Our Interiors team travelled to the renowned Clerkenwell Design Week in London last month to observe the key workspace trends emerging for the rest of the year and into 2024. The key trends we observed included:
We were pleased to observe a strong focus on sustainability, which is an ever-growing focus in our industry. The furniture manufacturers we work with and represent here in Ireland have a very strong commitment to sustainability in how they operate, manufacture and design and this was apparent in all showroom displays at CDW. Additionally, commercial upholstery fabric manufacturers, Camira launched their newest collection, “Revolution”, a recycled wool fabric made from their own wool yearn waste. This came about from Camira’s focus on circularity, demonstrating how textile waste can be turned into new products.
We loved Abstracta’s new collection of sound absorbing panels featuring contemporary art. With a strong focus on sustainability, each motif is mounted on an effective sound absorber made of recycled textile material. We felt this was a visually impressive product with dual functionality of improving acoustics in spaces that require privacy.
Collaborative & break out furniture
Proof that hybrid is here to stay! Every showroom was showcasing new break out furniture solutions. Modular, curved sofas were on display in virtually every showroom we visited. We were inspired by the modular sofas in Icons of Denmark, Muuto and Allermuir in particular. The new FourAll Lounge collection from Ocee Design stood out as a welcomed new addition to soft seating, we admired the curved back with tapered steel leg frame, along with the mix of materials, with the choice of oak, steel and upholstery. They are available with mid-back and high back options to give versatility.
Privacy solutions were of equal prominence, with manufacturers meeting the workspace demand for quiet and private space in a busy, open-plan office. Some new privacy booths that caught our eye included the new Qyos booth collection by Actiu and Abstracta. The usual suspects also had their acoustic booths on prime display, such as Spacestor and JDD.
Grid dividers continue to be a key feature of commercial interior design. Utilised to create or “zone” areas in a workspace, grid dividers are a multi-functional solution for injecting biophilia, creating visual privacy and offering storage solutions. The Outline Collection by Bisley was eye-catching, along with Bamboo by Frovi. The Bamboo collection is manufactured with eco-friendly materials including recycled ocean plastic, recycled PET felt and pressed bamboo. As mentioned, biophilia was a common theme in all showrooms, bringing nature indoors for its restorative and calming effects. It is proven that visual greenery calms the senses, focuses concentration and natural plants purify the air.
Warm colour schemes
Warm tones were a key theme across many of the showrooms we visited, with muted colours such as salmon, brown, green and aubergine. Pockets of soft colours, in pink hues were popular also. Black steel and natural wood materials continue to remain, not necessarily a new theme, its one we saw emerge a few years ago now, and it continues. We saw a huge amount of white and cream boucle material and do wonder how this is practical in a workplace setting but we admired this textured material nonetheless. There was lots of tonal neutrality, with textured materials used for creating softness and warmth. Some showrooms injected bold colours for statement pieces, colours such as mustard and blue, with coloured RAL finishes on steel including burnt orange, which was a welcomed contrast to the above. The Allermuir showroom was a highlight for this, along with their strong focus on sustainability, their showroom was a work of art!
In summary, the trends we observed are in line with what we are experiencing locally here in the Dublin office landscape, a continuous demand for the re-design of office space to meet the needs of hybrid working, incorporating more breakout, collaborative space whilst also ensuring that there are dedicated, quiet spaces for privacy to encourage employees into the office. Interestingly, we noted that there was little focus on desks and workstations, with most showrooms mainly exhibiting new collections of loose and break out furniture for social interaction, collaboration and privacy.
Lastly, we grasped the opportunity to spend time in Muuto’s London showroom and we loved their outdoor Linear Steel Collection. So much so, we have ordered it for our new outdoor seating area at Bizquip. We hope to reveal this collection in July, once the manufacturing process is completed.