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Step in to a new era of guestroom design

Industry experts weigh in on the current trends in guestroom interior design

A well-designed guestroom interior embodies comfort and hospitality, creating a memorable and enjoyable experience through carefully chosen colours, textures, and furnishings. In the competitive accommodation industry, trends evolve rapidly, driving the need for constant adaptation.

Australian hotels are currently embracing a trend of infusing local flair and cultural elements into their interiors. They draw inspiration from the surroundings, seamlessly blending the outdoor environment with their desired aesthetics. Natural materials, coastal colours, and thematic elements that resonate with the locale are being introduced. Some pay homage to Australian culture with Indigenous artwork and cultural motifs, while others showcase pieces from local artisans, creating a profound sense of place.

Another vital trend is maximising guestroom space to accommodate diverse guest lifestyles with flexible and multifunctional furniture that balances versatility with style.

Originally published in our latest AccomNews print issue, available now. Read it HERE.

In the realm of guestroom refurbishments, the accommodation sector is undergoing a significant transformation. Beyond purely aesthetic choices, the industry is now placing a strong emphasis on practicality, flexibility, sustainability, accessibility, and technology. These priorities align with the growing eco-consciousness of guests and the desire to ensure a comfortable stay for all, regardless of specific needs wants and abilities.

In essence, modern guest room design has evolved to cater to a more diverse range of guests, accommodating various lifestyles and demands. This transformation includes embracing new technologies that enhance the overall guest experience.

If it’s been a few years since you refreshed your guestrooms, now is the perfect time to ensure your offering resonates with the demands of modern-day travellers. Learn more about trends and some refurbishment tips, from two of the industry’s leading guestroom designers.

guest room design Furn-Niche
Image: Furn-Niche

Jo Street, Managing Director Furn-Niche, on this year’s predominant trends:

“We saw a prevalence of organic textures, vibrant earthy tones, and natural materials like timber in guestroom refurbishments.

Additionally, a focus on patterned cushions and abstract art within a more laid-back atmosphere. Many hotels have embraced multi-functional furniture for space optimisation and are incorporating LED lighting to enhance the overall ambience.

Image: Furn-Niche

Innovative design elements

The integration of nature into designs has been one of the simplest innovations. Not just the addition of pot plants! It’s also a sensory innovation that involves using natural textures and materials to establish an authentic connection with the natural world to enhance the guest experience.

Sustainability

Considering the growing sustainability movement, it’s essential to collaborate with green-certified companies for holistic and eco-friendly refurbishments. There are also simple yet impactful changes that can be made, like installing energy-efficient LED lighting and appliances and opting for sustainable textiles such as bamboo, reclaimed wood, or recycled fabrics that can reduce a hotel’s environmental footprint.

Accessibility and inclusivity

The accommodation sector is addressing inclusivity concerns by designing guestrooms with people with disabilities, children, and older individuals in mind. It’s important for us to design and create furniture and joinery that is easy to use and reach such as lower-mounted light switches and adjustable tables for hotels and serviced apartments.

Image: Furn-Niche

Return on Investment (ROI)

Sticking to the refurbishment budget and working on a realistic design concept allows a better prediction of the expected ROI. However, it is an advantage to work with a company that specialises in this space because an experienced team can find cost-effective investments that stand out.

Many hotels have reported significant increases in room rates after refurbishing.

Future trends

Beyond 2023, there will be a heightened emphasis on sustainable design, manufacturing, and disposal processes. Sustainability will become an increasingly significant factor influencing guests’ choices in accommodations.

The integration of AI and virtual reality is also set to revolutionise the sector. AI Virtual Assistants will personalise the guest journey and the result will be a more engaging and personalised experience for each guest.

Kate Ifould, Hotel Interiors Asia Pacific Business Development Manager on key trends:

“They reflect the evolving needs and preferences of guests and the competitive nature of the market”.

One significant trend is a focus on accommodating ‘Bleisure’ travellers and those who work remotely. Hotels are adapting by creating versatile workspaces within their premises. This includes enhanced connectivity and the reconfiguration of guest rooms, often replacing desks with sofas and high tables to facilitate flexible work arrangements.

Innovative design elements

Simplified joinery and furniture design are combined with bold colours and textures in fabrics and finishes. The use of patterns, colours, and mixed materials adds a unique punch to furniture, joinery, walls, and artwork. The goal is to create a memorable experience for guests, emphasising storytelling and distinguishing properties in a competitive market.

guest room design Furn-Niche
Hotel-Interiors refurb of UrbanRest Randwick

Sustainability

This is a key focus and operators are making smart, forward-thinking decisions regarding product composition and life cycle. While these decisions may require initial investment, they lead to increased efficiencies, longevity, and reduced maintenance, ultimately reducing the environmental footprint.

Accessibility and inclusivity

Accessible rooms should be designed to seamlessly blend with other guestrooms while accommodating functional and legal requirements. Thoughtful adaptations in joinery and furniture ensure consistency and inclusivity.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Failure to plan for a refurbishment is planning to fail. Yes, it can be a significant investment but neglecting timely and well-designed refurbishments can lead to a downward spiral in occupancy, negative reviews, and decreasing revenue, which impacts an owner’s return on investment.

Guestroom refurb-Hotel Interiors-Iconic Midnight hotel Canberra

Future forward

Sustainability will remain a key driver, but there’s still work to be done in aligning intentions with cost and supply realities.

The focus on technology is stronger than ever. I noticed the attendees at NoVacancy Hotel + Accommodation Industry Expo 2023, were seeking to incorporate the latest technology in guestrooms and across the whole property. Their interest extended from in-room tech and entertainment connectivity to door lock systems and check-in procedures. Operators are more eager than ever to integrate technology into their designs to ensure a seamless and enjoyable stay for guests.

Information on NoVacancy Hotel + Accommodation Industry Expo 2024 HERE

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