Bedroom Hotel-Style How to

Color it Sophisticated

Want to get the luxurious feeling of a boutique-style hotel at home? Such high-end hotels are often the epitome of sophistication and packed with decorating details designed to refresh and pamper you. Who wouldn't want to create this elegant, cocoon-like feel at home? Here are ideas for giving your boudoir the chic look of an intimate, boutique hotel.

In general, relaxing colors are key to bedroom hotel chic, says Shelly Riehl David, an interior designer with clientele in Palm Springs, Naples and Minneapolis. "The bedroom is not the best place to experiment with wild colors," she says. "Stick with the colors in nature." Think greens, like mint, celadon and sage. Colors of the sea from blue-green to azure, even turquoise, are also calming. Chocolate can feel cozy while golden shades — ochre, butter and cream — soothe.

A monochromic scheme is often used in hotel rooms to set a quiet, sophisticated tone. To create that at home, pick one primary color and one related coordinating color. Try a mushroom hue on the wall, or warm up a white palette with wood tones and an organic, earthy scheme like designer Chayse Dacoda did in this bedroom. Don't forget the ceiling, which is one of the first things you see upon waking. To create a cocoon-like effect, David suggests painting the ceiling same color as the walls or a 20 percent toned-down version of the wall shade. Or, try painting stripes on the ceiling as Dacoda did. It's an economical way to add to the feeling of a stylish sanctuary.

Bedding: Plump it up

Designer Kimberly Rider Rosenberg layered the bed with plush pillows of various sizes for the utmost in hotel-chic style. (Photo by Marcus Hanschen)

For the boutique bed look, mix up the textures on your bed and go for the highest quality possible. Think 400-thread sheets in linen or Italian cotton and as many pillows as possible, at least four sleeping pillows or other large European pillows. The look should be layered and rich. "I would do it as simple as possible — not a lot of ruffles, a very tailored bed skirt and tailored bedspread or even duvet," says Corey McIntosh, an Atlanta interior designer. The key: keep it neutral and elegant a la Armani. Add color discriminately, perhaps on toss pillows. There, mix checks with plaids or florals with stripes, all in a similar monochromatic palette.

Furniture: Style + Comfort

Vaguely French in feeling, this master bedroom suite by Simon Temprell is full of fabulous furnishings full of curves, including the inviting bench at the end of the bed and the nearby chaise.

The best hotel rooms invite you to immediately plop down and relax. They do that with furnishings that are functional, comfy and stylish. One popular look that’s easy to emulate is the big, padded headboard, perfect for propping up to read or watch TV. But what good is it if you’re propped up and have no place for your drink? Nightstands are a must for either side of the bed. "They can be the same — that gives them a more contemporary, lean, modern look, or you can have his and hers. One can be more feminine than the other," says designer Shelly Riehl David, for an eclectic look. If there’s room for a seating area, a chaise lounge is a great option. Or try a couple of upholstered chairs facing each other with a large fabric ottoman between them. Each chair should have a small table within reach for a cup of tea or glass of wine. Upholster in neutral solids that match your backdrop color.

Unless there’s a flat screen on the wall, hotels typically hide their technology behind a stylish armoire or art installation. Don’t forget that nice little desk area in the chicest of hotels — that lovely writing desk with a delicate chair. For the hotel look, keep it small and graceful, not office-like. "A bench at the bottom of the bed, if there is room, anchors the bed, makes it look more finished, and gives you a nice place to sit and put on shoes," says designer Corey McIntosh.

Layer the Lighting

Designer Baylor Anne Bone uses a combination of recessed bulbs and floor and table lamps to wash the room in soft light.

Lighting in a bedroom is often overlooked. Best bets include multiple layers operating on separate dimmer switches. You’ll need bedside reading lamps, perhaps a beautiful statement piece — like an elegant overhead chandelier — some wall sconces and a chair side lamp or two in the seating area. The layers add dimension and drama so you can adjust the mood. "If the room is large enough, it’s nice to have three points of ambient light in a triangle," says designer Corey McIntosh. For example, try two bedside lighting sources and another light diagonally across on say, a desk or within a seating area, he says. It makes the room feel balanced, warm and cozy. If you just have reading lamps it can feel cold. A big un-chic don’t: a light on a ceiling fan provides harsh glaring light. Very unsexy.

Windows: Simplicity is Key

The flowing drapes in this Shelly Reihl David bedroom correspond in hue with the linens and grasscloth walls, creating a luxe look. (Photo by Roy Quesada)

Simplicity is the key to replicating a chic-feeling room. McIntosh isn’t a fan of cascades or swags; he typically does drapery side panels on a rod. If you need to add height for a low, squatty window, try a tailored valance with side panels. Take draperies all the way to the ceiling or crown molding for a heightened look. Keep it simple and rich looking with window treatments in the same color as the walls. In a chic hotel, heavily lined drapes create total darkness when drawn. Yours should feel dramatic and lavish in natural fabrics like silk, linen or hemp. Contrast lining adds a special touch — when drapes are tied back you glimpse the pretty lining fabric.

Keep it Soft Underfoot

A stunning Oriental rug sets to the tone for this inviting Old World bedroom suite designed by Jackie Glisson. (Photo by Woodliff Photograph)

Hardwood is usually not a star in a boutique hotel room aiming to scoop you up and soothe you. Likewise, your bedroom flooring should be soft and inviting. "If you have hardwood, make sure you choose a carpeting that is comfortable, like a shag rug," says Nicole Sassaman, a Beverly Hills-based interior designer. For wall-to-wall, go for sumptuous deep-pile carpet in a neutral shade underfoot. If the master bedroom is open to the sitting area, it’s nice to tie it together adding one big area rug. Don’t be afraid to put area rugs on top of wall-to-wall carpet for added plush texture.

Don't Forget the Details

Asian-inspired wall hangings and gorgeous glass art brings a sophisticated feeling to this master bedroom designed by Velvet Hammerschmidt and Heidi Toll.

Surround yourself with beautiful accents that will make you feel pampered. On your nightstand, set a beautiful crystal carafe for water, or fresh flowers to provide a splash of color and a natural scent. Hang artwork that is personal, says designer Shelly Riehl David: "I always think it’s pretty to have a large scale piece of artwork that brings you to a place that makes you happy or feel relaxed, a scene in Venice or some beautiful scenery — a place you’ve been or something really personal that is an expression of yourself." Nicole Sassaman suggests a stack of books, a scented candle, a framed picture or two on night tables. Corey McIntosh adds a few Asian or ethnic pieces for a chic feel.

Jennifer Nelson writes about health, fitness, lifestyle and home. Her work also appears in Better Homes & Gardens, Woman's Day, Cooking Light and O, The Oprah Magazine.

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