Boutique Design  magazine has announced the 2022 class of the Boutique 18—the rising design stars who are creating some of today’s most thoughtfully designed hospitality venues. The 17th annual group of honorees were chosen based on criteria by the Boutique Design editorial team and were nominated by their industry peers. Congrats to this year’s B18!

Recently named HBG Design Associate, Christopher Wood, IIDA, NCIDQ, was recognized in the 17th annual group of BD18 honorees. 



2022 Boutique 18 Interview Questions for Boutique Design Magazine

Christopher Wood, IIDA, NCIDQ
Interior Designer
HBG Design, Memphis Office

  • If I weren’t a designer, I’d be…
    • I would be a librarian. I love reading; and have always had a fascination with libraries and with the peacefulness I feel in libraries. I especially love those grand old libraries with soaring architecture.
  • Top presentation tip?
    • Try and insert a bit of your personality into your presentation style. I’ve found it helps make those connections between you and the client stronger as they get to know you, and it creates more open, easier, free flowing project communication.
  • What’s on your boards?
    • My boards are composed with a mix of jewel tones that allow for materials like wood and metals to pop. Unique design details are applied to every aspect of the project, from the largest elements down to the smallest, typically unnoticed, spaces. Stunning lighting—the jewelry in each space–is the most fun to select. Unique patterns in wallcovering, fabrics, and tile can become the art in a space, and can be layered into a design in so many ways.
  • Trend you’re loving?
    • I am loving the more frequent use of bold patterns in spaces. I feel a shift in design now where striking graphics are being infused into areas through all kinds of mediums, fabrics, wallcoverings, even wall décor. The boldness is stimulating to the senses; and I find it invigorating.
  • I can’t live without…
    • There are a few things, of course, but, day-to-day, coffee is what makes the world go round and allows me to function like a normal human being. Design-wise, I would say shiny or glitzy things. And my penchant for incorporating sparkling elements into all my designs tends to work well in entertainment resort design.
  • Most memorable project
    • Desert Diamond West Valley Casino outside of Phoenix, Arizona. The complete design was derived from the inspirational concept of ‘The Dynamic Earth’, our team’s unique interpretation of the desert’s abundance. Inside the casino, we translated the desert sky into a concept called ‘The Endless Sky’, which brought the casino floor to life with integrated lighting in the fin-like ceiling elements. It was incredible to see the whole concept come together. Every venue design was tied back into the vivid desert landscape idea. This well-thought-out concept created a tremendously original and immersive customer journey.
  • What gets you excited about your job?
    • The opportunity to tell a story through design. Concepting is so important and merging our concept with a client’s vision leads to a unique design that always tells a story. And I love being able to witness the excitement of those involved when their concept, many times based on personal storytelling, comes to life.
  • Dream project?
    • My dream project would be a casino designed in an Art Deco/Great Gatsby style. Talk about a cool experiential design opportunity! If it was done tastefully, not stale or old fashioned, imagine what fun that could be! The intricacy of detailing and lighting, and the ways that scheme could be translated through each food and beverage venue; it would be amazing!
  • Favorite design tip or trick?
    • My favorite design tip would be to love all your design options. Clients always want to see options, and as designers, we may always have our favorite scheme that we wish the client would gravitate to. I always make sure I like everything I’m presenting. This eliminates fear that the client will select an option that we really wish they would not have chosen.
  • Any career advice for up-and-coming designers?
    • Don’t be afraid to take chances with your designs. As you start designing project spaces, throw ideas out there into the universe. Not all of them will stick and some may be outright rejected, but there is always one or two that may find a toehold and become the concept that an entire space is built around. Who knows, the client could also accept exactly what you’re proposing and take you by surprise!

To see the full list of honorees, visit Boutique Design.