Paula Oblen has an interesting story. Twenty years ago, while working a full-time corporate job, a new and innovative home furnishings store called Pottery Barn opened its doors and she found herself in it’s doorway.

Falling in love with this new design aesthetic coupled with her passion for interior design, she had an idea. How great would it be to find Pottery Barn furniture styles at a lower cost and bring them to consumers who wanted the latest trends, but couldn’t afford them? On a mission, she hit the pavement in search of factories interested in reproducing these styles, rented a storage unit, and began working by appointment only on evenings and weekends. Early success prompted a move to open a retail location in Laguna Beach, CA. With an expansive client base, she began incorporating interior design consulting into her growing business. Often finding herself in the lobby and communal spaces of hotels while she thought about design inspiration, she would look around and ask herself, “how can I make my home look and feel this way?”

Well, it’s that question combined with a cocktail and notes scribbled on napkins that fueled the idea of a business based purely on passion. This became the creative platform for showcasing her ‘signature’ approach. Always on the hunt for the latest hotel inspired design elements to bring back to her clients, she realized there was something larger at play. She noticed an affinity for an “experience” only a hotel escape could provide. Knowing you could have that same experience at home, she took the inspiration found in boutique hotels and created a way for a homeowner to bring those infusions into their home. This is where the idea of Ho-tel-e-ments was born.

Paula Oblen


Interested in having Paula speak at your next event?


Bring The Experience Home


The Hotelements Design Concierge Team serves our Hotel Partners and our Experience Seeking Consumers, also the hotel guest, who share our passion for boutique hotel-inspired interiors.

Our Seasoned Creatives are experts at curating the boutique hotel experience to make the decadence accessible longer after checking out or even a quick visit.

  • Annabelle – Design
  • Shere – Design
  • Leanne – Sound
  • Cierra – Social
  • Yasmine – Public Relations
  • Steve – Operations
  • Kevin – Videographer
  • Terry – Web
  • Leb – Photography
  • Rachael – Fashion
  • Kelly – Marketing
  • Open – Dine & Drink

It Started On Napkins

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