An Autumn Check-In: Commercial Interior Trends To Look Out For
Fall is always an appropriate time of year to check in on trends. I find it valuable to see what is trending in my own industry and also in other ones. So much of what’s happening more broadly in the culture impacts our lives and, eventually, our own industry. With this in mind, I’ve narrowed down five important trends impacting interiors.
5 Trends in Commercial Interiors
Sound and Acoustics
After emerging from lockdown, people realized the world is actually a very loud place. Schools, in particular, are paying attention to the impact noise has on learning. For example, not only is noise distracting for students, but it can also have implications such as negatively impacting language development. Restaurants are another example of spaces where noise can negatively impact the experience people have in a space.
In many of these interiors, designers are incorporating acoustic solutions to control the noise level in a space and positively impact the overall experience.
Nature and Biophilic Design
Biophilic design is not going anywhere. Nature is good for both our physical and mental health, and nearly all new design projects want to incorporate access to nature. In those cases where connection to the outdoors isn’t possible, natural light and imagery of nature can positively affect people.
Multi-Use and Adaptable Spaces
The pandemic highlighted the need for interiors, and the people using them, to be more flexible and adaptable. Moveable walls and rooms that can serve more than one function have become important so people can respond to unexpected disruptions as quickly and seamlessly as possible. Doing this can be lifesaving in interiors such as healthcare and senior living facilities. Yet, it is also crucial in restaurants, schools, fitness centers, and shops. The easier spaces can adapt, the less disruptive life is.
Humans used to have a much more robust sense of the tactility of the world around us. Over time, we’ve all become less and less connected to texture. In fact, textile designer Anni Albers was bemoaning the loss of our “tactile sensibility” back in the 1960s. Today, so much of our world is experienced through smooth screens and keyboards. As a result, people are craving texture. They want to reach out and touch a surface that feels different or taps into a memory.
Designers are responding to this urge by choosing materials with texture. In some cases, that is a challenge, such as in a hospital where materials need to be cleaned regularly with harsh chemicals. In those cases, visual texture that mimics actual texture can be a creative solution.
As big chain businesses have made spaces more homogenized, people seek local flavor and stronger community connections. As a result, interior designers are designing more spaces intended to bring people together in unexpected ways. They are also working with local designers or artists to add unique touches to an area, such as a mural by a local artist.
Where Do Wide-format Printers Fit Into These Trends?
I see so many opportunities for wide-format printers in these trends! There are so many places for designers to customize spaces with products digitally printed just for them. With the possibility of printing on nearly any product, from window film to acoustic panels to upholstery or wallcovering, there are endless ways for printers to take advantage of these trends.
Kristen Dettoni is the founder and CEO of Design Pool LLC, the only pattern library created exclusively for interior designers. Since 1996, Kristen has worked for mills throughout North America, designing fabrics for automobiles, furniture, and home furnishings. She developed the first sustainable upholstery fabric for office interiors, the first sustainable upholstery fabric for automotive interiors, and was awarded a patent for automotive suspension seating. Kristen believes strongly in the power of good design to transform our environments and experiences.