There’s nothing quite like a hotel room’s perfectly crisp sheets and extra-fluffy duvet. Hospitality designers go to great lengths to ensure that, no matter where we find ourselves in the world, we feel right at home (or a better version of it). Whenever we come back from a trip, we lay in our cramped, poorly air-conditioned bedrooms and wonder how they got it so right. It’s time we found out.
Who better to ask than André Fu, one of those genius designers. Born in Hong Kong and educated in England, he has traveled the world, decorating hotels in Singapore, Provence, London, Shanghai, and Tokyo, before tackling his most personal project yet: The St. Regis in his native city. “My goal was to take this cultural landmark and infuse its Hong Kong outpost with my childhood recollections of growing up here,” he told Domino. “I wanted to tap into my own memories of the city’s poetic heritage.”
This spring, I traveled with Marriott Bonvoy’s Titanium Elite member status to Hong Kong, and one of the biggest perks was getting access to experiences that money can’t always buy. In this case, a tour of the new St. Regis—with Fu himself!—before it even opened. (And exclusive access to the Rugby Sevens and a Gwen Stefani concert, I must add.)
Poetic the hotel is! Grand but intimate spaces are lined in rich, jade-hued marble and 1920s-inspired lighting—a nod to Hong Kong’s past and the original St. Regis in New York. Being the design nerd I am, naturally I had to quiz Fu on his best bedroom decorating tips from all his years in the business. Here are our five favorites:
Let It Glow
The easiest way to make a bedroom feel more welcoming? “Adopt low-level lighting,” says Fu. “A soft glow always provokes a greater sense of visual comfort.” This can be as simple as arranging votives around the room or installing dimmers on your already existing fixtures.
Pick Colors That Soothe
“For the St. Regis Hong Kong, I chose complementary, subdued colors in an understated, timeless palette of grays, whites, and earthy tones in order to create a simple yet luxurious feel accented with pops of color,” explains the designer. In other words, put down the bucket of fiery red paint and opt for calming hues.
Choose Warm Woods
It can be tempting to pick heavy furniture in dark wood or leather, but Fu notes that the key to understated luxury is to go lighter. “Use warm solid wood flooring to evoke a welcoming atmosphere,” he says. If replacing your floors isn’t an option, introduce the material through accent furniture and mix it with the designer’s other favorite textures: woven fabrics, textural wallpapers, soft rugs, and lots of cushions.
Float Your Furniture
It’s easy to push everything against the wall, especially in a bedroom that is usually filled with bulky pieces. But Fu recommends floating a few items away from the walls: “Keep the pieces of furniture loose rather than having them fixed rigidly to the wall to allow flexibility.”
Beds and dressers can feel rigid, so Fu swears by furniture with soft silhouettes to keep the vibe relaxed. “Use a round bedside table instead of a rectangular one,” he suggests. If you already have nightstands, a curvy accent table, planter, or chair will mellow things out.
Editor’s note: This trip was provided courtesy of Marriott Bonvoy. All opinions are the editors’ own.
Discover more decorating tricks we learned from hotels:
10 Design Tricks to Steal From Hotel Bathrooms
3 Colorful Lessons We Learned From L.A.’s Buzziest New Hotel
NYC’s Buzziest New Micro-Hotel Is a Small-Space Wonder Inspired by Finnish Saunas