Industry Insights – Hospitality Design
Four designers. Four specialties. One industry.
This summer, Corporate Design Interiors will be giving you some insight into the interior design industry through four very talented designers. Each week, we will be featuring a new designer and specialty. Not only will you have the opportunity to hear about recent trends in various aspects of interior design, but you will also have the opportunity to get to know four distinguished, seasoned designers in the Milwaukee area.
Company: Plunkett Raysich Architects
Favorite Materials: wood, stone and glass mixed with textured fabrics and bright accents.
Favorite Kimball piece: Boyd for its mid century looks. Villa for its tall backs and Dwell for its modular configurations
Advice to young designers: Find a mentor that you can observe, learn from and ask questions of them.
Interesting Fact: I went to All-State Choir in high school and sang with the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus for a short time.
In our third installment of Industry Insight we bring you Laura Frydach, senior designer at Plunkett Raysich Architects. With over 12 years experience, she has worked in almost every specialty including corporate, retail and healthcare design.
Tell us a little about your hometown and family?
[I grew up in] Brookings, SD, a small town on the east side of the state about an hour north of Sioux Falls. [My] mom was a social worker and my dad was an engineer. But, my great grandmother and my grandfather were both artists. My godmother is an artist and is always supporting art. She bought me my first set of watercolors and brushes and my godfather is a photographer. I was always in art classes as well as dance and music.
What was your first job in the industry and how did you transition into hospitality design?
My very first job was as an intern at Station 10 Architects in Minneapolis, MN. I had interned there while in school at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. I have been lucky to work on a wide variety of project types including hospitality design. The projects I’ve worked on have just come my way by chance and by who has time in our design group.
What are the biggest trends you are seeing in hospitality design?
There has been a recent emphasis on the “bath experience” to make the space spa-like with high end fixtures and very clean lines. There has also been an emphasis on openness in lobbies so that people can see what is going on in other areas. There’s a connection to the outdoors so you are seeing large windows with patios and outdoor lounge spaces. There is an emphasis on the surroundings and incorporating that into the space.
Finally, lobbies have become multi-use spaces where furniture is arranged to create spaces for multiple uses such as intimate conversations, socializing, and business negotiations. We are also seeing an abundance of furniture that supports the use of technology such as plug-ins on the furniture pieces. I’ve seen phone Apps that allow guests to control their surroundings such as lighting and the temperature within a space.
One theme I am seeing mostly in boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts is personalized guest rooms where guests can choose which room they want to stay in.
Are any of these trends unnecessary?
Personalizing each room. It works best with small hotels.
Are clients open to changing with new trends? How has the millennial generation impacted your designs?
I would say that most [clients] are open.
If they want to stay ahead of their competition then they need to be open to change. Unfortunately, change costs money, but regular updates and maintenance should be in their operating costs. No one wants to stay in what feels like a “dated” hotel.
I have read that Millennials will become the core customer in the next five to ten years so it’s important that you cater to their needs to stay competitive. Foodies are common in this generation and will be looking for an overall gourmet experience that is still reasonably priced. This will in turn cause more renovations to hotel restaurants. The overall design of the restaurant and their menus will need to be changed. Millennials have also come to expect speed when it comes to customer service and Wi-Fi so that will have to be accounted for.
Definitely an oceanfront boutique hotel.
Join us for Industry Insights – Part IV when we discuss Education Design with a local area designer.