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Kaitlin Stevens
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Connecting People to Places: 3 Ways to Change your Space

As designers we are continually looking for ways to improve the guest experience. Connecting people to places through design is an important factor for hospitality spaces. This not only helps build loyalty, but creates a sense of connection between people and the space around them.

Many factors come into play when creating that perfect experience. While visiting the 2019 BDNY Expo, I noticed a reoccurring trend between lighting, technology and graphics & artwork and their ability to transform a space.


Lighting is an important component of designing hospitality spaces. Designers not only need to specify for aesthetic but also the function of the space.

Accent lighting makes a big impact on a space. It highlights specific areas of focus like artwork, architecture, furniture, etc. A great example of accent lighting is using it to highlight a reception desk. Being the first stop within a hotel space, it creates an inviting first impression for guests who are unfamiliar with the space.

In addition to accent lighting, ambient lighting provides general lighting for spaces. It is essential to know the use of the space in order to provide the perfect amount of light. A lower light level creates a relaxing environment whereas a brighter setting can keep people focused and ready to take on the task at hand.

Furthermore, decorative light fixtures can serve as a statement piece or subtle enhancement to a space. As designers, we work closely with owners to design custom decorative fixtures that represent the brand and concept. For the Soda Fountain at Union Station, our interior designer incorporated neon signage in a playful way that also reflected the Soda Fountain brand. This design has provided a new photo op for guests as well as complimented the design of the space.

Soda Fountain at Union Station

Our hospitality team combined many different types of lighting fixtures in the newly designed Soda Fountain. The marquee lights in the diner provide a bright mood boosting guest experience to those who want to enjoy dinner and a signature freak shake.

The Candy Shop sales counter is centered below Spectrum Lighting’s giant globes. These seamless white fixtures were the perfect way to add something playful to the space and enhance the overall design.

Soda Fountain at Union Station



Technology plays a huge part in human interaction within a space; it brings people together, and I’m not just talking about wifi! Providing areas of technology in your spaces can serve as a talking point among guests and create a sense of unity amid strangers. It’s that moment that everyone wants to capture to share with their friends – the ultimate souvenir.

Although creating the perfect moment may be costly, it is priceless when it serves to create community within. At Angad Arts Hotel, our designers worked with L3DFX to create a 360-degree video art experience, welcoming guests as they exit the elevator and enter the hotel’s main lobby.

Angad Arts Hotel Main Lobby


Graphics & Artwork

Experiential design is all about connecting people to places. Graphics & artwork is one of the most important ways to do this.

Storytelling of what a space used to be, or what defines you as a company, helps create an identity for your brand. People will feel more connected with your space when they experience the meaning behind it, creating a sense of loyalty among guests and truly differentiating your brand.

Using graphics within a space can be as simple or complex as you want, but having the expertise of a graphic designer is very important to implementing your concept.

For the 1894 Cafe, our interior designers collaborated with our graphics team to create the perfect custom wall mural. These graphics help enhance the cafe’s family-friendly, fast-casual dining experience.

1894 Cafe

In addition to graphics, artwork, including pieces from local artists, can also make a space unique. Pulling from the cultural influences around Grand Center, Angad Arts Hotel incorporated work by many different artists. Although each is unique in its own way, all pieces complement one another and truly bring the space to life. Additionally, a revolving art gallery in the 1st floor lobby of the hotel features various artists work and is an interesting way to get guests to return to the venue.

Angad Arts Hotel Elevator Lobby


Overall, a combination of these three design details can truly set your business apart from the rest. It will create a space that is adored by repeat customers who believe in your brand.


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