They say there’s no place like home, but sometimes there’s nothing like the cool embrace of a luxurious hotel room. An expensive hotel bed, with its dazzling array of pillows and precisely-tucked sheets, is always going to make your own bed feel like shit — no matter how soundly you sleep in your Netflix binge sweet spot.
Unless, of course, you’re willing to invest a bit of money (not necessarily a ton of cash — though that’ll help, too) and thinking time into designing your room using the luxury-enhancing tips and tricks common across the hotel industry.
If you haven’t the first idea of where to start, other than perhaps the vague idea that more pillows equals more comfort, then you’re in luck. We recently sat down with Saar Zafrir, an Amsterdam-based designer whose portfolio contains luxury spaces across Europe — including the new Provocateur Berlin hotel.
We asked Saar how he does his job, what his own bedroom looks like, and what we can do to make our bedrooms feel more luxurious.
How did you get into designing luxury hotels?
My first interior project was the design of my own apartment in Tel Aviv and later a few apartments throughout the city.
My first step in designing luxury hotels was in Amsterdam, where I worked with the owner of The Poet Hotel to devise the interior designer. The hotel was re-branded last year as a Max Brown Hotel property, where I became the lead designer of the group’s rooms and public spaces. Since then I’ve designed spaces across Europe, most recently the just launched Provocateur Berlin.
What’s it like working in the industry?
It’s incredibly thrilling to work on the design and concepts of new hospitality projects. No two projects are alike and each presents a new challenge and story. The first Max Brown hotel in the Canal District of Amsterdam was a challenge to create an affordable hotel that still maximized space, comfort and luxury. Designing the grandiose, marble-adorned pool at the Brown Beach House in Croatia was a dream come true; and with the Provocateur Berlin hotel I was able to create the city’s first sensual design hotel, complete with a champagne garden.
What does the process of designing hotel rooms look like?
The process for designing a hotel incorporates various elements from the macro to the micro. The initial story for the design of a hotel comes from the location. The country, city and neighborhood dictates the direction of the concept. I study the area and find out what’s missing from the location. It’s very important for me to connect the hotel to the culture of the area.
Next, it is important to create the guest profile of who will be staying at each property. Are they vacationers, business travelers or couples? What age group do they belong to? The next aspect is that of the building’s structure, the elevator infrastructure and the layout of the public and private spaces. Once the research is complete and all the information has been collected and mapped-out, I start to build the story of the hotel and fit that into the design, color and material choice that best expresses the concept.
What secret tips have you learned so far?
The small details make all the difference when it comes to my approach to design and aesthetics. A space will never be complete without paying attention to the details — details that guests might not realize, but have a subconscious impact on the experience. Without them, it will always feel as if something is missing. From an inspiring book on the table, to the bed runner, decor or pillows, the details make all the difference. If you work your hardest, you shouldn’t be afraid to take risks.
What does your own bedroom look like?
My bedroom at home looks like a contemporary hotel suite. I took down all the dividing walls in my apartment to create an inviting loft space. My room has a green leather bed and a stand alone bathtub.
How can people reading this make their own bedrooms feel more luxurious?
Well, there’s a few practical tips. A bed should be fitted with four sleeping pillows, decorative pillows and a luxurious bed runner. To create the best feeling in bed use Egyptian cotton with a 400-thread count or higher. All the light fixtures should be modified with a dimmer, and boast warm light schemes (+2700 kelvin). A night stand needs to have a lamp, small pots and a coffee table book. Other pieces of furniture in the bedroom must also speak the same language in terms of fabric and colors. It’s also important to have picture frames as well to bring your personality into the design.
Next up, here’s how a Super Bowl champion starts his day.
- Main & Featured Image: Assaf Pinchuk