Soft upgrade for a complete new look

If you are like many properties at the moment, you may be holding off on an overdue refurbishment until you see how your rates and yield are fairing next year or how your occupancy pre-bookings are going, or how you get rated, or if you actually have the funds to do it? If this is the case then perhaps this may help you and your property.

The option is always there to do a soft upgrade of your rooms. Meaning, you take items that will give a visual ‘new look’ without spending money on the big ticket items like carpet and furniture. Items included can be bedding items, cushions, valances, artwork and paint.

A soft upgrade should be a part of your 10-12 year refurbishment plan anyway – soft upgrade every three to five years, carpet, beds and curtains every five to seven years and full upgrade every 10-12 years. However, if you really are due for a complete refurbishment but your budget or nerves are limiting you, then doing a soft upgrade is the way to transform your rooms at a fraction of the cost, giving you a new life on your rooms for a little longer.

When it works – If your rooms have been well looked after and maintained then it is easier to disguise the more ‘tired’ looking furniture pieces. Unfortunately though, if the rooms have not been well maintained or they are so overdue for a refurbishment that the chipped and tired looking furniture can no longer fool anyone, then the new items are just going to make the old look worse. If you’re lost as to whether the soft upgrade will work in your favour or against you, then it’s best to contact your industry refurbishment specialists to get advice. The craft of choosing what will stay and what will go and making the best out of everything you have, really is a specialised area, so enlist some professional assistance.

The other crucial element when deciding if a soft upgrade will work for your property, comes from if they have been designed for longevity in the first place.

When I design a room, generally the larger items that will stay around for the longest, such as furniture, carpet and curtains, are of neutral tones and therefore easy to match to. These items will remain when doing a soft upgrade. It’s then easy to completely change the colour scheme and give a re-vamped look to the rooms. This does not work, for example, if you have very distinctive patterned curtains.

Usually, depending on your budget, curtains are not included in a small soft upgrade as they are not inexpensive, and so generally done as a stand alone item or as part of the full upgrade, they also generally last longer than your cushions and bedding would… so if you have these patterned distinctive curtains and you decide to do a soft upgrade to match to these, all you are doing is dragging that outdated colour scheme and pattern into your new rooms and, yes, it will still look outdated.

So in summary; a soft upgrade will be successful if you have not left it to the point of no return and you have a good neutral platform to work with.

How it works – As I have explained, if you have a neutral enough palette to work with in your carpet, curtains and furniture, then the new items can be co-ordinated around each other. These items include all new treatment for bedding; valances, triple sheet, wraps or spreads, bed runners, bed cushions. We then go to the upholstered items; hopefully your sofa’s will be ok for a few more years so all that is required is a new throw cushion to co-ordinate back with the new bedding. Artwork is always a great inexpensive way to co-ordinate your new look and modern textured canvas paintings in a large size in the new colour scheme is a perfect way to tie it all together.

Depending on your existing paint colour and the state of your walls, you may wish to also include new paint. Painting the room always gives a fresh look and also enables you to work the colour back with your new colour palette, even if it’s only a feature wall you decide to change. Finally, at less than a third of the cost of a complete refurbishment, you have a new look.

Hyde Park Inn (pictured) has done this soft upgrade as part of their scheduled maintenance refurbishment plan after the designated five years and it has given a completely new modern and fresh look – one of our very successful soft upgrade transformations. To their credit they have stuck to the plan and maintained the property so it makes our job easier.

Does not negate the eventual – Do not think that this will get you through for another seven to ten years, it will most certainly not, what it will do is buy you some time to get your finances etc together ready for your full refurbishment. It will mean that these items are new so won’t need to be replaced, it will also give you the ability to keep revenue up while putting together the budget for the items that we have made last a little longer. Keep in mind that the longer you leave the problem, the harder it is to fix.

Going fu ll does pay – For those of you who really do have the budget but are ‘holding back to see how things go’… don’t!

This is the best time to refurbish. The prices are reasonable, trades are available, you will be a much better presented property at the end and therefore be able to re-coup your money. And things are good in the market. Business is picking up, people are travelling and want a nice property to stay at. What a perfect time to be one step ahead of your competition. When everyone starts refurbishing again and things start moving fast again, the already refurbished properties will be at the lead of the market.

While the soft refurbishment options I have described will assist the look of your property, they will not do miracles and they will not be a bandaid, they will simply help a property break up what needs to be spent in smaller pieces. A fully refurbished property will always be the best option.

Image: Hyde Park Inn after soft refurbishment.

Related Articles

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Back to top button
WP Tumblr Auto Publish Powered By :
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x