Category Archives: Hospitality Design

Glitz, Glam and Gold: Trends from the 2015 HD Expo

Sarah Pelham

Trend longevity has become unpredictable in our fast paced, high tech world. In fact the most marked change in trends over the years is the speed through which they cycle. For that we can thank advances in communication, production, transportation and the evolution of social media.

But even with these advancements, more often than not, our trends are still inspired by repeating history, the current overall mood of the world, and new consumer demands. Trends evoked from these factors tend to hang around a bit longer. For example, by allowing history to repeat, it gives us a basis to reflect, tweak and revisit past generations. If the mood of the world is in a recession, then it brings out insecurities which, in turn, trickle down into design in the form of safe choices, like a prevalence of neutral safe tones. Currently, the quick paced evolution of technology has consumers demanding “the latest & greatest” products with a keen awareness of their environmental impact.

So what trends did I find at the 2015 HD Expo?

All that glitters is gold

At the 2015 HD Expo, all the glitz of Vegas shone bright! The hospitality color of the year was gold in an array of shades, leaving Marsala, Pantone’s 2015 Color of the Year, just a memory. While there were considerable pops of orange accents with warm grays, gold stole the show. Beaming gold metal finishes, fabrics, wall covering, furniture, lighting and accessories filled the exhibition hall. The mixture of warm gold tones and greens was a popular partner for an eclectic sense, while gold, black, grey and cream had a classic feel.

HD_Color4Overall, the mood of the color gold is one of success, achievement and triumph. It’s associated with abundance, prosperity, luxury, sophistication and elegance, indicating times are good in the world!

Geometry abounds

Getting their fair share of the limelight were geometric shapes in a myriad of products. In conjunction with the classic mood found in the gold tones, classic shapes such as the Greek key, herringbone, octagon, hound’s-tooth and zigzag emerged both in true form and in abstract interpretations. Geometrics were on the floor, on the walls, in the furniture, in the fabrics and in the lighting forms. From the Greco-Roman use of simple zigzags and triangles to cover surfaces to the mid-century modern use of bigger, bolder shapes with less intricacy, geometric patterns have dominated for centuries.

HD_Shape_3Today’s geometrics are bolder in scale than ancient Greek and Roman applications and have a more classic, sophisticated feel than the mid-century modern forms, giving the shapes a clean renewal with strong lines and simple colors.

Enticing textures

Multi-level dimension was found throughout product offerings. Surfaces had depth, whether they were carved, layered, molded, twisted or tufted. You wanted to touch them and examine the texture. In most instances these products came from natural, flat materials that were manipulated into 3-dimensional surfaces, allowing designers to develop spaces that reflect our continuing desire to bring the outdoors inside.

HD_Texture_3Surfaces possessed both the warmth and variation that we are attracted to in nature. Whether they were clay abstract sting-rays or solid pieces of oak charred and layered to create sculptural character, the textures created the connection with nature and the world around us.

At the core

Looking a little deeper into nature and the awareness of our environment, manufacturers and designers continue to find ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Other hot topics included biophilic design and the use of alternative materials that change the way we design. For example, RH Contract featured tables manufactured from reclaimed Douglas Fir while Phillips Collection showed the Seatbelt Chair made of scrap material.

Innovations and products discussed included temperature sensitive glass, translucent concrete, electronic paper, magnetic ink, solar paint, wallpaper that charges your phone and transparent alumina that’s three times stronger than steel. The consumer demands on the market are supporting nature and sustainability as a hallmark of design as opposed to what many thought was just a trend 15 years ago.

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License to Chill

Sarah Pelham

Happiness is that first December morning when you wake up to a blanket of snow covering the ground. Screams of joy echo through the house: “School is closed!” Grab the mittens, boots and all the makings for the best snowman ever. It is WINTER!

Where will this season take you? Will winter bring you inside to the warmth of a cozy cabin with a warm, glowing fire, or will it take you outside to find adventure on snow-covered trails? Whichever path you choose, rejoice in the change in seasons.

As the seasons change, the lighting around us shifts, providing fresh perspectives of the spaces we occupy. The colors around us also shift from summer’s bright, emerald green lawns to winter’s blue grey skies—prompting a change in mood, clothes and even a time to refresh our interior surroundings.

By nature people are drawn to the outdoors and the changes it offers throughout the year. Think of visiting a hotel property that has transformed from winter to summer, allowing returning guests a fresh perspective with different seasonal visits. Likewise, the modularity of certain products makes it easy to change our interiors to reflect the seasons. Cotton coverlets give way to faux fur throws, bright, floral pillows are exchanged for ones with rich, textural patterns—even area rugs can be changed to create complementary moods.

Interface Hospitality makes it easy to achieve a seasonal shift in your space with our modular carpet products. Accent rugs are a simple, cost effective way to refresh your interior’s seasonal mood. All components are easy to store and install, allowing rugs to be switched out in a matter of minutes.

Below is the latest winter palette from Interface Hospitality. It includes a variety of textural products that borrow forms found in nature. Whether you’re looking for a snow covered pebble path, sea foam hitting a shoreline or interwoven tree branches, this palette offers a cool winter retreat.

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Top Row (left to right): Net Effect B602, Over the Edge, Lofty M0980, Urban Retreat UR101
Bottom Row (left to right): Human Nature, HN840, HN850, HN810 in Limestone, HN830 in Black, RMS607, Chenille Charade in Frost

Featured products are from our collections of Human Nature™, Urban Retreat™, Net Effect™ and Over the Edge™, as well as two stand alone products, RMS 607™ and Chenille Charade™ from FLOR.

Human Nature, Urban Retreat and Net Effect each consist of multiple products with varied colors and textures that can be combined to create seamless organic movement. These products form inspirational, free flowing floors that allow guests to meander on a natural interior path. FLOR’s Chenille Charade and Lofty™ from Over the Edge both deliver a figurative, textural effect reminiscent of a luxurious, hand carved rug while RMS 607 carries you into the guest room with a plush, monolithic sisal pattern.

So, bundle up for winter and fill your corridors with textural neutrals while bringing in a punch of seasonal fun with interchangeable rugs of cool winter greys and bright summer kiwis.


(Left) Net Effect B601 and B602 in Black Sea; (Right) Chenille Charade in Frost

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Shape Your Floor with De Stijl

Sarah Pelham

There are times when I’ll see a so-called “new” trend and think to myself, “That’s a derivative from another time—slightly morphed into a fresh idea.” Some of these “new” ideas are inspired by a great artistic movement like Bauhaus. Other trends have no origin and, frankly, we hope they never come out of retirement. Like the velveteen recliner. Who thought that was a good idea?

But as I looked back at historical design movements, one style struck a chord in relation to Interface Hospitality’s product dimensions—De Stijl. Dutch for “the style,” De Stijl was popular from 1917-1931 and was built on the geometric principle of straight lines, squares and rectangles. The simplified visual compositions included vertical and horizontal directions of planes and the designs used only primary colors along with black and white. You’re likely to see this common theme repeated in everything from formal gardens to architecture to later paintings by Mondrian.

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The geometric principle of straight lines, squares and rectangles is found in formal gardens, architecture and paintings by Mondrian.

Aspects of the De Stijl influence on architecture remained long after 1931. Mies van der Rohe evidenced its influence in his design of the Barcelona Pavilion with free walls that separated spaces asymmetrically. Another example is Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water, which limited itself to the use of rectangular shapes with regular groupings and intersections of the planes. However, the only structure completely true to the De Stijl movement is The Schroder House, which was designed by Gerrit Rietveld from 1923-1924 and is still in existence in the Netherlands.

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Pictured left to right: Barcelona Pavilion, Falling Water, The Schroder House

So how does this relate to Interface Hospitality? Specifically carpet tile? Although our products vary in color, pattern and texture, they completely align when it comes to shape. We’ve developed a collection of square and rectangular products that work together as building blocks that allow you to create your own floor using a combination of sizes. Four distinctive shapes mold our collection: the 50cm square, the 1m square, the 25cm x 1m skinny plank and the 50cm x 1m plank. The sizes work together mathematically, which makes designing floors extremely easy. With this vast number of components, you have endless design options to create your own, one of a kind installation. And if you have an odd shaped floorplan, a combination of carpet tile sizes can produce a more economical installation. Meet some of the players below.

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Products left to right: Lofty M0968 1m x 1m, Hip Over History M0938 1m x 1m, Hip Over History M0938 50cm x 1m, HN850 25cm x 1m, B602 50cm x 50cm, UR101 50cm x 50cm, UR103 50cm x 50cm

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Composed floor using seven products featured above

Feel free to play with these building blocks; mix textures, patterns, colors and sizes. If you like to go outside of your typical boundaries and “color outside the lines,” go for it by installing a rug that is free floating in form, texture and color. Use our TacTiles® glue-free installation system to create a floating floor mosaic that offers high performance for heavy public space traffic with virtually zero VOCs.

Be a trend setter. Apply your own twist on the De Stijl movement and design a floor with the interactive Floors tool at

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The New Definition of Luxury

Amy Milshtein

What does today’s luxury traveler want? Interface explored this question during “Cocktails and Conversation” at HD Expo in Las Vegas. Three panelists, David Ashen, principal, dash design, Teri Urovsky, vice president, interior design, Marriott International, and Jon Kastl, principal, Champalimaud, along with moderator Stacy Shoemaker, editor in chief for Hospitality Design magazine, discuss the trends.

All three panelists agree that the definition of luxury has shifted. “Hotels were competing on design but now it’s about service,” says Ashen. The more personalized the better. He points to a recent trip to China where the concierge sent a pre-check in email asking for his room scent and beverage preferences. Kastl agrees that this elevated level of service will be the norm. “Restaurants and mini bars will be agile in catering to guests specific needs.”

While service aims to please the individual, the hotel’s physical design evolves to reflect their specific location. “It’s about experience instead of materials,” says Urovsky. This means that cookie cutter properties will be a thing of the past, a challenge that Urovsky relishes. “All of the Ritz Carltons looked alike for a long time,” she explains. “Now we strive for a distinguishable sense of place.”

To tell stories about the local experience the designers suggest paring down materials and removing layers. “High end design can’t be overwrought,” says Kastl. “Heavy draperies, thick brocades and even fussily packaged bathroom amenities are a thing of the past.”

Don’t get him wrong; luxury travelers still expect luxury finishes. After a day spent touching the glass on their iPads, this group craves natural textures and simple palettes. “Anything to connect the guest to the outside world is good,” says Ashen, who suggests reorienting the bed to face the window instead of the wall. Urovsky points to indoor spaces that flow naturally to the outside, a possibility even if the property sits on the 150th floor. “We use floor-to-ceiling windows,” she says.

Guest Room_Web

Guestroom Designed by Wilson & Associates. Photography by Don Riddle.

The less-is-more trend is seen worldwide except for one glaring exception, China. All three panelists suggest that you bring the bling to places like Beijing and Shanghai. “They are in their ‘Great Consumerism’ stage,” says Kastl.  Hong Kong, however, remains more Western in its aesthetic.

No matter where they go, the luxury traveler still values health and wellness. Hotels cater to them with spa-like bathrooms, juice bars, local food choices, and fitness centers. “A lovely spa or fitness center adds value,” insists Ashen. But what if sits mostly empty? Ashen doesn’t care. “Everyone likes that it’s there. If you do use the gym, it feels private and exclusive.”


Spa designed by Bensley Design Studio. Photography by Ken Kochey.

Technology continues to play an important role, but as with design, less is more. If you can hide it away, it’s even better. For instance, people still want a great TV but Kastl suggests hiding it behind paneling so it can “go away.”

“We don’t put the technology in people’s faces,” says Urovsky, who suggests plug in portals that are subtly built into furniture. Tablets that control room temperature, window coverings and the television should be simple and intuitive to use. And say goodbye to the desk. “Who works at the desk anymore?” asks Ashen, who opts for couches, lounges and other soft seating that mimics coffee houses.

But don’t stop there. The future of the high end get away may be just that—a complete departure from everyday life. For example Ashen points to one of his favorite properties, Natura Cabana in the Dominican Republic, ten eco-friendly, beachfront cabins with no radio, television or air conditioning. “It’s a total escape.” Because isn’t the freedom to unwind without distraction the true definition of luxury?

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Hospitality Design Inspiration


Join us as we follow 2 designers from concept to execution as they create custom hospitality vignettes for HI Connect. 

Design Force Corporation
Designers: Joanne McGillvray IIDA, ASID

HI Connect_Design Force_2_web

1. What is the inspiration for your vignette at HI Connect Design?

Our vignette is centered on intuitive technology and innovation. It’s an accolade to the advancements of manufacturing techniques and technology available in our industry and when combined with beautiful aesthetic it provides the ultimate in luxury experience.

2. How does the flooring contribute to the overall design concept?

Unexpected design and product application. Incorporating carpet tile instead of broadloom in a luxury guestroom setting. Plank format allowed us to create ombre design with no particular pattern repeat.

3. Does sustainability figure prominently in your design concept? If so, please elaborate.

Not directly but in using carpet tile instead of broadloom we understand that there would be less quantity required for installation verses broadloom creating less waste. Carpet tile can also be replaced one at a time as needed instead of an entire room of broadloom if carpet gets damaged or soiled. That can be considered sustainable when speaking about the life cycle of a product.

4. Why did you choose to work with Interface Hospitality as a supplier for your design concept?

We consider Interface to be one of the innovators for carpet tile and the new technologies available to our industry.

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Joanne McGillvary_Headshot_web2As Design Director for Design Force, and over 20 years experience in the field of interior design, Joanne is greatly involved with the firms strategic business focus and quality initiatives including design excellence and diversification. Specializing in Hospitality design, her experience and expertise spans the Destination Resort, Boutique, Luxury, Convention and Full-service hotel arenas as well as Culinary, Lifestyle and Retail environments. Her passion is to find innovative solutions, by fusing functional and mindful planning with beautiful aesthetic to deliver revenue driven results that successfully connect the customer with the brand.

The W Group
Designer: Whitney Fisher IIDA, NCIDQ

1. What is the inspiration for your vignette at HI Connect Design?

This design pays homage to the history and growth of Nashville. Rustic elements reference the early days of Nashville when settlers inhabited the area while more refined traditional elements reference The Hermitage, Belle Meade Plantation, and Cheekwood. Conversely, metallic, modern elements indicate the recent growth and sophistication of Nashville’s current climate. The artwork will feature a modern twist of the history of the Hermitage and the growth of Nashville.

2. Why did you choose to work with Interface Hospitality as a supplier for your design concept?

Interface was chosen because of their innovation in Hospitality Guestroom carpet tiles. We liked that they offer a plank tile that can emulate the idea of wood flooring and are able to create an accent inset easily to highlight a seating or bed area. Operationally this type of flooring is great because the ease of replacing a tile if there is a stain that can’t removed. The fact that there is little waste when used is also a bonus to the overall budget and project.



Whitney Fisher_head shot_webWhitney is principal interior designer of The W Group. Graduating from Fider accredited O’More College in 1986 with highest honors. With more than 25 years of extensive practice in the commercial interior design industry. She has acquired numerous awards throughout her career, including the Lodging Hospitality Design Award, the ASID Silver Award, and two IIDA Gold Awards. . Publications in which her work has been featured include Hotel Business Design, Lodging Hospitality, Contract Magazine, Her work was judged “Best Design for a Spa” by Spa Finder, and the firm’s Hershey Country Club project was among five finalists in the Remodeling/Renovation category in Golf Inc. Clubhouse Competition. Fisher also has served on furniture and fabric design review committees for new introductions. She also is as an attendee for the Hospitality Design Summit for 4 years for top designers and is by invitation only.

Additional HI Connect Vignettes

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