Over the years, we have accumulated a stack of emails from customers touting the business increases they’ve received from their new photos. It seems like the folks that have the biggest “bumps” in occupancy and revenue from a photo investment are properties with views–that is, views which were previously not captured or poorly depicted. It is clear that if you are lucky enough to a have a property with views from a guest room, you simply must get great photos to sell those rooms. View shots from inside of a room really require the assistance of a professional, as they require a great deal of skill, lighting and know-how.

Over the past 12 years, we have become specialists in capturing views. It wasn’t a plan, but just happened over hundreds of shoots. It is not a “convenient” niche for a photographer; sometime we curse this speciality, to be totally honest! Why?? Because great view shots (especially interior shots featuring a view outside) require a multitude of conditions coming together perfectly, many of which are out of our control: weather, season, time of day, window/glass construction and lots of PATIENCE. It’s also less convenient for the property owner as rooms must be blocked-out longer to account for uncertainty of weather, etc. Windows need to be impeccably clean and maintained since they are really featured. But the pay-off is big with great photos!

We’ve just added  a new gallery in our portfolio featuring “Views”- check it out here

 

So, how do we get great view shots from a room interior? What are the secrets?

Photoshop or Lighting??

As with most photography questions, 95% of the time lighting is the answer. Using high-powered off-camera flashes is our preferred method. The reason interior view shots are so difficult for the amateur is that there is a great disparity/contrast between the interior light and the exterior light. Using interior artificial lighting can help balance that scene so that the contrast is reduced, mimicking how your eye sees the scene. We often use Photoshop to remove unwanted reflections (often from our flashes). High Dynamic Range (HDR) technique is another way to mitigate contrast and get a view shot. HDR is basically blending several images of different exposures in a post-production tool such as Photoshop to create an image with less contrast. Unfortunately, this technique tends to yield much less natural-looking images that do not “ring true” and can feel a bit flat. We also use high-powered lighting to get great porch shots; this really makes the porch view SING!

Holualoa Breakfast 02 X2 Sharing our Secrets: How to Get Those Amazing Inside Out View Photos

Without high-powered flashes, it would be impossible to light the rich, dark wood interior while keeping the contrast balanced in the bright Hawaiian light. This is from Holualoa Inn.

Lucilles Room6 02 X2 Sharing our Secrets: How to Get Those Amazing Inside Out View Photos

High-powered off-camera flash creates a natural-looking balance between the inside and outside at Lucille’s Mountaintop Inn in Georgia.

 

What is the best way to compose a view shot?

One of the inherent problems with photographing a room with a view is that the best picture of a room RARELY meshes with the best view out the windows. You need a descriptive, wide shot to show the room on your website or booking engine, but if the room has a great view you’ll need a shot that captures that view. These are typically very different shots. When we are trying to capture a killer view, we start with the view, and then work the room around it by adapting the angle or moving/arranging furniture. These less literally descriptive shots that are selling the view are typically shot with a much less wide lens. For example, for a descriptive wide shot of a room one might use a wide angle (i.e. 28mm focal length), while a view shot would be more successful at 50mm or higher, because this greater focal length visually helps to bring the view IN.   This is one of the most important elements of a great view shot: get tight, don’t use a wide angle lens!

LedgesDu0 1024x338 Sharing our Secrets: How to Get Those Amazing Inside Out View Photos

The best shot of the common space at Ledges Hotel shows the beautiful fireplace and grand high ceiling. But that shot will never showcase the all-important waterfall view. To do that, you need to build the shot around THE VIEW…NOT the room

i sp5HHSc X2 Sharing our Secrets: How to Get Those Amazing Inside Out View Photos

A guest room view of the Atlantic Ocean from Block Island Inn in Rhode Island. Composing the shot tight, along with a straight-on view accentuates the view.

 

What time of day, season and weather are best for view shots?

All of these elements greatly affect a view shot, in a big way! Waterfront properties usually require a clear day, since water is reflecting the sky and you want it to be BLUE. Typically you’ll want the sun behind the camera to capture a less washed-out look. Unlike water, mountains and greenery can be more forgiving with time of day and weather. Wooded scenes can be stunning on a cloudy day. Usually shooting at high noon is a big no-no, but the season and geographical location play a great role in this. For example, in November we can get great view shots at high-noon in some locations. One of our favorite times of day to shoot a view is at daybreak or sunset. The light is softer and more colorful and you can get moody shots that really conjure up emotion and a “moment in time”. Usually you’ll find that we try to provide some variety in what we deliver to our customers, often providing some daytime views and some sunset/sunrise views.

Blair Hill Common Restaurant 2 X2 Sharing our Secrets: How to Get Those Amazing Inside Out View Photos

A sunset view over Moosehead Lake was the perfect backdrop for the mood, colors and decor of the dining room at Blair Hill Inn, Maine

SeaRock R JRSuite17 3 X2 Sharing our Secrets: How to Get Those Amazing Inside Out View Photos

Sunset over the Pacific Ocean was a perfect time to shoot this guest room at Sea Rock Inn in Mendocino, California. The bright colors of the sunset are a great counterpoint to the red leather chairs.

What props are good for view shot?

Think bold silhouettes as you gather props for views, such as binoculars, wine bottles, botanicals with interesting shapes, a human figure or a coffee cup. Keep the props simple; the star of a view photo is THE VIEW

Sunrise X3 Sharing our Secrets: How to Get Those Amazing Inside Out View Photos

The strong silhouette of the calla lilies works well with the misty morning view from Lookout Point Lakeside Inn in Arkansas

 

 

Views: A Checklist for Getting Ready for the Photoshoot

  1. Be ready! Prepare a day early if you can. We may be able to change arrival date if weather is better a day earlier. Be ready early and be flexible.
  2. Clean windows well and remove screens. Photographers are expensive window washers…and we end up washing many windows!
  3. Blinds and window treatments should be in good condition as they are “framing” the view
  4. If you are lodging the photographer, put  them in your best “view” room. (I know this sounds like a ploy, but it’s really not!) Believe me, you will want them to have access at all times of day and night to get that “signature” view shot.
  5. In general, block your rooms with views for a longer period than you need to, in order to account for time of day and weather issues.
  6. Be prepared for 5:30am or 9:00pm shoots. Basically give photographer access to rooms and props on a 24-hour basis.
  7. Invite an attractive repeat guest (who has mid-week flexibility) to return to the inn for free during the shoot, in exchange for letting us photograph them on balconies with views. Make them aware it could be a very early or late photo shoot. We have had great success with this. People provide context and interest for view shots.

 

Port d Hiver Rooms Windward 11 X2 Sharing our Secrets: How to Get Those Amazing Inside Out View Photos

Port D’Hiver Inn in Florida brought in return guests for our shoot. They enjoyed a complimentary stay and we had great models at various times of day (which was key!)

 

 

 

 

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For many years, we had heard Mercersburg Inn described as a super-special property. Located in a small town in central Pennsylvania, this Georgian Mansion is–for one thing–REALLY BIG! At over 20,oo0 square feet, with 15 grand guest rooms in the main inn and another two in the carriage house, this is one spectacular inn, with opulent common Mercersburg Exteriors Facade Dusk 1 M Before and After: Small Changes = Big Impact At Mercersburg Innspaces, porches and a gorgeous restaurant. Unfortunately, when one looked at the inn’s website, very little of that grandness came through. Also (online, at least) the property was presented to the world as dated, cluttered and dark. We were assured by the Innkeepers and others “in the know” that none of this was accurate. Mercersburg Inn needed a “new image”–one that accurately depicted the grandeur and elegance of this outstanding property.

They called us to do their photography and we encouraged them to contact White Stone Marketing for a new website. The wheels began to turn.

The Photo shoot was a great success and the resulting photos are a shocking improvement over their previous images. In addition, White Stone Marketing is currently developing a new web site for Mercersburg Inn, and it should be ready in a few months.

As we reviewed the old website, it dawned on us that there has been a dramatic shift in the way images are used on “Rooms” pages. In the past, rooms were often represented by a “collage” of various shots (see “Before” shots below), each tiny image representing an aspect of the room, all together intended to tell the story of that room. More recently, website designers have replaced these collages with larger, more literally-descriptive photos, seen in a rotation. According to Liz Hamilton, Design Director at White Stone Marketing, there are a few of reasons for this shift:

1. Today’s savvy innkeepers tend to invest in professional photography (Yay!) and website designers now strive to create “photo-forward” websites, which are proven to be much more effective.

2. Online consumers (especially millennials) want to be able to see EXACTLY what they are getting, i.e. how the room is laid out, interrelationships of the various spaces, etc.. This is achieved much more effectively with a few large photos, rather than a group of smaller images.

3. Faster internet speeds have allowed larger photos to be used without pesky load time issues

4. Smaller images of intricate room details are poorly represented on mobile devices–and as we covered in our last blog , mobile is where it’s at!

 

So, let’s talk about this shoot…

 

1) Getting Prepared

We had a series of telephone meetings with owners Lisa and Jim, and made various decor and styling recommendations. Low-investemnt but high-impact suggestions included removing lace canopies over beds and reviewing bedding to be sure it felt current and fresh. Another suggestion was to update any accent or throw pillows–small details can say so very much. Lisa also made the move to replace some of the heavy, dated window treatments, replacing them with cleaner, fresher white sheers or lace–still appropriate for this historic mansion, but lighter and a little more current feeling. This also let a lot more light into the rooms.

Lisa and Jim were great sports and really listened to our suggestions; their tireless–and SPEEDY– efforts contributed greatly to the success of this project. As we often say, 75% of photographing a property is simply being PREPARED. So much of the important work actually happens before a shutter ever clicks. Remember–great photography of “tired” or outdated decor can only take you so far. Read our post on “Getting Ready for the Photographer” from a few years ago.

pic rooms 07 Before and After: Small Changes = Big Impact At Mercersburg Inn

Marie Claire (Before)

Mercersburg Rooms MarieClaire 5 M Before and After: Small Changes = Big Impact At Mercersburg Inn

Marie Claire (After)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mercersburg Rooms MarieClaire a 1 X2 Before and After: Small Changes = Big Impact At Mercersburg Inn

Marie Claire (After) – Note the removal of the canopy, new artwork (no dried flower wreaths!) and decorative pillow

 

2) Underselling 

Immediately upon arrival, we were astounded by the scale of most of the rooms and suites–they were huge! The pictures they had been using to sell their rooms for over a decade were woefully (tragically) underselling the spaciousness and grandness of the spaces, the high ceilings, and the amenities many of the rooms have–like porches with views and unique, mint-condition vintage bathrooms. So many of the aspects that make an inn truly special were not being touted!

pic rooms 01 Before and After: Small Changes = Big Impact At Mercersburg Inn

Prospect Suite (Before)

Mercersburg Rooms Prospect%20 7 M Before and After: Small Changes = Big Impact At Mercersburg Inn

Prospect Bath (After) – Check out this incredibly-maintained vintage bath

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mercersburg Rooms Prospect%20 3 X2 Before and After: Small Changes = Big Impact At Mercersburg Inn

Prospect (After) – Note how the room feels grand without resorting to “wide angle” tricks. The lack of canopy and new furniture arrangement also make the room feel bigger

Mercersburg Rooms Prospect Balcony 3 X2 Before and After: Small Changes = Big Impact At Mercersburg Inn

The balcony for Prospect Suite. The secret is now OUT!  This balcony has a GREAT VIEW of the surrounding mountains and lush gardens! Check out the balcony shot BEFORE…Where would you rather stay??

 

3) Its all about the View!

Who knew this place had views?? We captured views out of windows whenever we could. Mercersburg is a small, out-of-the-way town and we wanted the pictures to help tell the story of the setting. Views and enviromental shots really can do that!

pic rooms 02 Before and After: Small Changes = Big Impact At Mercersburg Inn

Dressing Room (Before)

Mercersburg Rooms DressingRoom 2 M Before and After: Small Changes = Big Impact At Mercersburg Inn

Dressing Room (After) – A big impact by removing some of the decor and composing a wider shot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mercersburg Rooms DressingRoom 1 X2 Before and After: Small Changes = Big Impact At Mercersburg Inn

In this room, the view and balcony are the true selling features, but these features were never photographed before! We waited until sunset to capture this photo, when the room and view were of equivalent brightness.

Mercersburg Rooms DressingRoom 5 X2 Before and After: Small Changes = Big Impact At Mercersburg Inn

More of Dressing Room’s view of the village and mountains, shot in the morning. Time of day is critical in view pictures like this. This one was at 6:45 am. The light on the mugs is artificial, but feels natural.

 

4) Celebrating Important Amenities

Guests care about bathrooms. Special bathrooms really, really can sell a room. Mercersburg Inn has some great modern baths in their carriage house rooms, but previously they were very poorly photographed or not shown at all. Not any more!! Also, the bed got a makeover, removing much of the floral bedding, thus making for a cleaner, simpler look.

pic rooms 18 Before and After: Small Changes = Big Impact At Mercersburg Inn

Carriage House Room (Before) – GLOOMY!

Mercersburg Rooms Carriage North 1 M Before and After: Small Changes = Big Impact At Mercersburg Inn

After – A new furniture arrangement makes the room feel less cluttered. Mark did his magic on the bed – repurposing the bedding in a new configuration and rejected the shams. We brought in this rug to add color and character.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mercersburg Rooms Carriage NorthBath 2 X2 Before and After: Small Changes = Big Impact At Mercersburg Inn

Carriage House Bathroom – One of the best bathrooms on the property now has a great photo!

 

5) Beyond Sleeping Rooms

Although the guest rooms are stunning at Mercersburg Inn, there is SO much more to the property in terms of common spaces. They are full of character, opulence and grandness. In eleven years of photographing inns, these are the most interesting we’ve ever photographed. Here are a few:

Mercersburg Common Foyer 2 X2 Before and After: Small Changes = Big Impact At Mercersburg Inn

This is how you enter the mansion. Can you say “WOW FACTOR”? 

 

Mercersburg Common Porch 2 Edit X2 Before and After: Small Changes = Big Impact At Mercersburg Inn

The side porch

 

Mercersburg Common Dining 1 X2 Before and After: Small Changes = Big Impact At Mercersburg Inn

The elegant dining room is a fitting setting for their opulent dinners

 

Mercersburg Common Bar 1 X2 Before and After: Small Changes = Big Impact At Mercersburg Inn

The bar- elegant yet comfortable.

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Picture this: it’s January 2018, and your webmaster informs you that 65% of the traffic to your lodging website is coming via a mobile device. It may seem unlikely, but if recent trends continue,  that is precisely where we are heading. Are you prepared for that?mobile4 171x300 Mobile is Moving Fast and Photos are More Important than Ever

We did a mini-study in conjunction with White Stone Marketing. We looked at analytics for 5 of their small lodging customers in very different geographical markets to see if mobile search numbers in the Inn/B&B/Boutique Lodging sector mirror what is happening in other sectors.(Across all industries, it’s been reported that mobile/tablet searches have reached the tipping point of more than 50%.) Here is what we found:

In 2010, we were at 3% mobile vs. 97% desktop…in 2015, the numbers jumped to 45% mobile vs. 55% desktop. WOW. Given this trend, it’s likely that we will see 65%–or more–of the traffic coming from mobile in a few years. Many adults under 30 have all but abandoned the traditional desktop and are using a mobile or tablet for just about everything. It’s not just a tool to stave off boredom on the bus or to look up random facts at a party. It’s a powerful force in our industry and it requires our attention. With this in mind, as photographers, we asked the question: How does this impact the KIND of photos we conceptualize, style, compose and curate for these “mini-websites”? We are always thinking and talking a lot about images that “stir the soul” and ultimately inspire the customer to “book now”. What kinds of images translate well to the small screen? Here are our thoughts:

1) Adventure and Wanderlust

Loads of people are grabbing their smart phones and hitting the road for a spontaneous road trip. They are adventure seekers. Experience seekers. Images depicting grandeur, expanse, discovery, awe or adventure are what these folks respond to.

FortLewis Exteriors Biking 02 XL Mobile is Moving Fast and Photos are More Important than Ever

Cyclist on the driveway of Fort Lewis Lodge, Virginia

You may be saying, “But I don’t have a mile long driveway!” No worries–just think discovery…experience.

Occidental B Gardens 20 XL Mobile is Moving Fast and Photos are More Important than Ever

A sense of DISCOVERY: The entry garden at Inn at Occidental in Sonoma Wine Country, CA

mobile brampton Mobile is Moving Fast and Photos are More Important than Ever

EXPERIENCE: This image is on the homepage for Brampton Inn, MD

2) Keep it simple for greatest impact

Creating an effective image on a much smaller screen is a challenge. You must keep the image elemental (but not boring!), clean and well-composed with excellent lighting. From a photo styling perspective, that means removing items (especially small “knick-knacks”, but even extraneous furniture). Props have to be carefully placed and easily readable on a small screen; more than ever, less is more in the mobile world. If you want flowers in a shot, stay away from mixed arrangements as they are harder to read. Be sure any photo has a clear intent and concept. Ask yourself, “what do I want to say with this photo?” When pictures are small, simple, clear messages are the only way to go.

Professional stylists and photographers can make SIMPLE work. (If you need a recommendation, we know a good photography team…)

mobile2web Mobile is Moving Fast and Photos are More Important than Ever

KEEP IT SIMPLE AND BOLD. The styling in this shot is simple and effective at Inner Banks Inn in NC

 

Hawthorn Rooms Turret 3 XL Mobile is Moving Fast and Photos are More Important than Ever

CLEAR MESSAGE. Using selective focus (a photography technique) can help simplify the subject matter of a picture. This is from Hawthorn Inn in Camden, ME.

3) Point of View, Color and Tactile Quality

To make an image “POP” when it’s small, use bold colors and look for a subject matter that appeals to our sense of touch. Shooting from the point of view of the guest is a great technique to draw the viewer in and create a high level of engagement. A compelling point of view creates  a sense of “realness” and spontaneity, which is the language of smart-phone photography.

mobile3web Mobile is Moving Fast and Photos are More Important than Ever

POV, COLOR and TEXTURE: This shot from Lang House in Burlington VT featuring their homemade granola is super effective on a mobile device because it employs color, striking POV and texture.

 

Grand Harbor Service Amenities 03 XL Mobile is Moving Fast and Photos are More Important than Ever

POINT OF VIEW: Capturing the moment your breakfast is brought to your suite at Grand Harbor Inn in Camden, ME.

Swag Hiking Woods 08 XL Mobile is Moving Fast and Photos are More Important than Ever

POINT OF VIEW and DISCOVERY: Your mobile device “puts you in the action” and this interesting POV also puts you in the moment of discovering a mountain trail. This is from The Swag in NC. 

4) The Website and Booking Engine

To quote White Stone’s Scott Crumpton, photography is “the eggs for the omelet” in a hospitality website. Now that is more true than EVER. Face it: when you look at a mobile site, you are really just looking at images…in the mobile world, many of the elements of design and text simply drop away. You need to have a clean site that works in mobile and a booking engine that really looks and works great on a mobile device. Allison Crumpton of White Stone Marketing recommends ResNexus and Think Reservations as two of the best solutions for booking engines for mobile. In terms of design, think about a a cleaner, simpler design and a logo that has presence even on a tiny device.

White Stone Marketing are also integrating a photo gallery on all their new mobile sites. Their research has indicated that some mobile users just want to flip through pictures, like they are used to on a Yelp or Trip Advisor app.

mobile4 Mobile is Moving Fast and Photos are More Important than Ever

We love the logo design and simple navigation on the Inner Banks Inn mobile site   (Design by White Stone Marketing)

mobile5web Mobile is Moving Fast and Photos are More Important than Ever

A photo gallery is an excellent idea for your mobile site because the platform is very photo-forward. This gallery is from the mobile site of Fort Lewis Lodge, VA

 

Want to get a preview of what your site  (or another site) looks like on a series of different mobile devices and tablets? Check out this cool tool: http://mobiletest.me

For years, photos have been recognized as a vital component of your website–many would argue, the MOST important aspect. But now, with mobile sites consisting of essentially nothing BUT photos, and with the meteoric rise in searches conducted on mobile devices, impactful photos are not just important; they are key to your success. Your mobile impact requires careful composition and selection of your images so that they are compelling on these micro-screens. Otherwise, your website is just visual clutter…and it’s on to the next property.

Special Thanks to Allison at White Stone Marketing for helping up pull this together and to Guy Merrill Senior Art Director at Getty Images. Guy’s webinar for Getty Contributors (they are our agent)  “Small Screen – Big Picture” inspired us to write this post.

 

 

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Sunrise Point u Breakfast Bread 6 XL Easy Recipe for Whole Grain Toasting Bread from a Superlative Maine Inn

Whole grain bread from the kitchen of  The Inn at Sunrise Point

 

We just returned from another visit to the gorgeous, ocean-front Inn at Sunrise Point near Camden, Maine. It’s always a joy to shoot for Innkeeper-Proprietor Daina Hill and her team of hospitality pros. We spent some time early one morning shooting breakfast prep in the kitchen, where we noticed Chef Brad Purdy whipping up a quick loaf of bread. He casually mentioned that he could make this loaf from scratch in less than 90 minutes, with no kneading! He makes this yummy loaf primarily as a “toasting” bread, and it is fabulous! While enjoying it at breakfast, we both tried to remember the last time we had a hearty, homemade toasting bread at an Inn…sadly, nothing sprang to mind.  Muffins and scones tend to steal all the glory in the B&B world, and 99% of the time, toast is made from boring, commercial, grocery store bread…and honestly–it’s just not good. Chef Brad said it was adapted from an old Fanny Farmer recipe. Here it is. It’s a keeper.

 

Chef Brad’s Multi- Grain Bread from The Inn at Sunrise Point

 

Sir together:

 

4 cups lukewarm water

2 T sugar

2 T yeast

 

Let bloom for 5 minutes.

 

Combine:

4 cups white unbleached flour

4 cups whole wheat flour

¾ cup cornmeal

1 cup (total) containing millet, sesame seed and flax seed

2/3 cup honey

1 T + 1 t salt

 

Pour yeast mixture over dry ingredients in a big bowl. Mix together by hand.

 

Take 2 large 5″ x 9″  loaf pans and spray with no stick spray. Divide mixture into 2 parts and place in loaf pans. Spray top , then cover with plastic wrap and let rise one time, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

 

Heat the oven to 350°F and bake the breads for 35-45 minutes, or until a skewer or knife blade comes out clean. Let the loaves cool for a few minutes, then turn them out onto racks to continue cooling.

Sunrise Point u Breakfast Bread 2 XL Easy Recipe for Whole Grain Toasting Bread from a Superlative Maine Inn

Chef Brad whipping up a loaf of bread…in less than 90 minutes, start to finish!

Sunrise Point u Breakfast Bread 4 X2 Easy Recipe for Whole Grain Toasting Bread from a Superlative Maine Inn

Excellent crumb and texture…and it slices beautifully!

 

But Man Does Not Live by Bread Alone–Here are a Few Pictures from our Shoot.

The Inn at Sunrise Point is always on our list of favorite places to shoot. It is sited on an incredible ocean-front, leafy spot near Camden, Maine. In addition to the top-notch accommodations and food, Daina has instilled a palpable sense of service and professionalism, not seen at many inns.

 

Sunrise Point Gardens 25 XL Easy Recipe for Whole Grain Toasting Bread from a Superlative Maine Inn

Bad news: you gotta get up early to see the sunrise (this was at 4:30 am in June). Good news: it’s worth it.

 

Sunrise Point Gardens 5 XL Easy Recipe for Whole Grain Toasting Bread from a Superlative Maine Inn

A romantic couple enjoying a gin and & tonic on the lawn…Wait a minute…Is that MARK?? “GET TO WORK, SLACKER!”

 

Sunrise Point Rooms Homer Cottage 3 XL Easy Recipe for Whole Grain Toasting Bread from a Superlative Maine Inn

View from Homer Cottage

 

Sunrise Point Rooms Homer Cottage 10 XL Easy Recipe for Whole Grain Toasting Bread from a Superlative Maine Inn

Beautiful light in the just-remodeled bath of Homer Cottage.

 

Sunrise Point Rooms Homer Cottage 8 XL Easy Recipe for Whole Grain Toasting Bread from a Superlative Maine Inn

Outside of Homer Cottage at sunrise.

Sunrise Point porch 2 XL Easy Recipe for Whole Grain Toasting Bread from a Superlative Maine Inn

Guest enjoying a blissful moment on the porch

 

Sunrise Point T Misc 6 XL Easy Recipe for Whole Grain Toasting Bread from a Superlative Maine Inn

View from the Inn’s library

 

Sunrise Point MainHouse 3 XL Easy Recipe for Whole Grain Toasting Bread from a Superlative Maine Inn

The Main House, looking through to the blue Atlantic

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We just returned from a photo shoot at Brass Lantern Inn on Nantucket, Massachusetts. We are thinking this might just be the most dramatic transformation we’ve ever seen in 11 years! Also, we picked up some innovative tips on creating a functional and beautiful pet-friendly guest room. Our hats are off to Innkeeper and Proprietor Michelle Langlois and designer Barbara Halsted.

You can see all the new pictures on the current Brass Lantern Website, but watch for a brand new White Stone Marketing website soon!

Here are some of our favorite Before and After shots from the shoot…

After….

BrassLantern Rooms Campanula 1 XL Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips

Campanula Room: After

Before…

i srjHpFd XL Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips

Campanula Room: Before

 

Same Room, Another After shot…

BrassLantern Rooms Campanula 4 XL Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips

This After is from the same perspective as the Before shot

 

After shot of Wisteria Room….

BrassLantern Rooms Wisteria 1 XL Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips

Wisteria Room: After

Before shot of Wisteria Room….

i QVd5mbk XL Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips

Wisteria room: Before

 

After shot, Family Suite bedroom…

BrassLantern Rooms Family 4 XL Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips

Family Suite Bedroom: After

Before shot, Family Suite bedroom….

i 99Nkgfx XL Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips

Family Suite Bedroom: Before

 

 

BrassLantern Rooms Brant 2 300x300 Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips 1.Synthetic, washable “outdoor” carpets have come a long way in the last few years. You can find great designs and colors and can hose them down if a red wine or pet accident occurs. The gorgeous wood floors are awesome for pet-friendly rooms; they add a beautiful warmth to the room and give it a contemporary flair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BrassLantern Rooms Family 4 300x300 Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips 2. From an aesthetic, functional and sanitation point of view, the all-white triple-sheeted bedding is a perfect solution for a pet friendly room. We always recommend a bed saddle (AKA bed scarf) or quilt at the foot of the bed to protect the bedding from “foot of the bed” wear and to add color and interest to the otherwise white bed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BrassLantern Rooms Hydrangea 1 300x300 Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips 3. This is not your grandmother’s wallpaper…We love they way they used fresh, new wallpaper to accent the wall behind the bed. It makes a boxy room warmer, softer and accents the “face” of the bedroom (the head of the bed).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BrassLantern Rooms Wisteria 3 300x300 Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips

4. Another clever wallpaper application: using it in the dormers around the bed. It creates a subtle canopy effect with the pattern and color. It also visually softens those very hard angles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BrassLantern Rooms Jonquil 1 300x300 Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips 5. Innkeeper and Proprietor Michelle Langlois looked to a local Nantucket photographer for fresh room decor. Just like the finest 5-star hotels in the world, the rooms feature original art from a local source!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BrassLantern Rooms SconsetRose 4 300x300 Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips 6. Sunbrella fabric (the sun-proof, waterproof, “wears-like-iron” fabric) previously came in very limited patterns and colors that were more appropriate for your aunt’s 1980’s Florida sunporch than a upscale boutique inn. That’s all changed!! Here, the inn slipcovered the upholstered headboard in designer Sunbrella patterns and also had coordinating bedskirts and bolsters custom-made for each room. This is an amazing pet-friendly solution–just remove the soiled slipcover and wash. This material is perfect for innkeepers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BrassLantern Rooms Campanula 2 300x300 Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips 7. Wall-mounted upholstered headboards are one of our very favorite solutions for any inn or hotel. Here’s why: They’re easy to clean if slipcovered, easy to redecorate (new slipcover!) as trends change, and comfortable for today’s traveler who does much more than just sleep in the bed. Also, they’re acoustically awesome—they add another level of sound absorption to a hard-edged space. More good news: they tend to be one of the most affordable options. Finally, they are foodboard-less, which means they save space and “open-up” the room!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BrassLantern Rooms SconsetRose 5 300x300 Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips 8. A few coats of white paint on their old pine dressers completely freshened up the furniture and added a seaside feel to the space. This is also a very green idea,  giving these old pieces a new life. Lastly, it’s a great budget alternative to buying new furniture!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BrassLantern Rooms Wisteria 1 300x300 Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips 9. Dormered rooms are notoriously difficult to decorate. Brass Lantern had the brilliant idea to add shelves in the nearly unusable space where the dormers meet the floor. It takes the space from “attic” to “room”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Untitled 1 Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips 10. This innkeeper “knows what she doesn’t know”—a very unusual trait. She hired a professional to help her transform her inn. We see multi-million dollar inn construction projects culminate in the innkeeper doing the decorating, often making wrong, expensive turns. It’s fun to participate in the process, but we implore innkeepers to seek outside help. Innkeeper Michelle Langlois hired Barbara Halsted, ASID of Fenwick House Designs in Nantucket to assist. Designers add a cost to the project but can help you save money with clever repurposing ideas and GETTING IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME.

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