Hospitality Interior Design: What You Need To Know

December 7, 2021

That moment before you open the door to your hotel room or vacation rental is full of expectations. Will the space be comfortable and inviting? Will it have everything you need for an enjoyable stay? What a relief it is to find a clean, beautiful, well-planned space on the other side. 

The interior design of a hotel, inn or Airbnb rental property sets the tone for a traveler’s entire trip. Therefore, a pleasing and comfortable vacation rental interior design is essential for a memorable guest experience.

Your Hospitality Design Matters

When you travel, are you particular about where you’ll be spending the night? According to the U.S. Travel Association, travelers spent over 1.1 trillion dollars in the United States in 2019. While travelers choose where to stay based on a variety of factors, the interior design of a property is extremely important. This includes the look and feel of a space as well as the functionality and durability. People are drawn to renting spaces that bring them joy and meet their expectations while traveling. 

Whether you choose to hire a design team or go it alone, guests will be able to tell when you’ve put a lot of thought into the vacation rental interior design—and when you haven’t. But what things do you need to consider when planning your hospitality interior design? Here’s what you need to know before you get started.

Evoke an Emotion

In his 2005 book, Emotional Design: Why We Love or Hate Everyday Things, Don Norman explains that our emotions cause us to think, act and behave a certain way. As soon as someone sees a new space, they will make snap judgments about its quality based on the way it looks and feels. If the design is pleasing, they’ll assume the service and other amenities are also high quality. 

Different design elements like colors, textures of materials you use, and furniture choices will instantly tell guests all they need to know about your space. As you plan your design, look at the space you’re starting with. What features do you want to highlight, and which ones should you work to minimize? 

When choosing colors, think of how you want guests to feel. Different colors evoke certain emotions, so choose wisely. If you want to create a space that’s relaxing, opt for neutral colors, greens or blues. Adding a mix of textures to the room can make it interesting without feeling too busy. 

While some people just want to feel at home in a hotel or rental property, others may want edgy, dramatic design to match the exciting travel experience they’re looking for. Still others may look for a minimalistic design when they’re looking for relaxation and a space to unwind. By making design choices to support the feelings you want your visitors to have, you’ll attract the right guests for your space every time. 

When people book their hotels before traveling, they may make their decision on where to stay based on photos, website descriptions, or recommendations from other travelers. If the place looks inviting and comfortable at first glance, potential guests will feel confident making their reservations.

Make Your Space Beautiful and Functional

Hospitality interior design is so much more than choosing the right paint colors and furniture. When designing a space, interior designers will follow guidelines based on interior design principles that make a space feel well-thought-out and cohesive. As you’re planning your space, be sure to consider things like balance and proportion, so that all your choices work well together. 

Good design also makes sure a space is functional and user-friendly. Pay attention to the placement of furniture and accessories as you’re designing your space, and make sure it’s easy to move through the area. Be sure to provide useful items like end tables, night stands, and lamps where guests may need them. Does it get cold where your rental property is located? If so, guests will certainly appreciate a rack to hang their coats by the door and cozy blankets on the bed. Buildings such as hotels, rental homes, and inns are heavily used, and therefore require a lot of maintenance. By choosing materials and finishes that can stand up to rowdy kids or the accidental spills that are bound to happen, you’ll make your space look beautiful for much longer. Outsourcing regular maintenance tasks like cleaning can help keep your vacation rental interior design beautiful for years to come.

Add Unique Touches

Would you stay at a bland place when you can go to a luxurious-looking one for the same price? Probably not. Unexpected design choices, like bright pops of color or unique art, can set your place apart from the rest and earn you more customers.

Think about the location of your property. Can you incorporate unique elements inspired by the city or state you’re in? Include art by local artists or photographs of nearby landmarks to add even more interest. This helps guests feel excited about where they’ve traveled. 

Nowadays, many people love using social media, and some people even earn a living that way. It’s fun for guests to explore new places and share their experiences with their friends. Because of this, a fabulous vacation rental interior design has the potential for getting loads of referrals if it serves its purpose and people well.

Think about adding extra little details for your guests when they arrive. This ensures that they feel welcome and comfortable in your vacation rental property. For example, if a bedroom is intended for couples, you could fold a few towels to look like swans or hearts. This adds a touch of whimsy and playfulness to your space. Or you could leave guests a welcome basket filled with yummy snacks, and write them a personalized note thanking them for choosing your rental. They’ll feel like you really care about their experience in your space.

Don’t Forget About Lighting

Have you ever gone to a nice restaurant only to have the romantic mood dampened by lighting that was too harsh or bright? Proper lighting sets the mood for the entire experience, so you want to make sure you get it right in your rental property. 

In terms of light, there are different color temperatures you should keep in mind. There’s warm light, cool light, and also natural light, which is measured by the Kelvin scale. For example, if your rental space is a home or apartment, then you have to be particularly careful about the color temperatures that you will use in different areas. 

In the dining room, using warm light can promote a feeling of intimacy. It’s where families gather to share meals and important conversations, so warm light is perfect for it. However, using too much warm lighting in common areas can make a space feel dated. By switching to cool lighting in the kitchen or living room, you can promote creativity and energy. 

Lamps with warm light can help a space feel intimate and cozy at night. Place them near seating areas and beds so that guests can control the amount of light they get for tasks like reading or playing games. 

Take your natural light into consideration when designing your space. Allowing enough natural light to enter the space makes it feel bright and airy. Add mirrors or other reflective surfaces to make your space feel even lighter. If there’s harsh afternoon sun streaming in, provide operational window treatments that guests can adjust as needed.

Get the Support You Need

Hospitality interior design is about so much more than color and light. More than what the place looks like, hospitality design also covers what it will end up feeling like. If coming up with a design for your rental space feels overwhelming, you can always hire a designer to help. There are even fantastic budget-friendly options where you can send designers pictures of your space, and they’ll send you a cohesive design that you can implement yourself. 

Nowadays, the available spaces are getting more competitive as business owners realize the importance of having a space that people can feel comfortable in. Even more, it is also imperative to have a space that they feel like they can keep coming back to—which is why having a beautiful area and keeping it clean is as essential. No one wants to book a place that looks beautiful online but turns out to be dirty and rundown when they arrive.

Maintaining your Airbnb can be easy if you choose the right people to help. The Magic Helpers have “magic” in our name for a reason, after all. We’ll keep your space feeling as clean and new as possible with an efficient turnaround time! We also offer residential and commercial cleaning services, so whatever you need, we can deliver. Interested in cleaning services for your space? Contact us today!

Check out our Austin rental properties to get started on your travels today!

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