Balancing Luxury and Practicality in Hotel Design

When you’re designing a hotel, there are certain factors which need to be considered in order to make the guest experience as seamless as possible. From the first impression they get in the reception space to the ease of navigation from hotel lobby to their room, practicality underpins every aspect of hotel design.

But should practicality come at the detriment of luxury details and aesthetics?

With an emphasis on enhancing the guest experience from both a stylistic and a practical standpoint, the job of a modern hotel interior designer is to balance the two and create both communal and private spaces which feel luxurious yet are equally comfortable and practical to use and maintain.

Here are some of the ways to unite luxury and practicality across hotel design projects.

1. Embrace open, minimalist spaces

Anyone who cleans or hoovers regularly – whether in a hotel setting or at home – will know that large, open plan spaces are easier to maintain and keep clean than cluttered spaces filled with furnishings and decorative items. As such, one of the first points that we encourage hotel managers and designers to embrace is the minimalism of modern design – bridging the clean and clutter-free aesthetic of modern luxury with the very practical benefit of a space which is easier to clean.

2. Build and decorate with low-maintenance materials

There are two branches to this point, as in many cases the materials which make up the design of a space are integrated into the build and construction of the room as well as its décor and design.

For example, if you opt for flooring which is hardwood and requires lots of treatment and care then you are instantly creating work for yourself and your maintenance team. However, if you select stone floors or stone paving slabs then you not only minimise the amount of maintenance which is required in terms of longevity of your flooring, but you also benefit from a material which is increasingly used in 5-star spaces and which lends itself to a natural aesthetic.

Some other tips which fall under this point include avoiding carpet in areas of high footfall, and selecting furnishings covered in fabrics that are easy to wipe clean.

3. Use texture

Hotel bedroom

This is a big one with regards to the creation of a luxury interior space – and lends itself to the practical requirements of hotel design in so far as it’s super easy to integrate with or without extensive design knowledge.

Colour and patterns can be difficult to work into a commercial space if you don’t know what you’re doing, with many hotels falling foul of trying too hard to stick to a theme and ending up with a space which feels overworked or tacky. Using textural details rather than colours is a great way to create aesthetic interest without overwhelming the senses.

You only need to look at a luxury home or 5-star hotel to see how different textural components, all in the same neutral shades, are balanced and combined with ease, to know what we mean.

4. Use light as a luxurious detail

Consider this a sign that you don’t need to lean on fabric cushions and expensive, impractical accessories to make a hotel room feel more luxurious. Rather, why not consider the value of your hotel room lights as a luxurious and decorative investment – as well as being one which is intrinsically linked to the practical use of the space?

From ceiling lights to more intimate surface lamps and wall lights, the way that you use lighting in a hotel room can completely transform the atmosphere and vibe. A softer bulb can instantly inject a more luxurious vibe to the bedroom area, while bright lights feel more clinical and are ideal for bathrooms.

Consider a mixture of different lights which grant your guests a choice in how they light the space, combining the practical need for lights with the luxury of different fittings, fabric shades, and finishes.

Can a hotel be both luxurious and practical?

As all of the above points prove, practicality and luxury really can go hand in hand when it comes to the interior design of a hotel. Provided you pay attention to the way each area of your hotel is used by guests and staff alike and keep on eye on the aesthetic and experience that each feature brings to the hotel, you can easily combine and balance luxury with the provision of a comfortable and accessible setting.

For more advice on how to bring your hotel to life, the Carroll Design team are here to help.

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