Community//

“Change over the next year” With Candice Georgiadis, Andrea DeRosa and Ashley Manhan

The current COVID19 conditions have impacted our industry in a magnitude of ways. In recent years we’ve seen the boutique hospitality market flourish and expansive growth within branded chains as well. We suspect the variety in product offerings may change over the next year as business and leisure travel has stalled. It will be a […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!

The current COVID19 conditions have impacted our industry in a magnitude of ways. In recent years we’ve seen the boutique hospitality market flourish and expansive growth within branded chains as well. We suspect the variety in product offerings may change over the next year as business and leisure travel has stalled. It will be a new challenge for those properties that weather this storm to evolve to address new regulations and expectations amongst guests.


Aspart of my series about “developments in the travel industry over the next five years”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Andrea DeRosa and Ashley Manhan of Avenue Interior Design.

Since it’s 2009 foundation in a bohemian studio off of Venice and Abbot Kinney, hospitality-based Avenue Interior Design has positioned itself as a tiny powerhouse in an industry full of giants. Now based in Downtown Los Angeles, the team continues to design and collaborate on the industry’s most dynamic proprieties for the most prominent leaders in hospitality. Under the direction of founders Andrea DeRosa and Ashley Manhan, the studio has become known for its refusal to be defined by any one style, instead opting to apply a fresh, distinctive, and exclusive design to each project with consideration to brand, demographic and location.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

15years ago we met a boutique design firm in Santa Monica. I had just graduated from UW-Madison and Ashley was finishing her program at UCLA. We became fast friends but we also realized a shared drive and dedication to design. For both of us, starting our own practice was a given, until we realized we could partner and make an even bigger impact in the industry. The Great Recession catapulted us into making that leap sooner than we expected and in the winter of 2009, we founded Avenue Interior Design.

Thank you for that. Let’s jump to the core of our discussion. Can you share with our readers about the changes that you are seeing brought to the travel and hospitality industries?

The current COVID19 conditions have impacted our industry in a magnitude of ways. In recent years we’ve seen the boutique hospitality market flourish and expansive growth within branded chains as well. We suspect the variety in product offerings may change over the next year as business and leisure travel has stalled. It will be a new challenge for those properties that weather this storm to evolve to address new regulations and expectations amongst guests.

You are a “travel insider”. How would you describe your “perfect vacation experience”?

A perfect vacation experience would be one surrounded by an abundance of natural beauty. Something visually detoxing!

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? Can you share a story about that?

It’s easy to burn out in any industry and if you’re a professional who loves what they do, it’s inevitable. While we have definitive staffing practices that are imperative to the success of each project, we do leave a little room for flux. It always makes sense to have a team member stay the course for the duration of each scope, but it’s great for the team to be able to welcome new team members with specific strengths as needed. This also allows our designers to play a pivotal role in more than a single scope which keeps the ‘job’ of what we do more interesting — meanwhile building skill sets and sharing knowledge.

We’re also in an interesting time in which we’ve all had to redefine what ‘work’ means to us as we work from home. There has been less separation between our work lives and personal lives simply due to the fact that both now happen in the same space. A condition may make it easier to become frustrated and burn out quicker than if we had a more tangible division of the two as we did pre-pandemic. On the flip side, no daily commute to the office and considerably less travel makes for a less stressful work week for sure.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

Over the years we’ve worked with a handful of clients on numerous scopes and we can sincerely say we are now truly friends with many of them. Even pre-pandemic, our industry was a roller coaster and constantly evolving. It’s been invaluable to have confidants to connect and brainstorm with throughout the years — and some of whom we just sit back and listen to.

As you know, COVID19 changed the world as we know it. Can you share 5 examples of how travel and hospitality companies will be adjusting over the next five years to the new ways that consumers will prefer to travel?

The hospitality industry has been completely upended given the current pandemic conditions so it’s made everyone pivot to varying degrees. In a time of so much uncertainty we’re trying to be collaborative partners with our clients to ensure they weather this storm. The hospitality industry is inherently social — in fact based on socially un-distancing. The core objective of the bars, restaurants, nightclubs and hotels we design are to bring people together. With our current climate, we are challenged with maintaining that hospitality level of comfort while maximizing guest safety.

Which change are you most often seeing and think you will be using in your upcoming projects?

Our current projects are maximizing on flexibility and scaling back on ‘communal’ messaging. We’re seeing more flexible layouts and less built-in components in design so that properties can ease back into opening and modify their environments as restrictions lift and comfort levels evolve. Smaller groupings and pairs of table/chairs configurations are replacing communal table-oriented layouts.

How do you envision that this might disrupt the status quo?

With people less inclined to utilize air travel, drive-to destinations are gaining traction more so than in past years. As people become more comfortable with traveling again, they are opting for short road trips to surrounding destinations — which we have an abundance of here in Southern California.

Can you share with our readers how you have used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Having a fun, creative, and positive work environment was something that was imperative to us when starting Avenue. Fostering a strong sense of community and self-worth within our team is critical to happiness inside and outside of the office. Being positive role models, mentors and collaborators is our way of helping our team achieve success in their own right.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Instagram! @avenue.id

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

“Establish And Facilitate A Truly Fun Place To Work” With Andrea DeRosa and Ashley Manhan

by Yitzi Weiner
Community//

“Why travel is the most powerful source of inspiration” with Alexandra Beggs and Candice Georgiadice

by Candice Georgiadis

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.