Not everyone has the eye for design. That’s why we do it–for the ability to think creatively, to be edgy and make bold decisions, and to put a piece of ourselves in the client’s vision. We spend our time thinking about shapes, colors, textures, architecture, and patterns by which to express the right tone and message. When we put so much heart into the work of our clients, why not focus some of that passion into making sure our business will outlast our designs.

Lately, I have been thinking about how to express our creativity and extend the services we offer to our clients. Here are some of my reflections.

  • Designing the lobbies more effectively. Lavish lobbies are undeniably beautiful. They can even be a breath-taking guest experience, but so many lobbies lack the form and function the hospitality really needs. If you find yourself working on a lobby, try to anticipate the needs of your guests and introduce your sense of style at the same time. It should serve as a social gathering place with auxiliary seating and tables. Business travelers would love laptop ports, printers, and phones. If space permits, section off another area for guests looking for somewhere to socialize with others.
  • Think about creating holiday experiences. By now, we are all thinking of our family and loved ones, talking about who we are going to see over Thanksgiving and Christmas. During this time, we come together for love, food, and comfort. Inevitably, the holiday season is also a high time for the hospitality industry and a great time to reflect on how to bring home comforts to families traveling. Talk to your clients about creating a holiday designs to provide exceptional experiences to holiday travelers.
  • Design for the global guest. The reality is that the biggest hotels not only cater to American hospitality, they also provide a functional “home” for international guests. Take a look at the demographics of your guests or target guests to determine how you can tweak your designs for extra international luxury and comfort. That could mean providing areas for in-room coffee/tea or offering rooms with soaking tubs. Do your guests prefer to work in a chair instead of on the bed? How does the guest prefer to store luggage? Not everyone wants a wall hook and hangers.
  • Ditch the stale 9 to 5. It is no secret that the hospitality industry works hand-in-hand with business travelers, but that doesn’t mean they are business 24/7. How can you create a place to work during the day AND a vacation get-away for the evening?
  • Localize it. When traveling with my husband to Italy, I was astonished to walk into a hotel that had the same look and feel as bland hotel chain in the US. I was expecting romance and history that I tied with the look and feel of the rest of the beautiful country. Guests love local flavor and history when they travel. We crave it. More than just design and luxury; aim for a boutique philosophy. Add the local intensity and corkiness of the city, or even neighborhood for a one-of-a-kind experience.

As always, I feel blessed and overjoyed to work in this industry where I am given the opportunity to always reflect on how my experiences fuel my own passion and business. While enjoying the holiday season, I hope you also take the time to reflect and create designs with love and purpose in mind.

Wishing you much love this November.