Every June, 50,000 or more design professionals descend upon theMART in Chicago to get a first glimpse at the up-and-coming trends in design for home and commercial spaces. In addition to hours of professional development and exceptional keynote speeches, the biggest draw is a million square feet of exhibition space, showcasing home and office furnishings, outdoor products, flooring, lighting, and much more.
The theme of this year’s event – Design That Works – reminds us that good design offers value beyond its beauty in terms of function and well being of the people that use it.
This year’s keynote speakers addressed how well designed spaces and objects motivate, inspire, connect and add to our well-being. Toss in the fact that the exhibits were full of the latest and greatest products, and you can see that NeoCon is a trade show to watch!
Wellness has been a strong theme in the design world for the past several years. Our homes and offices must be designed in such a way as to keep us safe, offer serenity, and be crafted from materials that enhance our health rather than detract from it.
Along those same lines, another strong showing at NeoCon involved sustainable products. Natural materials, recycled objects, and eco-friendly options filled the event space. Of course, in addition to being green, these objects were also beautiful and functional.
As seen in other shows this year, there is a tendency toward cool colors – particularly blues and greens including the show stopping shade of cobalt, but the metals are warming up. Gold, brass, copper, and bronze offered a warm glow.
Finally, in terms of creativity, two trends were abundantly clear. Customized and personalized options as well as artisan-crafted pieces took center stage. Digitally printed materials such as wall coverings and fabrics offer the ultimate in personalization, and the trend toward one-of-a-kind artisanal pieces continues to be strong.