NeoCon is a conference for the design world to explore the most innovative products and resources for commercial industries, from corporate to healthcare to retail. For designers and architects, it’s an opportunity to become educated as well as inspired. As a designer and specialist of materials trends, this is one of the most exciting shows for me to attend. I can’t keep all the great discoveries to myself though, so I’ve compiled the Top Five Trends for you.
Bold, Vibrant Color
After touring the showrooms for a day, one thing is very apparent—color is in! The color trends in fashion have made their way into the interior design industry. It was not specific to one color, but instead, they were all bold and vibrant, used like a rainbow, grouped together bringing life and energy into the space.
Unique Meeting Spaces
As we have seen in the industry, typical meeting spaces at the office are evolving to be more residential, comfortable and fun places to concentrate. This was a very popular trend at NeoCon. Conference calls and internal brainstorming sessions long for comfortable seating and a more relaxed feel. We saw many unique meeting places that allowed for privacy but did not sacrifice design. Alcove and cocoon-like sofas and chairs create a private space with technology incorporated. Tables are lower like a coffee table height to have a family room feel.
Fun Lighting Makes a Difference
I am always drawn to unique lighting pendants, and the furniture showrooms at the Merchandise Mart did not disappoint. However, some of the best examples of lighting were not items that were sold or offered in the showroom! The decorative pendants were used to enhance the showroom design and furniture offering. Quantity counts. Grouping simple pendants together create a dynamic focal.
We all know how important technology is in our daily life. Technology in retail environments is imperative in highlighting a product above the rest, allowing it to sell faster than the competitors. But technology in the workplace is crucial in allowing employees to do their job quickly and efficiently. Workstations are becoming smaller and more condensed, and hoteling is a big trend right now. One huge takeaway from NeoCon is that there are an array of new computer tablet arms available. With workstations becoming smaller, there is not a lot of extra room for a big and bulky desktop computers. Tablet arms provide a uniform and clean work surface, and I can definitely see this product making its way into retail applications.
Color Gradient in Carpet
I am always anxious to check out the carpet showrooms at NeoCon to see the new products and trends in flooring. I saw one trend in the carpet world, bold color in a gradient from dark to light. Milliken, Shaw and Mohawk had great examples of this. The colors are vibrant but the texture is minimal. The individual carpet samples look like one solid block of color. When we saw the mock-ups in the showrooms, the colors would transition from dark to light and back to dark. I love that the gradient is subtle and the color is such a pop.
Click here to view a photo gallery of all my favorite finds.