On my recent European vacation, I had the pleasure of staying in the charming Astotel Hotel Le 123 Sebastopol in the heart of Paris. The little boutique hotel is dedicated to cinema and is packed with creative and clever design elements. Camera tripods and film cases are repurposed as tables in the hotel’s lounge area. In the rooms, snare drums serve as bedside tables, and equipment cases are converted into sink vanities and mini-fridge storage.



The hotel also had an ingenious approach to an issue that comes up often with our clients: how to use glass-front cabinet doors without putting the cabinet’s contents on full display. Many people like the look of a glass-front cabinet, but are leery that showing all their dishes could end up looking more cluttered than curated. We tell them that their options for glass are nearly endless, ranging from completely clear to completely opaque, and including seeded glass, reeded glass, pebbled, rippled, antiqued, leaded, stained, and on and on.

At the 123 Sebastopol, cabinets in the breakfast buffet area had glass doors with film strips inserted inside, partially hiding the cabinet contents while at the same time continuing the cinema theme. I definitely want to steal this idea someday, either with film strips or something else that reflects a client’s personality or interests – maybe dried flowers or leaves, or a pretty fabric with sentimental value. Lace from an old wedding dress could be beautiful inserted between panes of glass!

Film strips inserted between panes of glass partially obscure the contents of the cabinets.


The hotel’s design may serve as inspiration for other future projects as well. Sports equipment can be converted into table bases in a media room; old toys can find new use in a playroom.

Do you have any special interests or equipment that you would like to see incorporated into your home design? We would love to help you brainstorm ideas for creative repurposing!

Spotlights in the atrium are also part of the hotel’s cinema theme.


Walking upstairs is a red-carpet experience.

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