10 Budget-Friendly Ways to Make the Master Bedroom Feel Like a Hotel

  • Apr 25, 2023

So you want to create a master bedroom that feels like that luxurious hotel you stayed over in your last holiday. But alas, most of your renovation budget was allocated to that kitchen island you die die also must have. Whatever moolah you have left is paltry, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to settle for less. The five-star hotel bedroom? Still attainable!

Here’s how:

1. Go with a light-hued neutral colour scheme

Design: The Interior Lab

You can’t really offend anybody with a light, neutral palette, which is why most hotels tend to adopt this colour scheme. Plus they tend to be more enduring style-wise. Consider an all-white scheme à la the very Instagrammable Lloyd's Inn if you have lots of natural light in the bedroom. Light shades are also easier to maintain in the long run, and they are easier to paint requiring fewer coats so you can even DIY if you are really on a budget.

2. Incorporate some form of seating

Design: Ovon Design

Notice how hotel rooms tend to have some form of a seating area? Not only will this add a lifestyle element to your bedroom, but it also gives you an area for reading or relaxing. You don't have to spend a ton on the space; it could just be in the form of a small armchair by the side (great way to add a pop of colour amidst the neutrals!) or even adding cushions to a bay window area, which you may have (this is a common feature in older condos in Singapore).

If your bedroom is tight on space, you may want to think about adding a bench at the foot of the bed or consider going with a small dressing table with a vanity chair, which will let your seating serve a dual purpose.

Design: ROOOT Studio

3. Two of everything

Design: Lemonfridge Studio

Hotel rooms tend to rely on symmetry as it's predictable and most comfortable to the eye (non-offensive, remember?). It’s the surest way to achieve that hotel look you are after in the master bedroom. So go for matching nightstands and light fixtures on both sides of the bed—save on shipping, save on decision-making. There’s no need to splurge on pricey designer furnishings either since having two of each immediately gets you that high-end look, so Taobao away!

4. Switch out the hardware

Design: BuildBuilt

If your furniture budget only lets you shop from Ikea, don’t fret. It can still look bougie if you swap out the hardware. Instead of sticking with conventional chrome or black knobs and handles on your storage pieces, swap them out for brass or gold for that old-world charm. The dresser in the above image is from Ikea’s HEMNES series, which comes with originally black handles that were replaced with gold ones, coordinating with the metallic detailing of the mirror. Small detail change, but big difference, eh?

5. Get a runner instead of a full area rug

Design: Third Paragraph Interior

A lot of hotels tend to decorate with area rugs or carpeting as not only does this reduce foot traffic noise and absorb ambient sounds, but the soft underfoot also boosts comfort. For those on a budget, there isn’t a need to splurge on a full area rug, which can be expensive and more difficult to maintain. Opt for a runner rug, which will work just as well for adding a layer of cosiness. In terms of placement, you can position it horizontally in front of the bed or vertically along the side of the bed.

6. Throw in a throw

Design: Fineline Design

Luxurious hotels often use clean, crisp sheets and have layers of bedding that make you feel like royalty. But if your budget is tight, going for six layers of Egyptian cotton bedding may be out of reach. Instead, get a throw and line it across your standard bedsheets.

Don’t go for ones that are too thin or too small though as they won’t look as luxe as ones that are thicker. Larger ones will also allow you to tuck them into the sheets, a neater way to emulate the hotel vibe nicely. Otherwise, drape it naturally by the side or position it nearer to the foot of the bed to cheat the eye into thinking you have a larger throw.

7. Install your curtains at full height

Design: Ascend Design

How you hang your curtains can make all the difference between a five-star hotel and a budget one. As a general rule, go for full-length curtains that will help to elongate the room and hang them so that they are just skirting the floor.

You don’t want too much excess cloth that will drag down the vibe of the bedroom and you don’t want a curtain that looks too short since that will make your ceiling height appear shorter. If you aren’t going for a false ceiling (because budget), we would recommend getting a curtain pelmet to hide the top of your curtain and any visually unappealing rods.

8. Add warm, concealed lighting

Design: Arkhilite

layered lighting plan is key to any well-planned space, so you will want to make sure you have the necessary ambient light to provide general lighting to the bedroom, task light to provide illumination to carry out specific tasks in the bedroom such as reading or getting dressed, and accent light that will add to the mood of the space. 

Concealed, indirect lights with LED strips are our affordable go-to for recreating that hotel look in the master bedroom as they offer a soft and even diffused glow that feels more relaxing and more high-end. The strips can be bought for cheap and if you get rechargeable or battery-operated ones, you won’t even need to spend on extra wiring. Conceal them behind the headboard, under the bed frame, or behind the vanity mirror. For a cosier vibe, go for warm white bulbs with a colour temperature of 2700K.

9. Use art (prints) as a focal point

Design: Homu Homu

Rather than spend on expensive wallpaper or a statement bed, use art to serve as an instant focal in the bedroom. The ideal width size for art hung above the bed should be between 60 percent to 80 percent of the width of your furniture. If that’s difficult to achieve with a single piece of art, consider placing two similar prints side by side. Going beyond two can look cluttered and reads backpackers hostel rather than hotel.

Don’t hang them too high—we recommend leaving around a 15 cm gap (or the length of a palm) between the top of your bed frame and the piece of art but do take into account other architectural ceiling features in the room such as cornices to determine how high you should hang your frames. It's

One of the best things about art is that you don't have to break the bank to get it—prints and simple frames are really budget-friendly. It's important to make sure they fit in with the overall vibe and aesthetic of the room though. When choosing a frame colour, try to match it to the wood tone that's already in the space. For example, if your dresser is made of walnut, it'll look much more cohesive if you opt for a walnut frame too.

10. Rethink bathroom details

Design: The Interior Lab

Your standard en-suite bathroom just isn’t going to cut it if you are hoping to turn your master bedroom into a hotel. Rather than do an entire overhaul (because budget, again), affordable ways to create a more hotel feel in the en-suite bathroom is to do simple switches: swap out conventional chrome fixtures for more unique finishes like brass, bronze or gold, a standard shower head for a rain shower head, and off-the-rack shampoo racks for built-in shower niches.

Additionally, don't forget about the decor. Including candles, soft towels, high-quality toiletries, and greenery can really enhance the overall ambience.

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