Hospitality design is distinctly different from home designs. We use the space differently: We have to account for more traffic; we have to pay more careful attention to audiences; we have to create multi-functional concepts; we are held more closely to regulations. The same may be true for commercial retail design or office design.
However, we have the added obligation of ensuring our designs create a unique experience, and can both make guests feel at home while helping them escape from their daily lives. We spend a lot of time talking about how to create hospitality spaces, but this week we want to focus on how to fill them. Furniture plays a huge role in how we accommodate guests. These are your hospitality furniture design trends for 2017:
Minimalist design trends are creeping into hotels, and this style requests neutral colors. Sofas and chairs in creams, grays, and browns remove the anxiety of clutter and bring a more tranquil feel to the space. White should be reserved for furniture that is easy to clean, while the duality of blacks and dark grays are ideal for high traffic seating and tables. Use pops of color, or even metallic tones to layer the color scheme and maintain elegance and regality.
However, neutral colors do not mean the design is boring or lacks flavor. Taking the focal point off of the furniture allows architecture, scenery, and accessories to shine. One of our favorite examples of this in our work is the furniture in the Doubletree Cleveland. We used grey chairs and loveseats to draw attention away from the furniture and focus the eyes on the gorgeous brickwork, warm fireplace, and intricate wood work.
Metal is an element that returns to the current trends. We are moving away from silver and gold tones, and moving toward dark metals. Ocher and “Oxidized” elements are important to consider in this trend. The ornamental designs and wrought iron make their way back but with a vintage touch. It is both durable and beautiful.
We used these metals to create the western ranch design in Crosswater Residence in Bend, Oregon. The dark metals bring out the richness of the wood and create a homey atmosphere.
Order and Style
This year we a seeing more of an emphasis placed on organization and placement of furniture. Placement of furniture should look natural and without an “excess of effort.” There should be less focus on creating spaces for specific tasks and the grouping of people. An overly calculated style makes the area lose its authenticity. Take a look at the lobby of the Doubletree Pruneyard Plaza for an idea of how furniture placement can be both versatile and natural.
When placing furniture, consider both the use of technology and natural light to strike a balance between the functional and the natural. Lighting is the most important issue when it comes to the organization and style of our space. Be sure that each major piece of furniture has access to some form of natural lighting.
At the center point of every one of our designs is an intentional plan to conserve energy, use recycled or repurposed material, and save our clients’ money. We are not alone in that quest. The green wave is taking over the nation as every hospitality designer makes the switch to sustainable practices.
What are our primary focuses? Maximizing the use of space, taking advantage of natural lighting sources to reduce energy consumption, saving water with efficient sinks & toilets, and buying furniture from only reputable companies that manufacture products responsibly. You should be able to ask your designer exactly what efforts he or she is taking to make your hotel more sustainable.
Even though we are here to talk about trends in furniture, a small mention about the site is necessary. Although some furnishings point to classic colors, the place destined to shelter them, their environment, and the architecture all play a role in creating great design. Using trending furniture against the nature of the location is silly. Sometimes theme and environment take a stronger precedence.
While we love watching the hospitality design trends, it is essential that the design matches the vision of the owners. Just remember that we can always take small detours to give our own character and personality to space. Are you still looking for more inspiration? We invite you to see more ideas in our gallery.