Recently, a team of interior designers from across our offices attended the 2021 NeoCon event in Chicago, Illinois, held in the Merchandise Mart, which was at one point the largest building in the world with four million square feet of floor space. The event offered a vast number of showrooms, exhibitions, and learning opportunities. As the world’s leading platform for the commercial design industry since 1969, NeoCon is a launch pad for innovation. The event offers ideas that shape the built environment today and into the future. The event offered new solutions, creative inspiration, and a glimpse of what design trends are hitting the commercial market.

Outdoor Areas

As we look into designing spaces for clients across all markets, there is a trend towards creating outdoor meeting spaces. No surprise here, as we’ve seen a shift in work areas as a result of the pandemic. We saw lots of overhead canopies, outdoor audio/visual systems and infrastructure for outdoor connectivity, and materials that can withstand the elements.

Outdoor areas

Micro-Spaces

In the same vein of workspaces, for those that are remaining indoors, we saw a variety of partitions, mobile work stations, and micro-spaces, which often took the form of a miniature conference or private meeting space, like you might find in a hoteling scenario.

Micro-spaces

Rounded Forms

As it relates to furniture, we’re seeing a swing towards rounded-form objects in sofas, chairs, and most other lounge pieces. This is a shift from what we’ve seen recently in rigid edges and clean lines. Now, the softness of rounded forms cater to a more relaxed environment, perhaps a result of the more laid-back atmosphere that has drawn people in since the pandemic.

Rounded forms

Painted and Formed Metal

Painted and formed metal is in. Think curved backs, rounded supports, and tubular legs on tables, chairs, and ancillary pieces. These tubular legs served as an opportunity for a pop of color in most cases.

Resi-Mercial

New comfort-focused and residential-esque designs are making their way into corporate and other commercial markets. This trend comes as an effort to draw employees back into the workplace after working from the comfort of their own homes for more than a year.

Resci-mercial

Details

Biophilic elements were showing up in nearly every showroom at NeoCon. Incorporating plants and natural elements into your spaces offers more than visual appeal, they can help reduce stress, boost productivity, and improve indoor air quality. This again comes as an effort to draw employees back into the workplace after having the ability to work anywhere they chose for the last eighteen months, i.e. park, backyard, coffee shop. Additionally, we saw felt woven into design concepts. Felt is primarily used for acoustic purposes, but its customization of color, shape, and texture can also offer a dynamic design element when used on walls, furniture, and fixtures.

Biophilic elements were showing up in nearly every showroom at NeoCon. Incorporating plants and natural elements into your spaces offers more than visual appeal, they can help reduce stress, boost productivity, and improve indoor air quality. Maggie Johns

Colors

Warm tones are back in action, especially blush. Gone are the days of cool grey and stark white. We’re finding it on furniture selections, fixtures, walls, art, and accents.

Colors

Each of our client’s unique brand identity ultimately drives design decisions, but they look to us to offer insights and expertise on these choices. As we support clients in the education, health and wellness, real estate and commercial development, and industrial market segments, we’re excited to consider these trends in our service delivery.

A few of our interior designers at NeoCon 2021.

A few of our interior designers at NeoCon 2021.