7 Designer Tips to Make Your Apartment Feel Like a 5 Star Hotel

graduate hotel bedroom

Graduate Palo Alto

If you've ever stayed at a favorite hotel and wished you could translate its design into your own home, you're in luck. We've spoken with interior designers to gather their main tips for replicating the five-star hotel look in your apartment. Below, you'll find tips on how to revamp all areas of your space to make it shine.

Meet the Expert

  • Jess Harrell is an interior designer and the founder of The Styled Domicile. She is based in Northern Virginia.
  • Danielle Chiprut is the founder and interior designer at Danielle Rose Design Co. She is based in Rockville Centre, New York.
  • Jamie Lewis and Krissy Melendez work for Graduate Hotels/AJ Capital Partners, serving as the director of interior design and head of design, respectively.

Deck Out Your Bed

Set up your bed so that you look forward to getting some rest night after night. Jess Harrell, the founder of The Styled Domicile, suggests investing in three key pieces: luxurious bedding, plenty of pillows, and a super comfortable mattress.

These days, it's easy to order a mattress online and have it shipped to your door, but you may wish to still test out some options in person prior to making a decision. Many people keep their mattresses for five to 10 years, so it's critical to purchase one that will keep you nice and comfortable for the foreseeable future.

Install Plenty of Lighting

You shouldn't solely be relying on an overhead fixture in your hotel-like bedroom. "Hotels nail it in the bedside lighting department," says Harrell.

She suggests installing sconces on the wall, but if those aren't an option, table lamps will do the trick, too, as long as you can easily reach the switches without getting out of bed.

In other rooms of your apartment, focus on layered lighting. "The key to achieving this effect is to use a mix of different lighting sources, including overhead lights, lamps, and sconces," explains Danielle Chiprut, founder of Danielle Rose Design Co.

"Hotels have mastered this technique and often use a combination of these lighting sources for a welcoming and relaxed feel for their guests." Have fun with the light fixtures that you select. There are many artfully designed sconces and table lamps to choose from that will add major personality and charm to any room of the home.

dining area with chandeliers and sconces

Graduate Palo Alto

Cut the Clutter

Go through your apartment and fill up a donation bag with anything that is no longer serving you. While it may first feel difficult to part ways with items you've held onto over the years, remember your end goal.

"Hotels keep tabletops pretty simple and clutter-free, which is one of the reasons why it's so easy to relax there," says Harrell. "Paring down your surface decor as much as possible will give your apartment that same feel."

Thrift Decor

While a hotel-like space shouldn't feel cluttered, it shouldn't be devoid of personality either. Some of the best-executed hotels contain a mix of vintage and modern pieces.

At each of the Graduate Hotels, which are located in 31 cities across the United States—with two additional offerings in England—one-of-a-kind design elements are key. When designing a new property, the in-house design team will scout out local antique shops or markets to shop for decorative pieces.

"We use those items to create spaces that are an extension of and embody the spirit of the community," explains Jamie Lewis, director of interior design at Graduate Hotels/AJ Capital Partners.

Given that the hotels are located in college towns, many of these thrift finds pay homage to a particular university and its mascot or customs. It's easy to replicate this tactic of secondhand shopping for unique objects no matter where you reside.

"You can draw inspiration for your own space by going to a thrift store or flea market to find one-of-a-kind salvaged objects that catch your eye and make you feel something," suggests Lewis.

Special prints, lamps, furnishings, and more are all fair game. "Found objects will stand out in your space, serve as conversation starters for guests, and are fun pieces that will feel authentic to your life story," says Lewis.

graduate hotel lobby with framed art

Graduate Palo Alto

Don't Be Afraid to Go Bold

Today's hotels feature bold color schemes and patterns that will make a major impact when guests arrive. Why not take a similar approach in your own home?

"Mix and match with bold patterns and scale, embrace diverse colors, and layer different textures," says Lewis.

The guest rooms in the Graduate Palo Alto, for example, feature wallpaper and drapery in the same bright floral pattern. "While matching patterns might seem intimidating at first, don’t be afraid to be bold with your design choices and let the maximalist in you shine through," states Lewis.

bedroom with patterned curtains

Graduate Palo Alto

Decorate With Books

Bookworms, this one is for you—books are an integral part of the decor at the Graduate Hotels and are easy to style within your own home.

"Hit up your local bookstore for inspiration," suggests Krissy Melendez, head of design at Graduate Hotels/AJ Capital Partners. There are various ways to decorate with books depending on what kind of look you may be going for. You can mix and match different colors and sizes or go with similar styles to achieve a more cohesive look.

"The books don’t have to all stack vertically," notes Melendez. "A funky stack, or exposing the pages versus the bindings can achieve a more relaxed look. Plus, there’s something comforting about the nostalgic smell and feel of a good, well-loved book."

Skip Over the Trends

Hotels, including the Graduate properties, often make an effort not to fall victim to the latest design trends but instead embrace timeless designs. "Your home should be no different, so try to steer clear of chasing trends that will fade out quickly and instead choose pieces that you can see playing a role in your life long-term," says Melendez.