With the current economy booming development across all project types is white hot. One of the most noticeable trends in architecture is a refocusing on commercial projects. I know that in Seattle a great deal of energy was directed at development of residential properties. As 2018 moves to 2019 investment in real estate that will see a different financial return is growing. And commercial properties offer just that. High-rise buildings, corporate buildings, and hotels are in especially high demand.

Creating an Experience

Many of today’s current consumers are experience-oriented. For example, hotels are not just a place to sleep, it is part of the overall vacation experience. Many customers want a hotel that aligns with their personality or their lifestyle. We are seeing more hotels and other hospitality establishments that are targeting very specific demographics, such as the Library Hotel in New York City that has a chosen an interior design scheme to target voracious readers. Some hotels are adding club-like spaces aimed at a particular lifestyle. The idea is to create a place for people with similar interests to meet up and socialize. With hotels, people want an experience that feels customized and aspirational, and if they feel like their experience is personal they are much more likely to share that with friends and return themselves.

Boutique-Crafted Restaurants

Consumers are also looking for unique experiences when it comes to dining. When millennials go out with their co-workers, they don’t want to run to the nearest chain restaurant. They want something more memorable, like restaurants that offer wine-tasting or feature live music or a murder mystery. A trend that continues to flourish is boutique-crafted dining experiences. Designers are creating restaurants that let patrons interact with the restaurant staff and on-site entertainers, so they can have an experience that satisfies all of their senses, not just their sense of taste.

Mixed-Use Development

Another major trend is the growing popularity of mixed-use communities. Mixed-use developments are urban environments that mix residential and commercial space. The standard for these have been apartments that are located above retail stores. Now we are seeing more intricate setups, such as building that include workplaces and living places and residential properties that feature cultural attractions. Mixed-use communities are almost always urban developments and they are a great opportunity for interior design professionals to showcase their versatility. Many mixed-use developments aim to create a cultural phenomenon, so they try to recruit people who have innovative artistic styles.

One thing to keep in mind is that these trends can be seen in cities across the country at different saturations. The timing of architectural trends is different from city to city; they don’t happen all at once. But if you’re looking to invest or expand your firm, these are trends that you should be tracking.

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