The Open Closet System: Sawyer & Company's Solution to Frequent Travelers' Woes


While most travelers can appreciate a great quality design in a hotel room, the finer - function focused - details of the design may frequently get overlooked. We know when a hotel room is perfect and we never want to leave, but it's often hard to put your finger on why. Likewise, when things are clearly missing from your hotel room experience, we notice these things right away.

For years, hotel rooms were designed to be functional and practical - often replicating the feeling of home, replete with traditional chairs, tables, and closets. All of these things add an air of comfort to your experience, but when designing a hotel room, it's important to remember that a hotel room is not your home and after a period of time, one surely must leave it behind. One of the things most travelers tend to complain about after checking out of a hotel is that they seem to have left something behind, and because everyone travels differently, for a different reason, and for a different amount of time, some people pack, some don't, and some do a little of both. We now travel with many things, and it was time to acknowledge the tech aspects of our lives, along with the suitcase. Just about every frequent traveler has left something behind at some point, has unpacked on a spare bed, or on the floor in the corner of the room and has found no place to put all three pieces of technology. This sparked our pioneering initiative to eradicate this problem for travelers once and for all via the groundbreaking hotel design adjustment that left the closet entirely open within the guestroom.

The "Open Closet System" was developed after a 2-year long study of traveler's needs when designing the guestroom prototype for the Marriott brand - reflecting how we all travel today - my tech, my stuff, and me. This simple, innovative design trick has since been implemented across many of the international hotel brands, dramatically decreasing the amount of items hotels find left behind by their guests within the rooms. Below, we illuminate a number of the various benefits that the Open Closet System provides and the many issues it helps to remedy:

- The entry area in the traditional hotel room is often narrow and doesn't utilize the space well. Without walls and doors, the open closet is easily able to make use of an under-utilized space.

- Providing an open system makes the entry way feel much more open and spacious. Without the heavy weightiness of an omnipresent closed-door closet, light flows much more easily throughout the room and adds square footage that would otherwise be consumed.

- The Open Closet allows the guest to see what they have at all times and also provides space for belongings to be neatly tucked away. Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, it's nice to know what you have brought with you and identify what you may have left behind.

- It makes the closet feel like a true dressing area. When everything is pleasantly within eyesight, guests can begin to relax and enjoy their experience, whether they are getting ready for a business meeting or a night on the town.

- It is inspired by luxury residential details, and is thoughtful, more tailored and feels more personal. With many hotels beginning to look and feel more residential, the open closet allows guests to personalize their in-room experience.

- It becomes a designed space or moment rather than being simply practical. It allows the guest to quickly check that they haven’t left anything behind, while simultaneously adding a sophisticated setting.

- With the open hanging, closed hanging, and layout areas, it accommodates all travelers - those who like to fully unpack, partially unpack and those who don’t unpack at all.

- It accounts for the room's amenities that are integrated into the millwork – including the safe, coffee maker and other guestroom items. Being that the space is not closed off, there is more room to tastefully accommodate the less-aesthetically pleasing but necessary elements in any guest suite.

- Lastly, it is designed as a modular system that can typically account for different room layouts and existing conditions. In other words, it's a practical solution for many owners of existing hotels, providing a way to maximize their footprint while improving the overall quality of a stay with a minimal renovation.

To see more about Sawyer & Company's hotel and guestroom designs, please click here.

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