NeoCon 2018: Our Top 5 Interior Design Takeaways

This year marked the 50th year of NeoCon, the largest interiors show in North America. Two members of our great Interior Design team –Associate Suzanne Salandi and Interior Designer Sarah Pride— covered nearly 1 million sq. ft. of exhibition space to find game-changing products, trends and innovative solutions to bring back to their projects and clients here in the Pacific Northwest. Focusing on applications in tenant improvements, commercial spaces, multi-family and historic preservation/adaptive reuse, here are the trends that they will be leaning into:

Biophilic Design

When discussing biophilic design in the past, it’s been natural to think of living green walls or even think as big as the Amazon Spheres, however, biophilia is much more than that. Biophilia is about bringing the outside in, whether through plants or by mimicking natural outdoor light or the use of natural materials. There have been many studies recently that have spoken to its ability to improve productivity, happiness, and health in the workplace and there are many simple applications we saw at NeoCon that would be perfect for projects in Seattle. Steelcase’s showroom featured a faux skylight which mimicked natural light, which is especially helpful in Seattle’s long winters. Meant to distract from screen fatigue, plants were popping up everywhere. Not just on green walls, but potted plants on tables, desks and also furniture solutions in which the planters were integrated directly into the furnishings.


Working Lounge Furniture

Furniture that was once solely the domain of lounges, restaurants and our multi-family amenity spaces are now becoming a large part of the workplace. Products and systems that provided intimate cozy spaces were a reoccurring theme this year with home pieces that typically wouldn’t be considered commercially viable acting as the headliner. Big, comfy couches with loose upholstery, rugs in lounge areas, soft accents on chairs, sofas, ottomans, and tables that gave a friendly and approachable feel. Additionally, there were integrated solutions for tech within these spaces.


Fresh Floor Patterns

We were floored by some of the new collections and finishes that were showcased this year. It seemed like more manufacturers were moving away from subtle patterns and embracing graphic elements to evoke energy and movement. Although the abstract designs tend to be more applicable in our tenant improvement projects, we saw a variety that would have good application in our multi-family projects.


Exposed Hardware & Connections

Passive ergonomics, although not a new concept by any means, seems to be gaining momentum. Simple designs with exoskeletons were predominant at the exhibition, and we think it is exciting that commercial furniture is advancing allowing welds and other structural elements to be exposed.


All the Colors!

Blues, greens, yellows and ruby colors expressed in texture-rich materials, in our opinion, stole the show. (Sorry to the various shades of pink that were seemingly everywhere and on everything as well). Matching with rich, tan leathers and the natural materials such as wood, we see this providing for fun and engaging spaces no matter the project type. The bright and bold new color palettes were perfect for livening up a workspace or amenity space and we’ve already started to incorporate this trend into a variety of project applications such as a retro arcade amenity space.

Thanks NeoCon! Until next time!