This past June 15, r.o.i. Design made our annual voyage to Chicago to attend NeoCon at the Merchandise Mart. As always, we saw a lot of the new products presented by commercial interiors manufacturers. We visited the showrooms of the major office furniture corporations, such as Haworth, Steelcase, Herman Miller and more. We saw what was new in flooring, wallcoverings, textiles and other materials. We got to meet with our sales representatives to learn more about these new products. And, of course, we sought out who was giving away the best freebies, whether it be tote bags, water bottles, or tasty treats!
This year, attendance seemed to be way up, which is a good indication for the industry, but also made for large crowds and long lines. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits, though, and there seemed to be an excitement in the air about this year’s new trends.
Bright accent colors are still popular, although they tended to be slightly more muted than in the last couple years. Many of the showrooms kept to a basic, stark white theme with pops of color. Some retro color combinations (think 60’s, Mad Men) also made their appearance.
A fairly new term in the workplace environment is “nomad”, referring to the preference of many to work from various locations in and out of the office throughout the work day. Newer technology and wireless connectivity have made it possible to not be stationed at a desk all day and still be productive. Furniture manufacturers are responding with new solutions to accommodate this new style of working. Shared workstations that can be reserved, small privacy pods, collaborative groupings, or a quiet place to get away are just some of the new trends in office spaces.
The material felt is very popular this year. Whether it was natural wool felt or industrial felt made from recycled plastic bottles, the material was shown in upholstery, dividers, sound panels, desk accessories, rugs and even lighting!
These are just a few of the trends, styles and new products we saw at this year’s NeoCon. While there was a lot more we saw, it’s hard to fit it all in one blog post (or remember it all). Of course, we always want to stay ahead of the curve on design and keeping you informed on what we learn.