By Elaine Williamson, July 2010
Interior design, like fashion, is as an ever-changing industry. Styles,
materials, furnishings and décor similarly follow trends and seasons.
Good hospitality interior design will provide flexibility and scalability,
allowing an Inn, hotel or resort to remain current in its aesthetic in
the years ahead.
Interior design and décor trends change with every season, but
with a strategic foundation of baseline elements like furniture and flooring,
a property can easily keep up with the trends without sacrificing essential
style elements of the space.
Here’s a glimpse of what’s currently trending in the hospitality design
“Bone-dacious” Furnishings: For the past few decades,
designers have purchased furniture that served one particular style purpose
for a specific room. This meant that, as soon as the owner or property
manager decided to redecorate a space, all new base furnishings had to
be purchased. Lately, however, it’s become popular among hospitality interior
designers to purchase a quality piece of furniture that has desirable,
style transcendent “bones” with the intent to reupholster it as fashions
change, rather than simply discarding it when it’s time to update the look
of the lobby, hallways, guest rooms and suites, pool/patio area, restaurant,
etc.. This trend has resulted in an increase in purchases from domestically-based
manufacturers that make quality furnishings built to last.
Dodge disposable décor. Designers are no longer purchasing
one-time use “disposable” décor items, be it furniture, rugs, window
treatments and decorative items. Instead, they consider a piece’s re-usability
in another future design when considering a purchase. This is the most
efficient and cost-effective way to make over a hotel space …now and later.
Color craze: C The world of color has undergone a makeover of
late, too, with yellow and gray paving the way. Together, these colors
add a level of calm to the feel of a guest room, while still adding eye-catching
pops of color. The gray, a rather neutral color, works well as a base color
on upholstered furniture, especially when coupled with another hot trend
right now - espresso-stained wood. This stain color, which exudes an air
of sleek sophistication, is an enduring classic that has realized a surge
in popularity. The yellow, best utilized in small bursts, serves as an
impactful infusion of excitement in the room. For instance, a yellow throw
pillow on a gray sofa can make a stellar statement.
See the Light: Lighting is currently making a huge push
in the hospitality space . As the design of table lamps have waned
and the marketplace has begun to embrace cleaner lines, pendant and other
types of overhead lighting are popular choices for making a major design
statement. Beautiful materials, unique shapes and versatile sizes
simply cannot be overlooked.
Ground Control: Natural wood floors are also making
a major comeback, and as properties ‘go green’ other types of types of
natural flooring such as travertine, limestone and honed marbles are in
high demand. Recyclable flooring, either in wood or carpet, is also
in fashion. Therefore, all things natural and recyclable are at the
top of the hospitality style scene. I am seeing and using natural gemstones
in flooring as well. Tiger’s Eye, Sodalite, Malachite and Mother
of Pearl are just a few of these fabulous new materials being put to creative
flooring use at the high end.
Simple swaps = big impact. If you’re searching for a new look
for a lobby or other common area, build on the baseline furnishings already
installed and switch out accessories like ceiling fixtures, vases, statues,
hanging artwork and other portable items. This allows you to introduce
fresh style elements as décor trends change without having to change
the entire composition of the space.
Commercial interiors expert Elaine Williamson is the principal of
Elaine Williamson Designs - a full service, award-winning firm specializing
in high end custom interior design for luxury residences, high rise properties,
and commercial establishments. She may be reached online at www.ElaineWilliamsonDesigns.com.