Design Spy: Castle Chic at The Bowery Hotel

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I'll admit it:

Possibly - just possibly - the fact that not one but FIVE celebrities were lounging in New York's Bowery HotelLobby Bar helped me fall in love with it.

But I prefer to believe it was the Moroccan tiles, the Turkish carpet (that even climbs up the stairs), those painted wood beams, the tapestry-covered chairs that look straight out of a castle - the whole dim, loungey opulence. Another absinthe, please.

It's a space that worked. It set the right, relaxed mood: Regal, European castle meets 19th-century opium den meets rock-n-roll New York hotel. The dim lighting, the cleverly arranged conversation areas, the giant fireplace didn't hurt, either. It feels as if you're hanging out at the castle with the ne'er-do-well prince. (Although unfortunately Prince Harry was not in attendance.)

The Take Home:
Create the right environment in your apartment to generate certain moods in your guests. If you want everyone to gather around the coffee table for game night, make sure you've got throw pillows and a table everyone can see over. If you want guests to help make the food, set up different stations and be prepared to casually assign tasks (everyone loves to feel helpful). And if you want your living room to feel like a super-hip New York hotel invite Drew Barrymore and Chris Martin.
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