Three hospitality design trends to take note of this summer

From tinted neutrals to textured faux leathers, here’s the inside scoop on the high-performance upholstery fabrics that our hospitality clients are specifying, right now

We like to keep our fingers on the pulse at Agua. Understanding what’s happening in the architecture and design world helps us in turn to develop new fabrics that will meet the needs of our clients and design partners. Here are three trends we’re picking up on in the conversations we’re having with hospitality clients. If you’ve noticed these too, let us know. We’ve got plenty of fabrics to hand that meet these briefs. 

Tinted neutrals are in, naturally

Of course, neutral coloured fabrics have always been the most popular choice in any hospitality environment – from five-star hotels, to relaxed restaurants. Now, though, ‘tinted neutrals’, as we call them, are coming to the fore. Rather than a classic beige or stone colour, we’re seeing more interesting in soft, desaturated greens, cherry reds, powder blues and warm shades of taupe and fawn for hospitality projects, as designers create more environments with rich, dark painted walls and ceilings. The ‘Farrow & Ball’ effect, if you like.  We’ve been particularly impressed by the interest in the sage green shade in our Bouclé collection, and by the interest in pale blues, stones and pinks in Cord and Eden.

Sustainable fabrics are here to stay

This has been a growing trend throughout the past couple of years, and we’re seeing more requests for sustainable fabrics from the A&D community in 2023 than we’ve ever done before. Handily, we developed Verd Eco in 2022, our first high-performing soft fabric collection made from 100% textile waste, using zero water in its production. There are plenty of recycled fabrics on the market, but very few that offer a meaningful reduction in water usage – let alone zero water whatsoever. Given Verd Eco’s success, we now have some similar developments in the pipeline, so keep your eyes peeled. Other steps we’ve taken to enhance our green credentials include our recent Planet Mark certification, and our newly announced collaboration with Crown Workspace’s Renew Centre, too.

Vinyls and faux leathers are as popular as ever

It’s important to note, though, that soft fabrics aren’t getting all the attention. Vinyls and faux leathers are as popular as they ever have been in the sector, and we’re seeing them specified across all areas of hospitality – from headboards, to bedroom chairs, to restaurant banquettes. There’s a misconception that vinyls aren’t used in hospitality, one that we think is increasingly dated, especially when we look at the Agua vinyls that are being specified by hospitality clients. Designers are increasingly gravitating towards vinyls that replicate the look of a soft woven fabric. New additions to our collection, including Fleck, Entwine, and our perennially popular Parody Linen lead the way here, to name just a few of the many options available through Agua. Furnisoft Breathable in its natural ‘leather-look’ colours is also incredibly popular on head boards and restaurant seating, if you’re looking for something that’s more practical than leather, less costly, and just as elegant.

For more information on any of the fabrics in this story, reach out to our sales team via

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