We have been designing for a long time… years. But we banish routine and formula, and are excited about 2019 and looking forward to take a fresh look on familiar concepts. Here are some new things we can’t wait to try out!
1. Colour on colour furniture
There used to be about two choices for the colour of a frame and base of a chair, even if you selected a seat fabric to match the corporate logo to a tee. Now we have stronger coatings and chemical bonds (thank you science!) to provide a vast array of curated and custom colours on the highest wear parts of a furniture piece. This is a colour concept we are so excited to bring into the Toronto design market, which for so long has been famous for its love of grey, charcoal and black. Plus, we are no longer limited to polished and chrome finishes to upgrade a look.
We’ve spotted a few great examples of this new trend. Notably, the Cosm task chair from Herman Miller offers not only the coordinated base, but state-of-the-art ergonomic features. The Halo Collection Table from Halcon will imbue energy to boardroom meetings. And the Windowseat from Haworth offers vibrant hues alongside acoustic privacy in a lounge chair.
2. Soft corners and edges
While we have been uneasy going fully resi-mmercial, we are pleased to see soft lines and curves introduced to the workplace landscape. As part of the effort to promote collaboration in the workplace, this trend encourages more relaxed body posture, and as a result, openness of communication… not to mention comfort! Collaboration in the office doesn’t have to be just a bunch of bean-bag chairs, no, we prefer these more professional, tailored approaches.
The Openest Poufs from Haworth have a laidback presence in open and collaborative areas. In partnership with HNI, Norman Copenhagen has expanded to commercial-grade pieces to use in the office. We love their new Pad lounge chair, which serves up soft lines with smart Scandinavian style. The Park Collection by Norm Architects + Allsteel is an array of meeting and lounge pieces complemented by a credenza/space divider/planter box, and that moves us nicely to our next point…
3. Biophilia & Naturalness
Live plants are a very important element of wellness in the workplace and, so pretty! We love to see Fiddle leaf fig trees beside lounge chairs and planter boxes filled with easy-care plants like succulents, Snake plants and Zanzibar Gems. The WorkStops collection from Three H, provides a place for live plants right in the hub of a touch-down working station.
Moving away from minimalist sensibilities, we are using more raw natural materials, or imitating their richness. Cut LVT by Shaw Contract features endgrain wood texture in a number of colours. Also trending is the use of geode and semi-precious stone designs featuring lots of variation and rich hues such as Blue Tiger Eye by Caesarstone. The bare elegance of these raw materials used for finishes, not only offers respite from digital overload but adds a tactile variety to any space.
4. Rich and vibrant colours, patterns and textures
We loved cool grey minimalism and clean-line aesthetic for a long time, but that is all making way for bold and bright combinations of colours and patterns. The new palette features jewel tones (like sapphire, dark teal, and burgundy), earthy hues (emerald and tonal reds), energetic tones (yes! burnt yellow) along with fresh colours (“Millennial” pink and sky blue). Pattern mix of any and all kind, whether fabrics, tile, rugs is welcomed! Layered, paired, matched or mismatched, pattern on pattern is a fresh spin.
Check out Inside Shapes by Shaw Contract + Form Us with Love to put the bold pattern on the floor. Mid-Century may have become a little over-done, but it’s always a great place to find those bold patterns for creating eclectic collections. We love Arabesque and Checker Split by Alexander Girard from Maharam. National Office offers Toss Pillows and Floor Pillows for a great way to layer in the patterns.
5. Adaptable Space
The office environment has seen a gradual shift toward making space serve double duty, requiring innovative new ways to achieve dual function in any space. Movable partitions make a meeting room double as a town hall space. Adaptive furniture and room screens allow users to modify their workspace on the go without the permanence and lead time of construction.
We really like the Hack desk by Vitra with its straight-forward approach to mobile work. Now Kimball offers the KORE Work Cart, which includes storage and height-adjustment options. These are great pieces for completely movable and self-contained workspace. Dividing space without walls is done seamlessly by EzoBord Work Zone Dividers, which are easy-to-maintain and made from recycled PET bottles. We also love the new Divy collection by 3Form for incorporating acoustic control properties and lots of cool standard designs. 3Form also introduced ILTUO, which is “customizable, demountable, and can easily be reconfigured for each project’s needs.” With integrated features like lighting, a storage shelf, and any of the 3Form Varia selections, this system gives us the adaptable space we want! Win-win-win!
6. Matte finish and High-contrast neutrals
Materiality is making a shift toward high contrast textures and colours, particularly dark and light neutrals paired together, for drama and edge within a space. Matte finish is a hot new trend that we love because various new finish technologies allow us to deploy it without worrying about fingerprints! Try out super matte finish on furniture with the Awla table by Keilhauer, or on countertops with the beautiful Blackpool Matte quartz by Cambria.
As part of this new materiality, and harkening back to the fabulous 70s, velvet is back in a big way! It’s been made astronomically more durable than ever so we can use it on the Collete Lounge by National Office Furniture and on the Beetle Dining Chair by GUBI. We love the lux and yet funky vibe it is sending out.
There is our 2019 palette, all loaded with cool new goodies. Like getting a fresh set of pens and pencils, we’re ready for your new project!!
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