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Hotel Interior Design: How to use plants around your common areas

  Posted in How to  Last updated 1/12/2023

Common houseplants are making a reappearance in fashionable interiors – and they can also be used at your hotel. Not only do they add character and atmosphere to a space, they improve air quality and reduce dust.

Plants soften areas that have a lot of hard elements; which is often the case with communal hotel areas that may have concrete or porcelain floors, double-height walls and large windows.

What can you use plants for at your hotel?

Plants can be used for a lot more than you would initially think. Here are five ways your hotel design could benefit from some potted colour:

  1. Enliven a dark corner or boring view with a statement plant rather than cramming in more furniture. Group plants with contrasting textures and heights for added effect.
  2. Plants can break up large spaces to create small vignettes or meeting areas without spoiling a feeling of spaciousness. Plant racking is great for dividing areas of communal space without committing to a permanent structure. It creates privacy while maintaining views across the room. This is a good idea for screening off diners from the greet in a restaurant.
  1. From a design perspective, plants can create balance: perhaps a tall cactus or trendy cheese plant could provide a visual counterpoint to a large piece of heavy furniture that seems to pull the eye in one direction. An interesting room has more than one focal point. Hotel lobby furniture tends to be low and planting can provide height in a neutral form.
  1. A living or green wall absolutely transforms a space and can conceal an ugly elevation with abundant foliage. These textured plantings are rooted into a structure that is attached to an internal or external wall. You can get moss-based and realistic-looking artificial systems that require no watering at all.
  2. Planted pictures are great for a contemporary statement. They convey a sense of humour that will put guests at ease when checking-in if the hotel’s architecture and design is minimalist in a way that can make incomers feel self-conscious.

Some bonus tips for using plants in and around your property

There are some general guidelines that should be followed for how and when plants should be used. It takes a little more than placing them randomly – and could even win you some hotel design awards:

  • If you have a small internal courtyard or outside space, don’t think small, or grass. Create an intriguing jungle-like oasis with giant palms, strappy phormium and cordyline and feather-leaved tree ferns like dicksonia. Weave gravel or tiled paths through the planting and place a few little tables or chairs where a natural space forms. Install some atmospheric lighting to illuminate the foliage.
  • Statement planters at the entrance of your hotel will create a striking impression. A pair of symmetrical bay or olive trees is boring, so opt for some quirky topiary instead. Bear in mind that this will need expert maintenance to keep it looking sharp. Soften with some flowering plants around the base if this arrangement looks a bit unwelcoming.
  • If real plants seem like to much of a maintenance commitment, there are hundreds of realistic artificial options. However, don’t buy them online without checking the quality first.
  • Be creative with window boxes. A mixture of tall, twiggy plants, which will still allow some light through, underplanted with spiky grasses, flowering annuals and even shrubs will add drama to the plan.

By Shine Colcol

Shine is the SEO and Content Manager of SiteMinder, the only software platform that unlocks the full revenue potential of hotels. With 5+ years of experience in content strategy, Shine has produced informational content across various industry topics, mostly about operations management and continuous improvement. She aims to share well-researched articles for hoteliers to discover how to optimize their time and increase room revenue.


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