Pretty as a picture

When you're decorating or redecorating an accommodation establishment, there are so many essential expenses, that decorating walls often turns into a matter of scratching around for anything to use.

This is not a professional solution and can really let your establishment down. In fact, the calibre of art on the walls is one of the factors that strongly indicates the quality of your establishment. Pictures for your walls need not be original oil paintings, water colours or pastels. They could be prints or photos, or even be reasonably flat items such as wooden statues, pipes, ornaments, etc. Remember that a beautiful frame can do wonders to enhance otherwise simple objects.

You may like to use similar but varied framed items in the bedrooms and something completely different in the reception area, lounge and dining room. The more upmarket your establishment the more you will coordinate your art around a theme and style. If you have an African-style guest house then English prints will probably look somewhat incongruous.

It is a measure of your decorating skill how well you blend your art with the décor and furnishings in your establishment.

Good planning in advance will get a better result because once the hooks are in the wall it is far more difficult to rearrange everything.

Versatile space

How often have you wished that the bedrooms in your establishment were a little bigger, or that you had the space to accommodate a few more people in your breakfast room?

Many B&Bs and guest houses were not purpose built and add-ons or alterations are prohibitively expensive. You may not be aware that the cost of building, furnishing and fitting a large hotel is calculated per square metre, so obviously space is important to larger establishments too. The key is to make the most practical use of the space available and where possible, have the versatility to make use of the same space for more than one purpose.

One just needs to look at the caravans of today to know what I am referring to. Of course I am NOT saying that your bedrooms need to be fitted out like the inside of a caravan with fold-out tables, flip-down beds or fold-away kitchenettes. All I am saying is that if space is limited, a little bit of creative thought can allow you to offer more to your guests without using more precious floor space.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Sleeper couches allow you to turn a comfortable, spacious double room into a family room with the minimum fuss and effort. With the impressive range of styles available nowadays you are almost certain to find one that will match your décor.
  • A dresser and chair can double as a work station so you don’t need a separate writing table somewhere else in the room. Make sure that the height is comfortable for both purposes, hang a mirror at the correct height and remember that adequate lighting is important. Remember too that the space shouldn’t be cluttered and that plug points and computer network connection points should be easily accessible. A dresser with two shallow side-by-side drawers allows you to use one drawer for ‘hiding’ the hair - dryer and the other for complimentary stationery etc.
  • Using wall space instead of floor space also makes the room appear less cluttered. Use wall-mounted light fittings instead of standing lamps, use a TV shelf fitted to the wall instead of a TV cabinet and consider a shelf on either side of the bed instead of pedestals if the rooms are very small.
  • Beyond your walls there are also possibilities. If your dining room or lounge is a little cramped, consider taking it outside – a patio, paved area or even the garden can offer cost effective extensions, and with the gorgeous outdoor furniture available nowadays you don’t have to compromise on style. Cantilever umbrellas will protect your guests from the harsh South African sun while being easily manoeuvrable and nicely out of the way.
  • When furnishing your breakfast room, use square tables of the same design so that you can move them together to make a larger table if need be. Ensure that your chairs all match.
  • Similarly, of you offer conferencing facilities, consider modular tables that can be arranged in a variety of ways to ensure that you are able offer the seating style required by your client.
  • Corners are often forgotten. If you’re short on space, a corner unit to house the TV may be just what you need.
  • A permanent luggage rack takes up quite a bit of space in a room. Either invest in collapsible ones or have them built into the bottom of the built-in cupboard below the hanging rail so that there is still room for shoes at the very bottom of the cupboard.

There are hundreds of innovative solutions to space limitations.