Just like any creative industry, when a new season arrives it is usually accompanied by a swathe of new trends – and office fit out is no different. With the spring now upon us and summer just around the corner this is the ideal time to put into action any plans you might have had for a revitalising office fit out. If you’re currently considering your design options then below are some of the predictions for key spring/summer trends for office fit out this year.
Going green…this is a trend that has been gathering pace for some time and which is also linked to the ongoing focus for many businesses on increasing efficiency. Industry experts have predicted that this will be the summer for the environmentally friendly office fit out as sustainability and green credentials become even more important. However, this green trend is based very much on pared back sustainability – gone are the ‘eco bling’ designs and instead we are likely to see a focus on lasting core principles that can deliver actual value, as well as environmental benefits.
Going blue…when it comes to colour schemes it’s often difficult to predict office fit out trends. However, for 2014 blue is likely to be the shade of choice, with Pantone marking out its ‘Dazzling Blue’ as potentially the most popular. Blue has always been a great business alternative to black, less harsh and yet still strong and professional, and, alongside Pantone, other big names in colour – including Dulux, Crown and Farrow and Ball – have already earmarked blue as the colour most likely to take off in the coming months.
The open plan office…ok, the open plan office is nothing new in terms of office fit out trends. However, this year we will be seeing much more of a focus on making spaces such as this more conducive to comfortable and productive working. This means design that takes steps to try and reduce environmental stress factors on individual staff, such as noise and overcrowding, that looks to create quieter spaces and make it easier for staff to find somewhere to think, without the requirement to create individual offices. So, for example, industry insiders are predicting that the use of free-standing self-contained pods will become popular, as well as acoustic screens and panels and seating areas that have a high backed booth design to create privacy and block out noise.
Bringing the outside in…there is considerable emphasis in office fit out right now on creating workplaces that enhance well-being. As many of us are working longer hours and spending more time in the office, the outdoors-indoors theme – as first developed by Japanese architects – is likely to become much more popular. This will see indoor and outdoor spaces becoming merged and outdoor features being brought inside. Designs will use plants, water features and natural fabrics and materials to create a space that feels more relaxed, less stressful and more conducive to calm and productive work time.