Top Trends from HD Expo 2022

Jun 23, 2022

With NEOCON wrapping up last week right here in Chicago, our design team is taking a look back at Hospitality Design Expo + Conference, which we attended this April in Las Vegas.

HD Expo + Conference is the largest hospitality event of its kind in the country showcasing the latest products, services, and innovative developments from the industry’s leading manufacturers. It is the leading trade show and conference for the hospitality design community –– bringing together designers, owner/operators, brand executives, architects, purchasers, and manufacturers for three days of inspiration, CEU-accredited education, and exceptional networking. 

Every year the CDA Design team attends to meet with reps and to stay up to date on the latest trends in hospitality design. Whether you’re making decisions for your brand, you’re a homeowner, or you just like design, we have a recap guide to make you feel like you were there –– without having to be overwhelmed by the massive number of exhibitors.

The Big Picture

2022 is about finding comfort through nostalgia, bringing the outdoors in and expressing optimism with bold patterns and color. Being indoors, whether in your home, at work or going out to eat and shop, has a different meaning as we come out of the pandemic (knock on wood). Soft curves and nature-inspired motifs are steeped in comfort, cocooning us and enveloping the visitor in visual safety. This is juxtaposed against the explosive joy of maximalist pattern and palette!

While we saw many long-standing trends hold their own on the floor, we also observed a few emerging design elements to watch out for in the coming year:

  • Curves + Comfort
  • Natural Textures
  • Biophilia
  • Scaled up Outdoor Spaces
  • Bold Patterns + Color
  • Minimalism
  • Layered Stones

Curves + Comfort 

It Looks Like:

We’re seeing curves in furniture, textiles, as well as wall elements such as mirrors and artwork. On the expo floor, we saw curved furniture pieces and oversized arched mirrors. Shapes had an emphasis on circles and half moons. Custom milled pieces featured elegant curves and soothing rounded elements. 

Why Now?

Comfort has been a focus for many of in the past few years and even outside of the home, retail and hospitality spaces want to feel cozy and inviting. Curves are a great way to accomplish that feeling.

Natural Textures

It Looks Like:

It was hard to avoid natural materials, as greenery seemed to be featured everywhere! Woven materials such as straws and bamboos made an appearance, in addition to a reemergence of caning. You might be familiar with caning from your grandma’s house – but it’s coming back in a big way. We saw caning in furniture, wall texture, and even tile with this pattern. Macramé is being used on a larger scale than previous years – as partitions between spaces and as a featured design element. Furniture and textile wall art were very heavily influenced by nature.

Why Now?

Traditional materials are cyclical but often come back in a non-traditional way. This materials and patterns from our childhood are familiar and comforting, but lack the formality that was previously associated with them.


It Looks Like: 

We’re seeing floral and leafy patterns in both textures and materials AND incorporation of nature in art, wall coverings and fabrics. We’re also seeing a lot of Green walls (real, faux, and mumified).

Bringing in natural elements has an improved mood but people sometimes have a negative reaction to faux plants. Mummified plants are a great alternative as they look real but don’t require water. They can even be treated electrostaticly so they don’t accumulate dust.

Why Now?

Biophilia has been one of the most reliable trends over the past few years. With a renewed focus on outdoor spaces due to the pandemic and the importance of a changing climate, humans are seeking balance with the natural world and references to flora and fauna indoors are increasingly becoming a part of that expression.

Scaled Up Outdoor Space

It Looks Like: 

Several vendors highlighted the importance of outdoor space, which is in line with our recent client work –– the design of the outdoor spaces is just as important as the indoor spaces. Even outdoor staples like shade umbrellas are more stylized with fringes or other accents.

Why Now?

During the pandemic, we became accustomed to outdoor dining, and who doesn’t love a little al fresco dining! With restaurants and retail spaces are expanding their patios and outdoor spaces, manufacturers are expanding product lines accordingly.

Bold Patterns + Color

It Looks Like:

Designers are very excited about mixing and matching patterns. Pops of fun colors were everywhere, and retro styles are starting to make a comeback. Vibrant but still muted colors or minimalist vignettes with a pop of color are very popular. Maybe it’s not seeing people as much for a few years but faces were also everywhere!

Why Now?

Over the past few years we’ve seen a return to 1980s and 1990s fashion and those bold patterns are now making their way into the design world as well. This era-infused nostalgia takes on a different, energized feel from the comfort and quiet of natural textures, instead infusing excitement and vibrancy. 


It Looks Like: 

While maximalist patterns are emerging, we’re also seeing subdued overall tone-on-tone color palettes with featured accent pieces. There was a distinct simplicity in textiles and art focusing more on the design of the furniture pieces.

Tone on tone furniture and finishes with featured statement pieces or a pop of bold color. When things are tone on tone, we’re seeing lush textures like velvet.

Why Now?

After decades of maximalism and instant gratification there’s a comfort in simple and purposeful spaces. Minimalism bridges the gap between the clean lines of future-facing design and the beautiful simplicity of mid-century modern design. 

Layered Stones

It Looks Like: 

Use of multiple types of stones and finishes in one space. We’re seeing giant slabs behind reception areas as well as some of the same patterns and circles mentioned earlier. Large stone slabs (both faux and real) as well as layering stones together – either literally or sharing the same space.

Why Now?

Layered stone brings together many of the previous trends outlined above: natural materials, bold patterns, outdoor space integration while bringing an honesty of material to the forefront.

Also - there were a lot of puppies. Not a trend. Puppies are always welcome!

It was inspiring and invigorating to gather with our fellow designers, architects and vendors to experience what the future holds for interior design and the physical environment. After a dark couple of years of trends and predictions (we’re looking at you 2021 Pantone ‘Ultimate Gray’), we are thrilled to be designing an optimistic, bright future for our clients. See you next year HD Expo! And, keep your eyes out for our recap of NEOCON coming soon.