Summer's over and that means for most of us, vacations are officially on the back burner. If you long for a way to bring a bit of hotel comfort to your otherwise boring bedroom, here are five tips to do just that.
Blanche Garcia, interior designer of the television show Hotel Impossible – came to my home to make over my bed. Lucky me.
Here are the five simple steps for turning your ho-hum at-home bed into one worthy of a five-star hotel.
Keep it (Mostly) White Every bedding store sells beautiful, colorful bedding. And while that's fine, if you truly want your bed to resemble that of a hotel, you need to keep it white. Think about it: Every fancy hotel you've been to has more likely than not had all, or mostly, white bedding. The good news is that by using white bedding, you may not need to buy anything new, at least when it comes to pillowcases and sheets. I had enough white sheets and duvet covers to re-do my bed hotel style. Hotels typically use a sheet – not a blanket or duvet – as the top layer of bedding.
But, if you want to a pop of color or a personal touch, add a coverlet to the bottom of the bed or a few colorful pillows.
Layer it Like a "Bed Sandwich" First comes the bottom, fitted sheet. Next, the top sheet. If you'll be using another top sheet as the top layer, leave some extra at the top of this sheet to fold over the layer that comes in between. That's the down comforter. This, Blanche said, is worth buying if you don't have one; it gives your bed a fluffy quality. Now, you can use a duvet cover or another top sheet as the top layer.
Bonus: If you already have a featherbed, add it as the bottom layer. If not, consider buying one, they come in a range of prices. I happened to have one and it puffs up the bed even more.
So my bed ended up with a featherbed, a fitted sheet, a top sheet, a down comforter, a second top sheet and a coverlet at the bottom for that pop of color.
Pillow Protectors and Pillows That Stand Proud Inexpensive and durable, pillow protectors should go on every one of yours. They not only extend the life of your pillow by protecting it from the oils on our heads that can stain over time, but they give pillows a smooth look under your pillowcases.
I needed a few more pillows for my bed makeover: Ones that would "stand proud," Garcia said. I purchased three additional queen pillows and decorative cases and one smaller pillow with the same case. Pillows you put your head on should lay flat, Garcia said, and all decorative pillows should stand up. I ended up with eight pillows total on my bed, but it made all the difference.
Tuck, Tuck, Tuck Take a look at the bed the next time you check into a hotel. Not only are the corners of the bed garments tucked in, but so is everything else, right down to the edges of the pillow cases. No loose ends translates to a tailored, polished look so common at luxury hotels.
Iron I admit, this was by far my least favorite tip. I hate to iron. Hate. So Garcia agreed it was O.K. if I did it only when I was having guests. And that I only had to iron the top layer of bedding. She told me to iron it on the bed instead of struggling with a big top sheet or duvet on an ironing board, and that definitely made it easier. And use starch. It makes the bed look that much more crisp.
(Editor's note: A version of this article originally appeared in 2013.)