3 Takeaways from Boutique Design New York 2016

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By Candice Alinovich, Architectural Designer

Every year hospitality design professionals flood New York City to attend Boutique Design’s Trade Fair, BDNY. I had the chance to attend the two-day, high energy conference this week to get an up-close look at the trends emerging in the industry.

As an architectural designer, I collect inspiration from a variety of outlets—my surroundings, my travels, even my friends and family—but conferences are unique in that they bring together hundreds of creative minds in one room. As  a Vermonter, it was particularly exciting to see marble, a material that is incredibly popular in design right now, highlighted throughout the conference. Marble quarrying was a huge industry for the state and many towns have marble sidewalks and curbs. We’re currently working on a design project in Vermont (details coming soon!) that will have a very contemporary feel, and it was inspiring to see the many marble slab and mosaic options available. 

My favorite examples are a marble and metal inlay mosaic from Tile Bar and the beautiful marble fixtures created by Chelsom lighting.


Steampunk is not dead.

The popular industrial aesthetic, Steampunk, is here to stay as evidenced by both the companies exhibiting their products this week and the panel discussions held. Elements of steampunk-inspired design includes reclaimed wood, warm metals, and unique pieces that feel one-of-a-kind. Many manufacturers have jumped on this trend to offer hotel designers these types of interior finishes.

Brooklyn, which has long been a hub for trend-setting design, is home to a custom fixture fabricator  called Waterworks Design that designs plumbing fixtures and coordinating accessories with a raw, industrial feel. Another company based out of Cleveland, OH, Rustbelt Reclamation, disassembles old barns and grain silos to salvage old growth wood to create unique pieces.

The raw, industrial look is particularly appealing to Millennials as it tells a story and has a history. Nostalgia can be a powerful force in design especially now that consumers crave a more authentic experience.

The outdoors are coming in.

Recently a lot of hospitality spaces have been heavily inspired by nature. More often we see a biophilic design approach, articulating the relationships between nature and the built environment and tapping into our desires to feel connected with nature even while indoors.

Textures and patterns found in nature are seen in everything from lighting fixtures to textiles. The use of succulents and lush walls in hotels remains popular. Garden on the Wall’s stunning booth installation, pictured below, is a great example of this.

Integration of Technology.

Technology continues to infuse itself in hospitality design. Nissha exhibited their seamless integration of technology and materials in their stylish and utilitarian MUI product. Mui products are an intuitive way to control lighting and room temperature in hotels or higher end retail and restaurant spaces. Consumers can look forward to a lot more of these types of products in hospitality spaces.