The hospitality industry is dynamic, constantly evolving with new and groundbreaking trends. As the Principal at BSF, I have the unique privilege of engaging with leading designers and witnessing firsthand the evolution of the furniture designs we engineer. Here are nine emerging design trends shaping the future of hospitality furniture, as seen through the eyes of our clients and my own experiences in the field.
Tambour, Still Alive and Well
Tambour doors continue to trend, offering a nod to modern style while providing a practical solution for tight spaces. What is particularly exciting about tambour is its unique texture and versatility. It is an excellent solution for curved surfaces, seamlessly blending with the contours of various design elements.
Scalloping details can infuse furniture with personality or add a transformative softness. They have an incredible range, bridging the gap from whimsical vintage charm to refined contemporary flair. Whether in the subtle curves of a headboard or the back of a chair, scalloping is a trend that will continue bringing a fresh and engaging dimension to hotel interiors.
Integrated Power Outlets
Providing guests with convenient ways to recharge their devices is no longer just an option; it’s necessary. We’re noticing a shift in the types of power outlets being integrated. The original standard, USB-A, is gradually being phased out in favor of the more versatile and powerful USB-C. However, understanding that the transition to new technology takes time, most of our clients opt for a combination of USB-A and USB-C ports.
Timeless and Natural: Stone
Another notable trend is stone in pieces like nightstands, dressers, and desks. More stone is utilized to create visually captivating waterfall edges, with graceful lines flowing from the top down the sides of the piece. Stone offers several advantages, including being durable and easy to maintain. Its color and veining variations add sophistication, and its smooth surface provides a luxurious and grounding experience.
Hidden Power Cords
As the demand for seamless connectivity grows, so does the need for sophisticated solutions. Power cords that are cleverly hidden but easily accessible create clean, clutter-free environments. Addressing the practical needs of today’s travelers stylishly and unobtrusively enhances the guest experience while maintaining the integrity and beauty of furniture designs.
Three Trends From Jenny Rutledge, Principal, Sims Patrick Studio
We’ve had the remarkable pleasure of working with Sims Patrick Studio on the stunning Hotel Harkness in Greenville, which opened in 2023. Jenny Rutledge was kind enough to share a few trends she’s been seeing with us.
1. Designing a Destination and the Art of Debranding
Guests are seeking out experiences when it comes to travel, looking for hotels or destinations that take care of their patrons at every turn, even providing unexpected services. Designers will continue to focus on how to create this kind of experience effectively and how to keep guests returning again and again. A big part of this is defining the art of “debranding.” In other words, how can we design an immersive experience, the success of which relies solely on the concept of the experience itself, without relying on typical branding touchpoints?
2. Casegoods, in Particular Headboards That Appear To Be Built-In Millwork With Decorative Hard Surface Artwork
This trend appeals to both the user and the operator for several reasons. It can be very aesthetically pleasing, which is always a draw in the age of Instagram. A vinyl or other hard surface is resilient against wear and tear and less likely to be stained than fabrics. When combined with a custom art piece, it can be integrated into the overall concept of a hotel.
3. Mood Lighting Under Casegoods and Drapery Cove Lighting
Lighting is, of course, one of the most important factors when creating a hotel’s atmosphere. This year, we’re seeing shifts towards a couple of lighting trends: thoughtfully placed mood lighting under casegoods, behind headboards, and, occasionally, drapery cove lighting. These design choices can help the guest create a more curated ambiance, depending on their mood and the desired atmosphere for their stay. We expect to see lighting incorporated in more creative ways in the coming year, especially when it comes to casegoods.
AI Design Brainstorming Tools
As we explore 2024’s trends, it’s impossible to overlook the impact of AI in the design world. This year, we’ve witnessed an explosion of AI tools, including Midjourney, InteriorFlow, and Stable Diffusion, which are poised to help streamline the creative process.
These platforms are finding their way into creating mood boards, experimenting with staging options, and visualizing design concepts. While they come with a learning curve, they preview a continued and exciting intersection between technology and creativity.
In hospitality, furniture is more than a function; it’s a storyteller, a mood setter, and a silent ambassador of comfort and style. At BSF, we’re excited for 2024 and continued opportunities to work with our incredible clients and partners. We remain dedicated to engineering furniture that boldly represents each design’s story.