A pattern is developing in hospitality carpet, one that’s bigger and bolder than ever. New York product developer Stacy Garcia, whose namesake company produces designs for carpeting, textiles, wallcoverings, furniture, and lighting, has a global perspective on the latest trends, and the forecast is colorful.
“There’s always a place for pretty textures, but I’m seeing a lot more excitement for true patterns, more exciting scales, and more interesting color combinations,” says Garcia, who designs carpet for Brintons, Lexmark, and Shaw Hospitality.
Instead of relying on tradition, many hotel designers are looking to carpet that will double as floor art, especially in corridors. “The corridor is a place to have fun,” Garcia says, “and the floor becomes a canvas of sorts.”
There is still a wide range of what’s acceptable and desirable for color and pattern, Garcia says, and choices are driven mainly by region.
Guests are more educated and often look at property photos on review sites when making travel decisions. “We are catering to a much more informed consumer,” she adds.
TIPPING THE SCALES
One aspect Garcia is seeing across the board is pattern of scale. “Pattern is definitely getting larger,” Garcia says. In some instances patterns are so overscaled, they are meant to “crash into the walls.” The basics are still selling, Garcia says, but this overscaled look often extends into the guestrooms, where designers are experimenting more.
“There’s a lot more of that coming through the plant,” says Anthony Minite, president of commercial carpet manufacturer Bentley Prince Street, regarding the popularity of dramatic and bold designs. With hotel designers taking bigger risks these days, Bentley Prince Street is offering options that may have been considered overpowering in the past.
Barbara Marcy, director of creative design for hospitality carpet manufacturer Durkan, agrees that broadloom carpet with large-scale patterns and versatility in color dynamics has been well received. “That’s been a big hit for us in the guestroom marketplace,” she says.
The trend unfolded as more hotels touted all-white bedding and simplified upholstery and window treatment styles. “Now when you walk into a room, it’s the floor that shows up against the white bedding and draperies,” Marcy says.
Similar trends drive public spaces and meeting rooms. Instead of relying on “matchy-matchy” and linear looks, Garcia says designers are blending designs for a more cultivated and sophisticated look, using color as a unifying theme.
Formerly a commercial-centric product, carpet tile is becoming more common in hotel properties. Tiles allow for mixing of patterns and directions of tiles to create art pieces or make an otherwise traditional pattern look contemporary.
Hoteliers might opt for carpet tiles in heavier traffic areas or locations like casinos, Marcy says, due to the versatility of popping squares in and out for maintenance purposes. Minite envisions tile being used more frequently in “backroom” administrative areas.
It’s rare that a designer would want carpet tiles throughout an entire property. Instead, Minite says hotels can take the same colorway and texture and use broadloom in some areas complemented by design work with tiles in others.
“I’m a big believer that the whole world shouldn’t be carpet tile and the whole world shouldn’t be broadloom,” he says.
Durkan tiles can be used in conjunction with broadloom options that have a matching textured base grade and equal cushion backing for a cohesive package.
For guestrooms, Marcy suggests that broadloom options are more practical.
“I don’t think tile is going to hit as hard in the guestroom as a trend as some manufacturers would like to see,” she says. “To get dynamics, broadloom is still the way to go. Pulling in large-scale patterns changes the whole format around.”
For printed carpet, pattern-on-pattern is another big movement. “Rather than just printing on a plain cut tile, they’re printing on top of something that looks like a wood grain or animal skin,” says Garcia, who is partnering with Shaw Hospitality to produce printed carpet products in four different base grades. “It really adds a lot of interest and depth. Printed carpet is coming a long way.”
Durkan uses its “Synthesis” technology to layer pattern and texture. Synthesis base grades are tufted with the first pattern, and then a second pattern is directly applied on the designed multi-level, cut-loop base grade.
Bentley Prince Street relies on weaving and tufting to achieve its textures and patterns, not printing. “You can do so much with just yarn,” Minite says.
Minite finds that many hotels are moving toward hard surfaces. Bentley Prince Street produces a significant amount of custom area rugs for the industry that are used in spaces with hardwood, concrete and other types of flooring. “It’s a really good look and provides a warm feeling of carpet in the facility,” he says.
Garcia is launching a mosaic collection through Artaic that allows the opportunity to mix hard surface with carpet.
“It’s definitely a fun time to be a carpet designer,” Garcia says. “The old rules do not apply.”