Need to create a boutique style motel to survive?

Small Mum & Dad motels like my own will need to create a boutique style motel to survive. Having a point of difference for the right reasons, at your own motel will in turn, provide you with the guests that love to come back time and time again.

Creating a simple moodboard – like the one below (Industrial style) helps you formulate some ideas when planning a renovation for a room. Motel guests want more in a motel room now more than ever, providing them with a “guest experience” is so important in these times.

Ideas – Inspiration and where to find

I have now come to the end of my renovations at our current motel and have had a lot of fun renovating all of the rooms. We have created different styles in each of the rooms. Everything from an art deco inspired room which turned out to be deemed the girl’s room by some of our male guests who then requested a man cave (but more about that later) to rustic.

We used different colours throughout the rooms with only 2 rooms having the same colour scheme and similar furnishings. One is a little contemporary and the other has an island vibe.

Listen to guests feedback

I have listened to guests feedback over the past two years. Read magazines, followed trends, watched renovation tv shows til my husband refuses to watch any more. Even unwittingly created a colour palette that is now trending as fashionable before it was fashionable.

Spending hours upon hours over the past two years scrolling through Pinterest saving pins just for the ideas/photos. Always creating moodboards for each room containing different ideas, decor, furniture, colour palettes and even D.I.Y. projects.

It only takes a little imagination

Being a hands-on person, I love doing D.I Y projects and my one of my biggest passions is recreating one of my basic motel rooms into something guests love and feel comfortable in when they stay.

The comments I get from guests every day are personally rewarding and lets me know I have done it right. As you know if you are in the industry if something isn’t right guests will either tell you directly or put it in an online review for all to see. Guests often check in and then return to reception and utter one common word “Wow”.

Giving guests a wow factor is the best part of renovating a motel

I have some very good tradesmen and sometimes they have looked at me with a vague, confused look on their faces and said: “you want to do what?” Once I show them the ideas/plans for the room, they get so involved they start coming up with their own ideas. You’ve gotta love a tradesman with an imagination that says ‘you know what will look great and guests will love it”.

Now back to the man cave

This is where the real imagination came into play. As I was saying before I have several return sales reps that stayed in the “girls room as they called it. (I added a little bling to a black and white palette with some metallic gold and copper accents, decor items, lighting and light switches etc). These guests then asked me where the man cave was? Explaining to them that I was about to start another room and so began the ideas for the “man cave” room.

I liked the idea of an industrial style room

I decided that I liked the idea of an industrial style room and went researching. Galvanised pipe furniture was the way to go. Possibilities were endless. The T.V unit and dining table were the first to go from the room.

While I was painting a feature wall in the bedroom in a moody dark grey colour, my husband walked in halfway through and shook his head. I have a standard saying for him now.

“Don’t worry it will all come together and it did”

Tv unit, coffee table and a bar table instead of a sit-down dining table we created it all out of the galvanised pipe, brass plumbing fittings, cast flanges and some spray paint from the local hardware store. Acacia board/panels for the tops and shelves.

Industrial TV Unit
Industrial TV Unit
Industrial Coffee Table
Industrial Coffee Table

Dark carpet through lounge and bedroom and rustic vinyl floor planks for the kitchen. Who knew the rustic flooring would look great as a splash back in the kitchen and when it is framed in it looks even better.

I wanted to use gate valves for the kitchen taps just could not work out how to do it. My plumber called me and said he had found a set of actual kitchen taps with gate valves as the handles. It was a done deal.

Kitchen Splashback
Kitchen Splashback
Kitchen Taps with Gate Valves
Kitchen Taps with Gate Valves

A simple bedhead was made from the same Acacia panel which we bolted to the wall. Wooden crates modified to create the bedsides. The furniture tied the bedroom style in with the lounge room.

Even the vanity was custom made out of Acacia board. A toilet roll holder and towel rail were made from galvanised pipe and screwed onto the wall with flanges.

I found the barstools online that have bicycle pedals for footrests and the cog and chain on the stem.

These would have to be one of the biggest conversation pieces from this room.

Everyone loves them and the amount of photos taken is incredible. Guest like them because they are a little bit quirky and unusual.

Selma Hand Crafted Industrial Cast iron bar stools – available from Living styles

Industrial Barstool
Industrial Barstool

The artwork for the lounge that featured an old bicycle was also online at one of my favourite online stores

Styling the room with various wooden crates, trays and some cement vases and agave plants. Industrial bedsides lamps with gate valves on the sides were found also online at the same retailer.

Everything tied in together with something else in the room.

This room was certainly one of the easiest room renovations I had done and would be one of the most popular rooms in the motel.

I have guests who are quite amazed at how unique the room is and then told their friends and family, neighbours and colleagues, and not just about the room itself, it makes them curious about the rest of the motel.

Industrial Style Room
Industrial style – man cave
Guests start taking notice of finishing touches

Guests start taking notice of finishing touches and features we have around in the building and gardens etc. We find guests chatting with each other and comparing the rooms every day.

Hearing “oh wow’ coming from guests around the place is fun but again it tells me I have done it right.

Creating a boutique motel room is easy and just takes a little imagination. Always keep in mind the cleaning factor when styling the room too or your housekeepers will do nothing but complain.

Standing out from the crowd

Providing any guests with good reasons to talk about your motel is the best form of advertising after all. Standing out from the crowd is just as important. Stay clear of the boring “cookie cutter” rooms that you see everywhere and create out of the ordinary rooms that offer all the comforts of home for a guest will pay off and only takes a little imagination.

By adding more rooms with their own character gives your return guests something to look forward to the next time they come back. It gives new guests the unexpected surprise especially if you provide value for money.

You just need to think outside the box to increase your occupancy and what you want to provide your guests when running a small regional motel.

Motelology Industrial Style Moodboard