Design Insights: Connecting and Narrating Key Trends for 2022

As tourists get the green light to travel to Australia and former quarantine hotels prepare to reopen to the public, many hoteliers are opting to transform their space to earn business. Scott Carver Director – Interior Design, Angela Biddle, shares the top interior design trends that are meeting customer demands in 2022.

We have seen some interesting post-pandemic changes in the way we live, work and relax with new types of spatial arrangement and design treatments.

First, hotels have become remote workspaces; and customers can now merge business and leisure seamlessly by extending weekends into the workweek. With dedicated workspaces often in common areas, the traditional in-room desks common in corporate hotels of yesteryear are a thing of the past, which means room sizes can be smaller. But they still have to work hard to be multifunctional, with “vignettes” serving as cues to sleep, work light and relax, often in a small footprint.

Second, connectivity is paramount to facilitating flexible working. Both in the rooms and in the common areas, customers must be able to connect to their work sphere, physically and psychologically. At the same time, there is also a trend towards disconnection, especially in destination properties. With well-being increasingly a priority, some customers are looking for a customer experience where they can truly get away from it all.

Third – perhaps aligned with the rise in popularity of regional tourism in Australia, thanks to the inability to travel overseas – we have seen increased interest in local and sustainable design solutions. Sustainability in hotels is finally gaining momentum with most operators, and now many owners, pursuing a policy with their own goals.

Complementary is a desire to tell a local story – both an Australian story and, where possible, a truly local story – of materials, crafts and products, including objects and accessories in the guest room by local artists and artisans. Perhaps the silver lining of pandemic-related cost increases for imported materials and shipping rates is an opportunity for our designs to create compelling stories that allow customers to truly connect with the place.

Nicholas E. Crittendon