How to create your own five-star bedroom
In the absence of getting away this spring, why not bring all the luxury of a hotel to your home instead? To help you achieve this in plenty of style, we reached out to some of our favourite boutique hotels for tips and advice on giving your bedroom a 5-star makeover. At the end of the day, what could be more welcome than a change of scene and a beautiful space to retreat to? Prepare to be inspired and discover new places to add to your travel bucket list.
Driftwood, West Cornwall
First on the menu is the independently-owned Driftwood Hotel, which lies within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Its picturesque setting, private beach and easy access to the SW coastal path make it the perfect destination for a few days respite. The interiors of this coastal hideaway have been created with both comfort and relaxation in mind.
We asked the hotel’s manager, Fiona Robinson, for tips on crafting a 5-star room.
“It’s important to give a hotel a sense of place and identity,” Fiona says. To give every room that all-important connection to the shore, without “going over-the-top,” Driftwood use pastel shades that reflect the sea and pebbles on the beach. They select lamps made from driftwood and accessories that pay tribute to the Cornish coast, along with locally sourced art and eclectic pieces that “give a sense of fun.”
“A hotel should be welcoming and comfortable,” she adds. For that sense of luxury, good-quality towels and bed linen are essential. After all, who wouldn’t want to relax on a soft, beautifully made bed whilst listening to the waves crashing onto the beach below?
Fiona mentions that they incorporate lots of different fabrics – for “texture and interest” – as well as a mix of task and mood lighting.
There’s no reason why you can’t give your bedroom a similar treatment (even if you live miles from the sea). If you want to fully embrace the coastal look, go beachcombing. Fill your pockets with shells, frosted glass and other washed-up oceanic treasure. If there isn’t a beach nearby, adorn your scheme with appropriately themed prints and accessories instead.
Beaverbrook, Mole Valley, Surrey
Next, our mission takes us to the opulent Beaverbrook. Nestled in the Surrey Hills, this country estate is the former residence of the publisher and backstage politician 1st Baron Beaverbrook. Guests have the choice of staying in the main house’s beautiful rooms and suites, in the garden house, which overlooks sprawling grounds full of fruit trees, or the coach house, a popular choice with families. The rooms in the main house draw on Baron Beaverbrook’s famous guests; we’re sure former occupants Rudyard Kipling and Winston Churchill would approve of their eponymous quarters: each is equipped with a roll-top bath, king size bed and bottle of sloe gin.
Interiors expert Susie Atkinson, who designed the elegant, 5-star rooms, gave us her top tips on achieving hotel luxury at home.
“The bed is the focal point in the room and so the style of bed is important to set the tone and to suit the room,” she says. Susie often uses four-posters, but adds that a fully upholstered bed is a great way to “create interest and bring in a pattern.” She likes to use this style in smaller rooms where she wants to “keep a feeling of space,” as it does away with the need for a bed valance, allowing you to see under the bed.
Susie mentions that it’s important to consider what headboard style will look right in the space: “an elaborate headboard shape can add interest and be a feature, but it can be equally as pleasing to have a simple, understated headboard shape.” For a sophisticated look, she advises picking one with deep-buttoning, or a style covered in plain fabric with contrast piping.
When it comes to layering a bed, the designer likes to dress hers with fine-quality linen and large, feather-filled cushions, along with a throw across the end for “colour and texture.”
The Blonde Hedgehog, Alderney, Guernsey
The final hotel to share their secrets is The Blonde Hedgehog, which is located in the quirky town of St Anne on the island of Alderney. One of the Channel Islands’ best-kept secrets, the islet is known for its dramatic scenery, delectable seafood and elusive albino hedgehogs.
Founder and entrepreneur Julie-Anne Uggla instantly fell for its charm and beauty but had trouble finding a place to stay during her many visits to its shores. This is what inspired her to create her first hotel. The Blonde Hedgehog consists of three 18th century buildings – two townhouses and a cottage suited to large groups.
Charlie Horner, the hotel’s designer, shares her secrets on creating fabulous, 5-star rooms.
Charlie’s first tip is to make a statement with the headboard and bed. She finds that a tall headboard “gives an increased feeling of luxury.” She is also a fan of the winged headboard – “it really gives a sense of sophistication while also being cosy.”
Lighting is also key in the bedroom. Charlie likes to incorporate reading lights and she loves soft lighting in bedrooms: “warm light from both table and floor lamps gives an elegant, relaxed feeling.”
Moving back to the bed, she recommends decorating it with two small cushions in front of two large ones, depending on its size. If the room has a neutral colour palette, she uses textiles as a way to bring in colour. “The right throw can also really elevate the look of the bedroom; they can be interchangeable depending on the season,” she adds.
Charlie suggests including a dressing table with a mirror for that “hotel feel.” “The ultimate luxury is having a dedicated space to get ready,” she says. Lastly, it’s worth having a beautiful occasional chair in the room: “while looking great it’s also nice to have space in the bedroom to sit,” she muses.
These beautiful rooms may have turned you green with interiors envy, but you can rest easy – thanks to the advice from our experts – knowing that hotel luxury can be achieved at home. You won’t necessarily have the same choice of restaurants or stunning scenery on your doorstep, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create a cosy, welcoming space that will leave you feeling refreshed and revived.