The New World Of Hospitality
Designer Kelli Ellis reimagines the spaces that will welcome us in the post-pandemic world
It may sound crazy, but when you think about it, reality is redesigning our entire world right now. As we imagine what the new world may look like, hospitality designers have to think about reshaping our designs to reflect our new reality. We need to envision design adaptations that meet the post-COVID traveler’s desire to maximize their experiences while minimizing their risks.
The world has spent the better part of two years dreaming about exploration, change, and new experiences. We need to greet it with spaces that bring joy, provide a sense of community, support well-being, and are inclusive.
As we reimagine the future, I believe guestrooms will be one of the most important spaces to reconsider. These private spaces away from home need to be flexible enough to allow for multiple activities. They’ll need to accommodate our need to rest and our need to exercise. They will be places to work and to gather with friends.
We will use them to get away for a quiet meal and to share moments with family. To provide this flexibility, we will need to redesign floorplans to include larger suites and adjoining rooms.
We will also have to consider the surfaces that surround and define our spaces. More than ever, floors and walls will need to stand up to the rigors of being regularly sanitized, without showing wear and tear. Opting for dimensional wall tiles and impermeable floor tiles allows us to keep creativity, health, and safety all at top of mind. To maintain our clients’ desire for wellness, choosing a sustainable yet durable product, like Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT), allows us to maintain an elevated design aesthetic with a focus on health.
Within the floors and walls we will want coverings and fabrics that not only have the right feel and color, but support cleanliness. When I’m reupholstering or creating custom pieces, Culp is one of my favorite makers, as their hospitality fabrics are designed to achieve this perfect trifecta.
Common areas will remain important. However, they will move in a direction quite opposite from the spaces to be shared by large groups of people that we were designing just two years ago. Our new common spaces will include more vignette, private gathering areas for small groups. I am partial to Bernhardt Hospitality for helping to create small “Wow!” moments in large spaces.