There’s a lot happening in the world of hospitality design, and Floor Trends managing editor Danielle Clair Simpson highlights key trends in this month’s feature, “Hospitality Design Finds Inspiration in Nature.”

Many of us in the flooring industry spend a lot of time on the road, and it just feels better to stay or dine in places that incorporate natural elements, express a keen understanding of color, and an appreciation of local art into their design. You’ll see this, of course, in upper and mid-range hotels and restaurants, but we’re seeing these trends filter down into all levels in some way or another. 

I was taken with Durkan’s partnership with the Santa Fe Museum of Indian Arts & Culture and the Museum of International Folk Art to create a collection of broadloom carpet fit for hospitality spaces. Inspired by Native American pottery and baskets and African and Japanese ceremonial clothing, Danielle writes about how Crafted Convergence celebrates the handmade art from these cultures, and proceeds from the collection roll back to the museum to preserve the artifacts that inspired the collection. A win-win for all involved. 

As we examine the industry, it is useful to review key hotel construction data. The U.S. hotel industry is in the midst of decent growth, and that is expected to continue through 2019. According to Lodging Econometrics, by the end of 2018, the Census of Open & Operating Hotels in the U.S. is expected to grow by 2.5% with 1,146 projects and 130,877 rooms opening up. Of those expected to open, 511 projects/50,105 rooms will be upper midscale—the highest count of any chain scale—and 45% of all new openings.

In 2019, the Census is expected to grow another 2.5% by opening 1,215 projects/137,105 rooms, about 6% more projects than are anticipated to open in 2018. In 2019, New York is again the top market for new hotel openings with 47 projects/7,239 rooms. 

To analysts, the five U.S. markets with the largest hotel construction pipelines by project count are: New York with 169 projects/29,641 rooms, Dallas with 159 projects/19,149 rooms, Houston with 148 projects/16,158 rooms, Nashville 119 projects/15,992 rooms and Los Angeles which has 115 projects/17,155 rooms in its pipeline. The top market in the U.S. by Census growth rate for 2018 is Nashville, which is expected to grow its Census by 8.8% if everything opens as planned by the end of the year. 

All of this growth contributes to a chain reaction of good positivity: more opportunities for product manufactures to get innovative with design, more flooring sales, more jobs for installers.