Sleep, the Hotel Design Event, is one of the key dates in the calendar for hotel interior designers and architects and the Houseology team headed along to be inspired by some of the newest designer collections and innovations. Held over two days in London’s Business Design Centre, Sleep hosts conferences and designer talks and showcases contractors from all aspects of the hospitality sector from flooring to lighting and beyond.

We catch up with the team on some of the highlights of the show...

Q: What were the visual highlights of the show?
Sleep Set, a concept in which designers worked to create bedroom sets that reflected a ‘Wonder Tale’ brief that incorporated whimsical style and surreal design elements. The entries offered strong creative responses with great visual impact. This year’s winner – Sean Clarkson ID – didn’t miss the mark.

Q: Were there particular stands that stood out?
The stands looked amazing, showing creativity and true quality in craftsmanship with contrasts of contemporary and traditional designs. A number of Houseology suppliers were also in attendance with Bluebellgray and Timorous Beasties showcasing stunning, colourful stands with some striking large scale pieces. Designer lighting brands Chelsom and Heathfield & Co also had wonderful stands. The designs on display were quite different but both conveyed a simple, pared back look that felt sophisticated and contemporary.

Q: Were there any hotel design trends that were apparent at the show?
The displays at Sleep showed that there is definitely a continued move towards a much more lifestyle focused and less corporate approach to hotel design. Items on display tended to have a looser, more eclectic feel with ranges working together to create an evolved mix of styles.

Clean lines and simple shapes matched with rich or textured finishes appeared across a number of ranges. As well as aesthetic design trends, cultural immersion was the phrase of the day. Cultural immersion is the most current trend in hotel design and is really driving the look and feel of many of the new hotel sites and brands across the globe right now. The idea of creating a unique experience for guests that’s specifically tailored to reflect each and every hotel’s specific locale is working well as an alternative to the typical cookie-cutter approach. The hotel's design, food and customer service proposition are all part of a bigger local story which provides the millennial traveller with a level of interest and the rich depth of character that they require in becoming loyal sleepers.

Q: Was there a particular emphasis on any specific areas of hotel design?
Overall, the exhibition placed emphasis on bedroom design with the lighting and furnishings focusing on hotel design schemes. Sleep Set Design and Snoozebox competitions also made the event more of a celebration of bedroom design.

Q: What were some of the key points from the talks and conferences from the show?
The Development Horizon Today talk was very much focused around what makes a hotel development successful within the current market. Lifestyle hotel offerings are now the fasted growing market segment and, off the back of the rise of independent lifestyle hotel outfits, the large branded businesses are now beginning to make their move. Another key point from the conferences was that hotel design should be timely but timeless with a lifestyle focus that incorporates indigenous aspects of the hotel’s location.