As guests demand both distinctive design and visible cleanliness, suppliers are creating guestroom furniture with components that can be removed and replaced quickly. In this way, a soft renovation can take place in between the time one guest checks out and the next checks in.
There are several benefits to this kind of modular design. For one, hoteliers quickly can change a room’s look for a season or to accommodate the latest trend. Annapolis, Md.-based 1429 Mfg. creates headboards with removable panels that can be changed in minutes by a hotel’s maintenance team. The perk of this style of furniture, said 1429 Mfg. owner Bridgette Hamilton, is in the flexibility. “Modular furniture allows you to be more creative when you create the pieces in general,” she said, noting that the panels can change with a room’s overall color palette or can simply introduce a new aesthetic.
Modular furniture also can save hoteliers money in the long term, said Stu Reynolds, VP at Transformations Hospitality. The company makes chairs and tables with covers that can be removed when the pieces are disassembled, making it easier to clean and maintain the unit as a whole. Replacing a worn or stained cover is decidedly less expensive than replacing the whole chair and extends the unit’s lifetime. In fact, Reynolds estimated, an owner can save about two-thirds of the cost by putting new covers on the furniture rather than throwing it away. “And that's done onsite so you don't have the removal downtime,” he said, adding that keeping the seats looking like new makes it easier for owners to comply with brand and cleanliness standards.
Even a guestroom’s tables can be updated with new tops rather than replaced entirely. “Over the years we’ve done a lot of things to save furniture pieces,” said Chris Dolne, founder of Hotel Vanities International. If the top of the table can be removed easily, Dolne’s team can create a replacement. If not, the top can be resurfaced with a new quartz or granite top that covers the old one.
Individual components of hotel bathrooms also can be updated quickly. Hotel Vanities installs surrounds on top of existing tile in tubs and showers, saving the hotel the time and effort of removing the bathtub, retiling and replacing the unit. The whole process, Dolne estimated, can cost north of $2,000 per room. “If you can get by with just putting a tub surround over the top of your existing tile without tearing up the floor, you can get that cost under $1,000,” he said.
“Modular furniture is going to take over and will be the new thing,” Hamilton predicted. “It’s going to allow hoteliers to be more creative and allow for a fresher look without breaking the bank.”