe corner, it didn’t detract. So I let it pass. Ditto for the faux Saarinen tulip table with the bizarro glass inset for an egg effect.
Let it never be said that bossy color is inflexible. Overall, the room was really, really nice.
The cream-on-taupe-onwhite action in the bathroom – a veritable symphony of neutrals – also is worth mentioning. Tomorrow, hopefully.
Annie Elliott – aka bossy color – is an interior decorator and design blogger in Washington, D.C. She has been quoted in publications from The New York Times to Real Simple and is considered an expert on color, residential space planning, and telling people what to do in the nicest way possible.