Is the End in Sight for the Industrial Look?
By Beachwood Custom
Thursday, 23rd May 2019

Hotel design, concepts, restaurants & barsWhile the warehouse look of distressed wood and metal furnishings has been hot for years, the trend may be on its way out.

One major interior design trend in the last decade has been the industrial look. From reclaimed wood to exposed ducts to metal accents, this industrial vibe goes hand-in-hand with the loft look that’s been in high demand within residential, commercial, and hospitality design industries.

But is the industrial style losing steam? Here’s why it may be time to ditch those naked Edison bulbs and embrace new trends, like nature-focused and hyper-efficient design elements.

Why is industrial design on its way out?

Trends come and go, and the industrial look has had its hay day. This rustic look was brought about from the “shabby chic” style boom, which focused on vintage, salvaged, or antique furnishings and was a bit more feminine of a style than industrial, which tends to have more chunky, dark, and distressed pieces. Bronze and sharp-edged dark wood are good examples of elements that create the industrial look.

One designer told My Domaine that part of the reason industrial is going out of style is the kitchen—modern kitchens aim for appliances that blend in with the surroundings, not stand out, as is often the case with industrial style appliances that are exposed and almost style pieces themselves.

Another essential element of the overall industrial style is the “farmhouse-chic” style, where those naked Edison bulbs and distressed wood come in. While these styles were made popular with HGTV shows, especially Fixer-Upper, they’re now extremely overdone. And when something is too overdone and runs rampant throughout Target stores across the country, you know the next big trend is coming.

New design trends

The industrial/rustic craze is bound to be replaced with something, so what’s it going to be? Here are some of the upcoming trends for the hospitality industry and interior designers in general.

Nature and environment

One element that may appear more and more in hotel lobbies is nature. Hotel Designs says, “In 2019 hotels will be seeing more indoor waterfalls, all-season terraces, rugged outdoor-style furnishings, gorgeous plants, and panoramic views. This trend in hotel design will help guests to enjoy nature while staying inside, creating a completely unique and memorable experience.”

As environmental concerns are starting to govern every aspect of life, it makes sense that interior design would take on these important considerations as well. Moreover, they go beyond appearance—the hospitality industry is expected to integrate more eco-friendly initiatives and sustainable practices into hotels, and that means recycled and energy-saving products and features will be at top of mind when focusing on interior design elements.

As Hospitality Net points out, the Proximity Hotel in North Carolina is an excellent example of these initiatives in action—the hotel has installed a hundred solar panels on its roof, the elevator generates power for the refrigeration system, and they offer free bikes for guests to rent. These considerations may mean that interior design itself is kept more minimalist to make way for eco-friendly building elements. Styles that integrate a lot of plants and water will help supplement the environmental thinking.

As Commercial Property Executive puts it, “nature is the new luxury.”

Simple, efficient design

Another trend that’s likely to stay for a while is the simple, clean look. As more people across the country are decluttering, thanks to Marie Kondo’s minimalist theory of tidying up, designers realize that less is more for the modern population.

Travel Age West says that micro hotels are at the forefront of this trend, as they’re trying more and more to find compact storage solutions for small spaces while creating a clean design to give the appearance that there’s more room than there is.

Simplicity requires more consideration around what’s efficient and appealing to look at, not just the latter. With smart home technologies on the rise as well, hotels can expect to integrate many new technologies that make spaces more functional.

Creative and quirky

The popularity of photo sharing makes it crucial for modern hotels to get in on the action and create Instagram-worthy settings. This means that surprising, creative elements should be integrated into design features so guests have something unexpected to share with their followers.

This idea ties into the concept of “placemaking,” which uses the history and personality of the surrounding community to inform interior design. Commercial Property Executive says that placemaking is “instilling in users a sense of community, attachment, and pride about where they live, work or recreate.”

The driving force behind this feeling is authenticity. Hotel designers should aim to show a little personality in both designing the guest rooms and the lobby areas.

With any significant trend, there’s always an end, and the industrial look is on its way out. Boutique and premium hotel designers have begun to incorporate more natural décor that’s eco-forward, efficient designs, and surprising design elements that are Instagram worthy.

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