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This week I took a last-minute trip to Washington DC to participate in a forum organized by the Department of Labor and booked a room at the W Hotel located hardly a block from the White House. Having traveled extensively in the last five years since I became a professional blogger, I’ve seen every sort of hotel room that exists, and once came face to face with a discarded condom wrapper underneath my pillow. Didn’t know it was physically possible, but I jumped like a cat and ended up hanging from the ceiling by my fingernails.

Last year when I was thirty-weeks pregnant I embarked on a three-week book tour visiting nine different cities and sleeping in nine different hotel rooms. And those rooms were all perfectly fine, some very nice and at times lovely. But you know when you’re watching a makeover show and a client sees her redecorated bedroom for the first time? And without fail she will say, “I feel like I’m in a boutique hotel room!”

She did not stay in the hotel rooms I stayed in.

Of course, she’s probably not thirty-weeks pregnant, either. That can affect your mood.

Until this week. Until I walked into this room, saw the decor and fell madly, deeply in love. It was everything I imagined my dream home would look like. From the eclectic mix of furniture in the sitting area (I love how they covered such a traditional, hard-edged chair in white leather and paired it with a soft suede, semi-circle couch):


To the jagged edges of the moldings at the ceiling, and the clean, symmetrical lines of the dresser:


To the knock-your-socks-off modern touches of the bathroom:


To the retro feel of the desk in the corner:


And then the bed itself. The padded headboard against a giant wall of elaborate metallic wallpaper:


I did not want to leave, and no they did not pay me to say any of this or comp my room. I was genuinely blown away, and will save these pictures for the next time I get an itch to move a few things around in my home. If this is the kind of boutique hotel rooms people are talking about, then I finally understand!

(Of course, maybe I need to get out more. Noted!)


Design Inspiration

117 Responses

  1. Catherine says:

    got to love the constant criticism. unreal.

  2. @ninotchkab says:

    I agree that the objects were obscured by the effect of app. Especially the first few. I had a hard time making them out. Perhaps not the best choice for a design blog. I don't think that's rude criticism, just fact. The taxpayer comment, however, would have been ridiculous had it not been so lame. Have you tried the ShakeIt Photo App? I think the elements of this room would have been captured gorgeously with it. Just a head's up for next time!

  3. Katie says:

    You can see photos of the guest rooms on the hotel's website. I think Heather's pictures accentuate the lines of the items she is highlighting.

  4. Lisa V says:

    I'm stunned you had to pay your own way. Really. A last minute trip had to be pricey. Glad it was such a great experience.

    • Patsy Travis says:

      You think it's stunning that she or any of those whom were invited had to pay their own way? What rock do you living under? When we're bailing out banks, people are losing their homes and jobs and you think we should pay for a blogger or anyone to stay in a hotel and airfare to participate in a forum?

      • Lisa V says:

        I mean anyone. I think if you are invited to participate in something, it's likely that you are a guest- hence the invitation. Frankly, it's common for most speaking engagements, conferences, etc. to be that way.

        And frankly, I didn't say it's the way it "should" be, but it is the norm.

    • Robin Reba says:

      Seriously Patsy, the president is going to buy a new Airforce 1 plane. I wouldn't be surprised if "we" paid for her ticket and honestly would rather my tax dollars pay for that then a new plane for the president.

  5. trisha says:

    Is that a filter? I love it!

    Can you share what kind?

  6. Norabloom says:

    Here is a link to the W Hotel's site with photos:


    Beautiful room.

  7. This app is a little too "silence of the lambs night vision goggle" for me, but I can see (thanks Norabloom for the link) why you were so thrilled to spend time there. It's gorgeous. What do you think your favorite design style/piece is? I'm digging those lamps that I think are on the desk (bowls of light).

  8. Kelly says:

    So pretty! How did your restrain yourself from packing that office chair into your suitcase and taking it home? 'I want to go to there.'

  9. Gaby says:

    I think the app is badass (even for this post). I appreciate Heather making the most out of what she had – again, talking about the pics. She wanted to post for the design blog, so why not include the stylized filter? Plus, I can make everything out just fine. Chairs, lamps, bed, bathroom… yep yep, I see it and it's all very neat. Glad you had an enjoyable time.

  10. theotherlion says:

    She's talking mostly about shapes and lines in her post, which are perfectly visible from and enhanced by her photos. I appreciate the change from the typical "here's a picture of the bed" and "here's a picture of the bathroom." If you want to see more photos, go to the hotel website. Not that hard to google it.

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