Trends in Hospitality Design
Ever ready to indulge their guests in a high-quality experience, restaurant and hotel owners—and the designers who shape their properties—constantly adapt to market demands and changing tastes to create inspiring hospitality settings. From a branding perspective, there’s more emphasis on design as a differentiator than ever before in today’s competitive global marketplace. These forward-looking tastemakers also often set the tone for trends in residential as well as commercial environments, such as healthcare settings and office space, which now embrace boutique hotel-inspired qualities, too. So what’s next on the hospitality front?
1. An emphasis on eco-friendliness. Locavorism and social sustainability are gaining momentum. The hotel industry has a collective buying power to boost local economies, and we want to do our part by buying local. We also see more natural materials being used.
2. Less pattern, more texture, and pops of color. In both public spaces and guest rooms, palettes are moving toward neutral tones, with bright accent colors and just one key pattern on carpet or a drapery or pillows. Patterns tend to be large-scale and often geometric in urban areas and organic in resort areas.
3. Seamless technology. Technology is being implemented in all hotels from the operations standpoint to the guest experience. For example, with the push of a button a guest who couldn’t finish watching a movie on the plane during landing can finish watching it in his room. New technologies cut facility management costs, too. Energy consciousness is important to owners, so more and more are exploring key card control points that manage lighting use, for example.
4. A customized experience. Another huge trend is personalisation. New concepts are evolving based on flexibility and individual needs. Hotels with just two to three rooms, pop-up hotels, and modular hotels are all new concepts being explored. Attitudes have changed toward spending money and customers actually expect less service—the majority are happy with doing some of the service themselves..
5. Rarefied luxury. On the flip side, at the upper luxury level, guests are expecting to be pampered more. That also ties to the economy and how true luxury is catering to a much smaller and select audience. Among the extras introduced at the high-end are radiant-heat floors, TVs that convert to mirrors when not turned on, and guest baths with mirror defoggers—little things that make the guests want to come back.
6. Celebrating local craftsmanship. Handwork and crafts in interior design used to be limited to small-scale projects, but now, even larger projects incorporate craftsmanship to distinguish the design. There is a stronger focus on regionalism, so designers extensively research producers, manufacturers, craftspeople, and artists in the area, and work closely with them to use products made domestically, mostly in the immediate area. This not only helps local economies, but also creates a nice emotional tie with the community.
7. Multi-use spaces. Lobbies are now becoming multi-use spaces that can be used to serve breakfast during the day and host happy hours in the evenings. As a result, seating and flooring respond to the use in these areas with carpet and continental chairs going in the lounge-y spaces and hard surfaces and communal tables and chairs in dining areas.
8. Bottom-line driven materials. Owners are looking to get more for less. This often translates into designers having to find new kinds of materials—on the maintenance side we are looking at creating highly engineered natural materials. We are also seeing more hard surface floors in guestrooms, that give longevity and are easy to clean.