In the hospitality industry, first impressions matter. The foyer or reception area of your hotel sets the tone for your guests’ experience. Is it warm and cosy, or sleek and modern? Your foyer is also your first and best chance to wow your guests and make them glad they chose to stay with you. Perhaps most importantly, a memorable foyer is a fantastic advertisement. Visitors or patrons coming to your hotel for the bar or restaurant may be tempted by a striking foyer into seeing what else you have to offer, but crucially, these days, a memorable foyer space is something guests will be excited to snap and share on social media, giving you great exposure.
Achieving that “Instagrammable” effect takes more than just beautiful spaces and great interior design. Selfie-happy guests will be selfie-happiest if you give them something not only beautiful and luxurious, but original and striking as well. Social media content is about branding, not only for you but for your guests, who will want to share their experience at your hotel if they feel your company’s values align with their own. That means a truly Instagrammable foyer space should express your values as well as creating an experience. Finally, although designers are sometimes shy about admitting this, the truth is that some kinds of beauty photograph better than others.
For all these reasons, finding the right furniture is becoming more and more of a priority for hospitality businesses. Good furniture is not only visually striking, it tempts people to stay a while, have a deeper experience, and share it. At Valdivian, we specialise in creating the right furniture for hotels, restaurants and other businesses across the hospitality sector. If you’re considering what furniture could do for your hotel foyer, here are my top tips:
Let your values guide you
Guests share their experience on social media when they’re excited, and there’s more than one way for your foyer furniture to be exciting. Yes, gorgeous design and kooky features will appeal to many, but just as many guests will be thrilled to find that you care about the same things they’re passionate about. Some hotels display slogans or artwork that express their values, but furniture can be just as expressive. If you’re environmentally conscious, find a furniture business who have environmental concerns at the heart of the business; it’s possible to create luxury and comfort that doesn’t cost the Earth. By choosing sustainable furniture, it will show your guests that you’re committed to building a better world. The current trend for biophilic design, incorporating natural, raw materials, also favours sustainable furniture.
Make a statement
The centre of a great foyer space is a statement feature, and since your furniture is likely to be in the centre of your space, it’s the perfect way to make a bold statement. Striking design is key, but it’s a mistake to rely on trendy shapes and colours alone. Statement furniture should also be furniture: something guests want to get close to and spend time with. Well-made, comfortable furniture provides the best customer experience.
The most shareable features are eye-catching, by definition. The problem with really eye-catching furniture is that it probably won’t mesh too easily with your existing design. One solution is to go bespoke. Contract furniture offers original features which you can customise to fit into your space while still standing out from the crowd. We believe that handmade, bespoke furniture is one of the best tools clients have for creating foyer spaces guests will love, share and come back for.
By Liam O’Donnell, director of Valdivian Furniture, a British furniture manufacturer that specialises in bespoke, hand crafted contract furniture