Office Design Trends 2017

As we look ahead to 2017, our design team start to think about the predictions and trends that will be shaping our office fit out and design projects in the coming year.

Gareth and Stevie have already highlighted gold and green as the office design colour trends to look out for in 2017. Before Jon and Rachel share their predictions, here are a few of my own thoughts.

Helen’s Predictions – An open-plan mutiny & the homely office

Looking back at 2016, the focus was very much on flexible workspaces which reflected the different ways we are now working. I can see this continuing to be at the forefront of office design.

However, I think there may be a bit more of a mutiny against the open plan environment. As a result, we might start to see cellular spaces creeping back into our office areas.

We've already seen signs of it in a less hierarchical way. It’s possible to use some of the more contemporary and innovative office furniture solutions, like Kinnarps’ Fields range, to create pockets of enclosed spaces amongst the architectural landscape of a workplace.

I also predict that interiors will continue to become more like a 'home away from home', as seen in the design of Ancestry’s offices in Utah,

Spaces where you can break away from your desk will feel less like you are in an office and reflect more aspects of home interior design, allowing people to completely relax.

Jon’s Predictions – Dogs & Desks

Having written about pets in the workplace back in 2015, it just goes to prove that we like to get onto things early at Paramount. We shared some photos of staff with their pooches and there’s been a lot of press recently about things like bring your dog to work day (June 23rd in case you were wondering).

With the ongoing trend for the workplace to become more work-life balanced and domestic in feel, I predict that we’ll we see more companies encouraging pets in work. Research has suggested that pets, particularly dogs, can help relieve stress, encourage movement & exercise and improve job satisfaction.

If offices can have slides, swings, and even ball-pits, it’s probably not long before companies encourage the above and even start to incorporate it into their office design.

In fact, one company has already taken this approach. Kurgo, based in Massachusetts, make dog travel supplies and accessories. They took over a 4,000 square foot warehouse and created a workplace that was designed for their staff and their dogs.

There’s fake grass on the floors (although wouldn’t that encourage “accidents”?), low water fountains and baskets of dog toys. The kitchen has an easy-clean floor and is stocked up with dog food. There’s even a doggy shower for hosing down muddy pups after a lunchtime walk!

Getting ‘around’ to work

Here’s a slightly more serious working trend that we might see. In the ever-changing evolution of the ‘office desk’, I predict a move towards different-shaped workstations in the everyday office space.

The desk has already altered shape over the years. It’s gone from having a large corner footprint with heavy leg work to a far lighter model. It’s all a reflection of changing technologies and people’s ability to work from almost anywhere.

We are now starting to see the emergence of desks that are no longer rectangular, which may be a growing trend over the coming year.

Senator’s Orb range of modern office furniture uses a series of circular workstations which can work independently or in a group arrangement.

Due to the rounded shape people can work together in a meeting/ team arrangement without the interruption of awkward corners.

 

Rachel’s predictions – Glamourous living

It’s now safe to say that 2016 saw the return of retro styling, big geometrics, industrial design and plenty of texture.

 

If I were a betting person, these elements will remain in 2017, morphing and mixing with a few more enhancing additions.

I can see the links between commercial interior design and fashion, architecture and domestic environments becoming more apparent. With tastes moving at a pace of knots, here are my predictions for the top trends.

Detail

Interiors are about to become more elaborate, away from the stark minimalism we’ve lived with for what seems like an eternity.

We will witness more ornate, glamour and decoration for the sake of decoration, certain touches we’ve been starved of for so long.

Greenery

This ties in nicely with the Pantone colour of the year that Stevie mentioned as her colour trend.

I can see more literal greenery appearing in the office, with the outside coming in and the use of biophilia creeping into office design.

Luxury

We’ll also see a continued celebration of older styles once again (older even than retro!).

Again, this will reflect the glamour of bygone eras, with traces of brass and gold and hints of Shanghai luxe.

Home

Domestic influences will play a major part in our work environment.

Companies will want to create a home from home in the office that gives staff the freedom to choose where and how they work. Places where people want to be, whether they’re working alone or in a group, big or small.

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