Color is all about white.  Both Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore selected whites as their color of the year.  We are seeing a continuation of the lightening of office furniture with true white worksurfaces, panels and components.  Upholstered pieces are also lighter with a focus on texture and tone rather than pattern.

Workshop Detroit table from reclaimed wood

Workshop Detroit table from reclaimed wood

 

Artisanal, quirky accents and furniture will become even more prevalent.  Workspaces that resemble a coffee shop or boutique hotel are already popular and these one-off pieces add to their charm.  Ion our practice, we try to use local sources for reclaimed materials and local artists for work that resonates with the users.  There is often a nice sustainability story to these efforts.

 

Everyone has heard by now that sitting is the new smoking.  Sit-to stand worksurfaces are more often seen in workstations so that digital grunts get up from their laptops and stand to work for a while.  Check out the research by ergonomics guru Alan Hedge from Cornell on the benefits of periodic standing.  And look for a good, intuitive electric lift mechanism.

Herman Miller adjustable height worksurface

Herman Miller adjustable height worksurface

 

We see the continued decline of the private office and an increase in the flexible, shared spaces that support a variety of work and groups and compensate for the lack of privacy in the workstations.  As panels lower or vanish and as more workers are in open plan environments the availability of an eclectic array of support spaces is essential to productivity and wellbeing.

Open plan area with low panels and lounge seating

Open plan area with low panels and lounge seating

 

Adding a sense of unpredictability in offices will continue.  Unexpected materials or colors contribute a lively energy to spaces that were formerly decked out in suburban office park beige.

 

The blurring of the line between residential, hospitality, healthcare and office spaces will only accelerate.  Offices now have a residential feel and several furniture stores such as West Elm and Room and Board are offering products geared to offices.  New metal finishes like Apple’s rose gold or Chanel’s beige gold are starting to appear in commercial materials palettes.

 

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