A home from home: design tips and inspiration


6 April, 2023


27 February, 2024

What makes a onefinestay home so special?

Here we talk about which design details make a house feel more homely and how to create an inviting space that guests will love.

Green space

Landscaping is a huge opportunity to make a home special, especially in cities like Los Angeles that have abundant space.

Take Marmont Avenue. The house is perched on top of a hill in West Hollywood. The drive up the hill is dramatic, but when you arrive at the front door the house is very unassuming - a charming Nantucket-style home. Only when you walk through the home’s back patio do you see the most incredible backyard unfolding before you. It feels like a secret garden worthy of a Slim Aarons photo shoot - unexpected and breathtaking.

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Colour therapy

Choosing appropriate tones for a home is an important aspect of interior design. Warm colours, like red, orange and yellow, can energise a space. Cool tones such as blue, green and purple, generally create quiet, relaxing atmospheres. Whatever your desired effect, it’s all about getting the balance just right.

A captivating kaleidoscope of colour, Belsize Park Gardens is a spectacular home in Hampstead. Each room has a distinct personality, expressed by carefully selected colour palettes - from the soothing seafoam tones in the master bedroom to the harmonious blend of zesty yellows and soft pinks in the lounge and kitchen.

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Art may be the single element that makes a house into a home. Choosing what to hang on a wall is so personal - the wall is literally an empty canvas waiting for a point of view.

Vivid colour, bold text, vibrant graphics – Rue des Filles du Calvaire in Paris delivers a daring visual punch. It’s part home, part art installation. Daring canvases in confident colour make this arty home one-of-a-kind.

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Making a home guest-friendly

Our main advice is to look at your home from the perspective of a guest seeing it for the first time. We are all so familiar with our own homes, but what would you look for if you were staying there while traveling?

Storage space is an important issue for virtually any traveler. Make sure there will be enough space for guests to tuck away their belongings.

Another practical issue is accidental breakage. If you have a priceless object that would break your heart if it were broken - best to store that away. Even the most responsible guests with the best of intentions can make mistakes; we're all human.

Should you keep your family photographs displayed? A sprinkling can be great. It’s the homeowner's personality that makes a home special and unique after all. Guests should feel a story, a person and a point of view behind the home, which makes it different from a corporate apartment or an 'out of the box' hotel room. There is a limit to this however. If your home is plastered with photographs documenting every moment of your life, it would take away from the guest’s experience.

An interior designer's dream home

Beautiful as they are unique, it might come as no surprise to learn that many of our homes are owned by celebrated interior designers.

Gardner Street in Los Angeles

Susan Taylor always wanted to be an interior designer so she decided to move to LA and follow her dream. "We started over and now my husband writes movies and I design houses," says Susan. Her family home in West Hollywood is an original craftsman cottage built in 1918. “Being a design and architecture junkie I fell in love with the quality and thoughtfulness of the craftsmanship. These houses are like gorgeous little gems.” says Susan. Her home’s elegantly furnished living areas are given character by a diverse collection of travel souvenirs and artworks, including several Peter Beards, Tim Halls and a Matisse.

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Jemma Cowen’s favourite villas

British interior design aficionado Jemma Cowen specialises in an array of projects from top-end loft conversions to grade 1 listed Regency homes. Read on to find out why she loves our villas so much.

Casa Tres Soles in Mexico

The uninterrupted ocean views from the utterly breathtaking oval-shaped terrace leave me speechless. I cannot imagine a more beautiful spot to sit with friends and enjoy a margarita. There’s plenty to keep everyone entertained from the curving infinity pool, the private beach, tennis court, pool volleyball, home theatre, gym and kayaks! The interior design is both modern and fresh, whilst feeling homely, with many traditional touches. This is an exceptional villa and the perfect place to relax and unwind with your closest friends.

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Bienveneda Avenue in Los Angeles

A family trip to Los Angeles is all about the miles of long sandy beaches and dolphin spotting with my daughter. The location of this home in the Pacific Palisades is perfect for that. The home itself is stunning, so bright and light and the children’s bedrooms would certainly keep them entertained. The garden is heaven, with a stunning heated pool and an outdoor kitchen more impressive than most people’s indoor kitchens! This home really has it all, an amazing location (close to the beach, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills), beautiful interior design and the most perfect outside space for a family holiday. Sign me up!

Discover Bienveneda Avenue

Our favourite books on interiors

Looking for some further reading? Here are books to spur on some creativity around the home.

​Interior design basics - Easy to follow advice from legendary paint manufacturer Farrow and Ball.

Farrow & Ball: How to Decorate

​Keeping things neat and tidy - Simple and easy to follow guidance in organising your home.

Tidying up in Style

​Pure design inspiration - Some source inspiration from interior design guru Mad About the House.

Mad About the House

Guaranteed to delight any interior design lover - Kelly Wearstler invites you to explore her imaginative and creative world of interiors.

Evocative Style

Enjoy the finest stays