We all wish we could inhabit a hotel — days spent reveling in fluffy robes, cloud-like beds, and the overarching feeling of luxury. While we may not all be able to emulate our favorite aristocratic six-year-old from Eloise at the Plaza, it is indeed possible to savor this hotel-like experience every day.
According to Ryan Matthew of NY-based Studio RM, cultivating a hotel-like ambiance starts with energy. Your home should offer an equal blend of calming and energizing elements — a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. It begins with simple things, such as decluttering. "Hotels are renowned for their clean, ultra-lux interiors," notes Nicole Cullum, an interior designer based in Taos, New Mexico. By eliminating unnecessary objects, you can finally create a space where you can truly relax. "I always find that the cleanliness and simplicity of hotels allow you to recharge," adds Ryan.
Of course, achieving this hotel-like look and feel involves incorporating key elements. That's why I consulted my favorite experts for their best interior design tips on creating an at-home hotel ambiance. The following encompasses everything you need from the best home decor stores to make your space feel like a hotel, sans room service.
Hotel Ambience Essentials
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Lighting, lighting, lighting — and say it louder for the people in the back! Every expert I consulted emphasized the importance of lighting. Chicago-based firm Amy Kartheiser noted dimmable overhead lighting as integral to a spa-like, indulgent atmosphere. In addition to dimmable lighting, Artem Kropovinsky, founder of the modern interior design firm Arsight, recommend layering ambient light with additional lighting accents, such as lamps. Ryan suggests placing them all around — "on kitchen counters and islands, next to the sofa, over tables, and near desks."
The scale of this CB2 floor lamp feels so luxe, and its solid black concrete base is a substantial, designer-fletched addition to any space. Nicole advises placing one in the corner of a living room with an accent chair and a small side table to "bring a dark space to life."
This pleated lampshade is simple and sophisticated, akin to your favorite luxury hotel. Add it to a lamp base you already own for an elevated touch.
Scent might seem relatively inconsequential to a space — an additive, an afterthought. Turns out, this couldn't be farther from the truth. Designers unanimously agree that home fragrance is the main event. According to interior expert and content creator Megan Olivotti, "nothing screams 'luxury' like a signature scent in a home. Every beautiful hotel has a signature scent, and I think a home should be no different." Scents elevate the space, transporting you out of busy day-to-day routines. As with the hotel-like interior more generally, these scent elevations "can be quite simple," says Ryan, "but always start with a good candle."
California-based apothecary brand P.F. Candle CO. creates some gorgeous handmade fragrances. You can't go wrong with any of their incense scent varieties, but their Teakwood Tobacco feels particularly elevated.
You've likely heard of (or already own) Santal 26, but have you become acquainted with Cade 26? Initially created by Le Labo for the iconic Gramercy Park Hotel in NYC, it can be thought of as Santal 26’s more sultry sister.
Any hotel guest knows that the bed can make or break a stay. The same goes for your own home. "Transform your bed into one fit for a king by adding a plush pillow top to your mattress," advises Nicole — "pillow toppers make you feel like you're sleeping on a cloud without a care in the world." While layering textures and fabrics are important visually, the best bedding sets start with the basics: sheets! According to Nicole, "If you tend to get hot in the middle of the night, opt for percale sheets. Percale sheets are 100% cotton with a crisp, matte finish but have a thinner cotton fiber in an open basket weave to allow more air for extra breathability."
Soft, supportive, and created to last, Brooklinen’s down pillows are everything we could ask for and more. I recommend the plush variety as it is the brand’s fluffiest option, really lending a cloud-like feel.
Price: $145 - $200 (Twin - King)
These percale sheets are both extravagant and impossibly cool, both literally and figuratively. With their impeccably executed, classical lines, these sheets are arguably on par, and in most instances better, than those found in the finest hotels.
Although simplicity is key, even the most minimal hotels have a personality. People are often hesitant to add too much decor, but according to Amy Kartheiser, founder of Amy Kartheiser Design, artistic elements are crucial to forming a sophisticated environment: "Hanging elegant artwork or decorative mirrors can really add that personal touch and elevate the entire look and feel of the space." Art aside, what truly mimics that hotel-like feel are the amenities. Display your favorite hotel accessories like slippers neatly, ready for use, as if maid service has just left: "Fluffy robes and plush towels make any night at home feel like a stay at The Peninsula!"
You might recall the Hawkins New York brand from that viral Jack Antonoff-Taylor Swift kitchen photo. Turns out they make wonderful slippers too. With their simple waffle-knit construction and soothing color varieties, these really seal in that hotel feel.
Per Ryan’s recommendation, this coffee table book looks great and serves as a rich source of design inspiration. It features the work of Roman and Williams Buildings and Interiors, the studio behind your favorite NYC landmarks like The Standard Hotel, along with the interiors of some of your favorite celebrities — most notably, Gwyneth Paltrow.
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Formerly covering fashion at L’Officiel USA, style maven Julia Demer brings her love of design to Livingetc’s world of interiors. As the title’s Style Editor, Julia's work reflects a sharp eye for detail and an innate passion for aesthetics. Her journey began with a strong foundation in design, honing her craft at renowned establishments like The Row and even establishing her own eponymous fashion brand. Julia’s design background is evident in the way she thoughtfully curates shopping edits, always maintaining a focus on emerging trends while preserving timeless sensibilities. For Julia, fashion and interiors go hand in hand, reflecting her lifelong commitment to perfecting the art of style.
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