Clerkenwell is said to hold the highest number of architects per square mile in Europe and as architecture studios increasingly focus on the contract market, a cluster of furniture showrooms have sprung up too - many offering their take on contemporary workplace needs.Here are the interesting design trends we spotted at Clerkenwell this year....
1) Pattern upon pattern
The goal for interior designers is to create spaces that feel curated - a feat easily accomplished through pattern. Simple lines, inventive geometrics and triangles that speak to nature but in a modernized way were clear to see - we particularly liked Acoustic Art inspired by Scafell Pike in Design Fields.
The new design trend also seems to be to layer up! Pattern upon pattern upon more pattern, now is the time to mismatch to your heart's content.
At Orangebox, we saw the Ara range of patterned chairs; At Milliken we saw how mixing different patterns on the floor can really help to define and delineate different areas and can be configured in numerous and unexpected ways.
2) Mixed Textures
Strokeable fabrics, gallons of patina and mixed media are coming together in all sorts of new and exciting ways and it's easy to see why. Weaving texture into an interior makes it more inviting and the idea of mixing fabrics and materials is definitely on the rise in 2017 as texture becomes ever more important part of the interior designer's toolbox.
3) Colour palettes
At Connection and Allermuir, we noted earthy colours seem to be mixing with a little romance - powdery blush pink, terracotta, sand, ochre, cinnamon, rust combined with stronger navy and greens - all providing a great way to introduce subtle colour into muted schemes - working brilliantly in minimalist Scandinavian Hygge-inspired spaces where brighter colours might jar.
Warming and calming they look wonderful offset against neutrals and are incredibly versatile.
4) Home-Like Offices
Whilst treating the office like a children's playground seems to be on the wane, the office-as-home trend is clearly coming to the fore as seen at Allermuir - complete with softer furniture, pastel hues and cocooning textures. There is a general muted air of playfulness that is slowly trickling down into conservative spaces.
5) Flexible spaces for individual needs
With technology evolving so rapidly, it’s no wonder that today’s design emphasis is fundamentally focused on flexibility. Office space design needs to be as dynamic as today’s companies which lends itself to a changing landscape of think-pods, portable meeting rooms, room dividers, laptop stations and floor-to-ceiling acoustic solutions which were all in abundance at Clerkenwell Design Week this year. We particularly had fun with this industrial-led "room divider/storage provider" at Spacestor.
It's easy to see why this kind of temporal design is the top trend for offices in 2017. It allows businesses to adapt their space to new challenges as they grow which is great news for start-ups as this type of set-up can be low cost, with multi-use furniture and room dividers making it cheaper to play with space without having to take down walls or remove built-in furnishings. Portable pop-up pods are becoming increasingly popular, as are independent box structures and pods for use as personal offices, meeting rooms or creative spaces. They can be permanent, flexible, open sided, glass, timber – you name it, we saw it because It’s an easy way to create portable, private and secluded spaces for focused work.
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