Pillows and headboards provide pops of color for the room

This is part two in a series on softgood and bedding design. Click here for part one: The call for color.

Hotels are keeping guestroom beds white as a neutral base for the room, while pillows and headboards provide pops of color.

Gail McCleese, principal at StudioDW, said two-tone fabric pillows are growing in popularity. These pillows often segment one-third of their space into a single color, while the rest of the material is in a different tone. Designs like these are easily achievable now thanks to digital printing.


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“Designers can digitize anything, and continuity of design is much more effective using digital printing. It allows designers to be more creative, and has affected every aspect of design,” McCleese said. “Non-upholstered headboards and suede materials are also growing in popularity. There are a lot of germophobe travelers out there, and they like bedding to look clean while a graphic on the wall speaks for the guestroom.”

For pillow designs, Dale Miller, president and chief creative officer at Daring by Design, said that her wish list for 2015 would include more king-size pillows in luxury hotels, as opposed to standard hospitality sizes. 

“Most travelers have those pillows at home, and when they meet standard pillows on the road, they are not accustomed to it,” Miller said.

Jennifer Jakelis, design consultant at A-1 Textiles, said that round bolster pillows are not as popular in hospitality as they once were, and hotels are using more square shams, or square pillows with inserts. In fact, A-1 Textiles’ most popular pillow right now is a rectangular pillow that measures 24 inches by 10 inches.

Bed skirts are also getting more design attention in 2015, and hotels are experimenting with bed skirts that wrap around the outside of a bedspring. This lifts the skirt off the ground and protects it from guests’ feet and housekeeping vacuums. Miller also suggested zip-off mattress and pillowcases as an option for hotels that want to accessorize their beds without replacing the entire product.

“Pillowcases in particular are very effective for redecorating, as it is the pillow top that deteriorates over time, not the inside,” Miller said. “That’s a great alternative, and introduces a clever economy of scale to bed design.”

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