Articles and Trends

Looking To the Future In Office Design

A new year is almost upon us, and for many companies, that means spiffing up the office for the newest design trends. Whether your budget is big or small, what looks good for 2018 has something for everyone.

An engaging workplace is a great tool in the recruitment wars, and many of the design elements that appeal to workers today involve more than simple color. At NeoCon, the leading design exposition and conference, there were a number of trends to please the eye and fit any budget. One of these trends was the introduction of space age or futuristic design elements, and industry experts are predicting 2018 will be a huge year for these bold designs and colors.

Metals

Silver, bronze, gold, and even brass are the metallic palette of the age. A gold throw pillow here or a comfortable office chair with a metal frame there are ways to showcase this trend in an understated manner. Natural materials are still very much a favored element of design, but just a hint of that metallic glint offsets those beautiful naturals so well. The mix of handcrafted or hammered metal design with sculpted shapes or engraved surfaces are an unexpected juxtaposition that makes your office stand out.

Textiles

To go with the shiny metallic piping, framing, and edging, different textures help to soften sharp edges. But it doesn’t stop there. Jacquard fabrics, buttery soft leathers, and smooth sheers offset the shiny elements of glass and metal that are popular for the coming year. Sheer fabrics carry a sheen to compliment metallic colors, and add a touch of grace to any office. Textured fabrics can also enhance acoustics, to help provide the best working environment for your workforce. Texture is also in the visual, and interesting patterns such as prism cut carpet or geometrical influences can have rounded elements that are more graceful and sweeping, leading the eye to each feature of an office’s design.

With the trend toward biophilic design, texture isn’t only found in furniture, fabrics, and carpeting. Giving nature a voice in your space breathes new life into a stuffy, buttoned up atmosphere. Consider flowers and plants throughout to add texture, and using metallic vases and planters helps incorporate the future with the now.

Lighting

Your lighting can be as versatile as your workforce, graceful and elegant or vibrant and fun. Metal light fixtures bring together futuristic elements with your other metallic accents, and LED tracks can help highlight other design features of the space. Not only does quality of light matter, but you can say a lot with fixtures that are more akin to sculptures, bringing interest to an office that won’t be overlooked. Natural light is wonderful, but for offices that don’t have enough, you can go soft or vivid, and spark the kind of atmosphere that best serves your employees. Another option is to place mirrors in dark corners. Not only will it give the space a feeling of being larger, but mirrors reflect light, which will open up those portions of the office that see little use.

In an age where virtual and augmented realities are gaining traction, a futuristic atmosphere can really compliment that technology. It doesn’t have to be stark corners and sharp edges to be attractive and feel open. Graceful lighting, pleasing textures and patterns, and smart, bright metallic accents and framing can give an office character and make for a pleasant working environment that speaks volumes and adds pleasing aesthetics to innovative and creative function.

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