4 Ways Designers Create an At-Home Hotel Ambience — "It Allows You To Feel Recharged"

I spoke with interior designers on their tips for creating a hotel-like atmosphere — these designer recommendations are so good, your home might soon well be the Ritz

Hotel style living room.
(Image credit: Jonathan Adler)

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

Dimly lit lamp for hotel ambience.

(Image credit: Original BTC)

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."

Scent

Scent oil diffuser.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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."

Bedding

Hotel-like bedding.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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."

Luxe Details

Slippers on carpet.

(Image credit: Cathy Nordström)

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!"

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Julia Demer
Style editor

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.