Since my travels to France with my family this summer, I have become enamored with the French language and culture, which has prompted both my daughter Bella and I to take on learning French. We have study workbooks, online lessons and an ever so patient husband/daddy that is fluent in the language; encouraging and helping us work through the difficult pronunciation. To date, Bella is far more adapt at learning than I am as those vocabulary words just roll off her tongue while I still struggle with some of the simple pronounciations.

As we eagerly jump into our lessons each week, I’m continually amazed at how many words we use in our every day language derived from French words. For example, take the word “boutique”. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, this word comes from 18th century French as an Old Provencal word, botica. The word has many definitions, but the one we refer to most often would be “denoting a small specialized producer or business,” such as a boutique hotel.

Technically, a boutique hotel would be a unique, one-of-a-kind type of property. But, I think we may be able to challenge that particular definition in today’s world of design. Every owner desires an exclusive look that takes on a personality of its own and reflects a sense of place for each of their properties. We continue to push that bar higher with each and every project as we search for those elements that would help set it apart from others. This could include inspiration from the state flower or bird, the nearby port or even the fact that bicycles and pulled pork are a passion for the city. These ideas become the launch pad for our design inspiration and help tell the story for the hotel that is individual and inspiring to others.

So, I challenge you this month to look at the world around you and think of ways that you can incorporate your personality or your passion to create a unique space that transforms from average to amazing!