From barstools as a room’s design centerpiece to boutique-style furniture inspired by the past to never-been-used materials, trends for hospitality furniture & casegoods this year lean toward products that offer form and function but scream style and uniqueness.
Hotel Business checked in with a few hospitality furniture manufacturers for an in-depth look at this year’s—and next year’s—trends and to find out what furniture designers and hotel owners look for when creating the perfect space.
“Designers in the industry are keeping us on our toes as they constantly come up with designs that have never been seen or done before, with unique materials or all-out new looks,” said Carson Norcross, president of Norcross Furniture Company, a Westlake Village, CA-based company. “As a manufacturer, we have to be able to partner with them to develop and make these designs come to fruition along with keeping in budget. These new materials and new designs are challenging, but when talented people work together, great things happen.”
David Khouri, furniture designer and a founder of furniture manufacturer KGBL (Khouri Guzman Bunce Limited) agreed that while style is key, quality and price are just as important to hotel owners when it comes to choosing products for their properties. “Hotel owners all want ‘the look’ but at the very best price,” he said. Owners are interested in purchasing products they know will last and are “composed of indestructible materials,” he added.
When asked to name this year’s go-to product, Khouri noted that his West Chelsea, NY, firm has been fielding requests for a particular type of seating that performs a function and acts as a room’s focal point. “We’re getting inquiries from designers for our barstools,” he said. “Everyone seems to be looking for sculptural stools as design centerpieces.”
Roberto Besquin, president of San Diego-based D’style Hospitality Furnishings, noted that boutique-style furniture with vintage inspiration is very “on trend,” as are products that “marry style and functionality.”
Designers are asking for excellent quality and great attention to detail, notes Besquin. “Design features such as smart storage solutions and integrated power outlets, with sleek style lines and playful design elements are all must-haves in the industry,” he said.
Charles Monaco, design director at Furniture Design Studios, based in Plainview, NY, also gets inspiration from the past. “From boutique hotels to resorts, we are using contemporary styles with touches of the 1950s,” he said. He also agrees that functionality is key. “Accommodating electronic devices in manufacturing casegoods is a high priority.” Indirect lighting within headboards and built into furniture is also important, he added, as are “sleek, all-in-one multi-units.”
As to what hotel owners are looking for when furnishing hotels, Besquin said, “Hotel owners want their finished properties to be unique while remaining relatable to every customer. It is also important for owners to be able to rely on us for our durability, quick lead times with on-time delivery and excellent service with fast answers on quotes.”
Norcross agreed. “Hotel owners are looking to see if the design was well-executed and the quality they were expecting was achieved,” he said, adding, “All of this while delivering when you promised to deliver the project.”
As for future trends, Besquin predicts we will “continue to see design inspiration from the past influenced by contemporary elements,” while Khouri expects “more and more requests for warm metals like brass and bronze. Also, gray-stained and ebonized woods seem to be making a comeback.” Norcross said this about the future: “There will be a bigger focus on guests’ wellness in regard to health and comfort. Whether we’re talking about how comfortable the foam in the chair’s seat cushion is or the brightness of the lights or the material of the sheets, ‘wellness’ is going to drive specifications for many levels of the hospitality industry.”
— Lisa Mancuso