Is your interior design and decorating up to scratch for your guests?

3 min read

Strengthen your brand by extending it through your interior spaces with quality design, decorating and fixtures. If there’s a disconnect between the two, it can leave your guests feeling confused or disappointed.

Imagine selling yourself as a beautiful and stylish destination online only for guests to discover your accommodation business is in fact weathered, and in dire need of a makeover.

With a clearly defined brief (based on your hotel brand strategy), an interior designer or stylist will have the opportunity to create interiors that are on point and deliver an exceptional experience for your guests. We've seen many accommodation businesses fall short simply because they haven't allowed their brand to flow through into their interior spaces.

We asked Louise Walsh, principal at Louise Walsh Interior Design and Decoration, for the top three tips she’d give an accommodation business when they’re developing the interior design plan for their business. Here’s her advice:

1. Establish your brand and target clientele. Are you a romantic haven, funky backpackers, or set up for family holidays? It’s important to establish a look and feel and a colour palette which reflects your brand. If you’re trying to entice honeymooners, then a gentle and calm aesthetic would be required. For young travellers, perhaps bursts of colours and lower budget furniture is appropriate. For something family friendly, you might consider incorporating a communal games room, parents’ retreat and robust furniture and furnishings to withstand the general wear and tear.

2. Keep it simple. Start with a plan to ensure the space is not overcrowded and has at least one key ‘wow’ factor or point of focus. Use bold and mixed furniture which is proportional to the room and gives your guests different zones to relax in (bedroom, desk or sitting area). It’s important to work with restraint to ensure you don’t clutter the space, resulting in a confused interior. Equally important is that you layer certain areas appropriately to give interest and warmth – for example, flowers on a writing desk, unique wall lights for the bedroom etc. Headboards, art and transitional rugs are a good way to mark out different zones so long as the size is right. Prints, photography, hats, baskets and other quirky décor items can be used instead of mass produced art for a unique interior.

3. Be practical. It’s nice to splash out in areas such as the reception, common areas and bathrooms with a feature tile or joinery piece that’s uniquely yours and relatively robust. When it comes to soft furnishings however, consider the daily wear and tear on these items, how they will launder and their longevity, as this will inform the amount you invest in them. Factoring replacements into your initial budget will help you select items which are right for you and ensure you’re unaffected by goods being discontinued. If your budget is tight but you want to make a big impact, be bold with your wall colours and/ or feature pieces which won’t damage or date easily, and pare back the soft furnishings to suit.

Your guests are savvier than ever when it comes to great interior design and architecture. Social media has endless ideas and inspiration. Expectations are high but if you get it right it will be to your advantage – guests will share positive reviews, photos and other posts about the amazing experience you have created. This is another great way to encourage your guests to sing your praises, build brand advocacy and promote your business for free.