Interior Design in Hospitality: An Interview with Caroline Beresford

We took five with Caroline Beresford of Caroline Beresford Design in Sydney to talk about the way in which interior design can enhance a hospitality concept and makes up such a large and important part of an overall hospitality business strategy. 


Q1. How would you describe the aesthetic of your design? 

Our studio has developed a design aesthetic which is classically sophisticated with an honest, quirky edge. The base palettes we create for our projects are based on neutrals and we build on these palettes through layering pattern, textures and fine detailing. The end result is a concept which is unique to each client and offers a memorable experience to customers visiting the venues we have created. 

Fossix for Investa Property Group  |   see the project

Fossix for Investa Property Group | see the project


Q2. What are your main priorities (in order or importance) as a designer when designing the interiors of a food and beverage space? (i.e. look, feel, function) 

We believe that functionality and ambience sit side by side in terms of design priority when working on a new design concept within the hospitality industry. 

The main objective is to create a destination that the target market will identify with therefore have a lasting impression on these customers. The overall ambience of a destination is key to creating a memorable venue. The character of the venue is created by paying attention to detail to every finish and fixture selected. When considered carefully, all of these design elements work together to create a dynamic interior outcome. Alongside of this sits functionality. For a food and beverage venue to be operationally successful, the layout of the space needs to be planned and resolved up front to ensure the client is getting the most out of the space. Once we have resolved the best layout for the venue in consultation with our client, we are then able to weave our magic through the interior finishing and embellishment process. 


Q3. Why is interior design such a ‘make or break’ for the success of a hospitality space? 

The general public are very savvy these days with regards to the Interior “vibe” of a venue. In today’s digital age, quite often you are only as memorable as a patron’s last “swipe”. Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and in particular Instagram have made the need for memorable and statement making interior imagery to be an absolute necessity in order to compete within the industry. 


Q4. What has been your favourite hospitality project to date and why?  

A project that has always remained close to my heart is Kafeine, Balmain. It was one of the first projects I completed, however remains a favourite because of the positive impact our work had on the success of our client’s business. Financially, food and beverage sales tripled within a few weeks after the work was completed. The day the venue was reopened, a staff member hugged me and thanked me for making her place of work so beautiful to spend her days in. 

A more recent favourite is the Cronulla Sharks Leagues Club. We worked alongside Cox Architecture and designed the interiors across the entire Club. It was a huge project, but the fast pace and opportunity to design sports bars, the gaming lounge, dining rooms and many more venues was a wonderful and memorable experience.


Q5. What are the current trends you are seeing for interior design in hospitality spaces? 

Heavy, dark rustic looks are out. Most recently we have seen hospitality interiors showcasing more sophisticated, crisp and simple lines. The overall effect are destinations which have a lighter, brighter and fresh faced feel to them. Trend forecasting studies have shown that the public are highly engaged with destinations that reflect an authentic approach. 

Authenticity now extends on further from where the food on our plates comes from. Handcrafted fixtures and fittings, and attention to the finer details throughout a space reflects an artisan approach to many interior schemes in today’s competitive industry. If executed well, the result is an impressive and memorable concept where the authenticity of the food and beverage offering sits hand in hand alongside a beautifully curated interior. An “Instagrammable” match made in heaven!


Q6. Where’s your favourite place to eat for both great food and great interiors? 

A current favourite of mine would have to be Fred’s, Oxford Street Paddington.

This is the perfect example of where the Interior design has been carefully considered and developed alongside the concept for the food and beverage offering. The food is ethically produced and seasonal. The interiors are honest, humble yet the attention to detail is outstanding. The result is a wonderfully relaxed, heartwarming and authentic experience. Perfect for the Australian winter, just around the corner!


About Caroline Beresford Design

Caroline Beresford Design is a Sydney based interior design studio specialising in the creation of unique interiors for retail and hospitality. 

They offer a total design solution that includes customer research, brand strategy, site analysis, concept design, specifications of furniture, finishes and fittings, sourcing, approval documentation, construction administration and interior styling. They take into account the end user’s social, cultural, and inspirational expectations to create original, authentic and individual interiors that stand the test of time. 

Their primary focus is in hospitality and retail, in particular, cafés, food emporiums and restaurant interior design.  They have a considered and collaborative approach involving clients throughout the creative process to create engaging and visually memorable interiors, transforming “spaces” into a “sense of place”. 

Their attention to detail and commitment to sourcing boutique finishes and furnishings ensures an aesthetically pleasing outcome to every project.

Suite 504, 19A Boundary Street

Rushcutters Bay NSW 2011

M: +61 430 372 772