Room Clutter is NOT an Amenity

An excerpt from an old forum post:

I’ve seen a fair number of B&B’s up close and I see a lot more of them through building or reviewing websites and it never ceases to amaze me that so many innkeepers consider decorative clutter to be an amenity that guests are looking for.

I have seen far too many guest rooms where every horizontal space is covered with knick-knacks, cutsey dolls, carvings, toys, fake deserts, and other completely useless decorations. They are apparently meant to make the room feel lived in, but it backfires completely when there is no place for guests to put their own belongings. By my way of thinking, a guest can’t feel comfortable if they have no place to unpack their suitcase(s) and settle in.

I’d like to help break this urge that so many innkeepers have to clutter up guest rooms, but I don’t understand the mentality. Is there some reason I am missing as to why bedroom should have every horizontal surface cluttered?

3 thoughts on “Room Clutter is NOT an Amenity”

  1. ‘m with you, Steve. When I was an inspector for the Colorado B&B association, one comment I often made was that the shelves in the bathroom shouldn’t have so much stuff on them so the guests could have a place to put their toiletries. The innkeeper always said something about the shelves adding ambience. I suggested then that they add another shelf or piece of furniture so guets could put their things out. Most rejected my idea — leaving me with the same question you have.
    A friend of mine stayed at a B&B years ago, and later told me that he couldn’t sleep because the room was filled with dolls — and he felt as if he were being watched. He said it was a very weird feeling to see the hundreds of eyes on him at all times.
    And then there are the innkeepers who take their collections to the nth degree. When your bear/goose/doll collection gets so big that you line the stairs with them, you are creating a hazard for your guests. I can see the headlines now; “B&B guest killed after tripping over stair geese”.
    I don’t have an answer for you, Steve, but I share your observations and feelings. Anyone else out there who can shed light on this situation for Steve and me?

  2. i am with you both on this issue – when designing our rooms one of our fist thoughts were where does the guest put her makeup (i mean come on this is important for us girls) and where do you put your suitcase.
    and then my friend said take that doll head out of here i think she is watching me. So i am under the opinion that although i love clutter – i cant make everyone else love it too. and this is my home but it is my business too so moderation in all things.
    Now my thoughts are if i put in anything in the rooms they should have a rooster on them. that way when they leave they will go home and say remember that place with the roosters? cant remember the name something like rooster inn. See now that is branding.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts i will pay close attention as i grow to this issue.
    Inn at Rooster Hill

  3. I also agree with this comment. Guests rent a room because they need a place to sleep and would like their own space. So why would we then fill up the space they are paying to use? I try to put myself in the guest’s shoes.
    L. Rosan
    Bed and Breakfast/GuestHouse Accommodations
    Washington, DC

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