Updated: Oct 28, 2019
As we all get set to maximize opportunity in 2018, it’s critical to understand the trends which could potentially have the most positive effect regarding your business. To get a sense of areas of opportunity in the New Year and the trends behind them, we tracked down some of the hotel industry’s top designers to see which emerging trends they find the most relevant and those they are personally excited to explore.
We spoke with three prominent hospitality designers to understand their thoughts regarding hotel design and innovating the guest experience; Brooke Taylor, Director of Interiors with Arcsine, Tory Knoph, Interior Designer with Stonehill & Taylor, and David Shove-Brown, Partner with 3877.
What is the biggest trend you’re seeing in furniture design?
One trend we started hearing about in bits and pieces last year and is now picking up steam is a more focused approached to health and wellness as expressed through furniture design. “We have so much over stimulation in our lives that we want the guestroom to be a retreat,” says Brooke Taylor, who sees a toning down of highly localized design in favor of simplifying guestrooms with added comfort. She sees this as playing upon the Danish design concept Hygge, which is about coziness leading to well-being.
A calm, comfortable time with people you love.
A complete absence of frustrations, or anything emotionally overwhelming, often enjoyed with good food and drinks, warm blankets and candlelight.
David Shove-Brown also sees a return to more simplified but equally effective design. “We went from minimalism to over-the-top. Now we’re seeing more emphasis on minimal design details combined with simple and playful touches.
What is emerging as the next big thing in hotel guestroom furniture design as a potential trend in 2018?
Arcsine’s Brooke Taylor once again believes it’s about simplicity, with designs based on the Swedish concept of Lagom, which is Swedish for ‘just right.’ “It’s about hitting the balance of not too much and not too little to find the sweet spot. While we still need to hang up clothes and iron them, I don’t need a gym in my room. But I do crave healthier, fresher food items rather than the same old club sandwich,” said Taylor.
Not too little, not too much.
Shove-Brown believes the less is more approach as vogue. He sees the trend of eliminating bulky closets and desks in guest rooms in favor of multi-purpose surfaces.
What new technologies are you excited to incorporate into your furniture designs in 2018?
“Technology that is Intuitive,” said Taylor. “If I can’t figure it out in three minutes, I’m gone. That makes it about being universal and easy to understand.”
For Tory Knoph it’s all about charging. “I see charging phone pads as something I’m looking forward to incorporating. Also, USBs in lamps, because they’re easy to replace once that technology becomes outdated.”
As Owners and Operators continue to focus more on design, creators will have more freedom to visually innovate in 2018. Where is your favorite area to push the design envelope?
Knoph states, “Hallway carpeting is a challenge. Corridors only have the carpet, lighting and console tables, so the focus is more on the floor coverings. I’m in it for the corridors and public spaces.”
For Shove-Brown, it’s about the bar. “The recently opened Moxy Times Square is a great example. The lesson here is it doesn’t have to be just a bar. You can offer more. The Moxy, for example, encompasses the coffee shop, and other “standard” lobby amenities in interesting ways, creating a space that can be utilized throughout all day parts equally well.”
While 2018 has been pegged as PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet, our experts see other colorful opportunities in the New Year.
Knoph sees darker finishes with cerusing such as walnut being prominent, especially when using chrome and mixed metals. “When coming up with a design, I start in the bathroom because I can’t use brass in the bathrooms due to the expense. I choose my bathroom metals first, then work my way into other guestroom areas mixing in other metals with the design.”
David Shove-Brown believes that color needs to be playful, adding life and excitement to a project. “Color needs to actually be color. It can be dramatic, so embrace it. Even black can be an interior color with balance, it needs to go further beyond the throw pillow.”
Overall, it looks as though 2018 is going to be a great year for design innovation. With a deeper emphasis on combining the latest in technology, a heightened emphasis on creature comforts and more visual expressions through color, design visionaries are set to create products that confidently connect with hotel customers.