4 ways designers are creating modern lobbies

Hotel lobbies have to meet an ever-growing range of needs. Here are four ways designers are making the spaces appeal to guests and owners alike.

1. Movable Furnishings:

Hotels are turning their lobbies into “multipurpose, flexible spaces that can be used for multiple functions,” said Casey Scalf, director of The Society – Hospitality Design Collective. These can be “closed off for use as a meeting room or wide-open to be communal work zones adjacent to lobbies. Furnishings are vital when creating multipurpose spaces,” he added. “Dining tables used for working by day and dining by night, and easily movable lounge furnishings are two ways this is achieved.”

2. Adaptable Areas:

Carla Niemann, SVP of design at Premier, said that in addition to creating distinct zones within the lobby that cater to different activities, lobbies should also have some open spaces to provide guests with breathing room. “This technique allows the lobby to accommodate adaptable and modular furniture that can be rearranged to accommodate various activities,” she said. “For instance, a small bar set up for bar service at night could [serve coffee] during the day.”

3. Intimate Spaces:

Indidesign developed the lobby at the Southall Farm & Inn in Tennessee as “a collection of smaller intimate spaces” that could connect to the central room. The design team added both communal and private seating areas to the area for work, meetings or socializing as needed.

4. Attractive Backgrounds:

Scalf noted that the increase in remote and hybrid work models means people are having virtual work meetings on the road. “Often, they don’t want to have those conversations with their hotel room in the background,” he said. “They want to be able to sit in a semi-private area with an attractive background for video meetings where they can have their calls on speaker and conduct business outside of their room. I think that’s a trend we’re going to see more of.”