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Eight Hot Flooring Trends That Don’t Have to Break Your Budget

Trends come, and trends go.

As designers, we might look at trends, ooh and ahhh over them, but then relegate those images to “gee, wouldn’t be nice,” or “great ideas if I ever have a bottomless budget.”

But the following eight trends are ones worth noting. These industry-wide trends can be seen in a myriad of ways. They’re not today, but with creative thinking and planning, they can be extended and blended into future design and remodeling projects 5-7 years from now.

  • Oversized, big format tiles. Move over standard 6×6 or 12×12-inch tiles… flooring tile is also going large – and we mean “LARGE”: 5’x10’ anyone? Tiles that have the look of real wood can come in 6×24 or even 12×24-inch formats. Why the oversize look? Think luxury. Oversized tiles can visually communicate a sense of luxury in just a glance. And don’t just think it’s for the floor: 24” length wall tiles are becoming popular too.
  • 50 Shades of Grey.
    Grey Flooring Hotel Tile Trend

    All shades of grey can create the perfect backdrop to your room designs. Photo Credit: ecorecommercialflooring.com #4067

    While deep, super saturated tones are trending right now, it pays have a counter-balance in your rooms. And Grey is in. Take a page from our fashion friends: grey is a great backdrop to build on. It’s a staple color that looks great on its own AND can let the rest of your color palate stand out. Grey – a whole range of greys – is at your fingertips to blend in with your luxurious furnishings. Even wood-like flooring materials are coming in exotic and striking shades of grey: something that creates visual interest, and yet will be a solid foundational design element for your rooms for years.

  • Reclaimed, weathered and distressed. The “reclaimed” wood trend isn’t going to go away anytime soon. The image speaks to the recycling/“green” movement. It evokes a sense of uniqueness – of authenticity – something that is particularly appealing to Millennials and Generation Z. Obviously, it’s great if you have a relationship with a local reclamation company to supply your hotel or business with enough reclaimed wood you need for your guest room redesign. But most firms don’t – and often there’s just not enough “reclaimed material” for the project on the time schedule it’s needed. A good alternative to this – getting the “reclaimed wood look” which evokes a rustic, authentic feeling – and yet in a tile format (which is better for baths) is a great option for hoteliers.
  • Metallic Tiles.
    Metallic tile hotel flooring tile trend

    Metallic tile – copper, pewter, iron — can make a room pop. Photo Credit: Discount Mosaic Supply, Etsy.com

    Even if just used as small accents, metallic tiles can bring drama and life to a “standard” bathroom. One truly “hot” tone tip? Think copper! Think rose gold! There’s a reason why Apple uses these colors in their product designs. Metallics are hot. They speak of luxury. …Of durability. …Of quality.

  • Marble tile – without the marble. Luxurious marble is so distinctive. But the costs – including to the environment – can be off-putting. Fortunately, today’s porcelain tiles are so amazingly realistic it’s hard to tell the difference! Get creative with this luxury style icon: look for marble-like tiling on not just floors but walls and counters too.
  • Brick isn’t boring. Who says rectangular shapes have to be dull? Brick shapes – like the ubiquitous subway tiles — are making a splash in all sorts of bath and flooring designs. And why not? There’s so much flexibility and they can be so affordable!
  • Tile textures. When you’re thinking of ways to create a lot of “punch” or impact in a space, texture is a go-to strategy that works wonders. Textures come in all sorts of forms: From faux wood or poured concrete to tiles that quite literally have a texture – even ones with three dimensional effects! For those on a budget, using texturized tiles can be a great way to add visual interest in a small space.
  • Tile patterns.
    Area Rug Tiles Hotel Flooring Trend

    Imagine creating the luxurious look of an area rug with the durability of porcelain. Photo Credit: Daltile.com

    Laying out tiles in engaging patters isn’t dead. Far from it! Think through your patters, however. Chevrons and linear formats are “in” – and a unique way to create movement and drama to a room. There are even ceramic tile manufacturers who are “softening” the hard-look of tile and creating patterns more reminiscent of area rugs or carpet!

     

Trends can come and go. But these design ideas can create a dramatic impact by updating the look in your guest rooms and baths — without your rooms looking dated too quickly. And with the right planning and forethought, each is also adaptable enough to “morph” into future room renovations.

 

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Branded Experiences: It’s More than Just a Logo

It’s no secret: Customers are wanting more than just utilitarian solutions when they travel. They want an “experience” – something new, unique or memorable.

Not that long ago, standardization was key to just about anything. Think of it like the “McDonald’s” formula: a customer could walk into a McDonald’s anywhere from Spokane to Sarasota to Stockholm… and it would be the same experience. The customer would know exactly what to expect. The McDonald’s experience would always be the same.

While setting high standards is important, and there are operational benefits to standardizing, cookie-cutter approaches to the customer experience aren’t the answer.

Think about it: Even McDonald’s adapts its international menus to appeal to local markets. J

Today, customers are delighted by brands that can still maintain their own personality – and yet give a nod to the local environment or community.

Just as McDonald’s might serve pasta at its Italian locations, so too are hotels finding that they can still be part of a brand family, and yet be unique by being highly connected to the local community.

So what does that mean for your hotel? Here’s a few ideas for breathing some personality into your specific hotel location, yet while still honoring any branding concerns you may have as well.

Art Exhibits in Hotels

Reach out to a variety of artisans – metal workers, large format sculptors, painters, ceramicists, etc. – your backyard to create an impactful connection to your local community. Photo Credit: productfind.net

The Ties That Bind: Creating a Community Connection

Not only are hotels are striving to be part of the local community, but they are also positioning themselves to be communities – destinations — themselves: Where the local bar or fabulous restaurant – the place to go – just might happen to be in a really cool hotel.

This sort of “presence” in a community means that even when you have empty rooms, you might still have locals coming to dinner, hanging out in your bar, or interested in a local weekend get away from home.

Another way hotels can honor their local roots – thus differentiating themselves from just being “yet another hotel” — is through art. Local art can infuse a hotel space with the culture and character than will entice visitors further into the community and bring guests back.

You don’t have to have a local artist like world renown glass artist Dale Chihuly in your backyard – or include large scale art installations into your hotel space.

An emphasis on a local art connection can be displayed on a smaller scale such as local art displayed in rooms or incorporating local artisans’ ceramic, glass or metal work in your fixtures, tile work, or furnishings in room.

It’s these little details that all add into creating a saturated branded experience for your customers that they will ever forget.

These connections and attention to detail reclassify your hotel from “a place to sleep,” to “THE place to go if you want to visit [a particular city.]”

Think Fusion.

hotel design trends

The “real” look of wood in a ceramic form. Photo Credit: South Cypress.com

When you’re rethinking interior designs for your hotel, take some sage advice from Chanel: “Fashions fade. Style is eternal.”

A foundation of high quality furnishings, rich textures, intensely saturated colors, and excellent lighting in your rooms and hotel space creates sensory and ephemeral luxury.

But don’t be afraid to set yourself apart: create your own fusion of classic style and local culture. Give a nod to your community’s local history, roots or influences.

A hotel by the shore could include sea glass inspired accent tiles into bathrooms. A heavily forested region might draw on ‘wood-like’ tiling that has a reclaimed, authentic feeling in baths or entryways. A statement color wall or textured wall materials (bamboo, rattan etc.) can make a huge impression.

Green Still Pays.

hotel design living green walls

Gorgeous “living walls” are another way many firms are bringing the outdoors inside. Photo credit: Ambius.com

Consumers are more environmentally conscious and savvy than ever. They understand there are lot’s of ways to save the environment – and it doesn’t take a lot of money to do it either. Hotels are wise to incorporate these tactics into their operations in such a way that also publicly affirms the hotel’s commitment to the environment. Sustainability can be included through:

  • local sourcing of suite furniture,
  • locally grown food for your hotel restaurant,
  • conscientiously thinking of and designing rooms with oversized windows to capitalize on natural lighting,
  • “green” plant life walls,
  • grey water recycling,
  • electronic/water-efficient faucets and tubs,
  • or “even supplying their own energy,”

The key is to create an identity for your hotel brand that shapes every element of the customer experience. Create a branded experience that resonates with both your own company values as well as honoring your local environment. Build that experience so that your customers will want to come back again and again.

Learn More About Creating Hotel Experiences

 

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Hotels: Create Spa-Like Get-a-ways… Just Don’t Unplug Too Much

by Christina McCale 0 Comments

Knowing your market has never been more important for the travel industry. Fortunately, there is a wealth of information now available about the largest generational market.

Researchers have found that the Millennial generation (those born from 1980- 1996) in particular know and appreciate the opportunity for retreat: time to recharge and rejuvenate. Time to keep things in balance. They also happen to like to hang with mom and dad.

Hotel Spa-like baths

Spa-like experiences appeal to all of your guests’ senses. Photo credit: luxurylaunches.com

Spa-like retreats and get-aways aren’t unique to the Millennial generation, but given this 80 million customer-market now out of college (or close to it) these young professionals command a significant part of the economy, coupled with the growing interest in unique experiences, rethinking your hotel spaces is worth some serious consideration.

Better Than What’s at Home.

As hotelier (and Hollywood heavyweight) Francis Ford Coppolla says, hotel baths should be “better than what the [guest has] at home.” A get-away is just that: getting away from what the average consumer has at home. It’s not a get-away if the hotel’s bath is just a different color scheme of one at home. That’s utilitarian. Normal. Nothing to write home about. While there is always a need to be practical elements, hotels shouldn’t have miniature, en masse replicas of what the average consumer has at home.

And while spa-like bathrooms are the ideal that magazines often write about, most home owners/renters don’t have “spa-like baths.” They might have elements of spa-experience items. They might even fantasize about having that spa-like bath experience. But most of your guests won’t have the “total” experience. Hotels have a unique opportunity to create the “total spa-bath experience” in their guest suites. Consider including the ephemeral luxury of:

  • Oversized soaking tubs
  • Extra-large, plush bath sheets
  • Rainfall or water fall shower stalls

Wellness

Heath and wellness has infused itself into every industry – and the travel industry is certainly not immune. Taking a holistic approach to your overall suite design will appeal to all your guests senses. Consider including:

Even small spaces can feel roomy and luxurious with the right design. Rethinking the hotel suite layout can change a guest’s energy. Consider blurring the boundaries between “work spaces” and “sleeping spaces” and bathrooms with the use of sliding screens, glass block or smoked glass. Such elements can keep natural light flowing in, open spaces, and yet allow guests to create privacy when needed.

Unplug – But Not Too Much.

Spas or spa-like environments evoke a sense of “unplugging.” But don’t think that “unplugging” means that you can skimp or cut back on technology. Just like a bad hair cut or old eye glasses, nothing dates a hotel faster than inadequate, out of date, or poorly implemented technology.

While technology means more than just well placed outlets, truly thinking through how your customer uses and carries their technology around. For example, do your customers use their smart phones as their alarm clocks? Do they play music on their smart phones while in the bath or shower relaxing? The savvy hotelier anticipates how customers incorporate their technology tools into their stay and tries to accommodate their needs.

That doesn’t mean you have to have the latest tech toys, but it does mean you need to think about the technology that will matter to your customers – and that it works. Consistently. Consider creating:

  • additional self-check in capabilities,
  • your own app to being able to text the concierge, make reservations, or order room service,

Incorporating the right mix of technology will create a unique extension of the customer experience – and one that would appeal strongly with a majority of your traveler market.

And maybe by thinking through how your customer really uses their technology, you’ll give them the peace of mind and the ability to relax that other market players don’t.

 

Learn More About Creating Hotel Experiences:

 

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Hotels: It’s Not Just a Stay – It’s an “Experience”

by s0y7t 0 Comments
Hotels: It’s Not Just a Stay – It’s an “Experience”
Four-Seasons-Hotel-New-York-bathroom

hotel bath design

Hotels have become more than a utilitarian solution to finding a place to lay your head for the night when you’re away from home.

Now competing with not just each other, or a favorite cousin’s extra bedroom, hotels are competing with the likes of Airbnb or couchsurfing.com. And like so many other companies in the new economy – modern hoteliers are trying to figure out exactly what consumers want.

We surveyed a range of news reports, studies and general articles to learn just that.

Experiences Mean More
Researchers have found that the Millennial generation (those born from 1980- 1996) value experiences over things. But don’t just feel that this just applies to only your Millennial customers. This can be applied in general to the over all hotel experience across all generations.

It used to be that “experiences” meant how well a hotel treated a guest: just a different word for customer service. Modern hotel design goes beyond the literal customer service sense of that definition and realizes that “experiences” include how your guests engage or interact with the actual room or hotel property.

The experience isn’t just human. It’s tactile. It’s visual. As ehotelier.com found, “luxury is not just about having a great looking interior, it has to feel good too.” From luxurious nap of your couches to the sheen of your bathroom fixtures, your customers “engage” and “relate” – judging your hotel every step along the way with every finishing, furnishing and floor covering.

 

Hotel Design

 

Add A Little Flair
The trend towards classic, quality furnishings, rich textures, and intensely saturated colors provides a foundation. But this also gives you an opportunity to judiciously use color, culture and local flair to create interest throughout your hotel.

Think of your hotel color palate like a wardrobe: picking rich, high quality foundational items allows you to “splurge” on interesting aspects that make your hotel memorable.

One way to keep your hotel from looking like a cookie cutter of every other well appointed hotel is to take inspiration from your locale or local culture.
• Highlight local artists in your rooms and entry areas.
• If you’re near the beach, pull nautical elements such as sand or driftwood or sea glass into your decorating scheme.
• Even locally sourced, luxury bath products specially created for your hotel, say “luxury” in a way that speaks to your guests senses.

A Place Where Everyone Knows Your Name
As ehotelier.com has previously shared, “hotels are becoming destinations themselves.” So destination planning isn’t just thought of in terms of a locale or city (ie: Orlando) but rather in terms of the specific experience or care a traveler wants in that city. So for example, a family might say they want to stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge or Cabana Bay Beach Resort.

Travel has always been a series of personal choices. Today – it’s even more so – and so personalization is key.

Another example of the convergence between personalization and luxury is in the hotel bar or restaurant. Lousy hotel restaurants are a thing of the past. Now hotels are making sure their restaurants are unique, extraordinary restaurants that even locals want to make as their own hang outs and haunts, often bringing in big name chefs to anchor that experience with extraordinary fare.

Personalization then becomes the name of the game: getting to know your clients and delivering exactly the experience they want and need. Customers are looking for highly personalized, luxurious experiences that still evoke a sense of comfort – and are comforting.

A hotel restaurant, as an example, might take “experience” to the next level with extraordinary meals made with high quality, local ingredients, that can be created and served table side or in room – incorporating the local flair with custom, direct table side service that allows the patron to engage directly with the master artisan chef.

By taking just a few of ideas, find new ways to incorporate more “experience” into your hotel, its restaurant and bar, and you too will find guests craving your unique brand.

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