NeoCon Reveals the Latest Trends in Commercial Interior Design
Walking the halls of NeoCon 2022 is always a valuable experience. It’s the one time of year the entire commercial interior industry is all under one roof.
This year digital printing showed up in a wide range of different applications. We saw companies using digital printing to create beautiful textiles and wallcoverings with the kind of exciting designs and patterns that would not have been possible with traditional printing techniques. But it didn’t stop there. Digital printing was at the forefront in signage, wayfinding, acoustics, and flooring. We also saw many companies using digital printing to create statement walls and murals, making an interior Instagram-worthy.
Major Trends in Commercial Interiors
The combination of the trend for open offices coupled with people returning to the office from quieter home offices resulted in a massive explosion of acoustic solutions. From privacy pods and phone booths to colorful, structural walls made of acoustic panels, offices are trying to find ways to make their offices quieter and easier to work in while still looking good.
Designers are working natural elements into all types of spaces. They are going beyond simply adding plants to a room by including striking statement pieces such as entire moss walls. Additionally, companies are getting creative with how they can evoke nature in places that can’t have actual nature, such as healthcare facilities. In these cases, there were a lot of materials with nature-inspired patterns, motifs, and textures.
Transparency in Manufacturing
At one time, the industry talked about sustainability as a trend. Today, it’s a driving force. This year we noticed consumers want to know what their products are made from, how those materials were sourced, and who made them. Also, they’re asking what the environmental impact will be when these products are at the end of their life cycle.
Changing Landscape of the Office
No one would have believed in early 2020 that most office workers would switch to working remotely with hardly any notice. Yet, people did and adapted quickly. The boundaries between home and work became more porous, and people are questioning how they want live and work. Today, employers see their employees expecting flexibility. It’s no longer a question of when everyone will return to the office, but if they will. And if so, how often and for what?
Color Trends in Commercial Interiors
As for color, there were a lot of rich, earthy neutrals. Also, a lot of super saturated pastels and earth tones. In many interiors, there were shades of a single color with a pop of another for contrast. Often, that pop was delivered in bright, pure colors such as a rich green, electric blue, or vibrant gold. Other times that pop of color was a biophilic element.
In the healthcare spaces, the color palettes were taking their cue from spas and wellness centers. There was a lot of lavender, pale blue, and silver instead of sterile greys.
It’s been interesting to see how the design community has responded to changing office expectations as well as new technology. Each year there are more and more companies embracing digital printing. As a result, more interior designers are excited to have access to this technology.
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.