Design Trends and Takeaways from NeoCon 2016
Robert Irwin - August 16, 2016
The summer season may be winding down, but interior designers around the country are still talking about the trends from this year's NeoCon—the largest commercial interior design trade show in the world. Every year in June, Chicago hosts 500 leading companies and 50,000 design professionals at TheMART for three days of showrooms, product lines, and networking opportunities. One of our interior designers, Lindsay Brazzel, got to attend this year's conference. Below are some of her observations on the latest design products and trends from Chicago.
Modern Color Palettes
Color was a captivating trend at this year's conference. Walls were covered in plenty of whites and grays with pops of bright color as accents. Laminates and woods were beech wood and gray-toned rather than the traditional cherry and mahogany.
The workplace continues to be a dynamic design frontier. NeoCon 2016 showcased multiple furniture showrooms reflecting workplaces with a more residential feel to them. Almost every showroom featured workstations that brought in elements of the home. Examples included movable lounge pieces for breakaway spaces that encouraged collaboration and conference rooms that resembled living rooms. The overall theme centered on residential-like office environments with more diverse and comfortable workspaces.
Wellness & Privacy
Many of the showrooms had adjustable-height tables to help with physical wellness and private, enclosed spaces to promote mental well-being. High back seats and sofas with screens provided private spaces to allow better concentration and focus in otherwise open and busier work environments. Within the wellness theme, many spaces also featured biophilic design—a method of design that connects human spaces with natural elements. Some of these elements included potted plants and nature-inspired fabrics and carpet patterns. Although each showroom focused on different elements, they found common ground in work spaces that aimed to improve wellness and enhance creativity.
Some showrooms used virtual reality to display their inspiration for a design—there were several software companies selling virtual reality devices for space planning walkthroughs. Most showrooms included workspaces and lounge areas with charging stations built right into the furniture, and some of the private lounge pieces had occupancy sensors that used a light to let people know if a workspace was occupied. To enhance collaboration, several showrooms featured large touchscreen presentation boards enabling people to create, strategize, and video conference. One company had a film that could be used on glass wall systems to allow people to see in and out of a private space, but would black out TV and computer screens.
To learn about more trends from NeoCon 2016, or to find out how TurnerBatson can help you envision your interior design goals, contact Lindsay and the rest of our interior design team.