It’s hard work running a guest house: you have to keep on top of maintenance, décor, cleaning, washing and ironing, and that’s in addition to looking after the comfort of your guests, including preparing breakfast. Then, because you are running a business, you have to pay attention to marketing your establishment, taking bookings, answering general enquiries and perhaps giving people directions so they can find you easily. You may also want to provide information on local events and activities in order to make sure guests have a good time and encourage them to visit again. Above everything else, the impression the guest house makes on visitors is all-important, and this is where interior design can make a real difference.
Maintenance is a given, as is keeping a clean house, because these are in your own and in your guests’ interests. However, the way in which you choose to decorate your premises is known to affect the experience of staying in a guest house. Many visitors to Inverness want the fact that they are in Scotland to be reflected in their surroundings, and this means interiors as well as the great outdoors.
Plaid patterns are particularly associated with classic Scottish looks and these days it’s possible to find attractive tartan patterns on carpets and rugs, wall coverings, upholstery and cushion covers, as well as on bedspreads, tablecloths and curtains. It’s important to combine plaid with more neutral, plain fabrics and finishes, perhaps inspired by one of the colours in the plaid, such as grey or beige, so as to achieve a classic look, rather than a room that looks too busy.
The same goes for the use of ornaments, china, glassware and pictures – everyone loves the Scottie dog and the thistle is the emblem of Scotland, so one or two well-placed pieces will enhance a space, whereas too much will make a room appear overstuffed and even a little chaotic. Oak furniture says traditional while botanic prints and old photographs or maps make an attractive alternative to the mounted stag’s head. Remember, classic means traditional and tasteful, not old-fashioned and kitsch.
You don’t need a castle or a mansion house with a four-poster bed to achieve a Scottish look, nor do you need to dress the bed entirely in plaid linen. This may be just too much for your guests to wake up to, especially if they’ve enjoyed a wee dram or two the night before. In fact, any plain bed linen you choose will be enhanced by a simple plaid throw over the double bed – Trafford Bank Guest House achieves a subtle Scottish look in some of its bedrooms by using plaid throws and matching scatter cushions on white bed linen. A sense of humour doesn’t go amiss either – at Trafford Bank there’s also a cheeky little nod to where you are via the plaid toilet seats sporting a thistle.
Perhaps the key thing to bear in mind is that your guests want to remember their stay with you – they want it to
Read more >