Hotels, with their many rooms and public spaces, are an endless source of inspiration to me, so, when I was in Amsterdam last week, I expected that I'd find something in my hotel that I could file away for future use. The Lloyd Hotel had me scrambling to take notes. My room, in particular, had an ingenious solution to a common space challenge: creating privacy without creating more rooms.
My first impression of my room was that, while it was a cool design, it wasn't very guest friendly. Yes, it was open and airy and inviting (I especially loved that, in contrast to the usual hotel room, the floors were left completely bare) but, when it came time to "heed nature's call," there wasn't any privacy. With the bathroom fixtures lined up against one wall, this room made sure that there'd be no secrets between friends.
Turns out that the oversized yellow closet that faced the "bathroom" was more than just a generous space to store my clothes and a cool way to bring in a spot of color to an otherwise neutal space. The closet doors served double-duty as room dividers. There were other rooms in the hotel that were varations on this same concept. Photo 8 shows a nautically inspired version without a separate shower stall (the floor includes a drain): in this case, the swinging divider's door-sized hole means that this divider can be left open (though I'd add a door if I was appropriating this idea for home use).
It's an unusual idea to pull out of your bag of tricks when renovoating. Try it in a garage to create a guest room when adding an extra room can be costly and space-chomping. Or use it to create a space for a small child to sleep in in a parent's bedroom; carve two bedrooms out of a large room shared by siblings; designate an office space for someone who works out of the house; give a living room an alternate life as a den and a craft room for a couple that need their own downtime spaces, or amicably divide a large room into two rooms for roommates who sometimes need their privacy.
(Images 1-7: Abigail Stone; Image 8: Allard van der Hoek for The Lloyd Hotel)