Interior Designer Lilly Miller says hospitality design is trending towards increasing the immediacy and tech functionality of smaller private spaces, while having adjacent access to larger communal zones.
By Lilly Miller
Like every industry, keeping up with current trends is imperative for hospitality too – failing to do so lessens the chance for success, so accommodating the demands of customers and meeting their expectations is not a choice but a necessity.
Whether its improving guest experiences through experiential design or embracing sustainability through environmentally-conscious design choices, here are some of the biggest trends in hospitality design we may expect to see more of over the coming year.
Experiential design in interiors
As technology continues to accelerate, the hospitality industry is turning to creative design as a way of keeping up with technological advancements.
A good example are public spaces in hotels, whereby establishing a connection between the individuals and space is made possible through the application of experiential design.
Sometimes referred to as interactive design, this has been a norm in retail spaces, but is now increasingly being used in the hospitality industry, particularly hotel lobbies.
Hotel lobbies no longer serve simply as spaces we pass through before we’re introduced to our accommodation. Hotel lobbies are used as spaces for networking, co-working and leisure.
This change is considered to be a response to the increasing need for multifunctionality, and it’s manifesting itself in a plethora of ways.
The introduction of free Wi-Fi, comfortable seating options, and access to power sockets in the lobby is the hotels’ way of accommodating an increased demand for tech immediacy and accessibility; all part of design choices that enhance guest experience – a trend that is expected to continue to gain traction in 2020.
Renter-Orientated Serviced Living
Serviced apartments have become fashionable again.
As the lines between industries are becoming increasingly blurry, the accent is placed more on anticipating what the customer wants while also creating personalized, renter-oriented spaces.
For example, due to the increased need for short-term accommodation, serviced apartments for rent in Hong Kong have become very popular, especially for many being drawn to the functionality of smaller private spaces, while having access to communal kitchens, lounges, and rooftops for social gatherings, or to simply unwind, relax with a book, and take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Given the rapid rise in popularity, we may expect to see demand for serviced apartments to increase.
Wellness-oriented design choices
Sustainable design choices are increasingly listed as many hotels’ top priority in 2020, with special emphasis on wellness.
Creating an environment that marries sustainable building materials with sustainable design is something we can expect to see more of this year.
The use of colours to influence mood or carry a politcal message is also on trend. Pantone’s colour of the year 2020, ‘Bleached Coral’, was actually a way of drawing attention to environmental crisises. Another way the trend is reflected is in the implementation of biophilic design – the concept that relies on infusing nature in both interior and exterior building design.
The marriage of luxury and sustainability in high-end restaurants
As the demand for sustainable, seasonal, and locally-grown food continues to rise, luxury restaurants are getting creative. Some restaurants in Amsterdam are going as far as serving produce grown in their own rooftop greenhouses.
The produce grown in these high-tech greenhouses vary from herbs to vegetables and fruits, and sometimes even fish, with the main goal to reduce wastage. Plants are used as water purifiers for the fish habitat. On the other hand, fish waste, which contains ammonia, phosphorus, and potassium, acts as a rich source of organic nutrients for the plants, providing a symbiotic cycle.
Once the natural life cycle of the fish comes to an end, the fish are then prepared and served for the guests to enjoy.
This is a great example of circular greenhouse and urban farming merging together, and proof that restaurants don’t necessarily have to choose between sustainability and luxury – they can have both.