6 Bedroom Design Tips to Borrow from the Country’s Best Luxury Hotels

published Jan 20, 2022
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Is there any feeling like finally arriving at the hotel and stretching out on that freshly-made bed? Although you can’t put your finger on exactly what it is, there is often just something relaxing and calming about your room.

Before you chalk that feeling up to the magic of “getting away from it all,” you should know that hoteliers and designers carefully plan out spaces for maximum comfort and a restful night’s sleep. So although you may think you only sleep better while you’re in a hotel, you can recreate that luxe feeling at home — and some of it is as simple as rearranging your furniture. Experts weighed in with six tips on what makes hotel rooms seem so tranquil and how you can incorporate those details into your bedroom. 

Invest in a quality mattress.

As with many things, beginning with a good foundation is key, so start from the bottom up to recreate that plush hotel vibe. “Just like any good recipe, the base is most important, which in our case, is the bed itself, starting with a high-quality mattress,” says Lyon Porter, the co-owner and designer of the Urban Cowboy chain of hotels.

Many hotels have luxe mattresses, and although they can seem cost-prohibitive, there are moderately-priced brands that will offer the same comfort level. Considering that most people spend one-third of their days in bed, having a quality mattress with the correct hardness is necessary. “Just keep in mind that the level of firmness or softness (or somewhere in the middle) is a crucial component,” says Porter.

Credit: Jessica Rapp

Layer your bed with luxurious bedding.

Sliding into luxe hotel sheets is just the thing you need after a long day of traveling, which is an experience you can easily recreate at home. “Great quality, high thread count, organic cotton sheets — made from either Pima or Egyptian cotton — help you self-regulate your body temperature, which can result in a more restful sleep,” suggests Susan Taylor of Davis Taylor Design in Los Angeles, California.

Porter also agrees that quality bedding is the perfect complement to a comfortable foundation. “Never underestimate the power of your bedding, which can quickly take the experience from sleeping in a great bed to sleeping on a cloud,” he says. “The perfect duvets and pillows make all of this possible.” Choose pieces that wash well so they will wear beautifully and stand the test of time, no housekeeping service required.

Regulate the light in your room.

If you wake up easily with the slightest amount of light, you may want to invest in blackout window treatments so that you can steal a few extra hours of sleep. “Blackout curtains and shades are essential and easily purchased online,” advises Karen Aronian, Ed.D., the founder of Aronian Education Design.

However, the body’s natural circadian rhythms regulate with daylight, so other experts feel you should skip light-regulating curtains. “I tend to steer away from blackout window treatments as waking up to natural light is the best and healthiest way to wake your body up slowly,” says K.C. Lager, the designer and creative director at The Wildset Hotel in St. Michaels, Maryland. You know your body best, so choose whichever avenue enables you to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start your day. 

Additionally, carefully select the sources of non-natural light in your room. Bright, blinding bulbs will cause a state of wakefulness, which isn’t ideal if you’re looking to unwind and read before drifting off. “I prefer to use task and accent lighting only. For example, table lamps, sconces, art lighting, bookcase lighting, and floor lamps,” says Taylor. Ultimately she forgoes overhead, recessed lighting, which can be harsh unless it’s dimmable and on a separate switch from other light sources.

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Choose calming colors for walls and accessories.

Some hues like red stimulate excitement and aggression, so although it’s a lovely tone, it may not be the best to incorporate into your bedroom if the goal is to induce rest. Instead, choose other colors, such as neutral and cool tones, into your bedding, wall pigments, and main decor items for a truly tranquil environment.

Experts also recommend that you use bold patterns sparingly and as accents, such as plaid pillows or floral curtains. “Often high contrast patterns and too much color will evoke a feeling of chaos,” advises Shawna Percival, the founder of Styleberry Creative in San Antonio, Texas. “Too many patterns may feel overwhelming and be disruptive of the serenity we seek to find at home.” She also suggests adding textures in the same color palette to add interest within a peaceful bedroom retreat if you crave patterns. 

Consider the arrangement of your room.

You can have a cozy bed, just the right amount of light, and calming decor, but if you’re still not sleeping well, it could be due to the furniture placement in your bedroom. Aronian suggests using the principles of feng shui, which many hotels rely on to optimize sleeping environments. “Ideally, the bed should have a view of the window,” she says. Aronian also advises arranging furnishings so that the beds aren’t against a shared wall if you have several occupied bedrooms in your home.

Percival noted that a room should have balance and a visual resting place. “When creating peaceful bedrooms, we often lean on symmetry to help give the eye a gentle place to land,” she says. “Whether it is with beautifully balanced bedside table vignettes or a gallery wall with clean lines, we find that when everything is in visual harmony, the space feels calm.” Likewise, harmonious design elements can provide a sense of tranquility, especially when you’re snug in a plushy appointed bed.

Add a few relaxing amenities.

Although it may seem odd to fill your room with amenities, consider the extra details that make a hotel room truly special, such as the way the space smells or a few well-placed books. Of course, you deserve these special touches at home, too. Aronian suggests using diffusers, sachets, and sheets lightly scented with calming aromas, such as bergamot, lavender, or vanilla. “Aromatherapy is a nice component for sleep,” she says. “A good trick is to add a drop of desired oil onto a dryer ball to perfume the sheets.”

Sound also plays a big part in sleep, and some hotels have in-room sound machines to drown out exterior noises and create a tranquil environment. “Dim the lights, put on a sound machine and you’re ready to enjoy the cloud you’ve built,” advises Porter.