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Forward Thinking: Designer Input

Updated: Dec 6, 2019

Samuelson Furniture conducted a survey to capture design input on evolving hospitality trends of 2019. We are fortunate in providing two forward thinking, top designers for their look into the direction taking place within the hotel industry.




The time and consideration of the following designers are greatly appreciated for their valuable insight:



Geoff Cramer (GC) of Seifert Murphy, Dallas and Austin Texas As a partner with Seifert Murphy, Geoff consistently exhibits the same passion and attention to detail for every project in which he is involved. Currently working with Samuelson on the fabulous Hyatt Regency, Phoenix, AZ.

Foreman Rogers (FR) of BLUR Workshop, Atlanta, GA A designer committed to innovative, stunning results, Foreman has led the design effort, working with Samuelson, for the transformation of Chateau Elan Resort and Winery, Braselton, GA.















What types of materials, textures, finishes, or colors will you want to use in projects this year?

FR - They are varied, each of our projects are so specific to each place, client and brand. I would say in general we are striving for that natural look whether it is linen, leather or flat cut natural woods... It is not just the material but how it is finished that is most important to us these days. We are currently working on a project with Samuelson Furniture with a brushed aged finish to the wood giving it character and depth. We are also starting another with white washed pickled oak. I am seeing more and more steel as a finish and also a desire to have living finishes for metals in our designs, especially for brass. Let the material be what it is and mature as does the hotel.



Chateau Elan Designed By Blur Workshop - Purchased By Benjamin West

GC - We are seeing a lot more natural colored wood with a matte finish to them. People desire wood that still resembles wood and not something overly finished. With the capabilities of CNC routing we are experimenting with how that can be used in casegoods. Metal finishes seem to be all over depending on project. I think the trend of black metal with brushed brass is fading out in favor of combinations that have less of a retro feel. Then again, if the project calls for something like that... What types of clients are you designing for in 2019? Are they asking for anything new and unusual?

FR - We are blessed to have a diverse client list. It really keeps us on our toes with all types of hospitality, from a luxury resort to an urban business hotel, or from restaurant work to our first modern indoor water park. I always find it amazing what you can take away and learn from one project that helps inform or streamline another project. We are having a lot of fun with some great clients, and always learning along the way.


GC - We are a little across the board on client and project types from more traditional luxury properties to new lifestyle brands. Across all projects, we’re seeing a lot more casegood installations in guestrooms.







Hyatt Regency Phoenix - Designed By Seifert Murphy Purchased By Rosemont

Is there something specific going on (whether it be environmental factors, pop culture, etc.) that you feel is influencing the design sphere right now?

FR - For me it is Instagram. I see this continuing to influence my team and me. It is a platform that is about life and how people are living it through photos and ideas. I love seeing how people experience places and hotels, especially the ones we have designed. Instagram is such a large audience and I find myself amazed with the creativity of others or inspired by their posts.


GC - The Millennial generation. As one of the largest generations since the baby boomers, hotel brands are catering to their tastes in order to capture their travel spending.

When specifying furniture, are there any features that are top of mind for 2019 (modularity, integrated tech, etc.)?

FR - I would like to see some strides in wireless charging in furniture and lamp bases, especially at nightstands. It may be  too early but I really cannot wait until the technology is there for us to use in our designs. Granted it has to be affordable.

GC - We are seeing a lot more integrated technology like plug-in furniture power units with integrated lighting controls.



Samuelson Furniture 8729 Custom Oval Banquette

Which trend(s) from 2018 is OUT?

FR - Brooklyn! I am tired of hearing and seeing it in every city that is NOT Brooklyn.

GC - I am not certain, as we generally do not follow trends per se.

What are three adjectives you would use to describe the types of interiors we will see in 2019?

FR - Efficient, Authentic, Smart

GC -Local, Fun, Layered


The influence of today’s millennial's prevails as a driving force in creating a unique travel experience.  Lifestyle brands with greater individuality, authenticity and efficient technology continue to lead the way. We will be watching out for these trends to take shape in the many hospitality projects in production this year.