With the emergence of online marketplaces for private holiday rentals and a plethora of cheap hotels, competition within the leisure industry is nothing short of fierce! In order to compete you need to make sure you stand out from the crowd by providing your guests with an experience they will want to repeat time and time again. Holly Shanly, Design Consultant at Aspen House Interiors shares her advice on how to achieve this
The temptation to update rooms in accordance with what is currently on trend can be hard to control but we urge you to do just that! Harmony is the key to creating a sense of wellbeing and it does not often go hand in hand with Pantone’s colour of the year.
A neutral pallet is far less likely to offend and it certainly doesn’t have to be boring. The key is to work in contrasting textures and patterns to give the scheme a lift. Think about introducing tactile surfaces whether that be in the form of cushions or throws or perhaps a glossy side table or the organic feel of a wooden bedstead.
A good night’s sleep has solved many a problem over the ages and a refreshed guest will be a happy one! Mattresses can be costly but we firmly believe it is an expense worth shelling out for. Do make sure you seek expert advice when choosing one as the choice can be overwhelming. Any reputable department store should be able to talk you through the pros and cons of each brand.
Space is often at a premium in bedrooms but if you can stretch to a king-size bed, do. Make sure you have bedside tables with lamps and, if there is any space left over, think about providing somewhere to sit.
Look to companies such as Graham & Green and Robert Langford for affordable furniture options and don’t forget about specialist bedroom companies such as Feather & Black and The Headboard Workshop.
This is where you really start to make people feel at home. Contrary to popular belief, soft furnishings do not need to be expensive. These days there is a wide range of high street stores and online shops who offer very reasonably priced cushions and throws. Do make sure you buy items that are easily cleaned and if you are ordering on-line make sure you check the returns policy.
When it comes to window treatments, employ a professional if you can. Perfectly tailored curtains or blinds make an extraordinary difference and, whilst it is the more expensive option we think it is money well spent. Many of the high street retailers such as John Lewis offer a made-to-measure service and it is worth comparing the costs of this with a local curtain company. Do also check out companies such as The Curtain Exchange. It can sometimes work out cheaper to have good quality second hand curtains altered to fit your space as opposed to buying new.
Do fight the desire to overpopulate the space with Aunt Ethel’s antique figurines or Uncle Bert’s prized map collection. Less is definitely more when it comes to decorative accessories and a few key pieces should suffice.
Try to source items that add another layer of interest to your scheme whether that be a metallic bowl to tie in with the door handles and sanitary ware or a cut glass vase to accentuate the glamorous bedside lamps.
Companies such as India Jane, Brissi, Tom Dixon and Aerin are well worth a look.
We live in a world of uncertainty and sometimes it is the simple things that give us the most pleasure. Thoughtful touches such as water by the bed, maps and guides to the local area and hot water bottles in winter make the world of difference. You could even think about providing jars of colourful wrapped sweets or chocolates to add another layer of interest to the décor at the same time as delighting your guests! Try them in groups of three.
Fresh flowers are another personal touch but if the budget won’t stretch that far think about investing in a faux arrangement. Oka and Ikea both stock and extensive range.
Our final piece of advice is don’t take decorating too seriously. At the end of the day the quirks of your Bed & Breakfast will be what guests come back for. Each room should reveal a little bit of your personality and by choosing pieces you like within the parameters of the above guide you should end up with a scheme that is unique to you.