Thinking Differently About Design

A positive outlook promotes positive output, and we’ve seen this reflected visually in the trends of the hospitality industry for 2012. There is a dynamic feeling of hope and growth in the lodging business, giving the industry the confidence it needs to ramp up design and style. This optimism is an important driver and has many looking to outside influencers for a fresh perspective. Today’s trends have many different branches of diversity, and yet all tie back in to one solid root—good design.

Large-scale pattern continues to be the focus of the hospitality flooring market. More complex patterning and asymmetry is key, while the influence from nature or natural materials is also vital. After all, people are drawn to design that is unexpected and driven from a force of nature. Landscapes, foliage, and elements from the environment do not have exact symmetry—they are offset and abstract to some degree. This is intriguing to the eye and mind and continues to be a big interest in areas of impact when designing a space. An additional twist is to take a form from nature and change the perspective— “see it through the looking glass.” This leaves an impression that it is not what you expected, but goes beyond to create pattern and style that stretches the reality of the inspiration. The movement is to have patterns that are less symmetrical and more free form, yet we are seeing them continue with degree of structure. This delivers a visually intriguing contradiction of sorts, as designers have discovered that there is comfort in some structure in the end.

Fashion continues to play an even bigger role in the trends of interior design through colors and lines of “architecture.” We are starting to see an abundance of bright cheery color in the industry, which we know, indicates happiness and stability in the market. The extraordinary use of color is evident in every product out there in the market. The brighter, the better.

The “architecture” of fashion can be an influencer, dictating the type of style and dynamic that is being portrayed in a design. Structure is more evident, which again points to stability. We’re seeing flooring that is similar to what’s popular in men’s fashion today: very structured looks, but yet with a tiny bit of pizzazz to the design. This caters to the desire to have something the same, but different.


Designer brand names have been a big influence in the home and fashion industry, as everyone pushes for a style and look that promotes “what” or “who” everyone wants to “be” or “be seen in.” As the gaps narrow in fashion design, home design and interior design, the influence of wanting a “branded” look and feel for a space has become more intrinsic. The industry today is very accepting of the idea that good design is a collaboration of efforts by many designers. There is agreement that this combined expertise yields a more favorable final outcome and a stronger final product. This is not only happening in name branded hotels, but also in the incorporation of more name-branded products for the spaces themselves.

Another branch and emerging trend today corresponds to the movie business. Certainly, the types of movies being produced have great influence on hospitality design itself. Additionally, the 3D movement has pushed this market toward a more interactive progression in time and space. This will likely be a dynamic that feeds its way more into the hospitality market segment as we move forward.

As we look to the future, this is an exciting time to be part of the hospitality industry. Good design is once again propelling the segment forward, as inspiration enters the market from a variety of sources. Long-term success will be measured by those who harness this diversity of design and incorporate a variety of style trends, ultimately transforming each space into a unique destination.

Barbara Marcy is director of product design for Durkan, the hospitality brand of the Mohawk Group, a commercial carpet manufacturer specializing in the design of sustainable carpeting. For additional information, visit

Previous articleTech Buzz
Next articleStaffing for Prosperity