Since its inception in 1992, the Hospitality Design Exposition & Conference (HD Expo) has remained a premier trade show for this important segment of the commercial market. Each year it offers hospitality professionals the opportunity to connect, share ideas and gain insight into the most innovative products and services on the market. Green Operations compiled what it found to be the top four trends hitting hospitality in 2016.
NEW SHAPES AND SIZES
New design options and flexibility were front and center among hard surface offerings at this year’s show. From large-format tiles to uncommon plank measurements and a resurgence of geometric visuals, exhibitors highlighted creativity with fun additions to their more traditional product SKUs.
“From a design standpoint, large-format stone visuals continue to be popular as well as patterned floor and wall options,” said Danielle Hunsicker, general manager and spokesperson for Dal-Tile. She pointed to Daltile’s Volume Collection and American Olean’s Crosswood mosaic tiles as respective examples of the trends.
Karndean’s Da Vinci Collection received similar interest from attendees with its new 3 x 36 slim plank. “The slender wood designs are unique in the marketplace and come in a variety of colors that are in line with the latest trends and styles,” said Milton Goodwin, vice president, commercial sales. “We also heard great things about our upcoming Kaleidoscope line featuring patterns to create eye-catching floors.
EXPANDED USE OF HARD SURFACES
While carpet has reigned supreme within the hospitality segment, designers and manufacturers alike came to the table with an increased interest in hard surfaces this year with LVT as a major player. “The desire to utilize LVT within the hospitality arena is a significant trend,” Kardean’s Goodwin explained. He and others pointed to LVT’s design elements, cost, ease of installation and performance as key advantages to hospitality specifiers.
Milliken took the opportunity to include similar color lines across all its flooring solutions to create cohesion with the industry shift. The mill also walked away with a win — IIDA/HD Product Design competition for Resilient Flooring — for its new LVT line called Freelay.
Interface Hospitality launched The Rug Collection by designer Kari Pei with the hard surface revolution of guest rooms in mind. “We want to understand and address key challenges in the segment,” said Charley Knight, vice president. “This unique carpet tile area rug product solves for the move to hard and/or mixed surface solutions.” Going a step further, the company also teased a new interlocking modular carpet and LVT product to be released later this year.
INSPIRED BY NATURE
Neutral color palettes have been trending in the hospitality sector for the past few years as big, bold patterns have been replaced with subtler organic visuals. This year, exhibitors took natural inspiration more literally with a focus on bringing the outdoors in along with biophillic designs.
“I am always interested in products that are inspired by nature,” said show attendee Lorraine Francis, AIA, LEED BD+C and regional director of hospitality interiors with Gensler. She gave many carpet companies accolades for providing “great, large- scale patterns that evoke the actual emotion from nature.”
Erin Heckert, senior project designer with Gettys ONE also mentioned the consistent organic patterns and watercolor-esque hues as noteworthy design trends in the industry. Durkan’s Onyx Collection, for example, demonstrates nature’s fluidity as well as the mill’s technological capabilities.
On the hardwood side, DuChâteau’s Atelier Series “teased attendees,” said Tianna Thomason, social brand strategist. “Visitors flocked to our new Strata collection along with the Atelier Series’ Tidal and Pure lines, wanting to touch the natural, hand- finished details of each board.”
Sustainability — and beyond — has arrived. It was apparent at HD Expo that what once were buzzwords or feel-good stories are now expected environmentally conscious products and processes. The industry has in fact moved beyond “reduce, reuse, recycle” to a more holistic eco-friendly approach that considers vastly healthier outcomes for Mother Earth and her inhabitants. “We see focus shifting to environments that promote well-being,” said Stacy Walker, director of customer experience for the Milliken flooring division.
John Stephens, vice president, Shaw Contract Group, also noted the change in the sustainability discussion. “Conversations are shifting to health and healthy outcomes with a greater focus on transparency throughout the industry.”