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A Look Inside: Hotelette Austin

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Interior designer Allison Crawford shares a glimpse inside Hotelette Austin, the local cottage she transformed into a boutique hotel. 

By Andrea Tinning, Photos by Nicole Mlakar

Allison Crawford is not just an interior designer. As a world traveler, Crawford has set foot on all seven continents and developed a unique style, as well as an appreciation for hotels, travelers’ home away from home. Hotelette, a collection of vintage-style homes turned hotels, is Crawford’s way of sharing her love for travel with others. This unique business provides guests with a hotel experience unlike any other. 

“I want people to come here and have the privacy of a home but feel like they’re staying in a boutique hotel,” Crawford says. 

Located in Austin, Dallas and Nashville, Tenn., each Hotelette is filled with Crawford’s personal selection of art and furniture, which she hopes inspires visitors when decorating their own homes. Many items that adorn each Hotelette are available for purchase online so visitors can take their experience home with them. 

As an expert in interior design and decorating commercial spaces, Crawford gives us a peek inside Hotelette Austin and shares her strategy for making these accommodations feel more like home. 


“When you have a lot of clutter, it really leads to a cluttered mind. I work in this space, and people come stay in this space. I want it to be relaxing and I want people to be inspired, and they can’t be inspired if there’s a bunch of stuff around.” 


“I use all white sheets because people don’t think about the logistics, but the turnaround—if you have someone checking out on Friday morning and then you have someone checking in on Friday afternoon, you have to wash all of the sheets and linens in that three- to four-hour window. So, [I] keep everything white.” 

Hotelette Austin

“For commercial spaces, rugs and textiles are important to absorb some of the sound so that the sound doesn’t bounce. [Even with] a lot of people in this space, you don’t want it to be very loud. I’m sure you’ve gone to restaurants and you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s so loud in there.’ Well, they need soft texture to absorb some of the sound, so rugs and textiles are important.” 


“I don’t think that personal photos should be out and make sure that the fridge and the freezer [are] completely empty. I want people want to go stay in homes and they want the privacy of a home, but they don’t want to necessarily feel like they’re staying in someone else’s home.” 


“People want to stay like a local and eat where the locals eat and do what the locals do, even though they are tourists in the town. So, I’ve created our hotel…guide to each city, which I think is really useful for the guests. It’s a guide of all the places that I love and that I know they’ll love, and I’m constantly tweaking it and updating it. It’s important to have a list of places that you want to go so that the guests can experience the town like a local too.” 

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