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Lighting and layouts are the most crucial aspect of hospitality design

The way layouts are designed in hospitality spaces have a big role to play in how customers or guests engage with one another says Shruti Jaipuria, Founder & Creative Director, Maia Design Studio.

What is your idea of good design when it comes to hospitality interiors?
In hospitality spaces, a good design, takes the customer on an experiential journey. It goes way beyond a visual aesthetic. It is a mood which is curated to elevate all the senses of a human being – sight, touch, sound, smell. Every touch point needs to be controlled keeping in mind the brand or product story, right from interiors of the space to the lighting levels and the music to be relayed.

When it comes to different elements of interior design, which impacts hospitality design the most?
I believe lighting and layouts are the most crucial aspects of design in the hospitality space. The way layouts are designed have a big role to play in how customers or guests engage with one another; how the guest engages with the staff of the hospitality establishment and the overall experience the customer has in the space. The location of back of the house services and their design play a large role too. Sometimes good design is more about what is hidden, than what is seen.

At the front of the house, in a restaurant space for example, if the furniture is placed very close together, it usually offers a more vibrant and buzzing vibe. if it’s far apart, it usually communicates additional luxury as also privacy. So, it’s very important to actually understand how guests engage with spaces on a human level and design the layouts accordingly.

Lighting is integral because it really has a huge impact on the mood of the guest. If I want the space to be an all day dining, or denote a more casual vibe, I would utilise very bright lights. If it needs to be more about the bar, drinks or gourmet food, then the lighting may be subdued.

Finishes are also very critical for hospitality design. The finishes need to be durable, easy to maintain and withstand the day to day stresses and strains. Hence product durability as also its quality is also an important aspect of good design.

Is the elegance in a hospitality project directly proportional to the budget in question?
Yes and no. With a better budget one can have access to better quality, materials and finishes, however, that does not guarantee a thoughtful and elegant space. I think it’s about finding balance and the right fit for the specific project in hand and project what it is trying to advocate.

Kindly cite a landmark project handled by your firm and what were the challenges involved?
Some of the projects we have completed over the years are Rika, Park Hyatt Hyderabad, Toast and Tonic, Bengaluru, Biergarten, Bengaluru, Lucky Chan, Bengaluru, The Flying Squirrel, Bengaluru and many more. I think all projects have been very different and each one has been rewarding and challenging in its own ways. The biggest challenges we usually face is if the project offering and concept changes half way through the design process. This leads you to compromise, and while it still works, the end product isn’t as optimal as it could have been and the story ends up being diluted.


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