By Kacey Bradley

Domestic interior design gets all of the attention, but we know better: the hotel industry has its own scene that’s just as exciting and ever changing. As such, it’s up to hospitality professionals and hotel owners to keep tabs on design trends and, in the process, wow clients with modern updates and fresh décor choices.

To make that task a bit easier, we’ve gathered the following list of five of the industry’s soon-to-be trending design tips. Get ahead so that, by the time 2018 rolls around, your accommodation exudes the modernity that you and your customers seek.

1. Don’t Be Afraid of Brights

Many interior designers play it safe and choose neutral color schemes when helming a hotel-decorating project. But 2018 will see more and more hotels foregoing a fully neutral scheme in favor of pops of bright colors, saturated colors, rich colors… anything to catch the eye of potential clients.

The reason for the trend? More and more people – read: millennials – choose their hotel rooms based on online photo galleries. And, bright pops of paint color make particular rooms stand out from a sea of neutrals. If you’re not sure where to start when you choose your eye-catching accent colors, check out which colors are forecasted to be the most popular in fashion, design and, because of you, in hotel décor, too.

2. Make Rooms Feel More Like Home

This trend started in 2017, and we can only imagine it will continue with the growing popularity of sites like Air B&B, where customers can rent homes and apartments with all of the comforts of their own abodes. To keep up, many hotels have begun adding kitchenettes to their rooms, especially for accommodations where guests tend to check in for long-term stays. The more comfortable they feel, the more likely they are to stay long and return for more extended visits.

Another way hoteliers have made their rooms feel more like home is to make each room’s design unique to the room next door and the room across the hall. Gone are the days of cookie-cutter hotel designs, as guests prefer a more natural, cozy, home-style design scheme. Try mixing and matching furniture, textures and colors so that your space isn’t too matchy-matchy.

3. Bring the Outdoors In

Nature is an enduring design inspiration, and 2018 will only see the outdoors grow as an influence on interior decorators. This is an especially hot tip if your hotel happens to be near to natural wonders, mountains, beaches… any outdoor entertainment that draws guests to your business.

There are countless ways to incorporate nature into the design of your hotel. You can start with furniture built from rustic and natural wood if you have close access to a national park, mountain range or dessert expanse. Art inspired by your surrounds will get guests in an outdoor state of mind, too. You can even choose fabrics featuring flora, fauna or even colors inspired by nature. No matter the inspiration you draw from, a natural element is sure to delight your guests.

4. Make the Lobby a Hangout

Do guests make a point to lounge, hang out and have a beverage in your hotel’s lobby? If not, you might want to consider a revamp that makes the space less like a business’s conference room and more like a cool hangout where guests will want to, well, hang out.

You can start by installing desks instead of checkout counters where your staff can work comfortably across the table with guests. The same goes for the concierge, where guests are likely to linger longer, asking questions and making dinner reservations. It wouldn’t hurt to pour complimentary beverages, too, so they feel even more at home.

And, if you do happen to install a place where your guests can purchase drinks — coffee, cocktails, beer, wine, etc. — you’ll open the opportunity to bring a little bit more money into your establishment while making the lobby a destination, not a pass-through.

5. Get Smarter (Technology-Wise)

You’re already smart — you’re looking for ways to spruce up your lodging and set it apart from the pack, after all. Your hotel, on the other hand, may not be up-to-date in terms of technology. This will become an expectation by the time 2018 rolls around.

Replacing clunky lobby desktop computers with tablets or sleek, flat-screen monitors will impress guests from the get-go. But the real prize is making rooms smarter and sleeker. You can program a tablet to control everything in your hotel rooms, from the television to the temperature. Guests will love being able to customize their lodging with the press of a button.

This goes without saying, but Wi-Fi should always be readily available. Your guests will appreciate a strong signal and – even more so – a free connection. Upgrading your technological amenities will make a huge impression this year, next year and beyond.

In fact, all five of the above will do just that: make an impression, improve your standing with customers and perhaps even help you a bigger client base. We think a few décor changes are absolutely worth that reward.