The future of hospitality design


Signature Floors’ Pia Sinha recently spoke to Tina Fox, Senior Associate – Interior Design at Scott Carver, about the future of hospitality design.

“Traditional hospitality offerings now have to work a lot harder to make a unique difference in this increasingly competitive marketplace. Additionally, branding, artwork, authenticity, sustainability, staffing, smart partnerships and franchises are now essential, ”said Fox.

The hospitality industry has been severely affected by pandemic bans and travel restrictions. Although a significant part of our lives has shifted to the online world, it simply cannot satisfy our physiological and psychological need for real human connection. At its core, hospitality thrives on forging connectivity and creating shared experiences. Given our changing reality, venues such as restaurants, pubs, clubs and hotels need to go beyond the bare minimum of eating and resting and provide spaces for people to network and network, albeit safely.

Project: Alley Bar, George St Sydney | Architect: Scott Carver | Photo courtesy Scott Carver

Freedom of design and a sense of community

Flexibility and adaptability are a growing trend in the hospitality industry. With an increasing number of remote employees, hotels, for example, have the option of being flexible and providing day-to-day services such as private offices or co-working spaces in guest rooms with minimal adjustments.

“We see a real blurring between the project typologies in our work,” says Fox. “Commercial spaces want to feel like restaurants. Or hotel and apartment buildings want to include work facilities and an influence on the hospitality industry. “

This indicates an opportunity for communal areas and catering facilities in many projects – in the most unlikely spaces. According to the designer, even traditionally little-used spaces such as lobbies or conference areas are being redesigned with better facilities to encourage community.

Use the right materials

In a post-pandemic world, cleanliness and hygiene are high on the list of must-haves in hospitality design. That is why choosing the right materials and surfaces is an essential aspect. There is a growing demand for antimicrobial materials, non-porous surfaces and non-contact fittings.

In fact, tough options like vinyl floors are becoming increasingly popular as they allow faster and more efficient cleaning. When properly disinfected, carpets ensure hygienic decisions and at the same time act as a structural and color distinguishing feature between the rooms.

The truth is that guests want that soft feeling underfoot and that hospitality areas don’t look clinical. Custom-made carpets for seating in a restaurant, for example in combination with vinyl floorboards for passageways, could be an excellent way to encourage safe movement. Even carpet tiles are great as flooring for creating seamless visual cues that maintain social distance while also helping people move smoothly between rooms.

“Floors are an essential layer in developing a unique design for customers. The right finish, color, and design can have a huge impact on the functionality and feel of a room. It can also help improve the acoustics of the room. Flooring is an important tool in dividing up spaces, directing customer flow and giving identity to certain areas, ”noted Fox.

Regarding the most popular types of flooring, she added: “Every project is different and we find that we use all types of flooring depending on the job and the concept. We can go from designer carpets like custom Axminster and luxury stones for boutique projects to carpet tiles, vinyl and floor tiles. “

Chirnside Park Country Club

Custom-made Axminster rug by Signature Studio at Chirnside Park Country Club | Design: BSPN architecture

Biophilic spaces

Since safety is a priority in hospitality design, designers may need to consider more open floor plans, open spaces, and outdoor spaces. Biophilic design elements such as environmental features, natural shapes, light, and water bring nature out into the open and ultimately create a sense of comfort and security while relieving stress and elevating mood.

Rydges Hotel Campbelltown

Project: Rydges Hotel Campbelltown | Architect: Scott Carver | Photo courtesy Scott Carver

Localized design

Another way to make a difference is to diversify what is local. “Customers always make sure that their rooms work really hard day and night. They want to make optimal use of their facilities, encourage them to stay longer, create an atmosphere and a sense of community. The result is a very demanding market – those looking for the next big idea to stand out from the crowd, “said Fox.

“It seems to be very important these days to have an authentic local design expression. The times of international design, which is extraordinary, are long gone. “

With new international hotel brands on the rise in the Asia Pacific region, Fox is finding that many existing hotels are now considering really aggressive renovation plans to keep up with the latest trends. “We are also seeing the expansion of small boutique brands and a focus on sustainability. Serviced apartment providers want to modernize themselves with new upscale brands and a comprehensive refurbishment rollout. “

In the face of persistent isolation, more and more people are looking outward and for a sense of purpose; Therefore, public social spaces and restaurants are about to gain in importance. Through brainstorming, exploration and creative thinking, design provides hospitality brands the path to sustainable growth and prosperity.

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