Cambria’s commercial design team attended NeoCon, the commercial design industry’s largest trade show, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018. Featuring the latest work from 500 leading industry manufacturers – including numerous Cambria applications – and attended by 50,000 commercial design professionals, NeoCon is the premiere exhibition to discover the latest commercial design trends, innovation, and inspiration.
The commercial design elements spotted at NeoCon give a good indication of what will lead the trends in the coming year. We’re excited to share the top NeoCon 50 trends spotted by our team.
The use of many different materials within commercial spaces was very much alive at NeoCon 50. Casegood manufacturers like Geiger, who are traditionally heavy on wood applications, incorporated Cambria natural stone surface options along with glass, soft-touch laminates, and other materials for more dynamic, interesting, and welcoming spaces.
NeoCon showrooms featuring an intriguing mix of materials were popular with attendees – many couldn’t help but touch and feel all the surface options on display. Brian Fuller, senior product designer for Geiger, says their intent with the mixed material trend is to make the workplace environment more attractive to millennial employees. While wood casework remains a focus, the use of other materials allows these manufacturers to provide the added visual textures desired in today’s work environments.
A mix of materials is one of the commercial design trends we spotted at NeoCon, such as this Axon Table trio from Geiger, including one made of Cambria Clareanne Matte™ with satin chrome base.
Another example of the mixed materials trend showcased at NeoCon is the use of combination edge profiles. One fresh option for furniture pieces is a laminated plywood edge with the use of Cambria natural stone, as seen in Versteel’s showroom. This look lends itself to a bit more casual environment that leans toward the millennial design sensibility. Whether a standing-height table or a bookshelf, this trend offers a more comfortable, casual, residential design feel in commercial spaces.
Versteel bookshelf with Rose Bay Matte™ and laminated plywood.
Sleek edge profiles and contemporary details
Light-scale surfacing edge options were one of the NeoCon trends featured in contemporary spaces. Lighter edge profiles create a more sleek, European look. Large expansive surfaces with “thinner” looking edges, knife edges, and reverse-knife edges are clearly “in” and used for a wide range of surfaces displayed throughout all NeoCon showrooms. Cambria has a beautiful advantage of being natural stone with the capability to have a light-scale edge profile (whether custom or as a standard shale edge) while remaining exceptionally durable for any commercial interior.
One stunning furniture piece featuring this light-scale commercial design trend was the Enwork Equilibrium Table. An amazing engineering feat, this table features a large, heavy Cambria natural stone top extended and balanced off of an asymmetrical cantilever base. Coupled with the lighter, knife-edge profile, this eye-catching asymmetry contributes to that contemporary, light-scale feel. See more about Cambria edge profiles.
The Enwork Equilibrium Table features Cambria Brittanicca™ atop an asymmetrical cantilever base.
Design detail of the Cambria Brittanicca table from Enwork with sleek knife-edge profile.
This lighter scale trend continues into overall furniture design in general, with finer lines on legs for soft and hard seating options, casegoods, occasional tables, and more by most all manufacturers. Midcentury modern was one of the commercial design trends featured to some degree by most of the manufacturers at NeoCon 50 and the popularity of this design aesthetic is likely here to stay for some time.
Light-scale design pieces with a midcentury modern look were on display from Keilhauer.
The living room effect
Commercial spaces of the past, with stark, cold gathering spaces and hard, rigid seating have given way to a welcoming living room aesthetic for common spaces. Impromptu meeting spaces have more of a living room feel, with soft sofas, chairs, ottomans, and other plush pieces. Occasional tables are more coffee-table-like, creating more comfortable and attractive seating ideal for gathering, lingering, and making conversation.
As a durable, easy-clean natural stone, Cambria can be offered for the surface options with these furniture pieces, as showcased in a mixed-material bench from Keilhauer. In addition to NeoCon, we’ve spotted this living room trend in the design of Studio 125, a studio and event space from Wit & Delight, with a relaxed and inviting atmosphere and full kitchen and kitchenette featuring Cambria natural stone.
An inviting gathering space from Keilhauer exudes living room comfort and style for a commercial space.
Keilhauer upholstered bench with convenient Ella™ tabletop surface.
Adjustable surfaces and furniture
Standing-height and adjustable-height tables were everywhere at NeoCon 50. Having the ability to adjust the heights for how the individual worker wants to work, or for the ergonomic comfort of the user, puts the flexibility at the user’s fingertips. Contract furniture companies have over-engineered these types of tables to be able to use the mix of materials they all seem to be offering.
Adjustability is put to the test with the flip-top Prismatique table that boasts a 500-lb Cambria surface that can flip to the side, yet still be balanced extending from the base in the vertical position. Quite amazing.
Prismatique’s adjustable table featuring Cambria’s White Cliff™ design.
Another furniture piece showcasing flexibility for workplace environments is the sleek Tuohy table with rounded Cambria stone top and rectangular overlay that slides for access to power and data as needed.
Ideal for the workplace, the Tuohy table features a sliding overlay for power cords, all composed of Cambria’s Torquay™ design.
Neutral palettes with a pop of color
Another one of the commercial design trends we saw at NeoCon was a predominantly neutral palette with a pop of color. The integration of a saturated hue added a sophistication and interest to the spaces exhibiting this trend. Our friends at Arc-Com artfully displayed this with their fabric wall, while Prismatique featured a striking credenza with a Cambria Brittanicca top and glossy copper-colored base. While a range of saturated colors were spotted as accents at NeoCon, orange and copper rose to the top as the hues to watch.
Arc-Com’s geometric fabric wall provides a bold pop of burnt orange amid a neutral palette.
A copper-hued credenza with Cambria Brittanicca was a highlight in the Prismatique showroom.
Design detail of Prismatique credenza featuring copper cabinetry and Brittanicca top.
Prismatique showcased orange, copper, and gold automotive finishes behind glass as options for casegoods.
Matte finishes were intermixed in different materials throughout the spaces at NeoCon. Versteel showcased a beautiful Cambria Rose Bay Matte table and coordinated with the same Cambria Matte™ finish on the bookcase. Laminated plywood shelves clad with Rose Bay Matte on a metal cross-member bookcase provided an appealing use of finishes and materials, which was also one of our favorite NeoCon trends. Matte powder-coat metals were prevalent as well.
Versteel’s showroom featured the matte finish trend with a Rose Bay Matte table.
Versteel’s mixed-material bookshelf featuring Rose Bay Matte.
Special thanks to Erin Boden, Regional Manager – Commercial Sales, for curating these commercial design trends from NeoCon 50.