We polled our art consultants here at Kevin Barry Fine Art for their top five tips for art in hotel guest rooms and while our team has no shortage of opinions we managed to narrow things down to a tidy Top 5.

If you’re a rule follower, you’ll want to read on and keep these tips in mind for your next project, personal or professional. Rule-breaker? Read on anyway, you rebel.

 

1. Follow the narrative and brand standards

Every property tells a story, just like every brand tells a story, and it’s our job at Kevin Barry Fine Art to help bring out those stories and stay true to the narrative of the space and the brand throughout the design process. Make sure the narrative isn’t an afterthought and set the right tone early.

 

2. Stick to the budget

No matter the clients’ budget, it’s important for both parties to be realistic about expectations. As our art consultants know all too well, we can keep your budget but that doesn’t always mean we can have the sprinkles too.

 

 

3. Avoid alarming art

Here’s where our friend Jack Torrance comes in: art that could make your guests uncomfortable is a no-no. Although it sounds like an obvious point, take a second and see if you can recall some hotel art that has made you uncomfortable in the past – I bet you’ll come up with at least a couple examples very quickly. Just as what makes art “good” is subjective, what makes art “creepy” can be just as hard to determine, so here are a few pro tips for subjects to avoid:

3. Avoid alarming art

Here’s where our friend Jack Torrance comes in: art that could make your guests uncomfortable is a no-no. Although it sounds like an obvious point, take a second and see if you can recall some hotel art that has made you uncomfortable in the past – I bet you’ll come up with at least a couple examples very quickly. Just as what makes art “good” is subjective, what makes art “creepy” can be just as hard to determine, so here are a few pro tips for subjects to avoid:

 

Portraits of people where their gaze may appear to be following you (aka the Mona Lisa effect)

Great in the Louvre, not so much in your hotel suite.

 

Food art or mirrors that reveal too much in the bathroom

Even the biggest foodie can do without food art in the bathroom, and while we know a mirror can really open up a small space, placing a mirror across from the toilet might create a less than comfortable experience for your guest.

 

Uncomfortable references in a space that should be relaxing

Maybe the hotel property is rumored to be haunted. Maybe the hotel property is located next to a historic battlefield. While we’re all in favor of playing up local angles, this is a good time to check in on your brand standards, think about your potential audience, and consider if there are less potentially uncomfortable ways to nod to an off-beat or complicated history of a location.

 

 

4. Keep it Local

Anonymous is no longer the goal of hotel guest room decor; your guests want to see something different. Instead of designing towards uniformity, make your rooms stand out and highlight for guests that they are some place with its own local flair. Kevin Barry Fine Art loves to play up local elements and work with local artists whenever possible to make sure that every property we work with tells the story of the area, its history, and why it’s a destination worth visiting.

Some of our favorite examples of art for hotels that truly embody this goal is the work we did for Lexington, Kentucky’s Campbell House and Nashville’s Lowes Vanderbilt.

4. Keep it Local

Anonymous is no longer the goal of hotel guest room decor; your guests want to see something different. Instead of designing towards uniformity, make your rooms stand out and highlight for guests that they are some place with its own local flair. Kevin Barry Fine Art loves to play up local elements and work with local artists whenever possible to make sure that every property we work with tells the story of the area, its history, and why it’s a destination worth visiting.

Some of our favorite examples of art for hotels that truly embody this goal is the work we did for Lexington, Kentucky’s Campbell House and Nashville’s Lowes Vanderbilt.

 

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Mix It Up

When choosing art, keep things interesting by mixing, matching and playing with substrates. Our art consultants love to experiment with the placement of art from different mediums, and of a variety of sizes and shapes. One of our projects that exemplifies this principle is our work on The Draftsman in Charlottesville, Virginia. Our work on The Draftsman is highlighted across our social channels throughout the month along with some of our other favorite guest room projects, so be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook to see more!

Privacy Policy