How to furnish a hotel: 6 style proposals

The hospitality market has been in great turmoil for several years now, due to changes in consumption trends and supply characteristics. Within this context, for hotels the choice of how to furnish them is becoming strategic: on the one hand since a range of possibilities opens up, given the wide variety of proposals, and on the other because creating a personalised hotel able to offer guests a unique experience is essential for differentiation from fierce competition.

Now more than ever before, personalisation is the key word in the choice of hotel furnishing; producers offer broad opportunities for modification in their catalogues, if not even the creation of custom products for furnishing hotel bedrooms and setting up common spaces in accommodation facilities. So creativity in the choice of furnishings is on the rise, but care must be taken to steer clear of excesses or improvisations: to avoid them it is useful to refer to a precise hotel furnishing style, choosing from those most in fashion at present, and developing it according to the hotel’s characteristics and to the specific experience it wishes to offer guests. The possibilities for personalising hotel furnishing offered by companies in this sector will allow the desired result to be achieved.

From those styles most in fashion at present we have identified six, all very different from one another, but each an excellent starting point for creating personalised hotel furnishing:

  • Furnish a hotel in minimal style
  • Furnish a hotel in urban style
  • Furnish a hotel in classic style
  • Furnish a hotel in shabby chic style
  • Furnish a hotel in natural style
  • Furnish a hotel in fusion style

Furnish a hotel in minimal style

The minimal style in hotel furnishing is very popular, as it brings unquestionable advantages. First, the minimal hotel room has a larger floor area for the same surface area, making this style suitable also for hotels with smaller spaces.

It is a style especially suited to relaxation and conveying a feeling of calm elegance; it is excellent for hotels in capitals or lively cities, as it allows guests to enjoy rest and concentration after busy days or evenings. For the same reason, it is also very suitable for furnishing hotels used for business trips. It is also suited to hotels used for long-term stays, as it creates unassuming spaces which long-stay guests do not tire of.

The basics of the minimal style for hotels

To furnish a hotel in minimal style you need to start with the colour palette. Black, white, grey, ivory and all the related nuances; some beige tones such as sand can also be used, or cold colours such as teal and metal shades, as long as the base remains white and black.

Shapes should be as geometric as possible, while materials should ideally convey softness, both to the touch - with the use of leather or imitation leather, and of appearance - through glossy or matt lacquering. Careful use of mirrors is an integral part of the minimal style.

On a practical level, furnishing hotel rooms in minimal style requires great attention to furniture quality: fewer pieces do not necessarily mean lower costs, and the lower presence of accessories often needs to be made up for with quality. A design effort is also required to give the guest the same floor area while leaving more empty space in the room. Custom design is particularly useful for this.

The chair becomes an essential expressive component in a minimal hotel room: in this “neutralised” space it can be original to “play” with a high impact piece, perhaps with a strong contrast (coloured working or shapes opposed to the prevailing geometry). The chair is the most suitable accessory for playing this role as it can be moved to different positions in the room.

Furnish a hotel in urban style

Choosing the urban style for a hotel is particularly recommended when you want to give a friendly, contemporary feel to its spaces. Suitable for young, cosmopolitan guests, this style features recycling the most disparate items, that are stripped of their normal use and used for decorative purposes. 

Urban hotel furnishing is well suited to hotels created with architectural recovery works: this style likes high ceilings and walls with exposed brickwork, frequently found especially in recovery projects and changes in the previously intended use; it also works very well in more standard settings, where it is advisable to work on the parquets and wall decoration. It is a very fashionable furnishing style in hotels in capital cities and art cities, and one that through its eclecticism can make every room of a hotel a different, a unique piece that is an experience for guests.

The basics of the urban style

The basic colours of the urban style are black, beige and brown shades, and above all the colour palette of leather, from Havana brown to bordeaux. These are the main tools with which to furnish an urban hotel room, the rest will come with a clever use of contrasts and especially decorative components: the ability to create “apparent chaos” is indeed the hallmark of this style of furnishing. Vintage pieces and recycling components such as old lamps, industrial tools or machinery parts, reconceived as furnishing or lighting accessories, will give the taste of furnishing in which different lines can be mixed. The main piece here is the sofa or armchair: leather or imitation leather, best with contrasting colour (Havana brown or bordeaux) and distressed or naturally aged, it will be the aesthetic focus of the entire room. Alternatively, designer chairs or chaise longues can do the same job.

Furnish a hotel in classic style

Talking about furnishing in classic style for hotels means grouping together a wide range of possibilities in one setting: from the Old New England Classic with its elegant lines dominated by white, to the colour explosion of Baroque. What unites these approaches under a single definition is the reference to models of architecture and furniture of the past, and the search for a balance in which the smallest excess may be fatal. So it is crucial to have a great sense of proportion. 

The classic style is an excellent idea for hotels in art cities, especially those with foreign clientele: these tourists like to find inside their hotel room a reference to what they have seen outside, and short stays ensure that an aesthetically fairly full space will not “tire” guests.

The basics of the classic style

A hotel room furnished in the classic style normally has nuances ranging from white to cream and beige. Wood tones, from mahogany to oak and teak, are combined with them.

A four-poster bed is a useful piece for characterising the room, you should steer away from overdoing it in a classic-modern hotel furnishing setting. Upholstery is particularly important, whether you decide to use wallpaper or opt for curtains or carpets. Maintaining a balance of colours is key in this style. Depending on the desired effect, chairs can have bold woodwork and rich fabric, or austere lines in order to leave room for the larger pieces (bed and wardrobe) to characterise the setting. Personalisation is important in classic furnishing for hotels more than in other styles: as the aesthetic components are known, exploiting the abilities of furnishing suppliers will be important to give the setting personality.

Furnish a hotel in shabby chic style

The shabby chic style is also known as Provencal or white vintage, as the traditional houses of Provence or the French Riviera which it refers to, or because the dominant colour is white and recovery work is the norm. Furnishing a hotel in shabby chic style can turn out to be a double‑edged sword: it is now a widely-established and well-liked furnishing trend that can, however, take on an over-strong character. 

To avoid this, it is key to remember that hotel room furniture needs to maintain a certain neutrality in order to be suitable for all travellers and all lengths of stay. The natural vocation of the shabby chic style is furnishing hotels in seaside resorts or country and rural settings, although proposing it in spa resorts and mountain resorts can also be original.

The basics of the shabby chic style

To obtain a shabby chic effect in hotel furnishing, as always it is good to start from the colours: white, pink, light blue, beige and grey are the basics, while pastel colours in general can be complementary. A hotel room in shabby chic style can also be characterised by fabrics: natural, especially linen and cotton batiste; they may be self-coloured - always respecting the palette - or printed: tiny pink and light blue flowers to suggest Provence, or navy and white broad stripes for the French Riviera and the Camargue. The furniture lines must be essential and able to suggest pre-industrial furniture made with craftsmanship, manual work and a certain taste for natural, raw or little-treated materials; the idea that time leaves its mark on things sweetly is particularly evident in this style, so distressing work is a must for furnishing in shabby chic style: chairs and a bed with this feature are obligatory in the room, better still if finished with brushwork in the style’s shades.

Furnish a hotel in natural style

The natural style brings together some trends that go by the name of “Nordic style”, enhancing the natural character and aesthetics linked to wood. Simple, clean lines, combined with surfaces in which veins, knots and other details of the material emerge as characteristic features. An appearance that takes in rustic, handmade or homemade. 

As you can deduce, furnishing a hotel in natural style means building a space devoted to relaxation, peace and rapprochement with nature; for this reason the natural style goes particularly well with hotels dedicated to food and wine tourism or nature-based tourism, but it can also be used in city hotels to build spaces in which to regenerate oneself and regain balance.

The basics of the natural style

The natural style in hotel furnishing means above all raw wood in its natural colours: cherry, ash and teak, but also wenge for contrasts. Upholstery is normally in warm colours, with the choice of natural fibres. In the natural style hotel, the distinguishing components are the desk and chair: the former uses the top to showcase a large wooden surface on which to reveal veins and natural patterns as much as possible, while the latter can play a contrast with brightly coloured fabrics and functional parts in exposed wood.

Furnish a hotel in fusion style

Let us leave the most articulate style to last: furnishing a hotel in fusion style means creating a shrewd mix of trends. Almost always characterised by the presence of ethnic components, fusion is, however, distinguished by harmoniously mixing components from modern and traditional settings. 

A hotel furnished in fusion style is complex work to perform, and equally suitable for urban panoramas and holiday resorts, convivial or luxury settings, with a single common denominator: a sophisticated clientele with taste, able to understand the articulation of the style, and seeking a unique hospitality experience.

The basics of the fusion style

To furnish in fusion style, first of all you need to decide clearly which trends you want to mix. Good fusion furnishing for hotels should never include more than three trends, to avoid the risk of confusion and the pastiche effect. Secondly, it is important to decide on the colour palette, which will be determined by the dominant trend. To furnish a hotel room in fusion style it is also very important to define the colour balance between walls and furnishings: if the furnishings have several colour nuances then the walls should remain neutral, and vice versa. The opportunity to play on fabrics is explored in this approach more than in any other.

To conclude, whatever choice you make on the style with which to furnish a hotel, the important thing is to begin with a clear concept in mind, one arising from precise knowledge of the type of experience you wish to create for guests. With this path mapped out, interaction with suppliers can bring out possibilities and spaces for achieving an authentically personalised and characteristic space.

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