Cane Furniture Makes a Comeback

There is nothing better than a beautifully built, hand-made, piece of Cane furniture. For a while, the material had a bad reputation of being cheap and people wouldn’t buy it because the style looked too raw. Luckily, raw and earthy is back. Oh, and the whole environmentally friendly thing people are all raging about, Cane aids in that effort.

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What is Cane?

Cane comes from the Rattan tree native to Southeast Asia, essentially a tropical palm tree. It is produced simply by peeling off the skin of the rattan vine. Once that is done, is it wrapped around hardwood, aluminum, or metal frames to create the furniture we are all accustomed to seeing. Unlike the furniture made with Rattan, cane is usually kept in its naturally rounded state. There is no need to stain or paint Cane, which brings the cost down even more.

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Why Cane?

Here is the main question, why are hotels and interior designers coming back to Cane? We wish we could tell you one specific reason, but fortunately, there are tons of reasons why Cane is making its comeback.

 

The first reason is that Cane is made from one of the strongest woods available, Rattan. This means it should be pretty durable, right? It tends to be even stronger that Rattan and that is why it is used for binding. When you see Cane furniture, look out for the wrapping around the legs and joints of the pieces.

 

Another reason is Cane is less porous than the majority of uncured woods. This means that items made out of Cane will be not only water resistant, but much easier to keep clean and dry.

 

There are a few more good qualities of Cane. Furniture made of Cane is impressively light weight, which makes it ideal for moving around, even in the outdoors. It is also less expensive than pieces made of solid hardwood. There’s nothing like getting a water-proof, light weight, sturdy and budget-friendly piece of furniture.

 

Last, but not least, Cane is environmentally friendly. How? Well, simply because it is produced by the Rattan plant. The fast growth rate of Rattan makes it highly renewable. Sustainable and renewable energy is a big deal to the hospitality industry among other industries, so why not invest in furniture that checks off all of these boxes?

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Cane Through time

There are so many styles and areas around the world that can’t be mentioned without acknowledging Cane. It brings tropical yet classic vibes, so Brazilian design uses it a lot, not to mention it is a great (and lighter) substitute for upholstery. While it was once used strictly to bound and wrap, designers are now incorporating into other parts of furniture, for example, replacing table tops or night stand tops with the material instead of using solid wood. It appears to be an extremely delicate, but Cane is pleasantly durable. Keep in mind that designing and creating cane furniture does take time, but it’s definitely worth the wait.

Best Indoor Plants for Hotels

Now that eclectic style with plants is becoming popular, hotels are including fun and interesting plant decor throughout the lobbies, dining areas, and guest rooms. Fortunately, there are plenty of plants that are able to live well indoors and require low maintenance. Here are a few that caught our eyes.

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Cacti and Succulents

Of course these plants are number one on the list. It’s apparent that the cactus and succulent phenomena continues to take over whether it’s a real plant or just incorporated into the design pieces. These plants are available is all different shapes, sizes, and species. The only thing that can be an issue for these is sunlight. If there is not enough, they will wither. Also, because they are a desert plant, they don’t require much water, so over watering can easily diminish the life expectancy.

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Lucky Bamboo

Just a precursor, Lucky Bamboo is not actually bamboo. The stalks resemble the canes of a bamboo plant, but the real name is Dracaena Sanderiana or Braunii to be exact. This plant has been a part of Chinese culture for thousands of years, but has only recently become popular over the past decade or two. Luckily (pun intended) the dracaena can be found in many parts of the world. Lucky Bamboo thrives great in bright light, but can also live in low light (but won’t grow). Plus, you don’t have to water it very often or even change the water.

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Spider Plant

The spider plant is one of the easiest plants to grow indoors. Typically it is displayed in a hanging planter or basket, but depending on the size, they can be floor plants as well. The name is fitting due to the long hanging leaves that sprout. Like most plants, the spider plant needs a bit of sunlight, but not too much and same goes with water. Very low maintenance, which is perfect for an indoor plant.

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Snake Plant

Yet another appropriately named plant—the snake plant has leaves that can grow fairly tall. The dark green leaves have bright yellow-green on the outside and tend to grow straight up. Because the leaf itself is wide and sturdy, they don’t end up leaning too much or drooping. If that happens, it is a sign that the plant is dying. Snake plants are very attractive to the eye and a couple together make a natural partnership.

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ZZ Plant

The ZZ plant is yet another one of the most low-maintenance plants you can find. They come in all sizes and typically will stay the size that the pot allows. The photo above is a very small ZZ plant, but these can be floor plants if you can find a radius big enough to let them blossom. It adds in a tropical feel to your space, not to mention some of the plants even produce flowers. It sounds like a win-win to us.

 

These are just a few options that hotels are using, but there are so many more indoor plants that can work better with different climates, environments, etc. Make sure to do your research on what each plant needs when it comes to water, soil, and sun. Now go explore that green thumb.

5 Trends That Will Define the Rest of 2019

Although we are well into 2019, we thought it would be helpful to fill you in on what to expect for the rest of the year. These 5 trends will and have already made a name for themselves this year and hopefully they will be around for a long time.

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Wall Art

Wall art has taken a whole new meaning. With the mural scene becoming more and more popular in urban culture and major cities, people are bringing that style into the hotel industry. Boutique hotels are incorporating wall art to depict the culture of the city and people are loving it. Imagine the culture and lifestyles of Boulder, Colorado. When you think about Boulder, you think about mountains, hiking, and maybe Google since they have a new location there. Now imagine walking in the guestroom and seeing a beautifully painted mountainous mural on one of the walls. Not only is it thoughtful and unique, it’s the perfect opportunity for local artists to participate and be a part of the community-- not to mention it is extremely Instagramable.

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Desert Inspiration

There is something mystical about desert decor. Southwest-inspired designs are popping up left and right throughout the hotel design industry. Cactus plants and succulents make a space more interesting. These decorative plants seem to pull us in as soon as we spot them and seeing a huge cactus in real life at a hotel is pretty mesmerizing. If burnt orange and turquoise colors along with triangle geometric patterns do it for you, then you’re going to love this style.

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Jungles, Safaris, and More

In 2018 mythical creatures were all the rage. It’s about time for us to start keeping it real. 2019 has brought out the realism in the animal kingdom. Fantasy figures and inspiration will always have a market, but the more high-end hotels and luxury design tends to point more towards real animal inspiration opposed to fairies and mermaids. Tigers and flamingos are among the most popular searches on the internet in regards to animal searches. We don’t know about flamingo chairs, but using a nice leather and antler combo will sell the animal vibe without a doubt.

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Jungles, Safaris, and More

In 2018 mythical creatures were all the rage. It’s about time for us to start keeping it real. 2019 has brought out the realism in the animal kingdom. Fantasy figures and inspiration will always have a market, but the more high-end hotels and luxury design tends to point more towards real animal inspiration opposed to fairies and mermaids. Tigers and flamingos are among the most popular searches on the internet in regards to animal searches. We don’t know about flamingo chairs, but using a nice leather and antler combo will sell the animal vibe without a doubt.

 

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Crystal Life

The search for crystal decor has increased more in the last year than it has for a while. That’s probably why we went with the trend, not to mention it’s popping up everywhere. You might not even realize it sometimes, but from candle holders to kitchenware, you can find some serious crystal eye-candy to check out.

Standout Features of Stylish & Modern Hotel Guest Rooms

It is becoming more difficult to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to hotel room design and features. With that being said, the high-end hotels are doing a great job at keeping the guest room features stylish and modern. There are a few standout features that you should expect to see in these guest rooms.

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Headboards + Tech

Headboards are a wonderful way to make a bed stand out in a room. The newest and not to mention the most efficient trend seems to be the combination of the night stand, table lamp, outlet, and the headboard all in one. It saves space and looks pretty trendy as well. Organizing all the wiring and the electronic set-up around and at the back of the bed is very important. We do not want to see clutter, and most of all, we want this area of the room to be very convenient. Having the outlet built into the headboard is also incredibly genius. We all know how it is to have to look for a plug behind the nightstand, so this is a great solution.

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Tubs

The newest, chic trend is the addition of the stand-alone bathtub. Not all hotels can incorporate this look, but it is becoming all the rage right now. There has always been the shower/tub combo, but more people are looking for that Instagramable photo opportunity. It is also a sign of luxury to have a separate bathtub and shower. Although most people will not use it, it’s still really cool to see. The high-end hotels are even putting in claw-foot tubs to add an even more stylish look. Have you seen those tubs with legs that look like they have claws as feet?  It’s an older style, but everything always comes back in style, right?

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Mirrors

It is custom to have a long mirror and a vanity mirror in the guest room. Some ways that high-end hotels use to stand out more is utilizing mirrors as decor. One good thing about this is that mirrors can make a space seem bigger than it actually is. Mirrors give rooms more dimension, as long as they’re not being overused. There is such thing as over use, so be careful not to get carried away with the number of mirrors. Look out for some awesome Victorian framed mirrors or the sleek and modern shaped items. 

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Bluetooth

Connection is everything. More hotels are considering all of the technological options that can be replaced by the smart phone. Some of these features that can be moved over to Bluetooth action are unlocking the room door, turning the lights on and off, connecting to the radio, and more. It only makes sense to try and stand out in this area of hotel guest room features. There’s nothing like having superior convenience, especially in a world where everyone is searching for that instant gratification.

Custom Upholstery: Guest Room Design Must-Haves

Guest rooms are a delicate place. When it comes to seating, relying solely on the bed as the only option is irresponsible. Good thing, there are many options for seating and they all have the ability to be aesthetically pleasing as well.

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A Cozy Chair

The most commonly used seating option is the chair. It only makes sense to have a chair, especially if there is a desk in the room. Even if there isn’t, the chair should not only be trendy, it should be on brand with the hotel as well as comfortable. Yes, comfort is the one thing people recall about the most. No matter how cool the chair looks, if it is uncomfortable, people will always remember that fact. Either way, if the chair is comfortable, matches a brand or theme, and looks trendy, the guests will be trying to find out how to get one of their own. Microfiber and/or cotton blend upholstery are the best options to choose from when picking the perfect chair for the guest room. 

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Plush Benches

The word that comes to mind when thinking about benches in the guest room is “classy”. Walking into a room and seeing a beautiful plush bench at the end of the bed always emits an expensive and high-end vibe. If storage in the room is an issue, a bench that is also a storage bin is always a good addition. Multi-use objects can help consolidate items in a room and may even provide more free space to add in accents for the room. Saving space is all the rage right now with hotel guest rooms. Again, one cannot go wrong with the choice of microfiber. A different option would be a good quality vinyl. Unlike leather, vinyl is easy to clean and easy to repair.

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A Comfy Couch

Oh, the couch. We recommend having a comfortable and stylish couch in the guest room, only if there is enough space in the room. If the room is not big enough, think about a cute love seat. Sometimes a simple love seat is the perfect addition to the space and can even make the room appear bigger. Two materials that we suggest using for your guest room couch are wool and microfiber.

 

Wool, a durable and easy-to-take-care-of fabric, can also be very trendy.  It is extremely easy to clean and sturdy, though it is not stain resistant. Wool is a widely chosen fabric for places that may have children that will be using the piece of furniture because of its durability. Plus, it is much less likely to have pilling occur.

 

Microfiber is going to be the most cost effective option of the two, not to mention it is also extremely soft and quite popular in today’s design trends. One reason they are so popular is because they are stain resistant. Besides that, they are durable, easy to clean, does not collect dust, cheaper than leather, and super comfy.

Sustainable Design

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Sustainable design is becoming more and more sought after. The reason for this is the desire to reduce the carbon footprint and the negative impacts on the environment. Utilizing sustainable design also improves building performance by reducing negative impacts on the health and comfort of building occupants. Using renewable and sustainable resources dramatically minimizes waste, providing healthier and productive environments.

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Lighting

Sustainable lighting is lighting designed with energy efficient light sources. Can we agree that the most sustainable light source is sunlight? This means that, when it comes to lighting, the next most effective sources are solar powered panels, lamps, etc. With that being said, solar energy is hit or miss in different parts of the world. Some places are overwhelmed with the amount of sunlight throughout the year while others might not see sun for more than 3 hours a day, depending on the time of year and geographical location. Since solar cannot be the sole lighting option, another way to reduce energy consumption is using LED lights. Effectively replacing incandescent lighting with LED lighting could reduce energy consumption by fifty percent or more. That is truly incredible.

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FLOORING

Reclaimed Wood

This seems to be the most popular of the sustainable flooring options, but where do you get it? Reclaimed wood comes from salvaging old wood from sources such as old buildings, homes, wine barrels, and of course fallen trees. As of late, the reclaimed/recycled wood design has been skyrocketing throughout homes and places of business. It gives the space a more rustic and eclectic feel. Not to mention, using this type of flooring provides the designer and client a sense of accomplishment. Another great thing about using reclaimed wood is the possibility to receive LEED certification because the wood meets the Materials & Resources criteria.

 

Bamboo

Bamboo flooring is a fast-growing and renewable wood source. Some awesome qualities of bamboo is that it is water resistant, anti-bacterial and extremely durable. Though it is more expensive than laminate flooring, it is more cost efficient than installing traditional wood flooring. If you’re going to be using bamboo, remember this tip, make sure that you install bamboo with natural-base adhesives instead of any other type. Other adhesives will not be as sustainable due to a material called formaldehyde in the adhesive.

 

Natural/Recycled Carpet

For carpet to be considered sustainable, it must be made of materials such as cotton, sisal, wool, jute, coconut husk, etc. Some companies out there, but very few, can recycle nylon carpets and make completely new carpets, so find a good one. Not only is that incredibly useful, it helps reduce the amount of materials that need to be sent to a landfill. When installing this carpet, as said with the bamboo, make sure to use natural-base adhesives for the same reason.

 

These are only a couple of ways to incorporate sustainable materials into your interior design. It is up to you to make it as green and energy efficient as you can afford. Keep this in mind, recycling and finding other ways to decorate with environmentally friendly options will benefit you and the entire world in the long run.

Wood Treatments

Over the past 5-10 years, wood has been making a big name for itself in the design industry. It’s great as flooring, but it has branched out into more than just that. Even as a floor design option, there are tons of different types of wood and different stains for wood to create a unique and customized design feature for each client. Whether it is for furniture, accent pieces, flooring, etc. here are 3 ways we like to use wood to bring a space together.

Flooring

As we just mentioned, flooring has a wide variety of design options. Not only are there different woods and stains, there are also different patterns that wood flooring can take on. In the picture above the chevron pattern, wood is used to add more geometric patterns to an otherwise very modern guestroom design. The lighter shade of the wood also brightens up the room. Another trend with wood flooring is the “distressed” gray colored wood. This is great for a modern-themed room with white features and a few deep, cool-colored accents. There’s also nothing wrong with keeping a classic finished look with oak or maple flooring.

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Accents

Wood accents are a wonderful addition to bring a room together. From wall art, to serving trays, to floating shelves, wood accents introduce a welcoming vibe while maintaining the comfort throughout the room. Incorporating these small things will give a space an organic and relaxing feel. People tend to forget that wood can be used for other decorating purposes besides flooring and furniture, so use the element of surprise to catch someone off guard with your creativity. With that being said, it must go with the theme in the room. Having a random wooden piece that doesn’t match the modern or funky look in the space can throw off the vibe and will probably be a bit confusing to guests.

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Furniture

Last, but not least, furniture. There are so many ways to bring wood into a space using furniture. Every piece can have a bit of wood incorporated, like the photo above, or you could simply have one to two pieces that bring a bit of rustic feel to the room. Just be careful, you don’t want every piece of furniture to be made completely out of wood, well, unless you’re going with the wood cabin design. Another thing to lookout for is the type and color of the furniture. Just as with fabric, wood needs to all, or mostly, be the same stain. It looks unprofessional when there are 4-5 pieces in a space that are all mismatched, especially in the guestroom.

 

Ultimately, wood and design is a combo that is not going anywhere. It is, and always will be, a hot commodity when it comes to interior design and architecture in general. From big pieces of furniture to small accents, design shows love to all and will do everything it can to keep this beautiful trend around forever.

Looking Through the Glass

Glass, when it comes to hotels, can be a bit tricky. Nevertheless, if it’s done right, glass walls, windows, features, and decor can not only class a place up, but give it that extra character designers are going for. There’s nothing like the intrigue that glass brings a space, maybe even a sense of mystery. 

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Peek-a-Boo Bathroom

The bathroom is a place of mystery and privacy in most circumstances. A new trend that is taking place is replacing the walls with glass instead of drywall. Of course, this is not to see through the entire bathroom or the toilet area, but it is quite the test of comfort. It’s perfect for a romantic getaway for a couple wanting to spend some quality time together. On the other hand, it is probably not meant for a family or friends.

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French Doors

French doors are the best. They bring a sense of style and luxury to a space the average doorway cannot provide. These high-end additions to guest suites are perfect for leading out to a patio, the beach, or nature in general, depending on where the hotel is located. Want a slight breeze? Pull the door open a little bit to get that air flowing or slide the doors wide open to let the sunshine in and feel as if the room is one with nature. Having a door/window in the bedroom is perfect for catching amazing views as well. Best of both worlds! 

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Ever So Shady

Who says that everything has to be in uniform? A great glass trend is mix-and-matching old vintage pieces together to help with lighting. As pictured above, all of the hanging lamps have different glass shades consisting of odd shapes, sizes and colors. This trend is perfect to keep a space feeling luxurious, yet give a hint of “hip” as well. Mostly appearing in restaurants, this look is often seen in hotels located near the beach or water-focused areas of the world. Sand glass is extremely popular and it brings more authenticity to a space when it is incorporated into the design, especially inside hotel restaurants.

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Stairway Going Where?

The mecca of glass incorporation is the glass staircase. It is such a rare find because it is indeed a hard task to feat. Due to the difficulty, many hotels do not dare to adventure into this design, but those who do cannot keep guests away if they wanted to. Fancy, elegant, important—these are just a few words people think when seeing and walking on a glass staircase. It’s exciting to simply walk up, look down, and see everything. It is such an awesome experience to see guests’ reaction as soon as they catch sight of the stairs, not to mention their child-like smiles from ear to ear when they realize that they get to walk them.

Geometrical Influence

Geometry, when being used throughout interior design, is an incredible and beautiful thing. Patterns using all types of shapes can result in so many different and unique designs. Think about this, if you decided to use a triangle or a rhombus as your shape of choice, overlapping or even aligning the shapes on any flat side will result in different designs every time. The options for patterns seem to be endless. From tiled bathrooms, to painted wall designs, to metal lamp shades, geometrical influence is all around us.

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Triangles

Since we mentioned triangles, let’s start with that magnificent shape. Whether they are stacked or drawn together randomly, the size of a triangle does not always have to be the same. Obtuse, acute, or equilateral triangles are all great to use. If you only want to use a certain type of triangle, that might be challenging but not impossible. Luckily, due to the conforming nature of a triangle, the options for geometric storytelling are endless. Be on the lookout for pieces of art, furniture, wall design, and decor items all around hotel guestrooms, lobbies, and hallways.

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Hexagons

This shape, also known as the beehive, is all the rave right now. From wall designs, to tiles, to rug and carpet decor, the hexagon is definitely making a name for itself. Many hotels have recognized this and are incorporating it into spaces throughout hallways, restaurants, and other interiors. The most impressive aspect to this geometric shape is that it really does fit any style. It can be antique and vintage, or modern and sleek, and definitely futuristic. If you take a second, there might even be hexagonal floating shelves in the hallways waiting to be noticed.

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Cubes

When we say cubes, we are not talking about the classic square or rectangle. Of course those two shapes can form cubes, but we’re talking about the 6-sided geometric figure that provides that 3-dimensional look to any design. If it is painted into a work of art, you will see only three sides, but it is the creativity of incorporating the cube that makes it special. In other ways, it can be used as a simple knick knack or a modern lamp cover. Using the cube can add that extra bit of liveliness to a space that could be considered otherwise boring and mundane. 

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Combining Shapes

That’s right, throw them all together. Mix it up a bit by adding in a few different options into the same area. Keep the color scheme simple if there are multiple shapes in a space, otherwise it could become too busy. The photo above is the perfect balance with some hexagons, squares, and diamond shapes on the rug and curtains.

 

Do not be afraid to venture out of your usual comfort zone. Trust us, some of the best things happen when you attempt to do something you have not yet tried. It is easy to bring attention to something simply by adding in a little geometry.

Lighting Options For All Genres

Lighting options for hotels have come quite a long way. Everyone has been in the situation where they had to walk around their room and turn on every lamp just to get enough light throughout the space. Sometimes the bedside lamp and the tall lamp on the far corner of the room are not even close to bringing enough light. Fortunately, the hotel design industry has stepped up its game, not only with effectiveness, but with style as well. 

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Hanging Low

The ever changing, exciting hanging lamp— This trend has come in style a few times and we are happy that it’s back. These lamps can have many different looks to them, and the options for design are nearly endless. From the cord, to the type of bulb, to the lamp shade (or no lamp shade), the combinations could go on for days. Add in a dimming option and you’ve added an affordable and stylish lighting alternative. This can be set up anywhere throughout the hotel, but they are most common in the guestroom or hotel restaurant.

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LED Guestroom Lights

It’s not very common to find built-in ceiling lights in a hotel guestroom. Cost-wise, it just makes more sense to add in a couple of lamps here and there to save money on lighting installation. The one place you will find these built-in lights is the bathroom. Nowadays, LED lights are the most common because they are more energy efficient and they give pretty decent lighting for doing makeup, hair, etc. in the bathroom. Guestrooms will most likely not have the LED lights anywhere else throughout the room outside of the bathroom, which makes sense. 

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Bedside Table Lights

Small lamps and reading lights are the perfect addition to a hotel guestroom. Hotel interior designers are great at exploring all the options for this style of lighting. Lamps can be built into the headboard of the bed, hanging (as we mentioned above), the classic table lamp, and more. These are great because they give guests opportunities to have more independence from the main room lights. If one person wants to go to sleep and the other person decides to stay up to read, work, etc. they each have their own options for reducing or increasing the light on their side of the room/bed.

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All the Neon Rage

Neon lighting has always been cool and interesting. It not only is an attention grabber, it brings an awesome style to a space if used correctly. We’re not talking about the neon “open” or “closed” signs, we’re talking about Instagram worthy, eclectic designs that can help bring a hotel brand to life. So many hotels are dabbling into this decor option, and we are fully supportive. If built correctly, neon lights can last anywhere from 5-15 years, so it’s absolutely a solid investment.

Healthy and Environmentally Friendly Hotel Options

One of the hottest topics of 2019 and for the past few years is the environment. Many believe that global warming is not real, but we won’t be discussing that topic today. A lot of hotels, as of late, have been making an incredible effort to work on environmental awareness and we are happy to be a part of it.

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Reclaimed Materials & Upcycling

Materials such as wood and metal piping have to be the most common and easiest materials being reused and reclaimed in the design world. Since many people are caught up and more worried about items being “brand new” rather than being environmentally sustainable, it’s pretty easy to find reclaimed wood, metal, and other items to use for furniture, decor, and more. Hotels are hiring design companies to figure out ways to not only make their space “green”, but also to make it unique and stylish. We have all experienced that feeling of finding out some item of furniture was made out of, for example, an old naval ship’s metal contents. It’s pretty impressive to know the designs were created by upcycling old furniture and other items. 

 

Toxicity & Fire Safety

Another option for staying environmentally friendly is making sure that the furniture around the hotel is fire retardant. This is not as easy as it sounds and does cost a bit more than just buying a chair design in bulk. That being said, the quality of the furniture and decor is going to be better. Low-toxicity is another thing to be aware of. Finishing furniture is an important step in the process of designing, so understand that once a piece is bought, it is not just for looks. Guests and pets will interact with a piece of furniture daily, and if it is emitting substances into the air, or “off-gassing”, it can potentially be harmful. It is important to understand that most things do this no matter what, however the toxicity level will fluctuate depending on the substance used. Stay away from purchasing items treated with synthetic substances.

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Recycle More than Plastics

Solar energy is a huge way to recycle and conserve energy. It is not a new concept, however it is still not as common as it should be. Some hotels have begun implementing solar panels in order to conserve energy. Another, more recent idea to recycle is to give guests the option to reuse the linens from their previous nights. This means that if you choose to keep your linens, the cleaning service will still come in and clean, but they will just leave the linens on the bed for the entirety of your stay as opposed to changing them out daily. This in turn saves energy and water for the hotel.

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Water Conservation

Limiting water waste is a great way to impact the environment in a positive way. Water is a limited resource, so it makes sense to want to conserve it as much as possible. It is one of those commodities that most people do not give a second thought unless they have lived somewhere that went through a drought of some sort. It is also worth saying that the excess use of water increases the chance of sewage backups and contamination of the hotel’s current water supply, so just be aware the next time you want to take a 30-minute shower.

Top 5 Most Unique Hotels

In a world where everything needs to be unique, unusual and weird in order to be appealing, these few hotels absolutely found a special niche.

Photo courtesy of Oyster.com

Photo courtesy of Oyster.com

Crane Hotel Faralda - Amsterdam, Netherlands

Pushing engineering to the limits, many people thought that this design hotel would never happen. Fortunately for Amsterdam, the 3-suite project was completed and still continues to blow visitors’ minds. It is named the Crane Hotel because, well it’s a crane! It’s not in walking distance to a lot of places, but the 10-minute free ferry ride makes it seem more convenient. The room designs are extremely gregarious with a touch of mystique. Although there are much more affordable options, it’s a crane. Not to mention, the views are pretty incredible.

Photo courtesy of groupon.com

Photo courtesy of groupon.com

No Man's Fort - Solent, Portsmouth

One of 4 forts built in the mid 1800’s to ward off invasion by Napoleon III, this hotel is situated perfectly in Solent so that any shipping vessels have to sail pass it. Take a boat with a group of friends, family, or colleagues from Portsmouth to have a night in the fort. The style of the rooms throughout this location is a smorgasbord of flavor. Chesterfield sofas and headboards, old English coffee tables, billiard tables, etc. If you’re looking for luxury, the only place to really find it is at the top of the lighthouse filled with white leather chairs and a 360º view. 

Photo courtesy of travelonspot.com

Photo courtesy of travelonspot.com

Hotel Montaña Mágica Lodge - Huilo Huilo Reserve, Chile

Looking for a magical experience in South America? Chile’s Hotel Montaña Mágica Lodge is a 4-star stay hidden beneath a waterfall. Can you say dreamy? Hidden away from the rest of the world in the Huilo Huilo Reserve, it may appear that the waterfall is rushing over the entire hotel, but if you take a closer look, the water trickles down in between guest room windows. It is covered in vines and moss and the only way to access the entry way is to cross a swinging rope bridge. Adventure awaits!

Photo courtesy of Marriott Hotels

Photo courtesy of Marriott Hotels

Hotel Marqués De Riscal - La Rioja, Spain

Spain continues to impress. The wine culture in Spain is epic and Hotel Marqués De Riscal seems to have its own Ciudad de Vino (City of Wine). Although Rioja wineries are within a 30-minute drive, guests will want to stick around and experience the hotel’s wine experience. The jaw dropping modern titanium design structure seems to go against the history of Spanish culture, yet you will not be able to stop taking photos of every piece around the hotel. From furniture to decor, the design for this hotel leaves guests in shock and awe. Enjoy your included breakfast and walk freely around the property’s vineyards.

Photo courtesy of El Cosmico

Photo courtesy of El Cosmico

El Cosmico - Marfa, Texas, USA

Bringing it back to the United States, El Cosmico is indeed quite unusual and unique. This “nomadic” hotel is full of eclectic options such as teepees, yurts, trailers, tents, and more. It sits on a 21-acre piece of land in Marfa, Texas and appeals to all types of travelers. Guests can do all types of activities on this property from renting and riding bikes, to hot tubbing, to laying in a hammock grove. The best part is how affordable this impressive bohemian hotel is, starting at $81. What a steal for the culture you experience.

Hotel Patio Furniture

Depending on which area of the world you are in and the season, being outside in the beautiful sunshine is an absolute game-changer. Hotels with consistent year round weather are taking initiatives to create a more fun and attractive patio/deck environment. In turn, this keeps guests on the property longer therefore improving business for the hotel restaurant, coffee shop, gift shop, etc. Along with improving the general atmosphere of the outdoor areas, hotels are putting in some pretty comfortable and interesting furniture options as well.   

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Half Bed Lounging

Anything that contains the word lounging and is done outside, we are in. These half beds are becoming all the rage, especially in areas where pools are. It’s perfect for relaxing and reading a book, working on your laptop, or just laying by the pool while the kiddos are splashing around. Sometimes these beds are awesome opportunities to take a nap and get away from the madness of your business travels, or for simple photo ops.

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Hello Hammocks

Hammocks scream tropical life. This is why many hotels, whether they are in tropical areas or not, will add them to the patio design. They can be out on the patio, out near the pool, or even in the pool. Hammocks are those types of seats that instantly bring a sense of relaxation and sleepiness to your mood. Nevertheless, they have to absolutely be comfortable. Nothing worse than a loose, hard, or broken hammock when all you want to do is lay down and take a nap.

 

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Wicker and Comfort

Hotels are going to make sure to offer a few options when it comes to sitting outside. One thing that they might overlook is the comfort level of these seating options. Wicker furniture with outdoor cushions is probably the most affordable, easy to match, and comfortable pieces of furniture to use in outdoor design. They are typically rainproof and guests seem to be instantly attracted to them. However, hotels have to be careful with this type of patio furniture. If the weather changes and it rains often, then the cushions can become extremely dirty. If the weather gets extremely hot and sunny, then the color of the cushions will fade quickly. Maintenance for this type of cushion requires a little more attention than usual.

 

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Stay Warm

An outdoor fireplace? Yes please! Hotels that are implementing this feature can’t keep guests away. There just doesn’t seem to be enough space or seating areas when there are limited fireplaces. Sometimes hotels even have to keep a reservation book just to make sure people do not try and take over the space, leaving other guests without the chance to experience the fireplace. Crazy, right? People simply love the warmth and feel that a fire gives them, literally. Even in the summer, being around a fire exudes vibes of community and togetherness. There’s nothing better than circling around a fireplace with a group of friends or family and talking the night away.

Hotel Reception Necessities

The hotel experience has many aspects, but the reception and welcome desk is the first place people walk to, check in, and interact with the hotel staff. The hotel itself could be aesthetically impressive, however, if the attentiveness is not on par, the experience is almost instantly tainted. Comfortable, inviting, and relaxing are all feelings that guests want to experience when engaging with the reception desk.

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Toiletries

Guests will absolutely forget things. This is a known fact and most of the time running out to a convenient store is actually not so convenient. This fact alone is why it is important to stock up on the not so typical essentials like toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, etc. Shampoo, conditioner, and soap can be taken care of by the cleaning staff, but the other items need to be kept by the welcome desk. Guests will call down to the desk for any of their needs, so why not have them on hand?

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What the Tourists Do

If your hotel happens to be a destination hotel, these next few items are even more necessary. Most guests come to your hotel because it’s within a certain proximity to attractions and activities they are interested in. With that being said, a lot of visitors do not know about all of the cool spots. Make sure to create a well thought-out lists of attractions and activities to give to guests when they come asking about things to do. Include the typical tourist traps, but also add in a few local places that will give them a better cultural experience. This type of thoughtfulness is appreciated and will absolutely get you repeat customers and referrals.

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Brochures

Especially with travel destinations, hotels usually have an area around the concierge full of all types of brochures. Make sure that when stocking up this area, the staff and the concierge are all knowledgeable about the good, better, and best activities to look into. If a guest says they are scared of heights, please don’t throw out a hot air balloon brochure. It seems pretty obvious, but sometimes the staff is thinking about stuff that they like to do as opposed to appealing to how the guests want their trip to play out.

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Guides of the City

Maps of the city, roadways, and public transportation are CRUCIAL. Think about traveling around a country like France or England and not know which way to go to get to the trains. Once you figure that out, you have to figure out which train to take. It’s the same in New York City. Providing maps of all public transportation and the city in general makes travel and walking around way more approachable and less scary for tourists. It is also important to make sure that the staff knows how the transportation works as well in order to help guests get going.

 

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All Day Reachability

The reception desk needs to have staff available 24/7 at all costs. It does not matter how small the hotel is, it’s important to have someone available at any point of the day/night. This does not mean for food or room service, but there should be someone ready for emergencies, questions, late/early check-ins, etc.

Top 5 Guest Room Must-Haves

Guest rooms are a pinnacle part of hotels. People will decide whether or not they want to stay at a hotel based on the comfort level, cleanliness, convenience, etc. of the hotel guest room, so it must be prepared properly. There are certain necessities that a guest room must have, which means calling down to the reception desk should not have to occur.

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Closet Space

This goes without saying, having a space for guests to hang clothes is important and necessary. Although not every guest will have items to hang up, it is nice to have the option, especially for business travelers who don’t want to walk around with creases in their shirts / blouses. With that being said, please include some hangers. It is pretty rare that guests travel with hangers for their own clothes because of the size and space they consume, so don’t take that chance. People will appreciate having the convenience and ability to hang their items without having to reach out and scrounge up some for the closet.

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Extra Toiletries and Towels

Most guest rooms, even if there are only 1-2 guests staying in the room, should contain at least 4 bath towels. This does not include wash clothes and face towels. Some people are particular with the type of towels they want to use for each activity, so it’s important to include all shapes and sizes. Storing these underneath the sink or on a shelf inside the bathroom somewhere is a great idea. This not only presents convenience to the guests, but keeps the staff members busy with other duties. It makes more sense to have extra stored in the room than to have employees running up and down the elevators to deliver them constantly, right? Same goes with shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc. Most people, especially women will use the entire bottle of shampoo and conditioner in one shower use. They’re tiny bottles, so be sure to include some of those as well.

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Trashcan Please

We’ve all been in that situation where we have needed to throw something away, but could not find a garbage bin. Guests should never have to worry about this. When guests check in and start getting settled, they need a place to toss those baggage tags, tissues, take out boxes, etc. It seems like an obvious addition to a guest room, but sometimes the simplest things get overlooked.

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Tall Mirror

Mirrors are so essential nowadays. Travelers that are in and out of the hotel for business to know how their outfits come together, especially if they are heading to business meetings and conferences. On that same thought, think about all of the bachelorette parties and other events where there are women getting ready to go out on the town. It is simply not enough to just have a bathroom or vanity mirror. Full length mirrors can be placed solo in the room or can be incorporated into the closet door. It just makes sense.

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Ironing Materials

Although it’s a bit more rare these days to need to iron clothes due to new wrinkle-free materials, many people remain old fashioned in this area. It might take up a little bit of space, depending on the size of the board, but it is way more convenient to keep the iron and board in the guest room than having a bellhop bringing up the two items, right? In our opinion, it saves time and if the guest doesn’t need it, then it’s out of the way stored in the closet.

Hotel Seating Mistakes

Sometimes people don’t think about the little things that go into the hotel interior design industry. Things like elevator experience, to convenience of the hotel restaurant, and most commonly seating options. There are so many things to consider when choosing the decor that sometimes mistakes are made in the chair department. From too many, to not enough, hotels have to make sure that these mistakes are not made.

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Not Enough Seats

Ever walked into a place with a group of people and only half of the group can sit down? In most cases, that is quite a design flaw. Of course, there are spaces that do not allow space for an abundant amount of seating options, but that is not the situation we are talking about here. This seems to be a big issue that happens in the lobby/reception area of the hotel. When checking in with a family or group, only one or two people usually actually needs to be at the check-in desk getting the room keys. The others can wander around and explore, but most of the time they want to sit near and wait. If there are not many seating options, guests are automatically inconvenienced. Be aware of this issue.

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Not Enough Variety

Too many of the same height chairs can be a deterrent. Think about the fact that there are people of all heights. From children to pro basketball players, the difference in feet can be extreme. For example, if most to all of your chairs are bar height options, that’s not going to go well with the kiddos. In all actuality, the kids will be fine, but the parents will be constantly worried about them falling and won’t be able to enjoy their time as much. It’s more considerate to have all types of seating options, for those shorter and taller. 

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Overcrowded

This can almost be the worst situation. There are multiple issues with this scenario. One problem is that an overcrowded area can eventually turn into a fire hazard. If the fire alarm goes off and the area is full of guests, getting everyone out in a safe and organized manner might be challenging. Another issue is being ADA-approved. The handicap population needs to have space to get in and out of the space and have the same guest experience as everyone else. If they are having to dodge chairs, it becomes time consuming and extremely inconvenient to say the least.

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Style Over Comfort

This is a big deal. Some new designers and hotels can get caught up in the trends and forget that guests actually want to be comfortable when they sit down. Regardless of how “cool” the chair is, if it’s uncomfortable, then they won’t be sitting for too much longer. We have all been caught up in the whole, “Wow, that’s such a cool chair, take a picture of me in it.” zone, but most of the time those chairs don’t end up being a long term sitting situation. Just remember, style is important, but comfort is more important. Do your best to try and hit two birds with one stone, but if all else fails, choose comfort.

What Hotels are Using to Set The Mood

When you think about “setting the mood”, there are many different things that come to mind. Hotels are now taking it upon themselves to help guests achieve their goals. From lighting, to music, to even the aroma in the air, there are so many things that hotels are doing to make the guest’s life easier. Romantic getaways are extremely common, so why not have multiple options available to help the getaway stay romantic?

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Lighting

Lighting is the number one thing that pops into our minds when we think about setting the mood. From dimming them, to the color, lights can either make or break a moment. Some hotels are starting to give guests a little more control over the lighting in the guest room besides simply turning the lamps on and off. Be on the lookout for a dimming remote. Another way lighting is incorporated is the color. LED lights throughout the hotel can create different vibes and feelings for guests. Colors like green and blue provide feelings of relaxation, comfort, etc. while red and orange can give guests a sense of warmth and love. Which one would you want to be on in the guestroom?

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Blinds

Has it ever been too bright in your room before? That’s kind of a silly question because of course it has. No one wants to be blinded, and on the other hand, no one wants to let others see into their private space. Especially if a couple is trying to have a special night. There’s something powerful about being able to control the blinds when you want to have a bit of privacy. It feels like you’re in your own world and don’t have to worry about judgment or anyone bothering you. Blinds can definitely work some magic when setting the mood.

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Scents

Many hotels are now incorporating relaxing and welcoming scents throughout the hotel lobby and hallways. When it comes to the guest room, some luxury hotels will offer diffusers with option of different essential oils. Popular aromas for setting the mood are rose, nutmeg, and sandalwood, among a few others. These are great for romance and love, which is why hotels have them available for special nights. There’s something about walking into a room, smelling a certain scent, and instantly feeling at ease, relaxed, and happy.

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Music
We mention this because there are many different ways to implement music when it comes to setting the mood. Some hotels will have live jazz bands or dance music for guests to come and be entertained while wining and dining. Another way is adding in a smart phone port and speaker in the guest room for guests to use and play their own music. This is perfect for that special night you have planned and all you need to do is create a playlist.

 

These four items are simple, but effective. Hotels realize that it does not take much to make most guests feel accommodated and valued.