"Hotel guests today are more concerned with wellness than they were in the past," said Markie Rhoads, director of design and FF&E at A-1 Hospitality. “They want to know that anything they touch is clean. White, clean, well-lit surfaces give that perception.” To that end, textile use in hotel rooms is rapidly evolving.
“Good textile choices enhance the room both visually and from the comfort—the ‘touch’ or ‘hand’—of the fabric, especially on the bed,” she said, noting that higher-thread-count fabrics feel more luxurious. Bedding and window treatments help set the visual tone for the first impression of the room, she added. “In rooms where patterned carpet sets the tone, textiles often have less pattern and more texture. Patterns are usually tone-on-tone, or subtle in the full context of the room.”
For bedding textiles, Rhoads said that cotton and poly-cotton duvets appear to be making a comeback. “Because having a white top-of-bed is so popular, many designers are opting for darker colors in the accompanying textiles, such as draperies and upholstery fabrics,” she said. Neutral colors like black, grays, browns, taupes and buttercreams are also very popular. At economy hotels, integrated top sheets are also becoming standard. “It provides the look and pop of color for the room in one piece rather than two, and the scarf will not ‘fly’ off the bed,” she said. Heather O’Sullivan, founder and principal at Whitespace Interiors, said decorative throw pillows and accent fabrics are not as popular as they were several years ago.
Because of code requirements, Rhoads said, flame-retardant polyester is the best solution for vertical applications like drapery, valances and bedskirt fabrics. “Over the last three decades, there has been continued improvement in polyester, and now we are seeing more textures in base cloths,” she said. “So although it is not a ‘natural’ fabric, polyester can take on the appearance and hand of natural fabrics such as linen and cotton.”
Studio Gaia founder Ilan Waisbrod said textiles and finishes need to be more durable because renovations occur less frequently than in the past.