TOP FIVE: Design trends for 2017


In the hotel industry where first impressions are everything, looks count. Especially in the age of social media, selfies and Snapchats, where these impressions can be broadcast all over the world at the upload of an image. We catch up with Paton to talk design trends for 2017, to ensure your look stays current and ‘Instagrammable’ over the next 12 months.

Increasingly customers are looking for photo opportunities wherever they go, sharing their experiences with a wider audience. Not only do they expect great facilities and customer service, but they also expect fantastic camera-friendly design that reflects their lifestyles and personal style.

As a result, customers are much more clued up on design, and good design becomes very much part of the guest experience, making it even more vital to keep up with the latest design trends.

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  1. Personalisation of the hotel space

Hotel guests may choose a hotel brand because of customer service, prestige, and guest experience, but that doesn’t mean they want to feel like they’re staying in a chain. Personalisation of the hotel experience that differentiates one hotel from another, and different rooms within the same hotel, gives guests a unique and authentic experience.

The little details that reflect the location, the history of the building, and the local community, also create a more personalised hotel experience. We’re seeing interior designers using storytelling – telling the story of the hotel and locality – to deliver a great guest experience.

  1. A sensory experience

Experience is key. Hotels are increasingly becoming destinations in their own right, and guests are looking for more than a comfortable bed and a power shower. In the past hotel design has focused on what looks good, now it also needs to feel, smell, sound and even taste good too!

While 1000 thread count bedding may have been a benchmark of the luxury hotel for some time, in the 2017 hotel other fabrics and furnishings must also feel luxurious and embrace the sensory experience.

  1. Home from home

As the trend for less conformity and more personalisation of spaces within the hotel sector continues, we are also seeing more home touches. Lobbies are no longer business-like reception areas, but more homely, welcoming and individual.

We’re seeing mix and match furniture, upholstery, colour and design being used to create stylish environments that reflect home interior design trends. These idealised home-from-home elements are also being translated to other public areas of the hotel including restaurants, bars and outdoor spaces.

  1. No rules for colour

Gone too are the days of a neutral colour palette that played safe and created generic spaces. The selfie generation are unlikely to want to Instagram a beige hotel room! Using a neutral base, designers are adding bold colours that compete for attention.

Colour also comes with texture, a mishmash of different materials, fabrics and styles. There is no single ‘colour’ or ‘material’ of the year; anything goes as long as it embraces the unique guest experience.

  1. Whimsical and fun

This focus on personalisation, mix and match design elements, and an ‘anything goes’ approach to hotel design means that playfulness and fun is also on the agenda. As well as quirky design features we’re also seeing the use of text to enhance the guest experience. From song lyrics on walls to whimsical messages on furnishings, text can be used to convey the ethos and concept behind the hotel.

Hotel design is no longer just about practicalities or creating a luxury experience. It is now a marketing and PR tool that can reach thousands of potential guests with just one photo taken on a smartphone. It’s also about aligning every design element with the guest experience, creating an experience they will want to share and return to.



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Zoe Monk

The author Zoe Monk

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