Housekeeping

A well-done bed…

One of the simplest pleasures in life is a good night’s sleep!

Not only is a comfortable bed essential to your guests, a good night’s sleep is essential for their health and wellbeing. A quality bed should be the central selling point of your room and so you should present it in the most impressive and alluring way you can.

How do we judge quality? The reality is this: initially we all judge a book by its cover and a product by its package. An attractive looking aesthetic triggers the pleasure senses in the human brain, changing expectation and boosting mood. The impact therefore of your guests walking into a room with a beautifully made-up bed, is quite simply marketing gold for you!

Creating that striking first impression with a captivating bed presentation requires skills similar to those needed by a bespoke baker crafting a remarkable wedding cake! First of all you need the finest ingredients – in this case, a high quality ergonomic bed, the freshest hand picked linen, lovely pillows, duvets, cushions, throws, bed runners and accessories. You will also require an eye for colour plus the skill and know-how to present all these elements in the most aesthetically pleasing way.

When judging the quality of a product we do not just use our eyes, we use all of our senses; we look, feel and smell. So when presenting a beautifully made up bed there are more things to consider than simply how it looks – most importantly it needs to smell good. Nothing is more reassuring than walking into a guest room that smells of freshly laundered linen! Ah… clean linen.
Despite this being an obvious requirement, it is essential you allow that fresh linen smell to permeate through the room, to captivate your guests. You should also consider the textures of your linen, providing your guests with an interesting variety of quality textures that guarantee ultimate comfort but are also long lasting and will wash well.
Tips for impressive bed presentation
Choose your linen wisely… Although 100% cotton linen is most desirable to most people at home, it tends to break down with every wash and may end up thread bare and holey after a short time.

Helen Hurst the national sales and marketing manager from Australian Linen Supply/Bev Martin Textiles suggests that blended linen may be the answer for hotels that have to balance quality with a budget. She suggests that 75% cotton with 25% polyester sheet or 50% cotton with 50% polyester may be the answer. “This blend of sheets will last longer for the hotel, giving them a better return on the linen investment.”

Source only high quality fabrics… Erin Coman-Beckett the HotelHome design director explains that there are many new fabrics on the market that are specifically made for use in the industry but remain luxurious. These latest innovations such as “luxurious Italian chenille’s can add an extra element of stylish design and texture to the bed whilst still being a heavy duty commercial quality”.

It is essential that the accommodation industry only use fabrics that are specifically designed for such a commercial application. According to Ms Coman-Beckett, using quality colourfast fabrics is the most important factor for accommodation providers, “using the correct fabrics, heavy duty sewing methods, proper cushion inserts etc will always be the most cost effective long term choice for any property, no matter what the star rating,” she says.

The triple sheeting trend… This is used by 80% of Bev Martin Textiles’ hospitality industry customers and is a popular technique that features three flat sheets per bed along with a quilt in between sheets two and three. Ms Hurst suggests that the consistent popularity of this trend is not only because it is so simple, looks neat and pleasing but it is also much easier for the housekeepers to make the bed and much easier and cheaper for the laundry service to wash and iron than the lesser popular quilt covers. The simple addition of cushions, a satin sash or bed runner adds colour and texture to the triple sheeting technique.

Ease of use… Ms Coman-Beckett recommends that your choice of fabric, designs and colour should co-ordinate with your existing décor. Be clever and use products and accessories that can be used in different ways or restyled to suit the seasons. A hotel coverlet that can be used either as a full cover for extra warmth in winter or folded at the end of the bed as a decorative cover in summer is a fine example of clever styling.

Be clever with colour… While white linen is predominantly preferred throughout the industry, with the exception of small country motels that may use colour to disguise mineral markings from the water in their area. Contemporary colours for bed linens are still very much in-vogue, with Ms Hurst describing browns, chocolate, beiges, black and grey being right on trend.

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Use impact products with your basic neutral linen… Do this to create a wow factor for your bed. All the best dressed beds use these products including the bed shawl and bed runner not only to protect the white bed linen at the foot of the bed but also to give it a personality and to compliment the other soft furnishings and design elements in the room. Impact products can enhance your colour scheme and individualise the look of your room or indeed your hotel.

Use hotel coverlets for contemporary style… These are still the preferred choice of many properties that are looking for a stylish, comfortable and modern look with added warmth. Ms Coman-Beckett explains that HotelHome coverlets are produced so they can be folded along the quilting lines like a piano hinge, to present similar to a bed runner. Or they can be pulled up and tucked in to totally cover the mattress.

Cushions in or out… An array of cushions on a bed can create an impressive, welcoming and homely feel but they can be irksome for guests, who have to move them to get into bed. They also increase washing and housekeeping time and money. Most hotels tend to place only four pillows on the bed, either standard size or king size, depending on the size of the hotel beds but, if used, cushions can play a key role in the presentation of a bed.

Something as simple as well styled cushions can add that wow factor and the impact required for marketing photography. Behind closed doors though, cushions are generally the most used and abused item in a hotel guest room. They often become a footstool, extra table of even a football! For this very reason, Ms Coman-Beckett says, “Hotel cushions need to not only present perfectly, they also need to be produced to withstand this additional wear and tear. Hotel cushions need to be produced using heavy duty cushion inners and require face fabrics that will handle this at times rough treatment.”

Split beds… They will offer your guests more options. The increasingly popular introduction of split beds has been used to offer guests the choice of either split singles or a joined king size bed. Due to this trend mattress heights have increased, causing linen suppliers to offer more choice in the size of the sheets they supply.

So you have gone with some design ideas and have chosen your colour scheme, you have also sourced your industry supplied quality linen and found stylish, clever accessories… What next?

Now is the time to make-up your high quality, ultra comfortable bed. Always make sure that you personally sample your product: look, smell and touch. Remember if you are happy, your guests will surely be happy too.

When styling your bed, the bottom sheet is the first and most important step to get right, like any cake foundation this has to be correct to ensure that the rest stands up and the finish is perfection. This can then be followed up with the layers of the top sheet, duvet and the pillows. Ensure that all your linen fits perfectly is flat, smooth and even.

When your bed is made-up, add colour with cushions, a coverlet, bed runner or bed shawl, perhaps even a personalised message card, and then you are done. The immediate guest reaction should be: “Wow that looks so clean and comfortable! I can’t wait to jump into bed!” If this is the common reaction, then you have succeeded in captivating your guests with a well done bed…

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