Find out everything you need to know about hospitality design and the booming $12 billion dollar industry.
Hospitality design is a wide industry term used to categorise the interior design of establishments for commercial premises in the service industry. This includes a range of businesses, from restaurants, bars, clubs, casino’s, cafés, pop-up or food eateries, spas, hotels and boutique aparthotels, as well as Airbnb and boutique lake houses.
Interior is everything when it comes to hospitality design. Art is at the centre of the design, which is why choosing the right art will showcase the venue's ethos, their carefully curated tastes, and make them shine in the contemporary art world.
When designing a hotels or restaurant, it's important to understand the layout and ensure it has been configured to make the best possible use of space to surprise and delight guests, fulfilling their requirements whether they travel and dine for business or for leisure. To make a statement in hospitality design, it's important to source unique, handcrafted pieces, while understanding how to enhance the guest’s experience through design.
Image Credit: Mottram Hall, Champneys Spa. Wall Art by Abstract House.
From supremely comfortable lounges to elegant and historic dining rooms, hospitality design needs to serve a lot of functions. High-end restaurants need to look beautiful, reflect the food that’s being served - but they also need to be spaces that their patrons love to spend time in. This can be easily achieved by curating artwork that will elevate the interiors.
For a truly unique setting, commissioning a bespoke artwork is highly regarded so that the artist can create a one-of-a-kind painting crafted especially for the venue, perhaps with inspiration from a piece of history, a story or to elevate the brand aesthetics.
Artwork: Peach Haze Framed Art by Abstract House, bespoke size
How Do I Commission An Artist?
At Abstract House, we have over 20 years experience in creating commissioned paintings and one-of-a-kind artworks for hospitality and commercial businesses. Since we design and make all of our artwork and frames in-house, we have the flexibility and expertise to produce unique pieces that will transform your design.
Our commission process is simple and seamless. Simply get in touch with one of our art curators who will discuss your requirements and provide art recommendations to bring your vision to life.
Artwork: Peach Haze Framed Art by Abstract House, bespoke size
Luxury Hotel Design
Designing a space where guests feel comfortable to linger over a long business lunch, or enjoy a romantic dinner with a loved one and bringing it together - it's that challenge that makes some of the fabulous hotel and restaurant interiors so interesting: achieving the perfect balance between comfort and style isn’t easy.
Luxurious hotels have a new hurdle in 2023. Creating a space for bleisure - the latest buzzword in the hospitality industry combining business with leisure, a trip intended for business where the traveller extends their short stay for a few more days to enjoy the amenities of the hotel and explore the local area.
Let’s take a look at some bold and beautiful hotel and restaurant interiors, and discover how they maintain that balance between function and design.
The Ritz is the epitome of glamorous, luxurious London - you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who hasn’t heard of it. From the blue-suited doorman who welcomes you inside those famous revolving doors, to the red and gold embroidered carpet lining the spiral staircase (looking like it should be in Buckingham Palace) the Ritz’s interiors are stately and stunning.
The garden and restaurant terrace offer a more contemporary feel, with green striped furniture that brings to mind Wimbledon, or a luxurious sort of Brighton beach getaway - classic English upper-class style. They’re the exception to the rule, with the William Kent room flanked by twin heron paintings and with an exceptionally ornate painted ceiling.
However, it hasn’t always been the glamorous stalwart of British luxury it is today. The hotel was sold in the 1970s and was no longer a place where royals hobnobbed with celebrities. In the 1990s, there was talk of redecorating the Ritz, but the managing director wasn’t interested in redecoration. Instead, he wanted to complete a full restoration, rebuilding and restoring floor by floor.
Completed in 2002 to give the Ritz a new lease of life, the designers adapted what was already there, rather than putting an entirely new spin on the hotel. Those rich 12-colour carpets? They were woven by a computer to fit each room - many of the rooms and hallways are irregularly shaped, so the original builders put design features in place to hide this.
Where they could, they saved the beautiful furnishings, and original light fixtures, hinges, and marble fireplaces were restored. The magic of the Ritz was back, and it’s again the ultimate in British luxury.
Another British icon, Claridges is situated in central Mayfair, just steps away from bustling Bond Street. Claridges has been around since the 1850s, offering an elegant take on traditional British glamour. We love the subtlety of the interiors in Claridges: it would be so easy to go garish at the expense of a soothing atmosphere for the guests. Instead they’ve used classic design items like pink shell chairs and gold Japanese screens in the Mayfair Suite, bringing together millennial design sensibilities with classic Art Deco.
Claridges underwent a huge refurbishment during lockdown, digging a monumental basement extension for a new pool and underground spa, and adding a rooftop penthouse suite (complete with grand piano) for the uber-wealthy to enjoy.
They even brought in a long-time guest to design a room! American architect and designer Leo Daley loved staying at the hotel so much that he designed number 218, creating a calming colour palette and marble bathrooms that deliver a contemporary, chilled out feel.
The Claridge’s restaurant is a testament to beautiful design without being outlandish, where the chairs are actually comfortable (and stylish!) and the tables are made of thick oak. The open kitchen is rendered in bronze, so you can watch the chefs do their magic.
With a backdrop of bronze-framed windows and shelves, we love how they’ve achieved a luxurious feel without being austere.
Interior Designers To Watch
Yoo are an innovative, exciting design agency that focuses on creating extraordinary spaces. Founded by Philippe Starck and John Hitchcox, they’re inspired to create hospitality interiors which enrich and enhance the guest experience. They believe design is an intensely personal experience, one that is at the crux of living well. They’ve created a cutting-edge design hotel in Rio De Janeiro which combines local flavour, eclectic music and contemporary style - a space to relax, socialise, and simply be yourself.
Abstract House completed three commissions for their luxury lake houses. Just 90 minutes from London, these dazzling lake houses are situated in the stunning Cotswolds area (an area of outstanding natural beauty). The Lakes are a rural estate set across 850 acres of freshwater lakes, meadows and woodland, in the Gloucestershire countryside.
These interiors have been designed for relaxation, to be a genuine country escape from the city hustle and bustle. The designers used natural materials from the local landscape to bring the outside in, emphasising the natural world by using pendant lighting that’s handwoven by local craftsmen. The colour palette is warm and earthy, with quirky artwork that tells the story of the area, of the Cotswolds, and truly complements the rustic feel. With a view this stunning (enjoyed from the split-level decking), the interiors need to dazzle too!
Abstract House also worked with luxury spa hotel group Champneys, bringing their interior vision to life through bespoke commissions. Champneys blend the idea of a spa break or a fitness holiday with an elegant countryside retreat. Utilising beautiful design features like chaise lounges, chandeliers, and brocade cushions, their interiors reflect their ethos of cosy English charm.
Image Credit: Champneys Henlow
This ultra-cool interior at Champneys Henlow looks more old-fashioned at first, but then you catch a glimpse of the pink inside the chairs, the contrast between the green exterior and the pink interior, and realise it’s anything but.
We love the artwork in the restaurant, too. These circular abstract pieces catch the light, combining with the gold ceiling artwork to dazzle and delight.
Image Credit: Champneys Henlow
Any article on hospitality design in London wouldn’t complete without talking about Tara Bernerd, an internationally renowned interior designer and founder of her own Belgravia-based architectural practice, Tara Bernerd & Partners.
Bernerd and her team recently completed a project for the Four Seasons Hotel at Park Lane, optimising the natural beauty of this classic hotel and ensuring the interiors look beautiful, but also put the guests' experiences first.
One way they did this was to re-configure bedroom layouts. Formerly, storage wasn’t optimised - while it’s something that designers may overlook, it’s oh-so-important for guests. This also created much more natural light, crucial in a grey city like London. In London, you can sometimes feel swallowed up by all the tall buildings and grey skies!
Image Credit: Four Seasons
Bernerd and her team used eclectic, bright artworks to add personality to what was quite a one-note interior. The hotel is in a prestigious location, surrounded by three of London’s Royal Parks, so she added touches of green to reflect this.
By keeping the interiors neutral, she could dial up the interiors with artwork, and ensure the spaces were designed to give the guests as much space as possible.
Hospitality Design - Restaurants
Sea Containers Restaurant is in a prime London location - near the Tate Modern (perfect for some post-lunch art browsing!) and set on the top floor of the Sea Containers building, it has incredible views across the Thames. We’d probably say some of the best in London! Their focus is on a relaxed dining experience - seasonality and ingredient-led cooking are their buzzwords.
Its bold, industrial styling contrasts with the rustic tableware to give a laid back yet luxurious feel. The light-filled space and open kitchen fosters an inclusive guest experience - no silver service here, just excellent cooking and impeccable service. The hotel itself is uber-contemporary, with large windows to showcase that view, touches of pink, and huge backlit mirrors. Bold purple and pink artworks - which have the appearance of paint dripping down the walls - complete the look, with bright pink cushions tying into the modern, vibrant theme.
Image Credit: Sketch
Sketch, located in London’s swanky Mayfair, is a design-led restaurant that showcases art, music, drinks, and delicious food. It’s been decorated in vivid pink, with David Shrigley’s brilliant drawings since 2014, (245 of them, to be precise) but now the baton has been passed to British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare. His most famous piece is probably his installation for Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth, entitled ‘Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle’.
For Sketch, he’s created bold new works, entitled ‘Modern Magic’. The pink has been replaced by ultra-mellow yellow, giving the restaurant a softer and more inviting feel. With iridescent tones of gold, the yellow is complemented and contrasted with hand-painted African masks and richly dyed tapestries. We’d certainly love to visit!
Shop Original Art from British Artists
If you are looking for premium wall art from talented British artists, look no further. Abstract House has you covered. Browse our collection of over 2,000 original art, limited edition and framed prints to discover art you love for your space.
Need a little help? Discover our free art advisory and let our expert curators help you find your masterpieces.