5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Hospitality Designer

5 Questions To Ask Before Hiring a
Hospitality Designer

You want guests to love your hotel’s interior since it’s the first thing they see when they walk through your doors. To make an excellent first impression, it is important to select the right hospitality designer for your specific property, vision, and location.

However, there’s more to hiring a hospitality designer who fits your needs from an aesthetic and budgetary standpoint than just what meets the eye.

To start, if you are developing a luxury hotel, you don’t want a designer specializing in low- to mid-scale properties, and vice versa. This is why it’s essential to do your due diligence and review any potential designer’s portfolio to ensure they have experience with your property type. Only then will you be sure they can understand your needs and provide the level of design you seek.

Whatever your price point, good designers will research your target market and provide a design based on the property’s region. In contrast, inexperienced designers may overlook design elements such as proper finishes for exterior furnishings at beachfront properties or heavier furniture for windy areas or rooftops.

Read on to learn the five questions to ask before hiring a hospitality designer. That way, your project will run smoothly, and your design will meet brand requirements, stay within budget, and exceed your expectations.

The Risks of Not Asking the Right Questions Before Hiring a Hospitality Designer

If you don’t ask the right questions and, as a result, hire a designer who isn’t well suited for your project, your budget, timeline, and project outcome are all at risk.

For example, if a designer lacks experience working with branded hotels, you risk your design failing to meet brand standards. This can result in the need for multiple brand submittals, which would add time and potentially increase the overall design fee, depending on the design contract.

An inexperienced hospitality designer might miss critical portions of the design and project, fail to consider a hotel’s operational needs, or fall behind schedule. Furthermore, your designer might make FF&E selections outside of your price point that could blow your budget out of the water.

How do you mitigate these risks? Ask the right questions before hiring!

The 5 Questions to Ask a Hospitality Designer

#1: What is your education level in design?

Your designer should have a formal commercial interior design education, and it’s a bonus if they have a certification to back it up. Some states even require a design license. A commercial design has more requirements for fire codes and accessibility than a residential design, so it’s not as simple as selecting a pretty carpet that looks amazing with a particular window treatment.

#2: How many years of experience and completed projects do you have?

Experience is just as important since education focuses more on overall design principles, but less on applications. Because design is always evolving, new lessons come with each completed project. Designers become more familiar with which styles, furniture types, colors, and other elements are most operationally friendly in the hotel environment, translating to a design that will withstand the daily wear and tear a hotel experiences.

#3: Which hotel brands have you worked with previously?

Each brand has specific requirements for its target guest/market, so being familiar with the brands provides a more streamlined approach from design to submittal, coordination, and installation. Ask to see a designer’s portfolio and list of successful projects. Be sure your hotel brand is included.

#4: What will your scope be for the project?

With many moving parts in a hotel project with multiple team members/consultants (i.e., architect, engineers, lighting specialists, general contractors, etc.), a hotelier must determine what precisely the interior designer is responsible for providing. Some will manage more than others. Having someone to manage each scope within the project will prevent items from being overlooked or duplicated, saving you time and money.

#5: Can you stay within the project’s budget? 

Match your budgetary expectations with the level of design provided. High-end designers may not be the best fit for a midscale brand that targets the typical mid-range guest.

In our two decades in business, Innvision has learned which questions to ask and how to approach a project the right way from the start. We attempt to guide and educate our clients on the project process so they are empowered hoteliers and consumers. We respect clients who ask good questions and do their homework.

Our interior designers are knowledgeable and experienced across an array of hotel brands. We are familiar with the most current standards and requirements for all large hotel flags. To stay on top of today’s and tomorrow’s design trends, Innvision Design Studio designers attend hospitality design expos at least twice per year.

Our team members work diligently to understand the needs of each individual project and hotel owner.  Contact us to see if we’d be an excellent fit for your next hotel project!