It is no secret that hospitality is amongst the industries hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the past two years – bars, restaurants and hotels were forced to diversify – giving way to a set of trends for 2022 unlike any year before it. This year's trends are driven by significant changes to layouts and interior designs that were made to accommodate the pandemic rules. Whilst restrictions have now been lifted, consumers' attitudes have changed with the times resulting in higher expectations and experience driven values. Find out about the hospitality design trends that are here to stay, as well the effects of the pandemic on other sectors and the innovations that we expect to see with the evolution of hybrid working and a focus on wellbeing. The Great Outdoors
If there is one thing we can be thankful to come from the last two years - it was the opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with the fresh air and beauty of the great outdoors. With it came al fresco drinks, on-street dining and rooftop entertainment. As a result, outdoor spaces are now being given the same level of design attention as interiors, with lighting schemes, artwork and stunning furnishings to make them feel inviting and opulent as well as safe. For instance, boutique hotels like our client Ness Walk, have created a luxurious outdoor bar that prioritises comfort as well as function – reinventing itself each season, it makes it a desirable hangout all year round. Designer heaters, rustic fire pits with cosy hygge-inspired faux furs in winter, with immersive florals for spring/summer.
Techno-logic You may already be familiar with the smart tech in hotels pre-pandemic - there for your comfort and personalisation. Now, however, the emphasis is on cleanliness and creating a contactless experience that gives guests complete autonomy over their stay. For a start, guests can be in control of everything from lighting to music before they even get inside their room. From calling a lift with your smartphone to ordering room service through an app, contactless, guest-focused technology is constantly expanding. Technology that was once seen in medical settings only, such as self-cleaning surfaces and advanced air purification systems are now found in some hospitality spaces to give guests and staff greater peace of mind.
Student digs are also getting in on the action with app led booking systems and the latest local information and events made easily accessible. Our forward-thinking client is currently paving the way in this sector - with plans to implement technology into city centre student accommodation, due to land in 2024. We can’t wait to share this project with you.
Sustainability is now a priority in every industry following the COP26 conference and the imminent climate crisis. As well as aiming to reduce their carbon footprint, businesses are now catering to a more discerning customer who will often check a hospitality venue's sustainable credentials, before deciding whether to book.
Getting rid of plastic straws and recycling waste may no longer be enough. Sustainability has been brought to the attention of designers with a trend towards more environmentally conscious design elements such as lovingly restored furniture, recycled surfaces and locally-sourced fittings that have a lower carbon footprint. Our current client, Nexus is striving to minimise its carbon footprint, choosing sustainable finishes where possible to develop into a bright and energetic designed workplace that is thoughtful and creative. We're also playing our part by using local suppliers where possible and local contractors for the fit out.
A favourite supplier of ours on this project, is Smile Plastics. They produce a range of materials that look great and are made from 100% recycled plastics, each with its own fascinating backstory. Whilst these surfaces are practical, they are also designed to inspire.
The Kaleido product for example, will be featured in Nexus. In the words of Smile Plastics, it is, “Every maximalist’s dream. Brash, extrovert, heady and a bit of a diva that’s out to seize the spotlight.” Made from recycled cosmetics bottles - traces of bar codes and labels can be seen so there’s, “lots of Aha! moments for eagle-eyed visitors”.
Natural connections To capture the feeling of mental wellbeing that we get from spending time outdoors, interior designs are reflecting the textures and materials found in nature. Earthy colour palettes, unengineered finishes and enough plants to fill a greenhouse are all elements that will help to bring this trend to life. Take it a step further with outdoor-inspired features such as trickling water fountains and ornate installations. We channelled this trend during our fit-out for Matto - mirroring the herbs used in their fresh Neopolitan style pizzas, by suspending herbs from the ceiling and installing a hanging herb garden at the entrance, to entice guests with their inviting aroma.
Work meets play Our homes took on the role of office, gym and leisure space during the pandemic and this trend is now being reflected in hospitality interiors. Spaces are becoming multi-functional, as more people expect to be able to work from anywhere, at any time - and possibly enjoy a world-class dinner whilst they are at it. Flexible working is here to stay, with London hotels leading the work-from-hotel trend, where venues offer luxurious lounge lobbies for co-working and hot-desking providing a fresh alternative to working from home complete with desk space, WiFi and warm beverages. For those who require a more private space - day rates are available for superior rooms, that can act as a temporary office space, with the added bonus of access to the hotel’s amenities such as room service.
The Standard, King's Cross is a great example - offering stylish yet informal co-working in the lobby and going even further with a dedicated meeting and event space in the form of The Standard Townhouse, which is complete with desks, integrated tech, projectors and floor-to-ceiling windows, not to mention a wraparound terrace and view to top it off!
Hospitality venues are redesigning their spaces to accommodate the changing needs we are experiencing today, and with no lease, great atmosphere and luxury surroundings - we’re sure to see this trend grow in 2022.
If you would like to incorporate these trends into your next interior architecture or design project, our team would love to talk it out with you – drop your email here and we will be in touch with you pronto.