TRENDS BLOOM AT NEOCON – 2019 OFFICE FURNITURE TRENDS
Tens of thousands of guests from around the globe were dazzled at NeoCon 2019 a couple of weeks ago at Chicago’s historic Merchandise Mart, as top industry names such as Herman Miller, Vitra, Steelcase and more lead the world’s biggest manufacturers in showcasing their most impressive and newest products. As the single most important event of the year for commercial office furniture, NeoCon is the world’s leading platform for commercial design innovation and networking. Hundred of brands were represented in areas of furniture, textiles, building materials, lighting, wall coverings, floor coverings, outdoor products, accessories and more.
Every year, NeoCon gives us a special glimpse into the future. From the most popular colors, fabrication and materials to progressive shapes, structures and cutting-edge innovations, here are the top trends we found at the show.
LIGHTING STEALS THE SHOW
Manufacturers definitely pulled out all the stops inside their showrooms–and it was oftentimes difficult not to look up. Fabulous lighting displays were everywhere this year at the Merchandise Mart, attracting guests to each of the beautifully designed rooms and vignettes. Lighting was no longer there just to complement, but instead wow the guests and lead them in. Maybe–just maybe–it really is all about the lighting..?
PASTELS & NEONS LEAD A RAINBOW CAST
Among the dizzying display of rainbow colors, 2 types were no doubt up front and center: pastels and neons. Pastels came in all different hues, but there was definitely a love affair with dusty pinks, magentas and salmons this year (probably trickling down from Millennial Pink’s fading popularity, and Pantone’s 2019 hot color of the year, Living Coral). Neons were also very much in your face, especially with highlighter yellows and greens. But one thing’s for sure, the colors didn’t stop there. There was a bold experimentation with geometric color-blocking and mixing-and-matching of everything–from neutral palettes to bright, cheerful hues, and to darker, brooding tones such as burgundy and teal.
DECADENT TEXTURES & FABRICS
One universal theme that was clear and very much present at NeoCon 2019 was comfort. And nothing says comfort more than fabrics and materials that draw us in and make us feel good. From luxurious fur, velvets and felt to exquisite leather, chenille and quilted surfaces, this is the era of rich, decadent textures and fabrics. And we all want to be enveloped in them–not just at home–but at the workplace.
REAL FURNITURE HAVE CURVES
Falling under the comfort theme, we were shocked at how much curves there were in many of the furniture design displayed. It seemed as though there was a unified, conscious effort to make sure everything was rounded off, softened up, and cushioned. And when you saw something that was hard-edged or sharp, its starkness was minimized with blunt edges and organic textures. Gone are the days of sharp and sleek. For now, it’s bye-bye furniture anorexia and hello furniture with curves.
THOUGHTFUL GREENERY & BIOPHILIA
Biophilia in recent years have taken root and flourished into our offices, reaching its peak in 2017 when Pantone announced Greenery as color of the year. Now, a more refined way of introducing the outdoors indoors was seen throughout many of the showrooms. It was no longer trees, plants and leaves galore. Greenery was tastefully pulled back and incorporated in more thoughtful, inventive and even quirky ways.
ALL ABOUT PRIVACY
We all knew it was coming. When office walls started to disappear around the early 2000’s to make room for collaborative open-plan layouts, our privacy went along with them. Now, there is a much stronger need and demand for private, secluded spaces for quiet, concentrated work. We were excited to see many innovative solutions that were offered at this year’s show.
RESIMERCIAL COMFORT TO RESORT BLISS
Resimercial design, which was huge in last year’s show, helped bring the comforts of home to the office. It provided professionals comfortable, informal workspaces where they can be productive, collaborative, and dynamic. This year (as though feeling at home wasn’t enough) we saw a lot of rich, natural, soothing wood finishes, parachute chord details, light and airy curtains (serving as room dividers) and wicker weave applications–all reminiscent of being at a 5 star island resort. It was as if resimercial design is now giving way to hospitality design.
Read Top 5 Commercial Office Furniture Trends – 2018 NeoCon
Main Photo by: Global
Resources & Special Thanks to: Respective Product Manufacturers
Photos by: 2010 Office Furniture