How coastal hotels inspired my home's interior design – and the ideas to take from them for yours

The interiors of my coastal Cornish home were inspired by my favorite hotels – these are the elements I reinvented

Hotel Tresanton bedroom
(Image credit: Hotel Tresanton)

While a property’s natural surroundings provide a boundless supply of inspiration for us as interior designers, this is not our only source. Hotels can be excellent examples of timeless, tasteful interior design

When designing the interior of our Cornwall home, we were inspired by one hotel in particular, Hotel Tresanton (below). 

Bedroom in Tresanton hotel with blue and white stripe bedspread

Hotel Tresanton bedroom

(Image credit: Tresanton Hotel)

Designed by Olga Polizzi and opened in 1997, this relatively recent addition to the Cornish landscape is an excellent tribute to its coastal surroundings in the most understated of ways.

Tresanton hotel living room in yellow

Hotel Tresanton living room

(Image credit: Tresanton Hotel)

Seaside motifs are nuanced throughout the interior, but the real nod to the Cornish landscape is evident from the beautiful views visible from the windows. It is this that we aimed to emulate in the design of our own home. 

Bedroom with a view over the sea

Hotel Tresanton bedroom

(Image credit: Hotel Tresanton)

The first floor was reconfigured to include the master bedroom and bathroom overlooking the sea, and the orientation of the furniture in the sitting room was altered to position the view as a stunning backdrop to the interior.

Hotel Tresanton bedroom

(Image credit: Hotel Tresanton)

Inspiration also came from a handful of other hotels in the area, including the St Mawes Hotel and The Idle Rocks (below). Rustic finishes and pretty fabrics abound in the designs of these interiors, embracing bare wood with a collection of classic and contemporary pieces of furniture. The result is a lived in and welcoming interior that feels it has evolved over time.

Living room with art over fireplace

The Idle Rocks Hotel sitting room

(Image credit: The Idle Rocks Hotel)

 This collected, curated feel is one that we aim for in all of our interiors. Antique pieces and brown furniture might sit alongside Art Déco, mid-century and white ‘coastal chic’ pieces, which have a wonderfully worn and weather-beaten feel perfect for a coastal design.

The overwhelming aesthetic created within these hotels is one of quiet coastal beauty befitting their stunning Cornish setting, with elements of punch that accommodate the wilder nature of the coastline. 

This punch is evident in the Farrow & Ball palette used in both the St Mawes Hotel and The Idle Rocks, including an uplifting sunny Yellowcake. We opted for De Nimes, a strong deep blue on the joinery of our coastal interior – recalling the crashing waves of the sea hitting the peninsula during a storm.

Emma Sims-Hilditch
Contributing Editor

Founded in 2009, the Sims Hilditch design practice has become one of the most trusted and respected in the industry. Its couture approach combines interior architecture, interior design and procurement management within one concept-to-completion, fully bespoke service. Creative Founder, Emma Sims-Hilditch is passionate about her belief that good design can transform not only how people live but also how they feel.