There’s something just so alluring about a luxury hotel – there’s a reason why travelling the world in luxury is top of most people’s ‘to do’ list when the lottery numbers finally fall in to place. And yet, when you think about it what really is the difference between one of the top 5 star hotels in London, New York or Dubai and a mid-market or even budget brand?Both will usually be clean. Both will have a bed, a bathroom, a closet, a kettle… you get the idea.
And yet often the 5 star version will cost five to ten times as much as the budget equivalent – often for a similar size room. How on earth do they get away with it?
Service and location are a big factor of course but when guests are asked what they like about a good hotel, it’s usually the little things that really stand out – yes the immaculate doorman welcoming you is nice, the amazing restaurant is great, but it’s the softness of the carpet on bare feet or the flattering lighting in the bathroom that people will remember. We love the small differences – it’s why we all steal the little bottles of shampoo right?
Bringing some of the tricks of the trade home with you can go further than just bottles of illicit toiletries – a home can be made to feel cosier, more welcoming, more relaxing, more, well 5 star with a few simple tweaks. Not only will they make home life even more enjoyable, it will also wow your guests and even make the property more valuable!
We asked all round property expert Jonathan Rolande how he thinks homes can be given the wow factor without breaking the bank. Here are his top tips!
- Texture. To make a room feel luxurious, decadent even but also relaxing, think carefully about textures. Maybe reflect the area your home is in – country homes can have darker wood, leather chairs or even metals. A seaside home needs a plainer palette, crisp white sheets and cotton throws. Mix it up. Get a niche boutique look with some crazy wallpaper or unusual sculptures.
- Colours. Even when you have a plain look, you’ll need some bold colour, but it mustn’t clash. Not easy. A cheaper solution than redecorating the whole room is to use bright cushions, pillows or a throw – if you don’t like the look you haven’t broken the bank.
- Lighting. We all look better in a good hotel mirror. It’s because the lighting is carefully considered, muted and usually not overhead. Wall lights, lamps and lit mirrors will give your home (and your ego) a boost.
- Ever wondered why hotel foyers smell so good? No, it’s not the money you can smell – most have scented candles or essential oil diffusers to stimulate the feel good receptors in your brain. An essential oil diffuser at home will help you get that feeling too.
- Clear clutter. We all have so much stuff now, much of it essential, much of it not. Clear the decks, store anything you haven’t used in a year or more. It’s fine to display things that mean a lot to you, but break up any collections of ornaments with books and other items to create an eclectic look.
- Flowers. Fresh flowers bring a home to life. Use vases but also other receptacles like quaint jam jars, old jugs anything is possible. Don’t go for big and expensive bouquets, a few flowers amongst greenery picked from the garden will work just as well.
- Art. What’s on the wall is super important. It’s at eye level and creates an immediate impression of the home. Big, oversized art is popular and surprisingly, can make small rooms appear larger. Be brave when you’re buying (but keep the receipt just in case).
Jonathan Rolande has 57 more tips for home improvement that adds value in every way to a home in his full quick house sale guide.