For Angela, the focus at Scott Carver when designing a hotel space is to create vibrant, dynamic places where guests and locals feel welcome and at home, “It’s important to me that the hotels we design have flexibility, allowing guests to feel as though they can customise their hotel room, or the lounge they are working on, to suit their needs,” she says. The small details are also big design decisions for Angela, who believes that details should always be considered allowing guests to intuitively use the space, “No one should have to struggle to turn a light or charge a phone,” says Angela. To put it simply, the basic things matter.
So how will spaces work? What areas will be bigger, and what spaces will be more compact? New designs are embracing guestrooms that are smaller which means that public areas are larger, so that they are an extension of a guest room where guests linger and spend time. There’s a distinct move towards hotel lobbies that have a variety of vignettes for their guests: dining tables for mealtimes, high top bars with stools for socialising or collaborative work, lounge areas to relax or work quietly amongst the action, “These are comfortable, sociable spaces, incorporating tucked-away areas for privacy, which are for dining, working and living,” shares Angela, “It’s rare to find a new or refurbished hotel with the large-scale, hushed and empty hotel lobbies of the past.”
So, what about the design; how will it be different? When it comes to design elements and trends in 2018, it’s all about timeless, classic design – the type that outlasts fleeting trends, “I wouldn’t say that we will see more of a certain colour or certain material next year, but I will say that I believe there will be a shift towards a more residential approach to hotel design – creating intimate spaces, which feel comfortable and welcoming – spaces where you can put your feet up and relax, with details to enhance that feeling,” says Angela. Aside from comfort, decorative elements are very important in a hotel space, and next year we will be seeing decorative items, which we would typically see in a residential space, such as bookcases and homely accessories, in the hotels.
“I think the decorative elements are the finishing touches that bring the space to life, giving the hotel personality and soul.”
“For a project in Rio, we went to a local market and found a collection of quirky sunglasses which we displayed under glass in an occasional table in the lobby. The client loved it, as it became a great talking point, and helped them project the fun yet stylish image they were going for,” she adds.