June 1, 2016

HD Expo in Review: 12 Standout Hospitality Products

Often offering a sneak preview of some of the contract world’s finest summer NeoCon debuts, HD Expo took place last month in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay, attracting a bustling crowd of over 10,000 designers, architects, hotel owners and operators, developers, specifiers and purchasers with more than 800 hospitality design manufacturers and distributors.

The major flooring manufacturers in particular were in fine form, collectively exhibiting a focus on patterns and textures inspired by nature; neutral colors in brown, gray, and tan; and collections that blend and complement carpet tiles with LVT. Among them, Interface unveiled its first rug collection with Kari Pei leading the creative charge. Pei joined Interface as a product designer about a year ago, and brings to the table a strong foundation in textile design (as well a coincidental family tie to iconic architect I.M. Pei, who is her father). Interface’s extensive research on biophilic design informed Pei’s collection of 5 area rugs intended for guest rooms: Springtime in Paris, Big Apple, out of the Woods, and Roman Holiday. The latter riffs on Rome’s city street grid, adding sumptuous hues and deep texture for an appropriate nod to the eternal city. Durkan and Shaw Hospitality Group as well brought nature and its processes into the spotlight, with new patterns based on decomposing plant materials and oxidization, respectively. Oxidization also appeared beautifully in the new wallcoverings at Innovations—could this be a trend in and of itself? 

At Waterworks, plays on nature continue with the Isla collection’s sculptural faucets and handles inspired by jagged or worn river stones, and designed in collaboration with jeweler Jill Platner. Burnished brass seemed to be favorite finish for the new items on display in Waterworks’ booth, and also showed up again in deeper tones at Astro Lighting, a British lighting company that launched a series of impressive architectural sconces. 

Meanwhile, wallcoverings manufacturer Phillip Jeffries brought flora and fauna to the forefront with an impressive array of textured products in grasscloth and hemp as well as its new Husk wallcovering, which is handcrafted by Philippine artisans in banana-tree fibers that are stripped, cooked, washed, and hand pressed. Wish, inspired by vintage photography digitally printed in oversize dandelion florets, marks another major debut from the company and also covered the booth’s exterior for a bold visual statement on the show floor.

Last but not least, you might not immediately identify the nature reference in the sophisticatedly matte Eden by Moore & Giles, but the product story is seriously innovative. Luxury leather goods manufacturer Moore & Giles partnered with Germany’s Olivenleder to tan the new Eden leather using an extract derived of fallen olive tree leaves collected from the Mediterranean region. This means that the hides are not only completely organic, biodegradable, and require less water and energy to produce, but they also offer a rich uniform color and soft, supple surface. The olive leaves are brewed to create an aromatic syrup (it’s edible, by the way) that makes the resulting leather perfect for close contact with skin, such as furniture upholstery and clothing, and yet it’s also semi-aniline and thus extremely durable.

Olivenleder’s patented wet-green tanning technology has only existed since 2006, so we’re betting the industry will see even more unique applications in the future.

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