Once a year, thousands of game-changers from the hospitality industry travel from far and wide to attend the annual HD Expo. This highly anticipated event does not disappoint as it is a welcomed opportunity to team build, network, and see innovative developments. It’s a “must-do” as a hospitality designer and a priority for my team.

A Few Days Made a Lasting Impact

The JAI team is spread out amongst five offices in three different states. We crave that in-person connection, so I focused our time together at the HD Expo on strengthening our relationships. 

To kick off the trip, I invited JAI Operations Director Jenn Mock to join us in Vegas. This was the first time since her and Melissa Sears joined us in August 2021 that the whole team had been together. We enjoyed a fabulous kick-off lunch together, toured a few hotels, were dazzled by the Michael Jackson “One” Cirque Du Soleil show, and ended the evening with friends unwinding to live music at the Virgin Hotel. 

I sat in awe that night as I paused to look at my team. I felt so proud, blessed, and grateful for this time together and for how they have helped me grow as a leader, entrepreneur, and designer.   

Time to Work

Our trip began with some relaxed fun and team bonding, but the next three days were dedicated to the tradeshow, learning the latest on supply chain issues, price increases and leadtimes. We were inspired by groundbreaking innovation, cutting-edge launches, and carefully-crafted products, but a few trends caught our attention:

Curves Everywhere

We love seeing the return of soft curves after so many years of straight lines and sharp corners. It’s a welcomed change that we feel will be around for a while. Most notably trending are headboards with varying degrees of curve from subtle to very pronounced. Curves are allowing for more creative freedom with some really unique designs.

Natural Anything

Everything from lighting to seating, casegood accents, artwork and accessories, natural textures are everywhere! I am really loving how artwork is transitioning into more 3D wall sculptures and the use of textiles, yarns, string, etc are being woven into gorgeous one of a kind pieces. This beautiful trend translates as biophilic, outdoors, and overall wellness. Wellness is what everyone is seeking after the past couple years. By bringing the outside inside, guests seem to breathe easier!

Black Everything

Black is timeless, classic, clean, and bold. It never goes out of style! We are seeing it in everything from seating to casegoods, lighting, tiles, wallcovering, fabric, mirrors and accessories.  I especially love the natural elements such as this pendant shown, in the black finish that marries the natural trend with the black trend!

Boucle Comfort

This heavy, nubby textured fabric is one we haven’t seen in quite a few years – but it’s no wonder that it’s making a comeback. Boucle fabric reads as comfy and cozy, which everyone is looking for these days! It has a much more residential feel that makes everyone feel at home.

Our Industry is Our Community

While we got a dynamic glimpse into the future of hospitality design, this year’s HD Expo was more about our team as a whole…as a family. I watched my entire team come closer together. Bonds that were already strong grew stronger, and I realized that our team culture is like no other. Our industry is like no other, and I am grateful to be a part of such an outstanding community of talent.