The hospitality industry has been hit especially hard by Coronavirus. Some hotels, restaurants, and casinos have shut down permanently, while others are rising to the challenge of adapting to the new normal.
Hospitality design in the time of Coronavirus has required big changes to projects currently in construction and to existing establishments. Companies have changed their design and décor to be focused on safety, versatility, and comfort.
A new emphasis on cleanliness is one of the most prominent changes occurring in businesses around the world. This includes touchless reception and check-in areas, partitions for social distancing, and changing the ways that meals are displayed and served.
Prior to 2020, many felt that cleaning and maintenance should only occur behind the scenes, so guests never see the reality behind the experience. Now, though, the trend is shifting to a more transparent approach. Deep cleaning and sterilization are done frequently, and publicly, so guests can be sure they’re in a safe, hygienic environment.
Hospitality Design’s recent article, Trends: Covid-19 Design Considerations, features innovative solutions to these current limitations:
It posits a hotel where guest-movable partitions with air-purifying plants and UV lighting populate the lobby, handwashing is elevated to ceremonial status with public space stations, screens and fabric shields are beautiful rather than medical, and planters indicate physical distancing.
Big structural changes like new HVAC systems and UV lighting are a major investment that Renaud believes not all firms will want to take on. Instead, he says, offices will respond to the crisis by reducing in-person staff, adding more modular pieces, and sourcing specific materials that are easily cleanable.
This is an area where TreeScapes & PlantWorks can be of assistance! Our artificial trees and plants are designed to be both durable and beautiful. They don’t need water, and we usually recommend occasional dusting as the only regular maintenance. They can, however, be disinfected and cleaned in accordance with Covid-19 guidelines. Every little bit makes a difference when you’re making your business as clean and safe as possible.
Versatility has always been an asset, but it’s a priority now more than ever before. Dining areas, workspaces, and lobbies may need to be rearranged so guests can be kept further apart, but still access amenities. Many spaces are now becoming multi-use, which is a trend for home interior design as well.
Movable pieces and dual-purpose décor make it easy to turn your conference rooms into individual offices or establish one-way paths to prevent overcrowding. Lightweight tables, room dividers on wheels, and rotating barriers make it easy to adjust space as needed.
Some of our most popular new products are dividers with faux flowers and leaves arranged between two acrylic barriers. These provide privacy, but they’re also beautiful on their own as customized décor. We make ours on steel frames complete with wheels, so they can be adjusted as needed.
Those seeking more discrete options can still establish space and safety by using green walls, artificial trees, or plant displays. Some places are celebrating their safety measures, as noted above, but others still want to maintain the feeling of a relaxed, carefree environment. When restrictions are lifted, these pieces will continue to add visual value.
A welcoming, comfortable space is crucial to success during and after Coronavirus. People have spent months quarantined at home, limiting their interactions with the outside world. This has left many of us feeling starved for new experiences and sights, so the most beautiful and welcoming establishments will have advantages over the rest. The other side of this, though, is that we have become accustomed to the level of comfort that our own home provides.
Businesses can win on both fronts by bringing the outdoors inside. Many are craving the sights, sounds, and smells of being free out in nature instead of sequestered at home. The easiest way to do this is by incorporating real or faux plants into your décor. People respond positively to nature-inspired décor – even if it isn’t real. Artificial plants, paintings, natural materials, and the inclusion of natural patterns all encourage a sense of peace, productivity, health, and wellbeing.
Allergy concerns and long term maintenance are two of the biggest hindrances to incorporating real plants and trees into hospitality design. Restaurants often utilize our faux trees and plants because there are no smells, good or bad, to compete with the scent of their meals.
Another advantage of going faux is that you don’t have to worry about your greenery dying or decaying. Studies have shown that guests and consumers have significant negative reactions to the presence of dead or dying plants. This is particularly true in restaurants and hospitals. Both are places where people expect a high level of hygiene and attention to detail. Artificial plants mean that no one will ever wonder if your drooping plants are because you don’t tend to them regularly.
The entire world is dealing with the reality and repercussions of COVID-19, so businesses are all in good company. Big brands are making permanent changes that will last long beyond this pandemic, and the most successful ones are able to adapt and pivot to meet current needs. TreeScapes & PlantWorks is here to help with a variety of customized solutions that bridge the gap between form and function.