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The Design Upside: Hospitality Design is Trending Forward

2020/10/23 | by Hotel Furniture

By: Monique Farley, Lead Design Project Manager at HF

When it comes to design trends within the hotel industry, designers often take inspirational cues from residential design. From residential design the trends permeate through workplace design, restaurant design, and hotel design. With the impact of COVID-19 being felt in every aspect of life, current design trends are in a state of evolution as designers work to ensure that form meets function in a way that embraces the whole human experience in a healthier, safer manner. With such evolution comes new innovations in areas and perspectives that we may not have necessarily considered.

Here are the three imaginative design trends for you to consider for your hotel:

  • The Green Thumb Approach: Biophilic design incorporates nature to connect humans to the outside world. Biophilia means “to commune with nature1.” As designers and hoteliers work on ways to strengthen their wellness offerings to guests to better enhance their experience, the incorporation of plants into your hotel design is a great option. Whether you incorporate a living wall, add a water feature, include a plant installation, increase the amount of natural lighting or more there are many ways to bring nature indoors. Since COVID-19 has made it’s landing, the desire to be outdoors has increased. For hotels in locations with all four seasons, outdoor lobbies or workspaces will not be feasible year round. Incorporating various Biophilic design elements into your hotel will still allow for your guests to feel connected to nature. Many studies have shown how nature impacts one’s well being and productivity in the workplace. Some of those same improved emotions can be applied to the hospitality industry. Several studies have even shown an increased room rate of hotels that have incorporated biophilic design elements in their guestrooms when compared to other hotels.

Both images from 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

  • Materiality meets Organic Shapes, Textures, & Patterns: Thanks to COVID-19, there has been a shift to re-evaluate the materials that we use in the hospitality industry. With this evaluation there is opportunity for innovation as cleanliness and healthier environments continue to remain priorities. An example would be glass, metal, or frosted acrylic partitions used in either the public space or guest rooms. In the public space, a glass partition provides spatial flexibility, allows natural light to pass through, and assists with social distancing by allowing you to create smaller social areas or pods, and more. Consider a wider range of anti-microbial wall vinyls that are easier to clean and maintain.

With materiality comes the juxtaposition of textures and layering of patterns. Today’s design trends are continuing to push the cultural envelope including the use of patterns and shapes from countries around the world. When paired with more woven textures such as rattan or unfinished woods and found objects, you create a sophisticated, warm, and engaging design aesthetic that your guests will fully embrace as welcoming and relaxing.

Both Images from Quinta da Comporta Wellness Boutique Resort

  • Spatial Adaptability: With fluctuating hotel capacity limits and the “new normal” of how we gather, hotels should reconsider just how flexible their public space and guest rooms really are. The need for banquet or larger bench seating in your public spaces or communal areas may no longer be an efficient use of space. Having FF&E that is comfortable and modular will be the way to go as guests need more seating flexibility. With that flexibility, the continuation of layering in a variety of seating styles will continue to trend and is, in some cases, a demand. Another consideration is the incorporation of indoor/outdoor seating in your design. This adds another layer of flexibility as guests continue to find their balance between wanting to be outdoors versus indoors.

In other areas such as fitness centers and guest rooms, what does spatial adaptability look like? Are we eliminating some casegood pieces to replace them with small in-room fitness options or spa services? Thinking of how we can make guestrooms multi-purpose spaces is a great area for opportunity in the design industry.

As we continue to push forward, it will be exciting to see how these design trends continue to impact the industry. One thing is for certain, these three design trends are here to stay for a while!

If you’re interested in seeing how your hotel design and guest rooms will change or are interested in chatting about your upcoming renovations, click here for a free demo or contact us at hello@hotelfurniture.com.

Monique Farley, Lead Design Project Manager, is an experienced hospitality, commercial, and residential designer. She has spent a number of years in the hospitality design industry designing hotel brand prototypes and packages for several leading brands.


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