Why Wide-Format Printers Should Keep An Eye on Hotels
I recently went down to New York for the day to walk the exhibition hall at BDNY (Boutique Design New York), the leading trade show for hospitality's boutique and lifestyle design community. This show is always a valuable opportunity to see what is trending in the hotel design industry and where digital printing can make an impact.
I came away from BDNY with an overall impression that there was a lot of cozy texture and furniture with organic, even amorphous, shapes. The colors were warm and grounding, with a lot of celadon, terracotta, aqua, and gold. Even in places where the texture wasn't tactile, there was visual texture for added depth and dimension.
This show is a good reminder that trends in the travel industry impact trends in hotel interior design. Currently, hotels are undergoing a shift. They are redesigning their spaces to appeal to the digital nomad and the traveler who is moving away from the Airbnb experience, which has been declining in popularity. Hotels are trying to meet this decline by offering amenities such as on-site coworking spaces, small kitchens, and multi-use areas.
There is also a big push in the travel industry to personalize service by gathering more guest data, mainly through rewards programs. The industry also wants to integrate technology more fully throughout the hotel and integrate AI into the experience. For example, using tech to offer more contactless services or using AI to let guests personalize a space to deliver the experience they want.
So, Where Are The Opportunities For Wide-Format Printers?
Interior designers for hotels are placing a lot of importance on making a hotel reflect the location with custom details. There are many opportunities for printers to create art and space-specific murals for décor that add local flavor and make Instagram-worthy décor.
Beyond that, designers are customizing spaces to add individuality to a hotel, even if it's part of a big chain. Wide-format printers are uniquely positioned to offer smaller runs of products. This allows designers the opportunity to customize a hotel or even individual rooms.
Many travelers are aware that traveling itself is already taxing to the environment. As a result, many people are trying to do it in a more socially responsible way, and they want hotels to do more than ask them to reuse their towels. Hotels are responding by thinking about sustainability from the beginning of the design process by using more sustainable materials and building practices. Local printers with sustainable materials are uniquely positioned to respond to these needs.
It's important to remember that just as in other commercial interior markets, for hospitality, performance is key. When sending your sales teams to cultivate this market, have all specifications and testing ready. Most designer's first question will be, "Does it pass testing?" For those who answer yes, there are lots of opportunities to be had.
Kristen Dettoni is the founder and CEO of Design Pool LLC, the only pattern library created exclusively for interior designers. Since 1996, Kristen has worked for mills throughout North America, designing fabrics for automobiles, furniture, and home furnishings. She developed the first sustainable upholstery fabric for office interiors, the first sustainable upholstery fabric for automotive interiors, and was awarded a patent for automotive suspension seating. Kristen believes strongly in the power of good design to transform our environments and experiences.