There’s been quite a buzz this week with the Sunday Times’ Ultimate 100 British Hotels List. I’ve certainly been lucky enough to visit (I didn’t say ‘stay at’!) quite a few of them and as a designer I love to analyse exactly what makes a hotel so beautiful and aspirational.
Ever wished you could bring that feeling of luxury and relaxation home with you?
Well you don’t have to have a huge budget and Kelly Hoppen on retainer to create this feeling yourself.
Follow these tips to get that look in your own home.
How to Decorate your home like a boutique hotel Tip 1 – Curate
I’m a bit tired of the word de-clutter, so let’s 'curate' instead! You know that feeling when you are shown to your gorgeous hotel room? You check out the view, the bed, the robe and slippers and the mini bar. It’s all tidy and perfectly organised.
Sure, 24 hours later, clothes are hanging off the chairs and there are empty mugs on all the surfaces.
In your own home I’d go so far as to actively remove everything on display in a room (shelves, coffee tables, sideboard etc) and then consider each piece in turn as you reintroduce it. Editing is a huge part of interior designer. By starting with a blank canvas first, you can work out what you want to keep on display and what needs to find a new home.
How to Decorate your home like a boutique hotel Tip 2 – Accessorise with Soft Furnishings.
Create a feeling of luxury with squishy and tactile cushions and throws. A key insider tip is to use down cushion pads (please do a bit of research to ensure they are from an ethical source, unfortunately in China some down is obtained very cruelly from living birds). If you are keeping your current cushion covers and they currently have rather flat or thin pads, you will see a huge difference if you replace the inners with down.
Top tip - Go for a slightly larger pad (5cm) larger than your cover. This will make your cushions ‘over-stuffed’ and give them a gorgeous plump-ness. Down cushions have a weight and bulk which makes them sit beautifully. You will never see flat synthetic cushion pads in a 5 star hotel.
Accessorise with a coordinating throw in a contrasting texture – faux fur, velvet during the winter months. Look for a vintage throw in a charity shop or online.
How to Decorate your home like a boutique hotel Tip 3 - Be Eclectic
Create interest with the unexpected. Country house hotels like to suggest a bit of ‘down at heel aristocracy’ with what look like mis-matched cushions, art works or accessories. By introducing vintage or antique pieces or slightly off-kilter looks you create interest and depth to a design. It’s easy to dress your home like a catalogue with everything matching, but you’d rarely see that in a luxury hotel.
A touch of the unexpected makes a huge difference.
If you have a favourite painting, vase, or hand-me down, definitely try and include it even if you’re not sure it goes. If the overall look is balanced and the colours work then an item or two outside the spectrum will work well.
How to Decorate your home like a boutique hotel Tip 4 – Choose luxury finishes.
You certainly can create a beautiful home with paint, but you’re more likely to see textured or patterned wallpaper in a posh hotel. They will use durable contract grade papers as they’re more forgiving of guests and staff brushing past, but they certainly add a sense of style and luxury. You may see grasscloth or hessian or richly patterned William Morris style prints. In your own home, there are always inexpensive options such as a textured paper or just going for a show-stopping paper on a single feature wall. Go for something you absolutely adore and can live with for some time.
Lincrusta is a fantastic product to create a panelled effect, especially in a Victorian or Edwardian home. Why not try tin tiles on your hallway ceiling? Marble effect wallpaper is a huge trend right now and can be used to stunning effect in bathrooms and kitchens.
How to Decorate your home like a boutique hotel Tip 5 – Go for 'Expensive colours'.
This is hard to define and colour is of a course a very personal matter. As a rule of thumb muted or heritage colours look more expensive. This is because colour was always restricted by the availability of natural pigments in minerals and plants. Most of these are the colours of nature, think ochre, sienna and clay. Muted colours are hues combined with grey. These are softened and warmed up by the grey and are generally pretty easy to live with.
Of course, your home is (probably) not a hotel, and hotels by their nature are not intended for long term residency, so do include your favourite family photos and a little clutter creeping back in isn’t the end of the world.
At the same time, make sure your home is a sanctuary and a true representation of you and your tastes. Why not you choose your favourite hotel as a great source of inspiration?
If you’d like some help with designing your home or preparing it for sale, call Helen on 01202 798 837