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Whenever I stay at a beautiful hotel, it always amazes me how they achieve an inviting and cosy atmosphere that just makes me want to pick the interior designer’s brain. Architectural details like built-ins (still on my wishlist, sigh), lots of indirect lighting, or smart tricks to hide wiring and cables are the design icing on the cake to every interior, that allows the star in this scenario – the actual décor- shine properly.
True luxury, thus, to me is in these little details that create that upscale, opulent feel to homes of every size and style. I always like to take pick up new ideas and bring them back home with me to create that luxury feel in my house on a daily basis.
When I moved into my current home, I had a quite clear idea of the ‘feel’ or ‘theme’ I wanted. My ultimate goal was to create an elegant, relaxing place that would make me happy to come home every day.
I believe true luxury is in the details, so here I am, sharing my top favorite hacks to give your home an instant upgrade and not cost you an arm and a leg.
A showstopper bed
Make your bed
In every hotel, the bed is the absolute centerpiece and we like to find it impeccable and inviting. I have made a ritual of making my bed every morning, right after getting up. The feeling of walking into my bedroom after a long day with a warm, cosy, inviting bed, fluffed up pillows, crisp sheets makes my day – every single time. I might not have a housekeeper (yet) but I like my bedroom to look like I do.
Get quality sheets and bedding
I’m a huge sucker for pillows. While I love layering pillows of all shapes and sizes, I do have very limited storage space and thus like to keep it classic and timeless, so it goes with any season.
I’m a minimalist when it comes to bedsheets, preferably white and from high quality fabrics. Cotton with a higher thread-count is my material of choice, as it is so easy to maintain and -with the right duvet- is cool in summer and warm in winter.
I combine different sizes and formats but I ‘limit’ myself to 2-4 pillows (I am pillow-holic and I know it) and add a few throw pillows which I switch up according to my mood and season. A few nice pillows add instant glam and cosiness to any bedroom or living room. I like to shop my bedsheets at Zara Home and in specialized shops that offer high-quality home textiles with high thread count.
Don’t we all deserve to sleep like queens?
Also, I replaced all towels with good quality, fluffy, soft ones you would find in a spa. Old, discolored and stained bathroom textiles make the bathroom look cheap and shabby. As with my bedsheets, I prefer plain white voluminous towels, as they can be washed in higher temperatures (also more hygienic) and I don’t have to worry about discolorations.
Whether it’s candles, diffusers… there is nothing that makes me feel more at home than to be welcomed by a lovely, elegant scent. I don’t particularly like very ‘present’, dominant scents or typical air fresheners. I have yet to find an air freshener that doesn’t smell like one. If I need a quick refresh, I let in some air and then spritz a few sniffs of Jo Malone Room Spray around. Love it!
I have scented candles in every room. My all-time favourite home scent is Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia. I love their minimal, elegant design and their scents are just divine. H&M Home’s Green Tea and Bergamot is another staple scent I keep in stock in case it ever gets discontinued. High-quality room scents ideally please the nose and the eyes are the items I have no regrets splurging on.
I like to think that bringing a ‘living thing’ into your home instantly changes the energy of place. Flowers and plants bring life to any room. The nature lover in me loves decorating with flowers and greens around the house, which helps maintain a healthy climate at the same time. I shop them with the same care that I buy furniture, looking for the one that I love and know will enjoy taking good care of. Pick plants that fit your décor and are aesthetically pleasing to you.
Every house should have real plants to help clean the air and get some ‘outdoors’ indoors. But if you are one of those people who know they will kill that cactus eventually, there are so many amazing artificial plants and silk flowers to choose from. There is no shame in decorating with faux flowers, the quality is insane nowadays. In fact, faux flowers and plants are having a huge comeback. Gone are the times of the cheap, grandma touch of plastic roses and carnations. You can barely tell they are fake, and if so, they are so pretty you’ll be forgiven. Amazon or specialized (and super pretty!) faux flower shops online offer a wide array of choices. You can enjoy them all year and switch them with the seasons. Great bang for the buck.
While a bit pricier, the best of both worlds (and great gifts btw!) are real, chemically preserved flowers, e.g. in cute hatboxes. They last up to two years and add an absolutely swoon-worthy luxy look to any vanity, hallway or coffee table.
Choose the right materials
Rugs, pillows, throws – there so many ways to combine textures and materials you like with millions of options to choose from. To me, textures like velvet, silk, faux fur add instant opulence to any room. As I like to glam it up a little, pillows (surprise!) made of these materials or with details such as beads, sequins or other ornamental details are my go-to choice to create an elevated atmosphere. The variety of styles and textures is endless. Changing the pillowcases is the easiest and cheapest way to give a room a makeover or fresh it up according to season. To keep the look consistent, stick to one color family and add one accent color to jazz it up.
Window treatments are another essential element to upscale a room. Heavier materials are associated with higher price and will thus looks more expensive than thin, flimsy curtains. Heavier fabrics also fall beautifully, hereby creating a more defined frame to windows. When hung higher, window treatments give the illusion of higher ceilings. Also, consider investing in properly fitted blinds. Made-to-measure always looks more elegant… and expensive.
As to decorating with objects, I like statement pieces that stand out and catch the eye. Decorating with gold, silver, glass, crystal and similar materials gives the space instant upgrade. And don’t forget that bookshelves don’t have to be just for books. Placing decorations such as picture frames, art objects, vases, bowls and trays here and there adds a personal touch and instant glam to a shelf or table.
Being more minimalistic with interiors can have such a luxurious feel as it directs the attention to fewer design pieces. Having fewer but high-quality items gives the impression that they have been selected with utmost care and consideration. Sparingly but strategically placed furniture create a neat, calming space we see in Scandinavian and Mid-Century décor. Airy, uncluttered spaces always radiate a more high-end ambiance.
No matter how large or small your home and what your personal decorating style is… It can’t shine when there is stuff and clutter laying around everywhere.
How would it feel if to come home and not be overwhelmed by stuff you need to put away before you can sit down and relax?
Besides having a highly therapeutic effect, the simple act of cleaning always makes it feel like a brand-new room. Cleaning and decluttering is a beautiful way of honouring and being purposeful with your living space.
Kitchen counter, bathroom sink, bedroom floors – they just attract ‘stuff’. So I was looking for ways to keep these areas clutter-free and, most importantly, avoid spending hours cleaning in my precious free time.
What works best for me is ‘clean as you go’: never leaving the room empty handed and putting everything back to its place right away. It takes a lot of pressure and stress out of my day. And the great feeling of knowing my house is a relaxing space for me when I come home.
Light it up
Ever been in a restaurant for date night? You (and your significant other) might have experienced the soothing, romantic effect of candle-lit, dimmed lighting.
Lighting is one of the most essential tools to set the atmospheric tone. It influences the mood like no other, creating the right ambiance. Choosing the right lighting is essential to give the home the calming atmosphere we find in spas and hotels. Luxury hotels create warm, indirect lighting by using panels, statement chandeliers or large light dispersing lampshades.
I love statement ceiling lamps but rarely use them as main source of light. Investing in a dimmable solution is an excellent way to adjust the amount of light to create a more relaxing atmosphere. I prefer to spread different light sources across the room for a more diffused (and more flattering!) effect.
Whether framed photos, DIY artwork or that really special artist piece – wall art makes any house feel like a home… or boutique hotel. They add an instant personal touch and are a great conversation starter.
Great art pieces don’t have to be expensive. I love a combination of flee market finds, photographs and high-quality prints for a unique wall art display. Make sure the size matches the wall you’re decorating. No need to put artwork on every wall. Less is more.
It blows me away every time when I see how a well-placed mirror can transform a room. I am a huge fan of mirrors (besides pillows) as they add light and visual space to a room. Mirrors make it feel more spacious and are decorative on their own. Large mirrors and mirrored furniture are a fairly affordable way to give a more airy effect to smaller spaces. You can put them nearly everywhere and they are make a great centerpiece as well. I have more mirrors saved on my virtual wishlists that I could possibly accommodate in my house.
Mix it up
We all know that wearing one designer head to toe can look a bit tacky. When you find something you love, it is tempting to buy a whole set to have everything perfectly matched. However, good interior design is about harmonious composition. It is much more interesting to have a good blend of neutral and statement pieces than having everything matchy-matchy. I like to shop around combining items from variety of places and shops for a more personal touch. Mix colors and materials, shiny with mat, smooth with textured, neutral with vivid colours to achieve a well-balanced look.
Adding a bit of luxury doesn’t have to break the bank, but it can instantly transform the way you feel around your home.
How do you add more little luxury treats into your life?