This year’s color trends were surprising to designers in the hospitality industry at first, but there are ways to make the colors workable and add to the overall experience of a hotel.
REPORT FROM THE U.S.—For hotel brands that want to be on the cusp of new design elements and incorporate buzz-worthy details, incorporating trending colors can be one way to achieve that, design experts said.
With vibrant colors such as these, designers said, it’s important to not overdo it.
MatchLine Design Group principal Lesley Hughes Wyman said her team was surprised by Pantone’s selection of “Ultra Violet,” as it’s a very specific shade.
But she has been seeing hues of “Oceanside” more frequently. “It’s more easily integrated without overwhelming the senses,” she said, adding that both colors are very saturated compared to the lighter, airy colors from previous years.
Meg Prendergast, principal at The Gettys Group, also said it will be interesting to see Pantone’s violet shade in use, due to its level of intensity.
The colors are fun, vibrant, energetic and youthful, said Nikoletta Stagias, interiors associate at Stonehill Taylor. She added she has seen vibrant colors like these in the hotel industry for a while, particularly in public spaces of “youth-oriented chains such as Aloft and Moxy.”
The shift now would be to incorporate the bold colors in the guestrooms and hallways, which are spaces often associated with more neutral and soothing colors, Stagias said.
How to use the colors
Prendergast said The Gettys Group’s first thought was to use the colors as accents. Both colors could be used strategically in impactful brand strategies or could play into hotel entertainment spaces, she said.
With “Ultra Violet” especially, a little goes a long way, Prendergast said. And for “Oceanside,” designers will need to think of ways to keep it fresh because tones like this have come and gone over the years, she said.
One way to do so, Wyman said, is mixing the tones into custom carpeting. And if the colors are already bold, it’s OK to be bold on pattern, too. She said MatchLine Design Group used this technique with the colors at the Embassy Suites in Amarillo, Texas. Hotels can also try grounding the daring colors with neutral furniture and textual fabrics, she added.
But an easier and quicker approach is to add rugs and pillows that incorporate the two hues, she said.
Prendergast added that the colors can also be incorporated through art installations, table lamps and accent tables. However, she advised designers should avoid using the purple tone in spaces primarily geared toward children—such as in Kids Clubs—as the color can agitate them.
Stagias suggested a more unique solution of using colored-LED lights to softly emit those tones.
More importantly, Wyman said, if a hotel is going to add these playful colors into its design, they need to shine through the entire brand experience and attitude of the property.
“As long as your overall design is cohesive and still blends in timeless elements, it makes sense,” she said.
Stonehill Taylor’s Stagias said color trends should only be considered if they help to tell the hotel’s story.
Timeliness is a factor, though, Wyman said. Many times, hotel projects can span years before they are completed, which can result in projects arriving at the tail end of a trend—or missing the boat all together, she said.
It’s also key to ensure guests don’t become bored from seeing the same colors and patterns duplicated everywhere, she said.
The design experts said they tend to see these color trends appear more in independent properties since they aren’t constrained by brand standards.
But, Wyman said some brands like to step outside of the box with design and push the limits. It can be a challenge, though, to ensure it’s not overdone and stays within the brand’s story, she said.