So you just got back from NYC after a weekend getaway at the
Bryant Park Hotel. The sleek wood floors, the floor-length draperies, and the
crisp, white walls against that striking furniture make your boudoir at home
feel like a room at a Motel 6. Not that I’m knocking Motel 6… it serves a
purpose. But those rooms aren’t known for giving you that I’m-never-getting-out-of-bed
feeling. If you’re aching to create a tranquil oasis of your own – or for your
guests – there are a few things you can do to make the most impact quickly. A
handful of simple touches will make all the difference, especially if you’re
working on a limited budget. The goal is to make the room feel charming,
without each piece overwhelming the sense of calm. This can be difficult, as
modern or interesting pieces of art, furniture, and décor can easily overpower
the other elements.
First thing’s first… Buy new linens.
Hotel Max, Seattle, WA / Photo from BusinessWeek
If you’ve been sleeping on the same worn out old sheets for
over two years, toss them. The broken down threads not only contain plenty of
allergens, but they’re probably faded, threaded or stained at this point.
Though they’re most likely hidden away beneath some type of comforter most of
the time, you know they’re there,
and you’ll feel more comfortable after a refresh. Good sheets are an investment
and they do last a long time. Opt for high thread count sheets in white.
Traditionally, high end boutique hotels use white sheets to maintain
cleanliness and give guests the peace of mind that they’re sleeping beneath
fresh linens. No matter what color bedspread or duvet you choose, go with white
sheets. The added benefit is that you’ll be able to tell easily when they need
to be replaced.
Choose plush fabrics in coordinated neutrals.
Hotel Raffaello, Chicago / Photo from Venere.com
Aside from luxe, white sheets, go for that new bedding.
Restoration Hardware has gorgeous
bedding, believe it or not. Their collections are not only fashionable, but
each is oh so soft. Most are fairly classic in style, which is what you should choose
to produce hotel chic style.
The power of the accent wall is strong.
The Twelve Hotel, Ireland / Photo from TheTwelveHotel.ie
Though this is a newer trend, a lot of hotels are painting
or wallpapering one wall, most often the wall against which the bed rests. Draw
attention to a striking color, or a beautiful wallpaper pattern. You don’t even
have to choose a bold color. Go with something chocolate brown or taupe
contrasted with white or off-white walls. The modern flair will have your
friends thinking you are some kind of decorating genius.
Place a bench or chest at the end of your bed.
Brightonwave Hotel, London
A bench at the foot of the bed makes a room feel more
inviting. Hotels often use this as a tool to make rooms feel more welcoming. A
pretty wooden chest is another way to achieve this look, and can be used as
A beautiful leather or upholstered chair or chaise is a perfect touch.
Mariposa Inn and Suites, Monterey, California
Of course, what hotel room is complete without a small
sitting area? Choose a chaise lounge or cushy chair with an ottoman. Place a
small cocktail table next to it for a place to rest your morning coffee and
DIY Headboards are easier to make than you think.
The Chocolate Boutique Hotel, Dorset, England / Photo from Infotel.co.uk
In most cases, you’ll find firm, king-sized mattresses
resting atop fairly nondescript bed frames. What will probably jump out at you
about the bed is the headboard. The decorative headboard is
one the key elements to designing a hotel-like atmosphere. Often times they’re
made of unique materials or covered in beautiful fabrics. You’ll see them in a
variety of interesting shapes as well. It’s easy to make your own
fabric-covered headboard to complement the draperies and bedding. Visit
BeJane.com’s excellent step-by-step
guide to building your own upholstered headboard. The effects of adding a
custom headboard are amazing; it will instantly personalize and stylize a room.
Floor-to-ceiling draperies are a must.
Hotel Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria / Photo from Splendia.com
Draperies are a fairly inexpensive.
You will most often find floor-to-ceiling, sometimes puddling, draperies in hotel
suites because they lengthen the walls and make the rooms look bigger. Neutral
fabrics and vertical stripes accomplish this best, though in some cases you’ll
want to choose bolder patterns., like plaids. In any case, choose an opaque fabric that can
be completely drawn for those rare occasions when you have the opportunity to
sleep in. Then when you wake up to the birds instead of your alarm clock, you
can draw the drapes back to reveal a sheer liner (make sure it operates independently). It will gently filter natural
light into the room, while allowing you to maintain your privacy.