Advice

How to choose the best furniture and soft furnishings for your hotel

Whether you are decorating your hotel for the first time, redecorating your hotel, or adding a few additional touches, it can be hard to decide on which furniture and soft furnishings will look best. With a plethora of choice, it’s important that nothing looks out of place and that each piece of furniture complements the designs and the furnishings of the rest of the hotel.

The aim of the successful boutique hotel is to give its guests that ‘home away from home’ feeling, allowing them to leave feeling better than when they arrived. Many guests see boutique hotels as an aspirational view to how they want their own homes to look, and providing the right furniture and soft furnishings can encourage your guests to come back wanting more.

Furniture and soft furnishings

When a guest stays in a hotel, they will expect a certain amount of furniture to make them feel at ease, and at the same time it is important to offer them a variety of spaces to do different things. It is not just about sleeping arrangements; sometimes guests may just want to sit on a chair and read a book. Boutique hotel guests will include both leisure and business travellers and making sure you have the right mix of comfort, leisure and professional furniture throughout your hotel is essential.

Many guests love to have plenty of cushions and pillows around the room so do not be sparing on these products; a set of good quality curtains will make the room look nice, and at the same time will block out any light, giving guests a good night’s sleep.

A place to sleep

A hotel is, first and foremost, a place to sleep, a critical point to remember before getting caught up in what size TV to offer your guests. Not only is the bed an important product for the comfort of your guest, but it will also affect the whole look and layout of the bedrooms. There is a vast array of different designs that hoteliers can choose from. If you are running a Grade-II listed building and want that classical look to your hotel then an antique-style bed may suit you, whereas anyone running a high-tech contemporary hotel may want something a little more chic.

A warm reception

Introducing a fireplace into your hotel reception, bedrooms and bar areas can add an extra layer of comfort to your hotel and help create that warm, ‘homely’ feeling. The fireplace is, in a sense, an additional piece of furniture that can set a boutique hotel apart from a regular hotel. A real fireplace can be an excessively priced addition, but an electric fireplace can be a good substitute. It does not require any large renovations like re-commissioning a real fireplace, and unlike a real fireplace, an electric version will cut out any threat of a fire emergency.

Chris Stammers, marketing director at Dimplex, which has recently installed its Opti-myst electric fires in luxury hotel Cedar Court Grand Hotel & Spa in York, says: “Together with audio footage of crackling logs, the award-winning effect offers a year-round solution for hotel reception areas and bars, providing all the atmosphere and ambience of a real fire without unwanted heat – and all at the running cost of a light bulb.” Stammers adds that electric fireplaces are a “safe and attractive option for hotels” as they do not need flues, chimneys, servicing and are fume-free. At a starting point of around £350, they are are an affordable choice.

A hint of colour

Last but not least, these products will help to add colour to your hotel. The classic boutique feel is of each room possessing either different characters, or a character that represents the hotel, and the most effective way to do this is through the medium of colour. Eddie Coleman, director at JU Furniture says: “Redesigning a room is not just about the furniture but also colours and textiles. Our furniture is available in 10 colour finishes ranging from the traditional shades of brown to the more modern antique white and antique ebony. And if you want to go that step further we also offer a selection of designer finishes, incorporating gold, silver or bronze with or without distressing.”

Colour in hotel bedrooms can be used to create different atmospheres. For example, colours such as red, orange and yellow can help you to create a warm atmosphere, whereas cooler colours, like blue and green, can help you to create to create a more funky and characteristic room. Whichever direction you decide to head, your choice of different furniture colours will play a huge role in the overall feel of your hotel. Larger colorful furniture, for example beds and chairs, will set the overall theme of how you want that particular room to feel, while colorful soft furnishings such as pillow and cushions can really help you to subtly achieve your desired atmosphere.

Mark Chambers, managing director of the Eden Hotel Collection, says: “It’s critical that hoteliers engage with an interior designer as they can deliver your vision, whilst innovating at the same time. The interior designer will still need the grounded view of the hotelier as things have to be practical, especially in hotels where there is a lot of footfall. For example, for furniture that is going to be moved frequently, perhaps in the context of turning a room around for weddings, the chairs will need to stack, be light enough for staff to pick up but sturdy enough to last.”

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