I need you to cast your mind back to the last time you stayed in a great hotel .
Remember that feeling when you opened the door? You dropped your bags, jumped on the plump cushions on the perfectly made bed. You peaked inside the bathroom and gave it a secret rating before popping that complimentary chocolate in your mouth and assessing (but not yet disturbing) the contents of the mini bar.
Some people tell me they’re not fussed about fancy hotels - it’s just somewhere to sleep. I don’t get that. In fact I’d go as far as to say as those people don’t look after other people as much as I do. Because if they did, they would totally appreciate the absolute bliss of feeling like someone is looking after them.
If you’re with me on this one, you probably do this at home too. You light candles when you’re expecting guests. You make sure there are clean sheets on the spare bed, fresh towels in the bathroom. You might even splash out on an extra bunch of Tesco’s finest flowers to make the place feel special for your visitors. Well listen up, Buttercup. Why don’t YOU deserve the five star service? Hmmm? … Newsflash - YOU DO.
Part of my brief for our master bedroom renovation was to give it that hotel wow factor. I worked out that, essentially, that meant less clutter, well considered lighting, statement art …but most of all, a bed that feels luxurious and makes us feel looked after.
Getting deep into sleep
Now I have been planning this blog post for a while now. I am completely, 100% passionate about the need to give your home that five star factor and become a sanctuary in which you can escape. Otherwise, isn’t interior design just about making it look pretty? I’m sure there’s more to it than that.
Life is stressful (well ours is anyway) and it’s important that when you come home you feel relaxed and re-energised. I’ve read a lot about this in books about Self Care too. My favourite being Self Care for the Real World, in which writers Nadia Narain and Katia Narain Phillips encourage us to try and find the budget for a few things in the home that give you that looked after feeling. These are things you can treat yourself to occasionally (flowers, candles) or things you should invest in over time.
So here’s how I tackled the bed situation, hoping that if i got that bit right, then the chances are, we’d start our busy day on the right foot and end it in a good way too.
Obviously a decent bed is crucial to this. We bought our Darcy bed from Loaf a few years’ ago and invested in a great mattress at the same time. Loaf don’t offer a zillion choices of mattress. They offer five really bloody good ones that make it easy for you to decide which to buy.
Made in Britain, because we’re the best at it apparently, all Loaf mattresses are pocket sprung and made of natural fibres, rather than smelly, man made memory foam. Check out the different varieties on offer here: www.loaf.com
Ours has been a gradual room upgrade and after complaining of being both too hot and too cold in recent months, I decided this year I would splash out on a wool duvet. Now if you’re after a big, squidgy duvet that weighs equivalent to a small car, then wool is not for you. It’s thin and it sits flat on the bed to the point that you could possibly iron on it. But the thing about wool is that it keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer. And if you don’t believe me, ask the sheep.
Dress to Impress
Dressing my bed has become a bit of an obsession. I purposely went for a neutral colour scheme on the walls so that I could play about with a riot of colours in the room. In summer I was all about the bright blue florals but now the nights have drawn in and we rarely see the room in daylight, I’ve heaped on the jewel tones.
House Babylon knows all about the importance of bringing that hotel feeling home. Its 100% Egyptian cotton bed sets are available in 300 or 600 thread count (the number of threads per square inch of fabric in case you are interested). There are only two designs to choose from because - well you don’t find patterned duvets in hotels, do you? The Classic and Excellence collections both feature a classic cotton stripe and the super luxe Cairo collection is your five star plain white option featuring swanky contrast edging.
House Babylon kindly gifted my my choice of bedding and - like the hot night porter delivering that nifty little toothpaste set that you forgot to pack - it was a total treat when it dropped on my doorstep.
Mini break in a box - Give the gift that keeps on giving
At £85 for a full set, including fitted sheet, duvet cover and two pillow cases, the House Babylon Classic Collection is affordable luxury at its very best. If you saw my Instagram stories on the day of delivery, you will know House Babylon bedding arrives in squeal inducing, ribbon tied packaging. It therefore makes a gorgeous gift for a special someone, but what about this for a bespoke and romantic Christmas gift… take advantage of House Babylon’s super-luxe in-house monogramming service and add Santa’s sexiest stocking ever including:
1) Gorgeous underwear
2) Eye mask
3) A box of Hotel Chocolat
5) A ticket to see Kylie Minogue in Scarborough (just me?)
The Jewels in the crown
So here’s my new bedroom all un-wrapped and ready for … er … well just for an average wet Wednesday actually.
I mean, why wait for the weekend for a hotel stay when you can check in whenever the hell you like? Yeah there’ll be a wake-up call and I’m afraid breakfast is self service, but just for a minute, when I open my eyes in the morning, after a deep and restful sleep, I can pull those luxury cotton sheets tight around me and feel just a a little bit more VIP.
Happy mini break at home everyone. Room service is on me.