For those interior designers that missed NeoCon and for all others that are interested in having the privileged "insider scoop," this article is for you. With over 1 million square feet of space to accommodate more than 700 showrooms and exhibitors for the perusal pleasure of over 40,000 architecture and design professionals, NeoCon is the largest trade show of its kind in North America.
Each year's event showcases the latest and most innovative products from around the world representing a variety of markets including: commercial office, residential, health care, hospitality, institutional and government design environments.
NeoCon is the best place to see myriads of new product launches from industry heavy hitters all located under one roof, the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. It's more than just an access point to the latest and greatest products however, there are endless educational and networking opportunities with close to 100 "accredited seminars, association forums and keynote presentations that showcase leading industry and business experts." For more fast facts about NeoCon, visit their website.
Here is a list of the top 8 trends that were observed at NeoCon 2014:
A Residential "Feel" is being emphasized in designing commercial spaces from corporate to healthcare. This trend can be seen in an array of furnishings, from long tables to cozy corners, and a focus has been given to providing comfort, not just attractiveness.
Adam Russo, communications specialist at Haworth, agrees: “A lot of the colors and architectural elements are going to be really soft, inviting, a little bit more of a residential feel.”
A warm and inviting Herman Miller office, and Bernhardt's new Mitt lounge reminiscent of a living room at home.
The color Blue is Big this year with many booths designating a blue theme. From shades of baby blue to deep electric indigos, strong bold blues made a statement everywhere, and kept us wanting more.
As with last year, there was a significant interest in Acoustical Design being developed especially for the office world. This year there were many examples of individual "booths" for cell phone conversations and acoustical tiles being developed to dampen sound.
Amazing Textures, especially in wall coverings, are big this year including all materials from wood, metal, glass, and more.
Geometric Patterns are in. You can see them in not only fabrics, but also in carpeting, lighting fixtures, and more.
The use of Bright Colors is back! This is a hopeful sign of the economy doing better, it also brightens up any space.
If I had to pick a material that is in fashion at the moment, I would have to say it is Wood! This year there were many examples of beautiful wood forms transformed from rigid to organic shapes.
It's a designer reunion filled with great times. This year was so encouraging to see so many people attending NeoCon along with so many uniting in social gatherings.
Designer Cresta Bledsoe with her Dissemblage carpet for Milliken, which is made from recycled materials and won a Silver Best of NeoCon Award.
Rebecca Luckhardt, Designer Account Executive for Sherwin-Williams and me, Natalie Mendez, Head Designer for Inventive Design.
Acclaimed interior designer Gary Lee, of the Atelier Gary Lee.
These are my highlights and trends from this year's event, can't wait to see what next year holds.
All photos shown are from NeoCon 2014, many of them taken by the author, others from the brand stated in the caption, and also from one of the largest, most colorful galleries of NeoCon14 photos to date by Tiffany Gholar, which can be found here.