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Discover how hospitality principles are driving transformation across sectors

The Continued Rise of Hospitality in Interior Design: Shaping Every Sector

The continued rise of the term “hospitality” in interior design refers to the increasing trend of incorporating elements and principles from the hospitality industry into various sectors beyond traditional hotels and restaurants. Hospitality is defined as the feeling people experience within a space and their relationship with it. When done right, hospitality lets people feel entertained and cared for. It leverages ambiance, service, products and amenities to provide guests with the best experience possible.

More often now, to compete in today’s markets, we see that all the different sectors, like offices, retail spaces, healthcare facilities, and even residential spaces, are transforming into more inviting and experience-driven environments. This approach prioritizes user experience and wellbeing, creating more functional and enjoyable spaces across different industries. Hospitality in interior design transcends mere aesthetics. It encompasses elements that foster a sense of belonging and connection. From biophilic designs that integrate nature into office spaces to co-working spaces in multifamily communities, the principles of hospitality are redefining traditional spaces.

As we already see today, it is evident that hospitality principles will continue to drive innovation and transformation across various sectors, creating environments that inspire, rejuvenate, and encourage meaningful connections.

Such trends include:

  1. Experience-Centric Approach: Businesses will shift towards providing memorable experiences rather than just products or services. This trend will create immersive environments that engage the senses and evoke emotions, whether a themed retail store, a wellness-focused hotel, or an interactive museum exhibit.
  2. Health and Wellness Focus: The importance of health and wellness will drive innovation in various sectors, with businesses integrating wellness offerings into their products and services. For example, workplaces might incorporate wellness programs to promote employee health and productivity, while retail stores could offer health-focused products and services to meet consumer demand for holistic wellbeing.
  3. Business Partnerships: Collaboration between different sectors will become more common as businesses seek to leverage each other’s strengths and resources to deliver innovative solutions. For example, hotels might partner with local restaurants and tour operators to offer curated guest experiences, while healthcare providers might collaborate with technology companies to develop remote patient monitoring solutions.
  4. Cultural Sensitivity and Inclusivity: With globalization and increased cultural diversity, businesses must be more culturally sensitive and inclusive in their offerings. This includes catering to diverse dietary preferences, accommodating different cultural norms and traditions, and ensuring representation and accessibility for all customers.
  5. Personalization and Customization: Hospitality principles will extend beyond traditional hospitality sectors like hotels and restaurants to other industries such as retail, healthcare and transportation. Businesses will focus on providing tailored experiences to meet individual customers’ unique preferences and needs, leveraging technology like AI and big data analytics to anticipate and fulfill their desires.
  6. Seamless Integration of Technology: Innovations like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and artificial intelligence (AI) will significantly enhance customer experiences across different sectors. For instance, retail stores might use AR to allow customers to visualize products in their home environment before purchasing, while AI-powered chatbots could provide personalized assistance in various scenarios.
  7. Sustainability and Eco-Conscious Practices: As environmental concerns continue to rise; businesses will prioritize sustainability in their operations. From energy-efficient buildings to eco-friendly products and services, companies will adopt environmentally conscious practices to attract socially responsible consumers and reduce their ecological footprint.
  8. Community Engagement and Social Responsibility: Businesses will increasingly engage with local communities and demonstrate social responsibility by supporting local charities, sponsoring community events, and investing in education and workforce development programs. These efforts contribute to positive social impact and enhance brand reputation and customer loyalty.

According to Ware Malcomb’s Pulse survey, 65% of respondents foresee an increased focus on employee wellbeing in the next three years. Respondents who consider themselves “thriving” companies state that they prioritize employee and consumer experience in their workplace. According to real estate developer Hines, incorporating hospitality principles in real estate can also increase a return on investment by providing a unique and memorable experience for tenants and visitors, which can lead to higher occupancy rates, more favorable leases, and increased customer loyalty.

Overall, hospitality principles will continue to drive innovation and transformation across various sectors. They will shape the way businesses interact with customers and create environments that prioritize personalization, sustainability, wellness, and community engagement.

Whether in the multifamily, office, healthcare, or retail sectors, developers and designers must aim to enhance what we have known to expect in the past. In future articles, we will dive deeper into each sector, and the influence hospitality has on it.

WM Canvas


Shannon Suess