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Hospitality interiors as a trend in office design and furniture

As with trends in all sectors, those in the commercial design and furniture industry tend to move pretty quickly. In our 2019 Interior Design Trend report at the beginning of the year, we predicted that inclusive design, personalised workspaces and an increased demand for rejuvenation settings would be hot topics for 2019 and they are certainly building up momentum.

Of course, new themes and topics emerge throughout the year and one which is gaining some serious traction at the moment is hospitality as a trend in office interior design and space-planning. It isn’t too far flung from the concepts and aesthetics which has fuelled the resimercial fire during recent months but there are some significant developments.

The decline of corporate commercial design

As with resimercial design, which championed the introduction of residential features in commercial design schemes, it’s all about dissolving tradition. It’s the deconstruction of conventional workspaces of bygone eras to create more conscious, functional and human-centric working environments.

Movements and trends within the industry might be unique in their look and feel but a vast majority of them are working towards a common set of objectives:

  • To improve wellbeing and employee experience
  • Being more inclusive and accepting of diversity
  • Improving communication and collaboration
  • Boosting productivity and positivity
  • Creating a sense of community and bolstering a strong company culture

The most recent Future Laboratory ‘Future of the Workplace’ report states that “the most innovative workers are at least twice as likely to have access to hospitality workplaces” going forward.


What is a hospitality workplace?

The trend as a whole focuses on where the aesthetics of hospitality meet the function of commercial spaces. So, it’s not just apparent in the emerging profile of modern office design, it’s also something that is being heavily discussed within the hospitality sector.

For example:

We – as office design, fit out and furniture experts – might pick up on things like lounge furniture and boutique wallpapers now appearing in offices where they haven’t before. However, those in the hospitality sector might be more attuned to seeing things like tables with integrated technology or acoustic privacy booths cropping up in hotel lobbies.

There is definitely an undeniable cross over and synergy of hospitality and commercial design surfacing across the board, hence the changing face of today’s workplaces.

How to introduce hospitality elements into your workplace:

This is a developing trend which will no doubt mature as the months go by but so far, we are seeing some popular motifs in schemes which have been designed to merge the hospitality and commercial realms:

  • More emphasis on cafes and kitchens as a third place and viable work setting.
  • Vibrant colours, clashing textures, statement wallpapers, feature flooring and experimental fabrics which move away from dull corporate standards of the past.
  • Less corporate furniture and a more eclectic mix-and-match of commercial and residential products.
  • More concierge services for staff and the consequential impact on reception space design which is becoming more boutique rather than clinical and corporate.
  • Gallery approach to wall décor with prints and artwork becoming more commonplace.

More than just the design and the decor

Although aesthetics and product are an integral part of implementing this trend into your workplace, it’s important to understand that it goes way beyond the surface-level look and feel of the space. This is part & parcel of a shift in culture and behaviours, which is something you will need to consider before simply disguising your office reception as a plush hotel lobby with shaggy rugs and luxurious soft seating.

The introduction of things like social spaces, cafés, health and fitness facilities, relaxation zones and a more hospitality-style aesthetic needs to positively influence your company culture. It needs to be strategically planned and executed in a way which ticks all of the boxes we touched on earlier:

  • Better wellbeing, happiness and job satisfaction
  • Improved communication lines and collaborative approach
  • An improvement in productivity and efficiency
  • Giving staff the choice & control required to use the space as it best suits them
  • Creating a sense of community and belonging – both an integral part of the 6 Dimensions of Workplace Wellbeing.
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