Six Trending Design Materials for 2019

If the patterns designers are seeing now continue to hold true, the hotel industry is in for a year of bold saturations, cork acoustical elements, and an increase of integrated biophilia. Below are six trends in design materials that the hotel industry can expect to see in 2019.

1Large-Format Terrazzo

errazzo Floor Pattern in Art Deco Style

Playing up natural lines, seams, and whimsical patterns has made Terrazzo a well-known and popular choice among industrial designers. Large-format variations are becoming an of-the-moment selection for flooring. Making a particular mark in lobbies, transition spaces, and in-house dining offerings, large-format terrazzo is one to keep an eye on. Variations on a theme are also key with terrazzo, with the marketplace seeing porcelain alternatives emerge as a strong choice for its lower cost and enhanced durability


Embassy Suites Amarillo
Embassy Suites Amarillo (Photo credit: Robert Benson)

Wood tones are set to take the path less traveled, with lighter tones gaining popularity and traditional mahogany making its way out of fashion. Walnut serves as the middle ground, transitional selection, while oak is continuing to emerge as a top pick. Oak’s appeal has increased with the introduction of sophisticated finishing techniques, such as cerusing, and low-sheen, closed-pore finishes. The evolving preference of these woods are valued as flooring, wall paneling, and, most frequently, on the facades of reception desks and lobby furniture. In this space, these items are those that fit within typical seven- to 10-year renovation timeline, making for freshened feel, ambiance, and aesthetic when they’re changed out. As a result, the shifting tides for wood variations is not only commonplace but mirrors operational patterns for hoteliers.

3Cork Acoustic Panels

Embassy Suites Amarillo
Embassy Suites Amarillo (Photo credit: Robert Benson)

While finishes and panels remain popular, traditional cork has anchored itself as a leading choice amongst hospitality designers. Founded in aesthetic appeal and supreme functionality, cork offers a solution that benefits all parties. The material is versatile in its application, finding popularity in guestrooms, nooks and crannies, and in expanded food and beverage areas that are exposed to high levels of traffic.

4Bold Accent Colors

Embassy Suites Denton Convention Center

Embassy Suites Denton Convention CenterIn contrast with the popular colors of recent years, warm tones are back in a big way. Set to make a splash, far from subtle hues are setting the scene for a robust return to the maximalist, the bright, and the vibrant. Top of mind and certainly a top choice for hospitality designers, poppy orange, chili red, and bright coral are among 2019’s set of up and coming colorways. Rich yellow tones and emerald greens are popular as well, playing a game of opposites attract with blue-based subtones.

5Concrete Tile and Countertops

Concrete tile

Taking off as a chic material for the home, concrete as a surfacing solution has returned to hospitality spaces. Concrete tile and countertops insert an urban ruggedness into refined spaces, while infusing necessary durability into high traffic areas. Bar areas have been home base for this trend, along with breakout workspaces with concrete as the surface for desk spaces. Particularly cost-effective and easy to maintain, this trend isn’t going anywhere


Embassy Suites Amarillo
Embassy Suites Amarillo (Photo credit: Robert Benson)

A trend that has truly taken root, biophilia is here to stay. Greenery is both a popular and necessary element today. Installed on walls and in planters both externally and internally, biophilia has redefined the marketplace in terms of using a natural material. Incredibly customizable and with health benefits for both guests and staff, the concept also has a textural quality, asserting a multi-layered feel in any space. Hotel lobbies and internal food and beverage zones are common for application, and traditionally higher ceilings serve particularly well for large-scale green walls and water features.

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Lesley Hughes Wyman, RID, ASID, IIDA, NEWH, and Tamara Ainsworth, RID, ASID, NEWH, are registered interior designers and co-founding principals of MatchLine Design Group.