With the coldest months fast approaching, it’s the perfect time to begin preparing your hospitality space to be warming and comfortable for your guests. Whilst your main furniture and décor should be appropriate throughout the whole year, making small changes for each season is essential. All hospitality businesses, from restaurants to hotels, will benefit from creating changes for the winter months. Much like swapping Pimms for mulled wine or replacing salads to hearty roasts, it’s a great idea to have a similar approach with your interior. Below are some simple, easy tips to ensure your guests get a warm welcome when entering your space.
Keep the cold outside!
No one wants to be seated at a table near the entrance and feel a cold breeze every time the door is opened, so moving the tables further away from the door is a good way to start. If this isn’t possible within your space, putting up a thick curtain or partition to separate the entrance is an ideal way to keep out the wintery weather.
Make more space
Make sure there is space for hanging coats and scarves. In the winter, people will be wearing various layers and they don’t want to be sitting on a pile of coats or have a wet scarf on the back of their chair. Additionally, more space between tables is a great idea – this will ensure that guests will be able to comfortably remove coats.
Move seating around
Do you have a soft seating area and a fireplace in your foyer or your pub? If so, move this area more towards fireplaces to get that extra cosy feeling – place larger sofas and additional chairs to allow a number of people to enjoy the warming comfort of an open fire. Maximise alcoves, corners and other focal points with sofas and snug armchairs.
Bring in that wintery feeling, minus the cold weather, by playing around with seasonal decorations such as pinecones, dahlias and even dry scented fruit to create features such as winter wreaths, table assortments or garlands. These features could also be used to highlight specific seasonal dishes to encourage sales and interest.
Introduce heavier fabrics
Put away your lighter throw blankets! It is time to get your thicker blankets and quilts out for your hotel rooms and seating areas – drape them over couches, armchairs or at the end of beds. Introduce a soft, thick rug to the floor to maximise coziness. Use colours from the warmer side of the colour wheel, such as deep reds and burnt oranges, to magnify the homely feel. In addition to colour, bring in knitted materials such as wool and sheepskins to add texture.
By Liam O’Donnell, director of Valdivian Furniture, a British furniture manufacturer that specialises in bespoke, hand crafted contract furniture