What Time’s Check-in?

Share this


Crisp linens, and a comfy, cozy bed. Hmm… that sounds like a good nights sleep! We all could use a “Stay-cation” now and then to rejuvenate – right? Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had a place we could “check-in” for the weekend and never leave our homes? Sure would save on the time, expense, and the exasperation of traveling somewhere. Phew, already the sounds of that is causing my shoulders to relax visibly.  Good thing! I need to put my best “I’m really not at home, but I am, but not at home, hotel vibe, thinking cap on” to design a space that fits the bill for this vacation-minded client. But first, a field trip is in order. Everyone has a different impression or expectation when it comes to their vision of what’s relaxing for them. I asked our client if she had a favorite hotel?  I was hoping she was going to say the Peninsula Hotel in Paris. Oui?!

But as luck would have it, her favorite place was right here in my back yard, and a quick trip over the bridge to the Hotel Zamora in St. Petersburg, Florida. So off I went for some inspiration!

The Inspiration


What I took from the visit toHotel Zamora were all the clean lines of the furniture and cool gray color palette with pops of orange. It wasn’t too modern. The mirrors, chandelier, and side tables gave the spaces an eclectic feel. It felt approachable and relaxing. The hotel is on the smaller side and has more of a boutique feel.  I already knew from the interview that the client loved the organic look of wood floors. So, I took a picture of the bar area to keep this information in the forefront of my thinking cap during the design process. Next, the process involved analyzing the existing spaces to determine what we could salvage, and what we couldn’t. Basically, how far could I push the boundaries of these spaces, stay in budget, and give the client the boutique vacation experience she’s asked me to create. When I’m assessing a space, I don’t just take into consideration the interior, I also look at what’s outside the windows. Interesting… I had no idea! I opened the dark, heavy, window treatments and there it was, this amazing view of a wide canal that lead straight to the Gulf of Mexico. Spectacular!

You can’t see much right? Well, those window coverings have seen better days, and that’s how it all started. My wheels were turning. The Master suite embodies three spaces, the bedroom, what was then an office, and the bathroom. I wanted to open up all three spaces so they flowed naturally from one space to another, giving access to the view of the water outside as much as possible. Here are the spaces pre-Tweak.


The client loves to take long soaks in the tub (Who doesn’t? Well. I know I do!), so getting the tub area just right was key. Recognize that window over the tub? Yup! That wall between the tub and window needed to come down to open up the space. Below are some of the “Tweak in Progress” photos.

The Remodel



The mantra for this remodel makeover was to open things up to take advantage of the view and install boutique-style elements to make the spaces unique and special. Starting with the first picture above, from left to right:

  1. Installed a 100-year-old barn wood wall and all new matte-finished wood floors throughout.
  2. Took down the old window treatments to open up the view.
  3. By taking out the middle section of the wall between the bathroom and the former office and installing a 10′ tall x 8′ wide solid piece of glass, it really opened up the view to the water.
  4. Opened up the shower by taking down the solid wall enclosure.
  5. Took down the door leading into the bathroom. Look how open these three spaces feel now!
  6. Took down the double entry doors, installed custom barn doors, new wood flooring, and in the process of giving the staircase a make-over.

The “After” Gallery


Comfy Cozy Bed! I wonder if there is 24 hour room service?

Loving the glass wall! The bath feels twice as big and so luxurious!


All three spaces are visible to one another – Sexy! New custom vanity!

Custom barnwood doors – Stunning! We salvaged the handrail, and installed new square balusters and newel posts.

Opening up the shower enclosure with a seamless glass surround allowed more light to come in from the window in the shower and made the bath feel larger.


The new matte-finished, wood floors, and 100-year-old barn wood wall, truly gave these spaces a natural, organic feel!

        Happy Tweaking!

Subscribe for Tweak Tips!
Get access to our weekly design tips & my eBook,
"12 Tips to Tweak Your Way to a Happy Space
*We respect your privacy and would never sell your information*