Alexandra Champalimaud has worked on some of the biggest hotels around the world. She’s the design brains behind The Plaza’s Legacy Suites and the Beverly Hills Hotel’s Bungalows (to name a few) and is currently renovating the storied Stafford Hotel in London.
She also has her own line of products—the Champalimaud Collection—that launched in 2016 and is currently in its second phase of production. From a custom-made chaise to printed accent cushions, each item emanates timeless elegance. So it goes without saying that when it comes to mastering that luxe hospitality vibe that makes staying in hotels so relaxing, there’s no one better to advise upon the subject.
Ever wonder how you can bring a bit of that luxury home? Here, Champalimaud shares her tips for making your home feel like a hotel.
When you’re designing hotel bedrooms, what is the main thing you keep in mind and always try to include?
For me, a hotel bedroom—any bedroom—must be comfortable, inviting, and nurturing. This is a place of serenity and privacy. The essence of the experience is a delicious bed, a comfortable chair, great linens, towels and pillows, good lighting, a brilliant shower head, and (these days) great technology that is intuitive…dead easy to use.
Ideally, the bedroom also continues our effort to make sure that every project celebrates its location and local culture; [that it] has a sense of place. But for all our projects around the globe—from Singapore to Aspen—the most important thing to me when I travel is a bedroom and bathroom in which I can truly relax.
How is designing a hotel bedroom different from designing a bedroom in a residential space?
It’s not—except the budget. We all want the same thing from a bedroom, at home or on the road. In hotel work, even at the highest level, the challenge is to create the experience of being in the most elegant of homes on a fraction of the budget.
Can you share a few of your tips for how to bring that hospitality feel home?
Proper lighting and a good night’s sleep are imperative. Natural light is wonderful during the day, but a very soft, indirect, warm ceiling light is perfect for when natural light doesn’t shine through.
The bed is the most important piece of furniture in the room. The mattress needs to be firm yet supple, topped with a mattress cover and the highest-quality bed linens you can afford. Be sure to take note of the seasons as well: a downy duvet for the colder months and a lightweight blanket when the weather is warm.
For people decorating on a budget who may want to mimic the hotel look in their homes, are there small changes or updates they can make to accomplish this? Is there one change that instantly changes the vibe of a room?
When decorating on a budget, small changes can make a big difference. Layering the lighting, adding a chic rug, or switching out linens seasonally can completely change the vibe of a room. For me, the best investment is to “overspend” on sheets and towels. Color is important. Paint can work wonders.
Where do you recommend people start the decorating process for turning a regular bedroom into one reminiscent of a hotel guestroom?
The first step, I would say, is to think of the things you love to have when you’re away from home: a lounge chair (if you have the room), a small table next to the window, a comforter and a selection of pillows, a carafe with water, a simple vase of flowers, a robe and slippers. The little details that say “home” make a huge difference.
How can people make their guest bedrooms feel like a hotel to give visitors a more luxe stay?
I would say the challenge is the reverse. Think of the most comfortable and inviting guest room in a private house you have ever experienced. That’s what a great hotel room should feel like. And it is what your guest room should feel like to others.