Luxury hotels think of everything: the calming paint colors, the inspiring artwork, the teeny-tiny bathroom accessories that you stuff in your carry-on—all the design details you need to feel pampered and relaxed after a long day of lugging around a suitcase. So of course they’re rife with ideas you’d want to copy in your home.
While we may not have the credit limit a hotel does, with a keen eye, we can pick and choose design moments that can be re-created on a budget. How about a plant here? Or a bar cart there? From Lisbon to Austin, these newly opened hotels are riddled with easy-to-replicate tricks that will have your home feeling five-star (minus, say, the soaking tub and view of the Roman ruins, but we can’t get greedy).
Here are a few of our favorite design ideas from our new favorite hotel hot spots. Ready, set, steal!
Make It Monochromatic
What are the chances we could just, oh, I don’t know, move into the Vintage in Lisbon? Okay, okay. If we can’t live there, perhaps we can re-create its bar space on a budget. By keeping the main elements—furniture, artwork, and paint—in the same lush green color family, the Vintage eliminates the riffraff of accessories. Do the same and perhaps you can save your pennies for a one-of-a-kind painting by Margarida Fleming instead.
Give Up the Gallery Wall
It sounds sacreligious to forgo art, but sometimes our eyeballs need a break. Chapter Roma, which opened in May 2019 in a late-1800s Neoclassical building in the heart of Rome’s historic Regola neighborhood, decided to leave the walls bare in the guest rooms, instead showcasing the hotel’s impressive architecture: exposed brick, vaulted ceilings, and raw steel. Bellissimo!
Keep the Bed Situation Simple
There isn’t anything like crawling into a hotel bed after a full day of planes, trains, and cobblestone streets (especially when you’re dragging along an overpacked suitcase). Lora Hotel, built into the limestone bluffs of Stillwater, Minnesota—just a 30-minute drive from the Twin Cities—reminds us that a super-simple bed can be a thing of beauty. Trust us, you really don’t need that many throw pillows.
Add Plants, Plants, and More Plants
Need to instantly brighten up your home without breaking your budget? A little bit of greenery goes a long way to adding life, color, and cleaner air to any empty corner. Cool-kid central the Hoxton, which recently opened its Portland, Oregon, location, bedecked common areas and its restaurant, Tope, in philodendron and pothos, along with other easy-to-care-for plants even a black thumb couldn’t kill.
Go Big When You Go Home
Austin has no shortage of hip hotels, and now there is another addition to that list. The Carpenter, located in a 1940s hall where woodworkers used to meet to exchange ideas, highlighted its sky-high ceiling with lush leather furniture, giant hanging artwork…and not much else. Hit up local antiques stores for tapestries, flags, and other rare pieces to make a big impact on decor but do little damage to your credit card statement.
Don’t Follow the Dewey Decimal System
Poor Melvil Dewey is probably rolling over in his grave, but we’re big fans of turning the spines of our books around. Practical? Definitely not. But displaying your books pages-front, spine-back, like Palihotel Seattle does, leaves your space with a cool, cohesive look—even if you can’t find that hardcover your friend lent you—all using items you likely already own.