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Guide to Interior Decor and Furniture for Hotel Guest Rooms

Image via Unsplash

The perfect hotel guest room can mean a lot of things depending on the type of traveler you’re trying to attract. Some guests prefer quirky, themed hotel rooms that provide endless options for Instagram photos, while others need simplicity, space, and comfort above all. 

Most guests can agree, though — hotel rooms should be more than just four walls and a bed. 

Whether you’re looking for loud prints and retro details for your hotel or the luxury of a huge, soft bed and deep bathtub, you can be sure to find furniture and interior decor that checks all of your design boxes. Even while decorating your hotel on a tight budget, you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice style and atmosphere. 

So what makes the perfect hotel guest room?

Ambiance

Of course hotel guest rooms should focus on convenience — but they shouldn’t stop there. 

Staying in a hotel guest room should provide a home-away-from-home experience, and place emphasis on relaxation. Similar to guest rooms in a private residence, hotel guest rooms should be a welcoming, cozy retreat, and aim to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. 

Rooms can create a zen, calm, and spa-like atmosphere through things like large windows, luxury bath amenities, and ultra-soft beds. A good hotel room interior should encourage guests to want to settle in and stay a while — not be itching to return home.

Color Palette

In order to achieve the desired atmosphere, hotel guest rooms should adhere to a color palette. If your hotel room boasts minimalist decor with lots of crisp whites or natural wood characteristics, a small splash of color could be just what it needs to stand out above the rest. 

Warm colors like deep reds, burnt oranges, and plums create a cozy environment, and are also perfect for romantic suites. Cooler tones, like pale blues and mint greens, emphasize a zen, meditative vibe, and can help guests relax and take a breath. 

Texture

Texture is another element to consider when designing the perfect hotel guest room. 

Many hotels are skipping the loud patterns and wallpaper and instead utilizing a simple color palette with pops of texture. Think wooden headboards, chunky knit blankets, leather loveseats, or wicker furniture accents.

Furniture for Guest Rooms

When it comes to furnishing a hotel, finding the right furniture for guest rooms that looks cohesive and comes together in a relatively small space is key. 

Bed

Every hotel room should have a large, comfortable bed with quality linens to encourage a good night’s sleep and some well-needed rest and relaxation.

Storage

As for storage, the right room should provide a luggage stand for suitcases, a large chest of drawers, and a spacious closet for storing clothing during a stay. 

Wooden chests of drawers are durable and can add a sophisticated look to any room. Hotels can go the sustainability route by using reclaimed wood or upgrading stylish, quality vintage furniture.

Seating

Benches, comfortable chairs, and a convenient work table are also hotel room necessities. In order to create a productive workspace, ensure that you have a table big enough for a laptop and notebooks, as well as a comfortable office chair, phone, and plenty of outlets. 

Balcony

If your hotel room has a balcony and has the space for it, add a small bistro table and chair set. Metal bistro chairs and tables are easy to clean and weather durable. They also provide a great seating arrangement for guests who want to enjoy their morning coffee and croissant while getting some fresh air.

Additional Options

Other luxurious furnishing options include:

  • En-suite jacuzzis
  • Waterfall showers
  • Fireplaces
  • Large, flat-screen TVs
  • Multiple mirrors

Hotel Window Treatments

Hotel window treatments are another aspect of furnishing guest rooms that shouldn’t be overlooked. 

Large windows, specifically floor-to-ceiling windows or ones that lead out onto a balcony, are excellent additions to any hotel guest room. Big windows that let in a lot of natural light and provide an aesthetically pleasing view can invite the feeling of being out in nature, indoors. Natural light increases vitamin C and serotonin levels, which can boost the mood of hotel guests.

For those who are traveling for work and may need to rest at odd hours, or if visitors are suffering from jet-lag, blackout curtains will keep the bedroom nice and dark and are a great addition to the room. 

The Extras

Sometimes what makes a hotel guest room special are the little things. Adding these personal touches or carefully thought-out amenities can take a hotel room from a convenient place to rest your head to a memorable experience.

Extras in the bathroom could include:

  • Fancy bath and skin products
  • Extra soft towels
  • Fluffy robes
  • Hair dryer
  • Double, “his and hers” sinks

Extras for in-room work:

  • Pens and pencils
  • Notepad/stationery
  • Numerous convenient charging stations
  • Bedside lights with individual switches

Local flavor:

  • Art on the wall by local artists
  • Interesting coffee table books
  • Local guides or takeout menus

Other extras:

  • Iron and ironing board
  • Extra hangers
  • Large closet space
  • Durable safe for valuables
  • Luggage stands
  • Stocked mini-fridge
  • Ice buckets and glassware

More Key Considerations

Even if you’ve picked out a theme and aesthetic goals for an ideal hotel room, there are a few more key ideas you should take into consideration, such as comfort, the ability to clean and sanitize surfaces easily, and sustainable materials and practices.

Comfort

Comfortable furniture and materials are important factors in setting up a hotel guest room. A large bed with high thread-count sheets and multiple extra pillows can help create a cozy oasis.

Comfortable seating options such as upholstered armchairs, loveseats, or padded benches can easily be incorporated into a hotel guest room to create a comfortable atmosphere for guests and their friends and family. Leather armchairs and couches add to a classic, more traditional hotel room, while linen upholstery can give off a more casual look.

Easy to clean

Upholstered fabrics in hotel guest rooms should be stain-resistant and easy to clean, especially if you’re rooming families or more than one person. Individuals tend to be a little less careful about messes when they know it’s not them who has to clean it up — so understanding how to spot clean leather or easily clean couch cushions, curtains, and linens is essential. 

Sustainability

Sustainability is not only a modern trend, it should be a way of life for all of us. Luckily, many modern hotels and bed and breakfasts are embracing sustainability and putting their focus on eco-friendly materials and hotel practices. 

Refinishing parts of a room, such as bathroom vanities and cabinets, is a great way to refresh and give new life to a hotel guest room. Refinishing not only is more time and cost-efficient than completely replacing furniture, but prevents excess landfill waste and can help your hotel’s eco-friendly efforts.

Sustainable options can also include:

  • Big windows with natural lighting
  • Natural building materials such as reclaimed wood
  • Reupholstered vintage furniture
  • Recycle bins in every room
  • Electric water faucets and dryers

Contact QA Group for Your Hotel Guest Room Interior Needs!

Queen Anne Group has been working with the hospitality industry in the Puget Sound area for over eight decades, so you can rest assured our team of experts can help you find the perfect custom furniture — or even reupholster your existing hotel guest room furniture to look good as new. 

Contact Queen Anne Upholstery today to learn more about guest room interior decor and furnishings and what we can do to help your hotel business thrive!

Bar Stool and Counter Stool Buying Guide

Choosing the right seating for your bar or restaurant is a big decision. The decision to install booth seating, benches, chairs and tables, commercial upholstered bar stools, or a combination depends on a variety of things. You have to take into consideration the type of dining establishment you’re furnishing, the style of your restaurant, and the space you have to work with. 

Bar and counter stools are a great option for pubs and breweries, as well as any restaurant that has a connected bar where individuals can grab a cocktail while they wait to be seated or meet up with a friend for a small plate. Bar stools can also find a great home in coffeeshops, cafes, and other places with limited floor space. 

If you’re thinking of buying bar or counter stools for your restaurant, here are some things to think about.

Bar Stools vs. Counter Stools

Although they might seem similar and are used in many of the same venues, bar and counter stools can be distinguished from each other by a few characteristics, including their size. Purchasing a bar stool when you really need a counter stool or vice versa can cause severe discomfort for your customers. 

Counter Stools

Counter stools are a type of restaurant seating that are used with bar counters, custom height restaurant tables, and kitchen countertops. These types of seats are usually constructed with back support, whether that is a solid back with a cushion, slat back, windsor, or ladder back. 

Counter stools usually measure 24 to 27 inches tall, placing guests at a perfect height for the average restaurant and bar counters that stand approximately 35 to 37 inches tall.

Bar Stools

Bar stools are typically backless with footrests, and are almost exclusively designed for counters and tables at bars, lounges, and pubs. The standard height for a pub bar stool is around 30 inches tall, pairing perfectly with a bar height table top of 42 inches.

[Related: Eight Hotel Upholstery and Furniture Trends to Look Out For]

Stool Quantity

In order to decide how many stools you need at your bar or countertop, you need to consider the width of a comfortable place setting rather than the width of the stool itself (since the size of your customers and the space they need will vary). 

Sources recommend 24 inches of space per bar stool for comfortable place settings, and suggest this equation to find your perfect number of stools needed:

Length of bar in inches ÷ 24 = the best quantity of stools for your space

Tucking Stools

If you want the ability to tuck your stool seats under your counter, you’ll need to ensure that the depth of your stool seat isn’t too much more than the depth measurement of your countertop overhang. 

Most counter overhangs are approximately 10 to 12 inches deep, whereas most stool seats are around 16 inches deep. This provides a pretty good “tuck” without pushing all the way under the table, which works for most spaces. 

Are you dealing with a super limited amount of space? Consider a stool with a narrower seat of around 12 inches, such as a saddle seat style.

Seat Materials

You want to make sure your stools are comfortable if you want your customers to stick around for longer than it takes to order their food or drink. 

Stool seats are usually upholstered with vinyl, polyester, microfiber, or leather and leatherette materials over foam or some sort of cushion for comfort. These materials look nice, are durable and easy to clean, can be customized to fit the vibe of your establishment, and are comfortable. 

When adding stool seating to a fast food restaurant or casual, high-traffic dining spot, no-cushion bar stools could be a good option, since customers won’t be staying for extended periods of time. No-cushion seats are also helpful in establishments that see a lot of spills and stains, like family and fast food restaurants, since they’ll be easier to wipe off and sanitize.

[Related: Complete Guide to Commercial Restaurant Booths]

Frame Materials

Most frames supporting a stool seat are made of either wood or metal, depending on the style and preference of establishment. Commercial wood bar stools provide a more traditional look and come in several different finishes, while commercial metal bar stools may be more durable and look more modern.

Stool Features

When choosing restaurant bar stools or counter stools, dimensions, seat, and frame material aren’t the only features to consider. 

Height Adjustability

Certain stool frames are built with levers that can control and adjust the height of your stool. These types of stools are a great option for providing the highest level of customized comfort for your patrons.

Swivel

Stool seats with the ability to “swivel” or rotate in a circle can make it easier for individuals to get on and off their seat, which in turn prevents extra wear and tear on your restaurant floor since the entire stool doesn’t have to move as much. 

Swivel stools can also allow for your customer to have a wider range of motion while seated at your counter or bar top.

Arms

Choosing to furnish your establishment with stools that come with armrests brings similar advantages as swivel stools, focusing on accessibility and your customers’ comfort levels.

Backrests

Counter stools usually have backrests, while bar stools are usually backless. Backrests add an additional level of comfort and can provide support for young children or elderly individuals when getting into and out of their seat.

[Related: Materials Used in Custom Commercial Furniture]

Contact QA Group Today

Interested in learning more about bar and counter stool options for your commercial business? QA Group has been working with the restaurant and hospitality industry for years, providing high-quality chairs, booths and banquettes, and commercial bar stools to businesses all over the Pacific Northwest since 1936

Contact us today and we’ll work with you to design the perfect custom bar stools and counter stools for your commercial business.

Tips for Storing Office Furniture

chairs stacked in a room

You can have several reasons for needing to store extra office furniture, including downsizing to a smaller office space temporarily or going from working in an office environment to working from home due to changes caused by the coronavirus in 2020. 

In any case, if you find yourself having to stow away furniture such as desks, tables, and chairs, you need to be conscious of the right way to do it to avoid damaging your furniture. 

Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when putting furniture away for long periods of time.

Keep It Accessible — Don’t Overstack and Overcrowd

In order to maximize floor space in your storage area, you might be tempted to stack your chairs and tables on top of each other as high as possible. When you do this, you not only pose a dangerous risk to anyone entering the storage area, but you cause undue stress on the furniture itself. 

While organizing where things should be placed, be intentional. Don’t stack boxes on top of boxes carelessly, or create high towers of chairs. Large items should be stored toward the back, and secured, while height limits should be set on stacks of furniture. 

Leave an aisle or space to otherwise move around your objects so that individuals can safely go in and out of the storage area and find what they need easily. Keep things you might need to access more regularly in front, instead of buried in boxes.

[Related: Making Sustainable Furniture Choices for Your Business]

Choose a Climate-Controlled Unit

Choosing a climate-controlled storage space for your office furniture is essential. 

Furniture stored away needs to be protected from the elements such as changing temperatures even if they’re left untouched through all seasons. A climate-controlled storage unit keeps the inside temperature consistent year-round and maintains proper ventilation. 

A non-climate controlled area could cause damage to your furniture, especially wood pieces, upholstered furniture, and paper documents, and lead to expensive replacement and repair costs.

Disassemble What You Can

Larger pieces of furniture may need to be disassembled when possible in order to be more properly and efficiently stored. Disassembling chairs, tables, and sofas can also provide further protection since you can wrap individual pieces and place them more securely within the storage space.

Wrap and Cover Everything

Wrap your furniture before storing to add an extra layer of protection from the elements and from scratches, dents, dust, and dirt. 

Use padded covers, blankets, and sheets to wrap and cover wooden furniture. This will allow ventilation but also prevent the furniture from collecting debris and getting scratched up. Avoid using plastic wrap since it can generate moisture and cause mold. 

If you aren’t able to disassemble pieces such as table or desk legs, wrap them to prevent them from breaking. Cushion glass items with bubble wrap and cardboard and hold these wrappings with plastic packing tape, but never apply tape directly to your furniture.

[Related: Materials Used in Custom Commercial Furniture]

Thoroughly Clean and Dry Everything Beforehand

Before storing office furniture for any length of time, you should thoroughly clean and dry all materials. 

Wood

If you’re cleaning and protecting wood finishes, wipe them down with a soft cloth and use wood polish to protect the finish. 

Cloth Upholstery

For preparing upholstered furniture items to be stored, you’ll want to remove all cushions and vacuum all of the nooks and crannies of couches and chairs. You can also clean upholstered parts of furniture with a steam cleaner. 

Leather

If you’re preparing leather furniture to be stowed away, use a mixture of dish soap and water, or vinegar and water, to gently wipe down the leather and allow it to dry. Before placing it in the storage area, treat leather furniture with a conditioner to further protect its exterior.

Consider the Future of Your Furniture

Following the aforementioned tips for storing your office furniture will protect the condition of these pieces and give them long lives, in and out of storage. However, when the time comes to retrieve your furniture from storage, you might find that it’s time for an upgrade. This is when professional commercial upholstery is a great idea. 

QA Group has over 80 years of experience with furniture restoration and commercial upholstery in Seattle and the greater Pacific Northwest — from antique wooden dressers, to comfortable leather couches, and everything in between. QA Group is also happy to help you with any questions you might have on updating antique pieces and preserving stored furniture. 

Contact QA Group today to learn more about our furniture restoration, reupholstery, and refinishing services, and keep the future of your furniture looking bright. 

Complete Guide to Commercial Restaurant Booths

When designing a restaurant, the layout of the dining area should be one of your main focuses. 

The layout and type of seating you use in your restaurant is important for several reasons — you want to maximize the space and functionality of your establishment while also emphasizing comfort for your patrons. An excellent layout will accommodate as many diners as possible while allowing enough room for servers to maneuver around with plates of food and drinks during a dinner rush.

A stylish, cost-effective, and space-saving way to accomplish this in your restaurant is through commercial restaurant booths.

What Is Booth Seating?

Booths are made up of one or more banquettes to form a comfortable and intimate seating arrangement. Multiple banquette seats create a booth with a face-to-face, horseshoe, or U-configuration, and are typically arranged back-to-back to allow for a maximum amount of seating in a restaurant setting. 

Booths are perfect for families or parties of six or under and create a sense of privacy and close quarters apart from the bustling restaurant environment. 

What Is the Difference Between Booths and Banquettes?

You may hear “booths” and “banquettes” referred to interchangeably, but they do have differences

Banquettes are upholstered benches and can be used on their own, either built into or along the wall or paired together to create booths. Banquettes are often paired with a pedestal table on the other side that can be spaced apart or connected to another table depending on the amount of seating needed. 

One or more banquettes are put together to create booths.

Booth Sizes

Booths come in several heights and widths, as well as a variety of shapes to fit unique spaces and accommodate different amounts of people. 

Before purchasing or building booths for your space, you’ll need to take measurements and determine what you have room for, keeping in mind the thru traffic of patrons and staff. Research online to see examples of booth arrangements and layouts in similar dining establishments to give you a better idea of what booth layout might work best for you.

Booths are commonly installed against walls or back-to-back in an aisle to offer more seating, and typically come in these styles:

Deuce Booths

Deuce booths are two-person booths, with each seat arranged in a face-to-face configuration.

Single Booths

Single booths are one-half of what you would consider a typical booth, with a booth seat on one side and a flat back on the other. Single booths are usually used at the end of an aisle of booths.

Double Booths

Double booths are single booths built back to back in an aisle.

Split Booths

Basically a singular banquette, split booths have booth seating on one side and a table and restaurant chairs on the other.

If you have a peculiar-shaped space in your dining establishment that you’d like to add a booth to, you might want to consider custom restaurant booths. This covers half-circle booths or three-quarter booths for larger parties who want more privacy, or smaller-sized booths for other nooks and crannies.

[Related: Settling the Debate Between Restaurant Tables and Booths]

Booth Tables and Bases

Tables used between booth seats are usually rectangular in shape, since they work best with the size and shape of booth seating. 

The table base can be a variety of styles, but in order to maximize the amount of space for your diners, consider cantilever table bases. Cantilever table bases anchor the table to the wall, rather than the floor, giving customers extra leg room and ample support.

Booth tables are usually made out of solid wood or laminate. While laminate is widely customizable, easy to clean, and comparatively less expensive than solid wood, wooden booth tables are classic and give off an atmosphere of warmth and comfort. Butcher block and plank are common solid wood styles in restaurants.

Booth Seat Material

Once you’ve settled on your sizing, style, and placement of your restaurant furniture booths, deciding on the booth material is the next step. 

Booth seats have cushions either made of spring foam or solid foam, with spring foam being the most popular choice. These cushions are set on a wooden frame and can be upholstered with a variety of different materials. 

In order to choose the best restaurant booth upholstery for your establishment, you need to consider what type of atmosphere you want to create. 

For example, if you are running a family-focused restaurant or a fast food diner, you should opt for something durable and easy to clean, whereas if you’re opening a high-brow steakhouse, you might want to go for something a bit more luxe. 

Comfort, cleanliness, and aesthetic are key. Some options for restaurant booth upholstery include:

Vinyl

Vinyl is easy to clean and resistant to stains that could be caused by messy foods and children. Vinyl also comes in a wide variety of colors, making it simple to match your booths with the style of your restaurant.

Linen

Linen is another more casual booth upholstery material. This durable natural textile is soft and casual-looking, making it a perfect choice for open-air dining or patios.

Although not stain-resistant like vinyl, linen is lower-maintenance than materials like velvet or leather.

Velvet

Velvet is posh, sophisticated, and luxurious. It’s a durable and strong material that is soft to the touch and looks great in high-class restaurants. 

However, velvet is more difficult to clean than vinyl, leather, and linen and can be a bit more expensive as well.

Leather

Leather, whether real or faux, gives off an elegant, classic, and warm look and is often found in fine dining restaurants and steakhouses. 

Faux leather comes in several colors that can easily match any restaurant’s palette, and both faux and real leather are durable and can withstand wear and tear. These materials are fairly easy to clean as well with a damp cloth and a light vacuum.

Leather can be fairly expensive and shouldn’t be used in an area that stays warm, as it can heat up quickly.

[Related: Upholstered Essentials Checklist and Tips for Your Industry]

Creating the right atmosphere for your restaurant is an important aspect of running a business. You want your customers not only to love the food, but to feel comfortable and satisfied while they’re dining. 

Whether you choose a sophisticated leather double booth for a high-end restaurant or a durable vinyl split booth for a family diner, you can be sure you’re maximizing your space and comfort level by choosing restaurant furniture booths.

Custom-Design a Booth or Banquette for Your Business

QA Group has been a top commercial refinishing, reupholstery, and custom commercial furniture provider for over 70 years. Our team of experts can answer all of your questions on restaurant booth seating, as well as collaborate with you on your custom restaurant booth project. Contact us today!

*Featured image by Brenda Gottsabend via Wikimedia

Eight Hotel Upholstery and Furniture Trends to Look Out For

Nowadays it takes more than just a good price, clean sheets, and room service to make a hotel a memorable destination. Hotels all over the world are embracing up-and-coming design trends to make their decor stand out from the rest. 

From art deco elements to spa-like bathrooms, here are eight hotel upholstery and furniture trends that can transform a space from rest stop to stylish zen vacation.

Booths and Banquettes

Nothing says comfort and luxury like a high-backed booth. Hotel restaurants can benefit from adding comfortable, stylish leather booths to their decor to instantly create a sophisticated atmosphere. Booths and banquettes are easily customizable with several different tufting options, such as diamond tufting, biscuit tufting, and button-back styles.

Sustainable Materials

Sustainability is not just a trend — it’s a way of living that we should all be more aware of. Let’s hope we see more eco-friendly upholstery and sustainable design in the future. 

You can find “green” hotels such as Starhotels Echo that use natural furnishings and environmentally certified fabric, low-consumption lighting, low-water consumption taps, and thermo-insulated walls.

[Related: Settling the Debate Between Restaurant Tables and Booths]

Bold Patterns and Wallpaper

Gone are the days of boring beige hotel rooms. In the next few years, expect to see splashes of bold color, wild prints, bright linens, and Instagram-worthy wallpaper.

Retro Style

Hotels know that combining the modern comforts of today with the lavish decor of yesteryear is the key to a memorable experience. 

One interior design trend for modern hotels is embracing an art deco look. Retro light fixtures, tufted back leather bar stools, and lush green and gold colors make the bar at The Norman in Tel Aviv a five-star design.

[Related: Materials Used in Custom Commercial Furniture]

Multi-Use Spaces

As the world around us evolves, more and more people are setting up an office at home or traveling across the country for work. Multi-use spaces, such as rooftop lounges and open-space lobbies, include Wi-Fi, efficient lighting, comfortable couches and chairs, as well as laptop-level tables and desks so that you can get your work done and relax at the same time.

Spa Bathrooms

The bathroom shouldn’t be an exception to carefully thought out details and designs. Hotel bathrooms can be calming oases — a zen space where you can wind down after a long day. Oversized modern tubs, large mirrors and chandeliers contrasted with wicker and wood elements create a wonderful spa-like environment.

Peaceful Outdoor Areas

A hotel courtyard is a great place for social gatherings and outdoor dining, and can even serve as an escape from your room to read a book or enjoy a cup of coffee. 

Weather-durable couches and armchairs, steel tables, and bistro lights can create a romantic atmosphere while also being easy to rearrange and clean.

Extreme Coziness

Trends come and go, but when it comes to hotels, one thing is always true: a good hotel room should feel like a home away from home. 

Comfort is essential, and cozy throw pillows, soft lighting, big armchairs, and fireplaces are all timeless elements of an ultra homey hotel that will keep visitors coming back time and time again.

Does your hotel need a makeover? Queen Anne Group can help. Our team of experts have worked with a variety of industries, from hotels to office spaces and everything in between. We have years of experience custom-designing commercial furniture, creating custom booths and banquettes, and refinishing and re-upholstering original furnishings

We’ll work with you every step of the way, from concept to execution. Contact us today to see what we can do for your hotel.

Booths vs. Banquettes: What’s the Difference?

If you’re considering opening up a dining establishment, or if you’re a current restaurant or cafe owner looking to renovate your area, one of the most important things to consider is maximizing your space. The last thing a business needs is for people to leave your restaurant because the wait is too long, or the space is too tight and crowded. 

Customers need to feel comfortable and happy, and happy customers help keep businesses profitable. Implementing booth and banquette seating is a great option for a wide variety of dining establishments – from casual diners to upscale restaurants.

Banquettes

Banquettes are a section of an upholstered bench, often put together to create booths, or configured along (or built into) walls. 

Banquette seating for restaurants is often paired with pedestal tables and chairs. Pedestal tables can then be pushed together or moved apart in order to accommodate different sized groups, and to improve the space used on the floor. 

Banquette seating is one of the most versatile seating arrangements since they can be configured into almost any shape and require minimal space to provide the maximum number of seats.

[Related: Settling the Debate Between Restaurant Tables and Booths]

Booths

Restaurant booths are different from banquettes in that they are made up of one or more banquette seats formed into a U-shape, horseshoe shape, or face-to-face. Booth seating creates a comfortable, intimate, and semi-enclosed “room within a room” for friends and family, and is typically arranged back-to-back in a restaurant setting. 

Custom booth seating is perfect for cafes and smaller restaurants since it maximizes the space and allows customers to enjoy a social environment while at the same time being able to sit in close quarters with their dining partners. Booths can also provide a quiet place in busy establishments such as bars and nightclubs.

Advantages of Both Booths and Banquettes

Both banquettes and booths provide great advantages for restaurant, bar, and cafe owners, such as:

  • They efficiently use the space, and can be moved around and manipulated to allow for more aisle clearances and extra seating.
  • They can strategically add seats in untraditional spaces such as corners, alcoves, and small areas.
  • Booths and banquettes are customizable, and can be upholstered and styled to match your establishment’s interior design.
  • They’re also not limited to one type of space, and can work just as well inside high-end restaurants as divey neighborhood bars.

Best Materials for Booths and Banquettes

Booths and banquets are typically upholstered using materials such as vinyl, leather, pleather, or linen, among other fabrics. Vinyl, leather, and pleather materials are an ideal choice in upholstery since they can be easily wiped down and cleaned between patrons. “Softer” fabrics such as linen can also look nice, but may be more difficult to clean or treat stains.

Custom-Design a Booth or Banquette for Your Business

Established in 1936, QA Group has decades of experience with commercial refinishing, reupholstery, and custom commercial furniture for a variety of industries. If you’re looking for more information on restaurant banquettes, custom restaurant booths, or other options for your dining establishment, contact us today.

Settling the Debate Between Restaurant Tables and Booths

A photo of spaced out dining tables in a restaurant with white table cloths and empty glasses.

While building your restaurant business, you’ve likely put a lot of thought into the type of food you’ll serve and the atmosphere you’ll create. However, an important factor that you might not have considered is the type of seating to add to your establishment. Seating plays a major role in the overall environment of your restaurant and directly impacts the comfort level of your customers.

To ensure that you make the best decision for your business, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the key differences between custom restaurant booths and tables. Here’s everything you need to know about whether customers prefer booths or tables and which choice you should make for your restaurant.

Dining Room Traffic

An important factor to consider is the level of traffic in your restaurant and how your seating impacts it. 

Booths, for example, generate far less traffic than tables. This is because booths are typically tucked into a corner of the restaurant or against a wall, where diners can enjoy their meals in a quieter environment. Because of this limited traffic, many patrons prefer to eat at a custom restaurant booth rather than a table.

Noise Level

Patrons may become frustrated if they can’t hear the person they’re speaking to while dining. While the energy of a restaurant scene is vital to the dining experience, your patrons should still be able to have a conversation without too many distractions. 

Booths tend to cut down on the noise level in your dining environment while providing patrons with the privacy they need.

[Related: Guide to Commercial Upholstery Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting]

Adequate Space

Having enough space to feel comfortable and freely move around is also crucial to the satisfaction of your customers

This factor typically depends on the size of the party attending your establishment. A large party may feel crammed inside a booth, while a party of two will likely prefer the quiet and intimacy of a booth over a table. 

Be sure to consider the needs of all types of diners before you choose between restaurant tables and booths.

[Related: Materials Used in Custom Commercial Furniture]

Overall Comfort

The overall comfort level of your patrons directly impacts their experience at your restaurant, whether they’re sitting at custom restaurant booths or tables. 

Because everyone’s preferences are different, it’s crucial to do your best to accommodate different types of customers. For example, some people might prefer to be in the center of all the excitement at a table, while others may opt to enjoy their privacy at restaurant furniture booths.

[Related: How to Choose the Right Foam: Understanding Different Foam Qualities]

Custom Restaurant Booths vs. Tables: Making the Right Choice

Both commercial restaurant booths and tables offer unique benefits to patrons. 

To make the best decision for your needs, be sure to weigh each of these factors. Carefully considering your options will help ensure that your patrons are as comfortable as possible while spending time at your establishment. 

Whether you ultimately choose booths or tables, QA Group can ensure that you meet all of your goals. We’ve been creating both custom booths and banquettes and custom restaurant tables since 1936 and can work with you directly to design the exact commercial restaurant seating that meets your needs. Contact us today to get started!

Guide to Commercial Upholstery Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting

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Routinely cleaning around the house isn’t anyone’s picnic — but we all know it needs to be done to keep things looking nice and feeling healthy. So it makes sense that your workplace should need the same sort of attention — especially since you’re opening the doors to more than just your immediate family. 

From curtains and carpet to leather chairs and microfiber couches, the following is a helpful guide to cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting commercial upholstery.

Why Should You Routinely Clean?

Frequently deep cleaning and sanitizing your office, shop, school, or restaurant will not only create a healthier environment, but will also protect your investment and keep these areas looking as professional as they should be. Since an increasing number of individuals are headed back to work after an extended period at home because of the coronavirus, assessing your work environment using CDC guidelines is an essential component to keeping everyone safe.

Eliminating dirt and dust from upholstered fabrics gets rid of the pollutants and allergens that negatively impact your air quality, allowing individuals to breathe easier while they’re working, learning, or shopping. Properly sanitizing and disinfecting common areas helps stop the spread of germs and viruses between individuals who come into contact with the same surfaces.

Choosing the right methods of cleaning and sanitizing can also reduce the amount of times you have to deep clean in the future, and will decrease the amount of money you or your business spends on things such as reupholstering or buying new furniture altogether.

[Related: Materials Used in Commercial Furniture]

The Difference Between Cleaning and Sanitizing

Although you may feel inclined to group them all together, the terms “cleaning,” “sanitizing,” and “disinfecting” actually have different meanings, and in best practice should be done in a specific order. 

Cleaning

Cleaning involves the removal of dirt, dust, and debris from a surface, through methods such as dusting, sweeping, and washing. Cleaning is always the first step. 

Cleaning solutions are typically made from some sort of soap and water, and while cleaning doesn’t kill germs and bacteria, it helps to remove them and therefore remove some of the risk of transmission. Cleaning is also the most “visible” of the three cleaning methods, since it involves the physical action of removing obvious debris and impurities.

Sanitizing

Sanitizing should be done after cleaning, and can be interchanged with disinfecting. 

The goal of sanitizing is to decrease the amount of germs and bacteria down to a safe level as judged by public health standards. Most of the time when we clean with a store-bought cleaning solution, we are sanitizing.

Disinfecting

Disinfecting can be seen as the most “heavy-duty” method of cleaning, and actively destroys bacteria and germs through the use of specific chemicals. Instead of removing bacteria on the surface, it kills it, lowering the risk of spreading infection between people coming into contact with the same surface. 

In order to know if your cleaning solution is also a disinfectant, see if your product says “EPA-approved” anywhere on the packaging material. It should include a registered number, which you can look up and find out more information and instructions for best use. 

If a solution is EPA-approved or registered, it has been proven in a lab to be able to kill viruses, and is an effective disinfectant. 

According to the EPA, no disinfectant can claim to disinfect soft, porous surfaces, like upholstered furniture, carpets, or curtains. However, soft surfaces don’t transmit pathogens as easily as hard surfaces, so careful cleaning and sanitizing of upholstered materials should be enough to create a safe, healthy environment.

[Related: Making Sustainable Furniture Choices For Your Business]

Methods of Cleaning and Sanitizing Upholstery

Cleaning the upholstery in your office, shop, or workspace can be done using a variety of methods. Finding a safe and effective method to clean materials effectively without ruining them is important, especially since you’re dealing with soft, porous surfaces that are more prone to damage via cleaning than nonporous furniture.

Vacuuming

Even if you can’t see visible dirt and grime on your curtains, in your carpet, or between your couch cushions, you can guarantee it’s there. Vacuuming reduces the level of allergens and assists with the general upkeep of your upholstered furniture — helping them look good for  longer.

In order to keep high-traffic areas as clean as possible, such as the rug by your work’s main entrance, the carpet in your conference room, or the curtains in your classroom, frequently vacuum, and also make sure to utilize the attachments on your vacuum

Upholstery attachments are wide, sometimes come with a lint trapping material strip, and are perfect for getting rid of dust on couches, sofas, and smaller area rugs. Vacuums can also come with a dusting brush, featuring bristles perfect for dusting blinds, curtains, and windowsills. Crevice attachments, which are small and angled, are great for sucking up dirt and debris from between couch and chair cushions.

Spot and Stain Cleaning

If your furniture is being frequently used, it will eventually need a spot or stain treatment. This means instead of deep cleaning the entire upholstery, you’ll focus on only the area that is stained. 

After vacuuming the stain, read any care labels or cleaning tags that may be attached. These care labels will let you know which cleaning solvents are safe to use, or if you need to clean only through dry methods such as vacuuming. 

W: Distilled water-based cleaning agents may be used

S: Mild, water-free cleaning solvents may be used, but no water

S/W: Either of the above may be used

X: Clean only by vacuuming or light brushing; no water, foam, or liquid cleaning agents

When treating the stain with a cleaning solution, be sure to blot and not rub to avoid weakening and pilling the fabric.

Steam Heat Extraction Cleaning

Sometimes the only answer when it comes to deep cleaning rugs, couches, and carpets is to use a steam and hot water extraction technique: 

  • First, the area to be treated is thoroughly vacuumed.
  • Then, water is heated up and mixed with a cleaning solution.
  • The mixture is then injected onto the upholstered fabric with a special hot water extraction cleaning machine or steam machine.
  • The machine then extracts the water and solution out of the porous material, much like a vacuum, so it can dry quickly.

[Related: Upholstered Essentials Checklists and Tips for Your Industry]

How to Clean and Sanitize Specific Materials

The steps for cleaning commercial upholstered surfaces aren’t the same for every piece of furniture. Different materials require different considerations — the leather sofa in your lobby can’t be cleaned the exact same way you cleaned the linen curtains in the front window. 

Here’s what to know about cleaning a few of these materials.

Leather

Leather is a tricky material and involves a lot of care and attention when it comes to getting it clean and keeping it looking high-quality. 

Although leather isn’t as absorbent as other porous materials, it can still gather dust, dirt, pollutants, and allergies just like the rest of your furniture. Leather can also show wear and tear more easily, whether through fading or cracking. 

  • Use a leather-safe cleaner on a damp cloth to wipe down your piece of furniture and remove any residue and grime.
  • Before the leather has completely dried, apply a leather conditioner onto the surface. This step will help the material replenish its natural oils and avoid cracking.

Microfiber

Microfiber and polyester attract oils easily, which make them quick to get dirty. 

After thoroughly vacuuming, read the care tag instructions to determine what is the safest cleaning solution for your piece of furniture. Most microfiber materials can be spot-cleaned using a spray bottle full of warm water, rubbing alcohol, and a mild, clear dish soap.

Linen

You can spot treat most stains on linen with a cloth dampened with water or a bit of rubbing alcohol — just be sure to blot and not rub. Read the care label on your linen upholstered material, which may permit you to place it in the washing machine and dryer.

The upholstered furniture in your place of business should represent you in a professional and welcoming way. Keep your chairs and couches looking clean and new and smelling fresh by routinely deep cleaning and sanitizing them. Taking care of the upholstered material around your office will also save you money in the long-run by protecting your investment. 

If you have any questions about the best methods of cleaning commercial upholstered furniture, or if you decide you need to purchase some new pieces or get your existing pieces reupholstered or refinished, Queen Anne Group can help. Contact us today for a consultation!

Materials Used in Custom Commercial Furniture

Image via Unsplash

Custom-designing commercial furniture gives businesses the unique ability to choose specific materials that meet their aesthetic and functionality requirements. Explore some of the best materials for commercial booths and banquettes, tables, and outdoor furniture below, and then review more exhaustive material options for wood, glass, metal, and upholstered commercial furniture.

Best Materials for Custom Commercial Booths & Banquettes

Custom commercial booths and banquettes are usually made out of wood, laminate, and upholstery:

  • Wood booths: Wood booths are made up of a solid wood material. They are easy to clean and feature a traditional, natural, or rustic look.
  • Laminate booths: Laminate booths consist of a wood frame covered in trim, making them easy to clean. A neutral laminate color that matches your business’s existing decor is usually best.
  • Upholstery booths: Upholstery booths also use a wooden frame, but are covered in upholstered foam padding on the frame’s seat and back to make them more comfortable.

Upholstery options for commercial booths and banquettes include fabric, leather, and vinyl:

  • Fabric: Fabric is the most cost-effective option for commercial booth upholstery and comes in the largest variety of colors, patterns, and textures. Commercial fabrics are custom-designed for heavy-duty use to slow down wear.
  • Leather: The most expensive commercial booth upholstery option, leather has a long lifetime, ages well, and is very easy to clean.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl is cost-effective but also highly durable and low-maintenance, making it an ideal middle ground option. Vinyl also comes in a huge variety of styles and can mimic both the look of fabric and leather.

Best Materials for Custom Commercial Tables

Commercial tables are made up of two parts: the tabletop and the table base. These parts don’t necessarily need to be made of the same material.

Popular options for commercial tabletops include:

  • Wood tabletops: Wood is a common choice for commercial tabletops because of its affordability, durability, and natural aesthetic. Wood tabletops come in a variety of different wood species, stains, and edge style options and are usually finished with mineral oil or a varnish.
  • Metal tabletops: Metal is a great option for outdoor seating, such as on a restaurant patio or deck, because it is weather- and rust-resistant, functional, and lightweight. Stainless steel and aluminum are the most popular choices.
  • Granite tabletops: Higher-end commercial establishments often opt for granite tabletops for their more luxurious aesthetic and durability. Granite tabletops can be used both indoors and outdoors, require little maintenance, and are easy to clean.
  • Laminate tabletops: Laminate tabletops are a budget-friendly option that doesn’t limit you in terms of design. This practical tabletop material comes in a huge variety of size and style options, is very durable and low-maintenance, and is suited to all types of commercial settings.

While commercial wood tabletops are often paired with wood bases for a consistent aesthetic, metal is the most common choice for commercial table bases, including iron, aluminum, steel, and stainless steel. Table bases also come in different types (such as round, square, tripod, and X-shaped), heights, and finishes.

Best Materials for Custom Commercial Outdoor Furniture

While commercial outdoor furniture should fit into the overall aesthetic of your establishment, its most crucial requirement is weather resistance. More specifically, commercial outdoor furniture materials need to be moisture-, rust-, and fade-resistant and easy to clean and maintain. 

Popular materials for commercial outdoor furniture that meet these requirements include:

  • Wood outdoor furniture: Many different types of wood are used for commercial outdoor furniture, but teak is the most common because of its long lifetime (up to 50 years), extremely low maintenance, and easy care. Teak is easily cleaned with water and soap and is weather- and pest-resistant. The only drawback of teak outdoor furniture is that it generally costs more than other options.
  • Plastic outdoor furniture: Rain, mildew, and fade resistance and the ability to be cleaned with water and soap alone make plastic ideal for commercial outdoor furniture. Common plastic types include polypropylene, polyethylene, and high-density polyethylene, and recycled plastics are also available for businesses looking for more eco-friendly options. Plastic outdoor furniture may not be suitable for highly windy areas, however, as it is very lightweight and could be blown away.
  • Metal outdoor furniture: Metal is often used for outdoor furniture because it can withstand moisture and is low-maintenance. Downsides of metal are that it retains heat when placed in direct sunlight and may corrode at areas where different furniture pieces are joined with fasteners and bolts.
  • Wicker outdoor furniture: While natural wicker materials can be damaged by moisture and humidity, synthetic wicker is water-resistant and easy to clean, making it ideal for the outdoors. Synthetic wicker outdoor furniture is also low-maintenance, lightweight, and eco-friendly, benefits that unfortunately make it slightly more expensive than other outdoor furniture material options.
  • Glass outdoor furniture: Tempered glass is 100% weather-, pest-, and stain-resistant and thus commonly used for commercial outdoor tabletops. Keep in mind that tempered glass is quite heavy, so it’s not a good option for outdoor tables that need to be moved frequently. 

Types of Custom Commercial Furniture Materials

Of course, the primary benefit of custom-designing commercial furniture is that you get the freedom to choose the materials that are used. Below are some of the wood, glass, metal, upholstery, and hardware options businesses can choose from.

Wood Options for Custom Commercial Furniture

When designing commercial wood furniture, you get to decide between hardwood and softwood:

  • Hardwoods: Hardwood grows more slowly than softwood, making it more expensive. However, hardwood is also more durable, fire-resistant, and stylistically versatile. Types of hardwood include:
    • Walnut
    • Ash
    • Mahogany
    • Birch
    • Teak
    • Red oakMaple
    • Cherry
    • East Indian rosewood
    • Beech
  • Softwoods: Softwood is more lightweight, lighter in color, and less expensive than hardwood. However, it has poorer fire resistance. Types of softwood include:
    • Lodgepole pine
    • Parana pine (also known as Brazilian pine)
    • Eastern white pine
    • Pitch pine
    • Longleaf pine
    • Scots pine
    • Fir
    • White spruce
    • Larch
    • Western hemlock
    • Red cedar (also known as aromatic red cedar)
    • Yew (also known as European yew)

Glass Options for Custom Commercial Furniture

Types of glass for custom commercial furniture include:

  • Standard clear glass
  • Ultra clear low-iron glass
  • Gray glass
  • Smokey gray glass
  • Warm brown glass
  • Bronze glass
  • Acid-etched glass
  • Laminated glass
  • Frosted glass
  • Patterned glass
  • Back-painted glass
  • Tinted glass
  • Tempered glass

Glass for applications such as glass tabletops can also be cut into the shape of your choice, including rectangles, circles, squares, and ovals. The edges of the glass may be flat-polished, pencil-polished, beveled, or seamed.

Metal Options for Custom Commercial Furniture

Metal is a popular choice for commercial furniture frames, furniture rests, and table legs and is often paired with other materials. Types of metal for commercial furniture include:

  • Steel
  • Stainless steel 
  • Iron
  • Aluminum 
  • Brass
  • Copper
  • Wrought iron 
  • Alloys 

Keep in mind that numerous metal finishes are also available to give your commercial furniture a unique aesthetic, including antique, brushed, hammered, polished, and satin.

Upholstery Options for Custom Commercial Furniture

A lot of custom commercial furniture is upholstered. Upholstery options for custom commercial furniture include:

  • Fabrics:
    • Natural fibers:
      • Linen
      • Cotton
      • Wool
      • Silk
      • Rayon
    • Synthetic fibers:
      • Polyester
      • Nyon
      • Acrylic
      • Olefin
      • Polypropylene
  • Leather
  • Vinyl

Hardware Options for Custom Commercial Furniture

Hardware helps hold your custom commercial furniture together, makes it functional, and adds to the overall style. Types of hardware for custom commercial furniture include:

  • Nails
  • Screws
  • Fasteners
  • Tracks
  • Face frame and frameless hinges
  • Drawer pulls
  • Finger pulls
  • Locks
  • Handles
  • Cabinet knobs
  • Hooks
  • Cabinet bumpers
  • Timber plates
  • Casters

Many of these hardware options come in different styles, such as classic, modern, rustic, and farmhouse.

How to Choose the Right Foam: Understanding Different Foam Qualities

Foam is one of the most important elements of an upholstery project, but most people lack the vocabulary — or rather, the correct understanding of the vocabulary — to properly describe the kind of foam they want. Even designers and architects may know that they need to consider the foam’s density, but have no idea how it relates to other characteristics, such as firmness and cell structure.

To help you choose the right kind of foam for your business’s or client’s next project, we’ve explained the different qualities of foam and the importance of each.

Density

Just like with other applications, foam density measures the mass or quantity of the material per a measurable volume or size.

However, density is measured differently depending on the material. For foam, the standard is to weigh a block measuring one foot on each side. A block that weighs 5 pounds would have a 5-pound density.

Foam’s density isn’t related to its firmness, but it is related to its durability and quality because more material is being compressed into a certain volume. This also means that denser materials will weigh more.

A density of 1 to 3 pounds is typical for most conventional foams, with lower-density foam being used for crafts, shipping foam, guest room mattress toppers, and other light-use products. High-density foams have densities ranging from 10 to 15 pounds and are ideal for applications that see heavy use, such as bedding, couch cushions, booth seating, or automobile seating.

Custom-made booths at the Seattle Center
High-density foam is ideal for heavy-use applications, such as booth seating.

Weight

Because density is measured by weighing a cubic foot of foam, people sometimes use the terms “weight” and “density” interchangeably. For this reason, you should be cautious of confusing foam’s density (or material) weight (the weight of a cubic foot sample) with its overall weight (the weight of the entire piece of foam).

Both figures are important, but each gives you different information.

Firmness

The firmness of foam describes how it feels and reacts to pressure and weight. It is measured through mechanical performance testing and expressed in a unit called indentation load deflection (ILD) or indentation force deflection (IFD).

The testing uses a foam sample 15” by 15” by 4” in size and measures the force in pounds that is required to compress the material 25% (one inch) with a 50-square-inch circular indenter.

For example, if 40 pounds of pressure is necessary to compress the material one inch, the foam’s ILD is 40.

Testing results will not be accurate if the sample does not have the appropriate dimensions, as the thickness of the material affects how much weight it can support.

Greater pressure is required to compress hard foams, and less to compress soft foams. ILD values between 8 and 70 are common for most foam materials, with values reaching 120 to 150 designating a very high firmness.

Remember that firmness doesn’t reflect foam’s quality — density does. Firmness illustrates how a material feels and gives you an idea of how it will support weight in a particular application.

In fact, firmness and density have no direct correlation. Foam has different kinds of chemical and structural compositions, so it’s possible for foam samples with lower densities to have a higher ILD (firmness) than samples with higher densities. Consider each metric separately to select foam that is your ideal in both density and firmness.

Custom-made booths at the Seattle Center
Choosing the right foam for your booth ensures that it functions as well as it looks.

Open-Cell vs. Closed-Cell Foam

Another characteristic of foam is related to its cell structure. Foam can be either open-cell or closed-cell.

Open-Cell Foam

In open-cell foam, the walls of the cells are broken, which allows air to enter the tiny pockets in the material. This gives open-cell foam a sponge-like look and soft, cushiony feel. Open-cell foam also tends to be less dense and weigh less than closed-cell foam.

One thing to keep in mind is that because of the porous quality of open-cell foam, water and water vapor can easily penetrate it. However, open-cell foam resists mold growth and won’t shrink, crack, or wear down with use.

Closed-Cell Foam

The cells in closed-cell foam are, as you might imagine, closed and not connected to one another, so no air can fill them. The gas bubbles that form when the foam is expanded and cured are then trapped within these cells, giving the foam excellent insulation capabilities.

Unlike open-cell foam, closed-cell foam is resistant to water and water vapor. This makes closed-cell foam a good choice for exterior applications; but most upholstery projects will want to utilize open-cell foam for its durability and softness.

Need Help Choosing the Right Foam?

If you’re still unsure of which foam to choose for your business’s or client’s upholstery project, give us a call. We’re happy to explain your options and make recommendations — for foam, fabric, and any other element of the upholstery process.