The commercial furniture industry continues to rebound after COVID-19, but instead of just going back to “business as usual,” many in the industry are pushing on the boundaries and helping move forward faster with innovative new products, finishes and features. Here’s a look at several textile trends we noticed at NeoCon 2022.
It’s everywhere and popping! At NeoCon, we observed a wide range of colors. Everything from bright, bold, and beautiful to more earthy and muted. In past years we tended to see a certain palette or range of color as “the” theme at NeoCon. For now, it appears to be a “wild wild West” mentality, where the more color, the better, and the more range, the better. The additional layer to this trend is that manufacturers offer more customization than ever. From UV printing to custom powder-coating and finishes, personalization of color spec is a growing trend.
Visitors may have noticed this trend in various showrooms like the 9to5 Seating showroom, whose bright, bold colors represent the sunrise and sunset of a workday. Other showrooms like Hightower went with their signature muted pastels, while Bernhardt chose the minimal white gallery showcase with pops of color added by a colored light treatment.
This is a really interesting trend that is making its way across all industries regarding fabrics. Clothing companies like The North Face and Patagonia have long since embraced the utility of performance fabrics because they are durable, washable, and waterproof, just to name a few features. For the last few decades, auto manufacturers have been slowly phasing in performance “pleather” that looks and feels like leather but performs at an even higher level. Mainstream brands like Lululemon and Levi’s have been weaving performance fabrics into everyday clothing like jeans and work pants. The furniture industry has taken notice as well.
9to5 Seating just introduced a new Ultrafabrics textile collection, Impress the Senses, offering performance, safety, and design in one bundle. These patterns are bleach-cleanable, meet the SCS Gold Certification, and pass a minimum 250,000 double rub test. Looking for more performance collections from 9to5 Seating? Check out the 9to5 Seating Nautilus and Momentum Performance fabric cards which many of their patterns offer bleach cleanability and anti-microbial capabilities.
Define Your Own Space
Another trend we noticed is textiles with a more luxurious feel – velvets, smooth felts, and more comfortable materials. This is a trend that started before COVID and has become turbo-charged. Many employers are rethinking their spaces as they attempt to accommodate employee demands to blend WFH with work from the office. Flexible spaces, lounges, pods, nooks and just about every other imaginable type of “non-traditional” workstation can be found now in the marketplace. Comfort, cocooning and creating a more “homey” space require more snuggly textiles. The office shouldn’t look like home, but it should have some design hints and a feel that is a reminder of the comforts of home.
With this new trend, 9to5 Seating continues to add new graded-in partners to their list to accommodate the demand from designers for more “comfy” and “luxurious feel” options. Check out all the graded-in options here.
Textiles and color create a great opportunity for both specifiers and manufacturers to rethink what a productive space should look and feel like. What helps employees feel comfortable, focused, and productive? What type of desks and seating are the most important, given the movement around open and evolving offices? Textiles and the tactile feel of a space are vitally important as the return to the office continues. Customization will continue to play into these evolving trends as manufacturers embrace personalization and flexibility.