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Hotel lobbies are transforming, and so is their wall design

Interior design is vital to the success of today’s hospitality spaces. In a world of social media and picture-first sharing, it’s become a key component of a guest’s hotel stay.

In this blog post, we’re looking at five key ways wall design is coming to the fore and contributing to the overall experience of a space. We’re looking specifically at hotel lobbies and how their very function is changing.

Read on for clever ways that hospitality designers are breaking down global trends into actionable design assets that are used in lobbies of hotels of all sizes.

Wall design is something hospitality designers are looking to when faced with mounting pressure to keep up with what guests really want: a unique, personalised travel experience.

Guiding experiences through interior design

Hotels are no longer just places where weary travellers can rest their heads. They’re evolving, for a number of different reasons, into whole experiences.

What kind of development is that? What do we mean by ‘experience’? How can experience be valuable or measured?

The experience economy is a marketing concept focused on positioning your product, no matter what it is, to enhance the lives or wellbeing of its consumer. This kind of marketing emphases enhancing and personalizing your hotel guests’ stay, with business depending more heavily on the ethereal nature of ‘experience’ than ever before.

The great thing about experiences, though, is that designers have control over them in an interior space.

Interior architects and designers can orchestrate consumers’ responses and emotions – and thus, memory and brand loyalty – by elements of clever interior design, by the use of scent and technology, by lighting and negative space.

This is where wall treatments, statement walls and feature design come to the fore.

Custom wall murals aren't just for street art

Hotel lobbies have a great deal of work to do on behalf of the hotel staff. They have to set expectations, facilitate check-in desks, provide informal meeting spaces, be visually interesting as well as comfortable.

That’s a lot.

Making your hotel lobbies work harder in your service is what this post is all about.

In keeping with the need of guests for a personalised, culturally distinct experience of their stay, we suggest you think about murals as wall treatments for your lobby area.

Hear us out.

Working with local artists to create a personalized wall mural, giving your hotel lobby a definite, unique stamp that’s full of local flavour.

Harness the power of colour blocking to liven up your hotel lobby

Newsflash: accent walls are passé, but block colour accents are totally in. Work with pastels for a softer, more neutral space, or break out the metallics if you’re feeling bolder.

Adding texture to your hotel lobby walls with acoustic fabrics

Another wall treatment that will really boost the experience of your hotel lobby space comes through going 3D and working with fabrics that have high sound-absorbing properties, or even custom-made acoustic fabrics.

Use them on your walls, your ceiling – anywhere you want to soak up noise and add full-on texture.

‘Swimming pool’ acoustics in hotel lobbies aren’t fun.

Using delicate inlay relief designs on your walls

Subtle inlay relief designs on your walls make a space remarkable and go a long way towards creating an understatedly sophisticated effect. No wonder this idea belongs entirely to the Parisian Chic concept of interior design!

This kind of wall treatment works well for smaller reception spaces too, providing some volume and visual curiosity to a space.

Keep relief inlays as elegantly minimalist as you’d like, or go all-out bold with a plaster relief mural (see below, in a striking botanic pattern…because nothing creates an atmosphere in an interior quicker than plants).

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Think outside the box by dressing up your walls with upholstery fabric

Obviously, we can’t end this post without another nod to using fabrics on your walls. Yes, FibreGuard fabrics are perfect for wall upholstery.

This wall treatment technique is actually far more doable than you might think. It’s a nippy way to create a memorable interior with a built-in wow-factor. Hospitality designers who don't want to go subtle, we dare you to break out the graphics, shapes, geometric, animal patterns, textured wall coverings: everything.

This is a clever move for hotel lobbies especially, as the walls won’t be touched as much as they might be in other hotel areas such as guest bedrooms.

Now what?

What wall treatment ideas are you seeing in your daily design work or on social media? Are there any that are applicable in your next interiors project?

While you’re doing this, it’s worthwhile to think more about how you can expand the scope of what your hotel lobby is on a fundamental level.

By designing for the ever-changing and growing number of activities that take place in hotel lobbies, you can control the experience of it and enhance your guests’ stay.

If you enjoyed this blog post, share it with a friend or colleague. We have a flourishing community over on LinkedIn – check it out and meet other like-minded interior designers!

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