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2021 Hospitality & Commercial Interior Design Trends

Terrazzo look porcelain hex tiles on floors and walls in modern restaurant embracing 2021 commercial interior design trends (Terra Grey Speckled)

In 2021, there’s never been a larger shift in commercial interior design trends to date. This year, the list doesn’t just include aesthetically pleasing trends or shifts in style, it covers fundamental changes to design, implementation and shakes the core of the industry itself. After the year that we’ve all experienced in 2020, with the pandemic, it makes sense; life as we know it was flipped upside down, and now, we all have different standards and wants. Which, only naturally, will be answered by the talented professionals (like you!) in the commercial design space as you design (or redesign) hotels, lobbies, hospitals and event venues. Today we’ll uncover the foundational shifts occurring as well as the design-aesthetic changes to keep in mind (prettiness still counts!)

When we look ahead to the rest of 2021, and beyond, there are several mainstay changes to consider. As Adam Farmerie, founding partner of AvroKO, tells Hospitality Design: “We focus on the three S’s: Security (how can I help you feel less anxious in a space?), significance (how can this experience be meaningful?), and surprise (how can I delight you with something that’s a little bit unexpected?)” 

Now, it’s no longer just a matter of entertaining, and amazing guests when they come to a restaurant, hotel or bar, it’s making them feel that they are safe, secure and able to relax to create memories. 

Safety First.

This brings us to our first fundamental commercial interior shift–Safety. As Matt Berman states in Hospitality Design: “Guests will no longer consider safety a given, so brands will have to reinforce [it] at every touchpoint—the glass is sparkling, food is fresh, the toilet is clean.”  

Safety and hygiene. Hygiene and safety. Two words that go hand-in-hand as we navigate a post-pandemic world. Hygiene and cleanliness is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. For commercial owners, it’s how to maintain it and for guests, it’s how to be guaranteed it. The solution as an interior designer? Consider easily sanitized wall coverings and flooring, like tile. As Monika Moser, Regional Managing Director at Wilson Associates, tells EHL Insights “Design of public spaces and hotel rooms will require an important change in the selection of materials, using less carpets and rugs, and more tiles and stone.”

Why tile? Due to the intrinsic nature of the material, tile offers a balance between space enhancing (for style) and easy maintenance (for safety.) This means that whether you need a bathroom floor for guests, a hotel lobby bar surround or a commercial kitchen upgrade, you can rest assured that using tile will promote sanitation and satisfaction for both staff and guests alike. In fact, subway tile was traditionally used in transportation and hospitals for its easy-to-clean surface! This traditional tile can still work in any design and stand the test of time. You can also use large format tiles for tiled entryways, featured walls behind reception desks or mosaic glass tiles for shower floors and fireplace surrounds in lobbies.

Bringing It Back Home. 

Cozy hotel lobby design with bold blue mosaic tiles on wall (Monaco Monte Carlo Marine.)

After spending over a year at home, living and working, people have become used to the comfort and ease that it provides. As a result, when they’re traveling now, they will be seeking hotels and resorts that will mimic the functionality and form that home provides them. As Wimberly Interiors mentions in a recent article on Hotel Designs; “We’re also going to see more open, uncluttered spaces that balance a minimal aesthetic with comfort, warmth, and a feeling of ‘home’ – especially in hospitality design. Objects that are both beautiful and functional, or possess special meaning rather than being purely decorative, will take prime position.” Noting that, as a result of life changes, the crave is for creature comforts and sanctuaries that will promote well-being and unwinding. 

The goal for this will be achieved through thoughtful curation of furniture, lighting, wall coverings and floor choices. As Liana Hawes, Global Director of Wimberly Interiors tells Hotel Designs: “Within hotels, I think there will be a real move towards creating spaces where people feel private and protected. Interior design will feel cozier and more residential, while still providing all the finishing touches that guests have come to love from hotel environments versus the home.”

Using natural stone tiles as feature walls in guest bathrooms, or terrazzo look ceramic floor tiles in hotel lobbies, you can add a stylish sense that bridges the gap between cozy, functional and unforgettable. Tiles are able to infuse and complement the shift to a “homier” aesthetic in 2021 and beyond since there are myriad materials and colors that can add to a commercial interior’s storyline seamlessly. Additionally, in place of using traditional wood flooring on a commercial outdoor patio or in a restaurant, you can opt for wood look porcelain tile flooring instead. It has all the markings of the real thing, but with a more hygienic upkeep and minimal maintenance. 

Outdoor Seating Is Here To Stay.

Outdoor cafe patio with Tanglewood Mixed Planks wood look tiles

When the pandemic started, outdoor dining became the new norm. Those bars and restaurants that had outdoor spaces already available were able to flourish; those that were able to adapt learned the importance of more permanent solutions. As we continue into 2021, sidewalk tent cafes, rooftop hang outs and converted parking lots will still be seen throughout cities and suburbs. 

It’s a testament to the fact commercial design has to be versatile, and the pandemic only drove this point home more. We expect to see those pop-up sidewalk tents turned into more permanent, pretty seated areas and stores able to expand, create rooftop bars or outdoor patios.

Now that we have the fundamental changes laid out, let’s dive into the more aesthetically sound changes that are occurring in the commercial design world this year!

Commercial Tile Trend 1: Art Deco  

If there’s one commercial interior design trend that will be showing up in 2021, it’s Art Deco interiors. In a literal sense, it makes sense: It’s been one century since the Roaring’ Twenties came and left, leaving the societal imprint of glamour,  speakeasies and beaded flapper dresses in its wake. A design style that has been loved and reimagined since the on-set, this commercial interior design trend is one that brings back a taste of luxury refinement and will find a very natural home in any commercial bar, hotel lobby, lobby feature wall or restaurant entryway floor. When it comes to fulfilling the look and feel of art deco in a commercial design, there’s only one rule–create a bold impact. Use sunburst tile patterns, bold navy or gold tones, and don’t shy away from making a scroll-stopping splash.

blue fan pattern glass tile in commercial bar

Using our ever-lustrous and glam Monte Carlo Marine fan pattern glass tile, this commercial bar in a hotel restaurant with matching bold bar stools

When it comes to using the Art Deco commercial interior design trend in a space, you’ll want the perfect statement tile to match it. After all, glamorous interiors should always pay attention to details. You can embrace the intrigue of the interior design trend with our Art Deco approved Monte Carlo Marine tile. The beautiful navy blue glass tile has a high gloss facade and entrancing chrome border to create a fan pattern. It makes the perfect bold choice for a hotel bar backsplash (above) since it embraces the high glam aesthetic that guests can enjoy while sipping their cocktails and making plans for their trip. Not just limited to commercial bars, though, this intriguing glass tile can be a stunning addition to a penthouse suite feature wall design or used as a vanity backsplash tile in an upscale restaurant bathroom. 

light blue Art Deco tiles in commercial lobby feature wall

Stunning Art Deco inspired diamond frosted glass tiles (Saint Tropez Cadet) adorn a hotel lobby with a touch of greenery.

Make a retro splash in your next hotel lobby, restaurant reception, or office waiting room with frosted glass diamond tiles. With all the elegance expected of an art deco tile, these glass tiles make a stylish impact that will turn heads. A beautiful addition to your commercial interior design with a medley of textures; a vibrant blue tile color, metallic finish and matte glass appearance. It’s bound to create the perfect ambiance for all that inhibit the space. Create an everlasting impact by using Saint Tropez Cadet as a feature wall in a lobby (above), a hotel’s shower accent wall tile, or a commercial lobby fireplace surround. Durable, delightful, and definitely deco glam. 

fan mosaic tiles in Art Deco hotel lobby

Fan shape Art Deco marble tiles (Rockefeller Sunburst line, 3 colors shown) behind a hotel lobby reception desk to create an entrancing welcome for hotel guests.

Art Deco doesn’t have to be only bold colors, it can also be bold patterns with classic color combinations. All that’s really needed is a sense of glamour and unapologetic intrigue, which is exactly what marble and brass inlay tiles can do. When it comes to making a hotel lobby or hotel reception area noteworthy, Art Deco interior design sure delivers. These commercial spaces define the first impression for visitors, so you want to make sure it’s a good one. Using a tiled wall (above) or a beautiful tile floor in the hotel reception area guarantees a glamorous statement guests will remember. 

white Art Deco and silver tiles feature wall in office

Stunning marble and mother of pearl tiles (Angolo) in a resort’s restaurant overlooking Caribbean waters.

High shine white tiles with shimmering flair is another great option when considering the commercial interior design trend. Marble and other of pearl tiles with a diamond pattern will add an almost ethereal aesthetic to a space, which guests will appreciate, guaranteed. The best way to use these tiles? As a feature wall in a commercial restaurant, as a hotel bathroom backsplash or as a lobby wall tile.

Art Deco fireplace in commercial lobby

Bold and black Art Deco fireplace surround in commercial conference room with polished furniture.

Another option to make for an aesthetically sound Art Deco space is using a bold, black marble tile with a beautiful brass inlay pattern. After all, black gives any commercial room or space a sense of depth and dimension while adding undeniable style. A perfect marble tile option is our Rockefeller Black Crown. Made with black jade and brass, complete with a polished surface, this tile has 1920s swank all over it. Use as a beautiful fireplace surround in a hotel lobby or commercial conference room feature wall to create a lasting impression throughout the years.

Commercial Tile Trend 2: Biophilic Inspired Design 

With health and wellness a main focus as we continue through 2021, it’s with little surprise that the industry is turning to biophilic design styles in the commercial space. If you’re not familiar with this term, allow us to explain: Biophilic design aims to bring the ambiance of outdoors inside by using organic elements like greenery, florals, and wood. The main focus is to make a space reflective of nature, since it’s been proven that nature has a calming effect on us that reduces stressors. This style bridges the gap between functionality and focus, giving a unique spin to all commercial interiors. Read on and learn more about this commercial interior design trend!

floral mosaic mural hotel lobby

A hotel wall blooms with bold, rich florals in a completely stunning mosaic mural design (Alma Collection.)

If you’re wondering if this means you have to tell your team it’s time to sharpen their green thumbs and learn how to plant like an experienced gardener, let us reassure you; that’s not the case. With biophilic design, you can get just as impactful results reminiscent of the natural world without needing to go overboard with plants. This can be easily achieved by using mosaic tiles to create custom murals on hotel walls, behind restaurant reception desks, or on the interior of an office building entryway. Using colorful tiles, you can redefine the beauty of a space, and bring in the beauty of outdoor living. Take for example the gorgeous custom mosaic mural on a hotel feature wall above; with an artistic hand, this installation gives the sense of summer blooms all year long.

hotel entrance with floral tiles

Beautiful blooming floral custom mosaic mural inlay in marble floor adorning an upscale hotel entryway.

Take things one step further (see what we did there?) and make a decadent custom mural in any entryway to give life to this outdoor-meets-indoor aesthetic. Again using the power of mosaic tiles, a true balance of nature, form and function can be achieved. The amazing floral mural inlay seen in the above hotel entryway floors is proof that florals give an immediate sense of beauty and intrinsic stillness all will admire.

upscale marble floral tiles in dining room

Taiping marble floral tiles boldly decorate a feature wall in a luxury commercial wedding venue. 

Elegance and class don’t have to be sacrificed in this commercial interior design trend, either. You can skip colorful pops and mosaic murals and opt for a natural marble tile with a  floral motif, too. There’s nothing more sophisticated and sound than a calacatta gold tile that has a touch of feminine appeal to use in a commercial lobby feature wall, bathroom accent wall or wedding venue dining room wall. 

biophilia tropical deco tiles on feature wall

Using the Jumanji Tropic Deco this hotel lobby is given a bold, statement-making design.

Maybe in place of sophistication, a commercial space craves a jungle twist, which is perfectly just for this design trend in 2021. Given that a biophilic design craves greenery, life and a touch of organic appeal, there’s definitely room to let your wild side out when designing a space such as a hotel lobby or urban industrial restaurant wall. Using a decorative, tropical inspired porcelain tile, like one from the Jumanji Collection, can give an instant change of scenery to guests and staff alike. Transport everyone from their current location to a far off jungle ripe with unchartered lands. A perfect match for a reception desk surround, bold bathroom floors or feature wall tile design. 

wood look rose tiles in hotel pool

A relaxing, divine spa with a rose pattern marble tile (Noor tile) on feature wall where guests can lounge in chairs.

Is there a more perfect setting to embrace a nature-inspired commercial interior design trend than a spa? We think not! If there ever was a time or place to transport guests into a sanctuary of florals, greenery and soothing surrounds, it’s a commercial spa. Using pattern tiles to create a destination that’s both inviting and calm-instilling is made easy with floral or vine styles. You can create a magnificent accent wall tile design in a jacuzzi room (above) or decorate spa hallway floors with a dazzling marble floral tile. No matter how you use the biophilic design style, guests will find it mesmerizing. 

wood look tiles in hotel bathroom

Hotel bathroom with textured Envogue Almond Deco tiles dancing along the walls in a neutral loving design.

Now, we’re going to throw in a twist and cover another design element of the biophilic commercial interior design trend–wood look tiles. That’s right! Florals have their place, but so does wood. A natural and beloved material finds its way into commercial spaces thanks to its reminiscence of the outdoors. Yet, unlike traditional wood, these tiles that look like wood are more durable, more hygienic and far better for heavy foot traffic which is commonplace in hotel lobbies, restaurant floors, and office bathrooms. 

wood look hexagon tiles lobby waiting room

Stunning retail space using the Rustic Retro Blanco Hex tile on floors.

The beauty of using wood look tiles is two-fold; on one hand you have all the aspects wanted of natural wood (graining, knotting, dimension), on the other other hand you have variety in styles for myriad designs. You can use hexagon wood look floor tiles (above) to create a more contemporary aesthetic and have a nice play on tradition. This style works extremely well in a retail environment that craves a modern edge but is still welcoming to customers.

Also, you can use white wash wood tiles in a coastal cottages to give a welcoming, seaside chic touch or a charred wood plank tile to give an industrial chic touch to a hotel bar in a metropolitan setting. The use cases are endless, just pair with some plants or floral walls and enjoy a biophilic approved aesthetic. 

Commercial Tile Trend 3: Terrazzo Tiles 

If you’ve spent any time perusing Instagram, Pinterest or design websites, you’ve likely encountered this next commercial interior design trend–Terrazzo tiles. With their fun, speckled appearance, these tiles have all the style of traditional terrazzo, yet have more minimal upkeep and are less costly. After the past year, we all can agree that design should instill an upbeat, happy vibe in guests and staff, and that’s exactly what terrazzo look tiles can do for a hotel lobby, office lobby or restaurant wall. 

Terrazzo look floor tiles (Terra Collection) in a midcentury modern bar and restaurant. 

To prove how transformative and uplifting these terrazzo tiles can be (and how versatile, too!), there’s so many styles to use and love. Since they can be made from ceramic, or porcelain, this gives way to many shapes that can be used in a commercial design. Our favorite? A hexagon tile. Terrazzo look hex tiles bridge together a modern appeal with a beloved material resulting in the perfect balance of design fusion. Using terrazzo look tiles on restaurant floors (above) or in hotel bathrooms is a sure-fire way to make an eye candy moment. Like confetti for commercial floors or walls, these terrazzo look tiles will stun.

Terrazzo look tiles (Terra Blue Speckled) on the bar surround in a commercial cocktail bar. 

Not just for walls or floors, terrazzo look tiles can find home in unique places, like a commercial cocktail bar! The tiled bar front seen above showcases the beauty, and individualistic look that terrazzo can have on a design. With a bold pop of color, a speckled look and a hex tile shape, this contemporary bar makes for a memorable location to cheers in!

Commercial Tile Trend 4: Go For Gold 

Maybe the most lux of all the design trends listed, this one is as sparkly and stylish as trends can get; gold tiles. With their intrinsically lush appeal, gold tiles are a mainstay in commercial interiors. They can effectively glam up a space with minimal effort, and that’s key when making a splash that will last for years to come. These gold tone tiles can make their way into many spaces, too. From creating a stunning shower border tile design to adorning a pizzeria’s oven. Below we showcase a few gloriously golden examples. 

gold tiles on oven in pizza restaurant

Pizza oven with gold mosaic tiles decorating the facade (Alma

Make the gold ticket for any commercial design a real thing with gold tiles. These beautiful pieces can be found in glass, ceramic or metal tile styles. For those that want a more durable option, gold leaf glass tiles offer a great solution. They’re shiny, high gloss, reflective and envy-instilling. With real gold leaf placed on the back of each mosaic tile chip, the result is a shimmering magnificence that can adorn any fireplace surround, shower floor, hotel bathroom feature wall or banquet hall floor.

movie theater gold tile surround

Movie theater popcorn station with gold mosaic tiled front 

Not your average design, the commercial interior design trend with gold tiles marks an upscale twist to any space. Now, even movie theaters, and pizzerias can break free from the copy-and-paste interior styles of past decades and embrace truly covetable creations with gold tiles. These metal look tiles can upgrade a space and make it a royal hit.

movie theater popcorn stand with gold tiles

Movie theater popcorn station with gold mosaic tiled front (Ronda Gold)

Make the gold ticket for any commercial design a real thing with gold tiles. These beautiful pieces can be found in glass, ceramic or metal tile styles. For those that want a more durable option, gold leaf glass tiles offer a great solution. They’re shiny, high gloss, reflective and envy-instilling. With real gold leaf placed on the back of each mosaic tile chip, the result is a shimmering magnificence that can adorn any fireplace surround, shower floor, hotel bathroom feature wall or banquet hall floor.

Luxury spa in Los Angeles (Hamam) using glistening gold tiles (Ronda Gold) on feature walls and floors surrounding jacuzzi.

They’re shiny, high gloss, reflective and envy-instilling. With real gold leaf placed on the back of each mosaic tile chip, the result is a shimmering magnificence that can adorn any fireplace surround, shower floor, hotel bathroom feature wall or banquet hall floor.

gold tiles in hotel lobby reception

Bold Art Deco and gold style (Rockefeller) reception desk in a hotel lobby 

Light up hotel guests eyes and allow them to feel they’re stepping into a luxurious experience with an impactful reception desk design. The hotel reception area is the first place that guests get impressed by staff and design alike. Adding a touch of gold tiles into it not only keeps you on trend in 2021, but will make a more than memorable moment that they will forever remember. Who knows, maybe they’ll even write a review about it!

biophilia gold tiles

Rooftop bar in NYC with a tiled bar surround using gold hex tiles for a truly impressionable design.

Thought that these gold tiles can only create captivating commercial interiors? Nope! This 2021 tile trend can extend to exterior designs, too! Gold tiles can make a serious splash when used in outdoor commercial bar settings, such as a rooftop bar or private penthouse balcony feature wall. There’s no limit to the designs that you can create with a bold, lux gold tile!

Commercial Tile Trend 5: Bold Twists on Tradition 

Onto commercial interior design trend number 5! This one is bold twists on tradition. What does that mean, exactly? It’s taking traditional tile styles, think subway tiles or mosaic tiles, and upgrading them with a modern flair. This tile trend manifests itself in textured subway tiles, 3-dimensional wall tiles, and mixed material mosaic tiles. Using these tiles in a commercial design will become a statement in and of itself. The perfect statement to use as feature walls, bar surrounds, fireplace accents and commercial bathroom designs.

cafe with blue glass tiles

Bold blue mosaic tiled cafe counter in a trendy coffee spot (Stella 2ST-BL547.)

While there are many hues of blue, in the case of this 2021 commercial design trend, the boldest options are the ones to look out for! Use deep blue mosaic tiles that have a mixture of hues within it to create a dimensional pop. You can also mix and match mosaic tiles of different blue hues to create a gradient tile wall that will create an unforgettable impact. Use these tiles on counter surrounds, commercial patios, outdoor bars, rooftop restaurants, and commercial bathroom backsplashes to elevate your design.

Black and white gradient wall in retail space.

Alternatively, if you’d like to stick to a more classic combo like black and white, that’s completely doable too. Using a bold mosaic gradient tile design like the above retail space can not only add a timeless design that appeals to all tastes (not to mention can be designed around in the future) but makes a bold impact. Checks all boxes!

unique subway tiles feature wall in restaurant

A multidimensional white and silver glass subway tile (Monaco Moneghetti Blanc) on a restaurant feature wall.

Another option to incorporate the bold tile trend in your next design is a twist on subway tile. While white subway tile backsplashes still have their place, this year the focus is on merging modern with timeless for subway tiles. You can achieve this commercial interior design trend by using a colorful glass subway tile in a commercial bathroom vanity wall or incorporating an subtly Hollywood glam chic interior in a commercial restaurant wall using a frosted glass subway tile with metal look accents (like above.) More than just glass as an option, you can find marble patterned subway tiles that can create a sweet sentiment of sophistication in a wedding venue entryway, or find a beautiful black subway tile with an animal print texture for a wild bar tiled bar front look.


texture wood look wine rack tile

Texturized wood look porcelain tile (Kasai Notte Kintsu) in a bold black hue covering the wall of a wine rack in Japanese inspired wine bar

We’d be remiss not to mention that another way to go bold with your next commercial interior project and hop on the bold trend is with a statement wood look porcelain tile. These are the ultimate in stand-out design, because they take the option of wood flooring or wood wall covering to another level with patterns, texture and color tones. Using a crackled wood look porcelain in a wine rack (above) is an easy way to create a zen inspired Japanese wine bar. Alternatively, upgrading a commercial restaurant floor that has a fun, contemporary aesthetic with a color block pattern tile that looks like wood, is another prominent idea to embrace this tile trend in 2021.

Commercial Tile Trend 6: Going Green 

The final stop on our commercial interior design trends for 2021 may instill a little envy in you. Why? We’re going green! That’s right. Green tiles are on the rise. This bold, attention-making hue will find its way into all walks of commercial interiors. Think emerald green penthouse kitchen backsplashes, spring green guest bathrooms, and sage green feature wall tiles in hotel lobbies. Colorful green tiles are known to brighten moods and resemble good luck. With those two key points, why wouldn’t we see more of the color in 2021? 


Cordoba Emerald Hexagon Glass Tiles In Hotel Shower. This tile adds a jewelry box design which makes an upscale showering experience.

Shape up any design and get geometric with the green tile trend. While you can find standard green subway tiles, why not make a bold splash (quite literally) and design with green glass tiles in a commercial bathroom or commercial shower design (above.) With a variety of shapes, like hexagon tiles in green or herringbone green tiles, there are unlimited options. A personal favorite? Using a green mosaic tile in a commercial shower wall to create a bold accent. There are boundless green mosaics that have beautiful gradient effects which can mix the aforementioned bold commercial interior design trends and green tile trends together to produce an incredible commercial design.

Stylish and chic midcentury hotel bathroom with green ceramic tile backsplash (Satin Quetzal) behind a bold marble and red sink.

Alternatively, you can still get on the green tile trend and create seemingly any interior design style you can desire with this color. While it may seem like green tile can limit the options for a commercial interior; like a hotel lobby, or restaurant reception, that couldn’t be further from the truth! Green tiles can act as a space definer and set the mood for guests. While green may not be the first color to come to mind when making a guest bathroom in a hotel, it works in a stunning way as seen in the midcentury modern design above. The dark teal green color painting the facade of the square ceramic wall tile dazzles and delights. Proving the only limit is your imagination with green tiles!

Now that you’ve reached the end, we bet that you’re ready to start pinning all the ideas swirling in your brain. We don’t blame you one bit! Head over to our website’s gallery and explore endless designs that use these trends to kickstart the process!






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