It feels like only yesterday we were dismantling our Christmas tree, and here we are in mid-July. How did that happen?

With a flurry of fervent industry activity having taken place so far this year, and five months still to go, we thought this a good opportunity to take stock and explore 2019’s top trends across hospitality and workplace interiors.

So, without further ado, here’s our mid-summer trend review with pit stops at Clerkenwell, Milan and Chicago. Hold onto your hats…


Craftsmanship: How it’s made

Arguably, this is no ‘new’ trend. People have been handcrafting products for centuries. But, in 2019, it’s all about ‘narrative’. It’s not enough to simply deliver a cost-effective, aesthetically pleasing design. End users want to know how the piece came to fruition. What were the maker’s influences? Was it made in Britain? What tools were used in the process?

With residential and commercial interiors now fairly interchangeable, these customer ponderies extend across the board. Many hotels, for example, now include in-room guides on the makers and manufacturers they work with. This way, guests can get a true feel for the care that’s gone into crafting an overall ‘experience’

At every design show, elements of craftsmanship were evident. From live weaving at NeoCon to maker meet and greets at Clerkenwell – where our design director, Nick, chatted to visitors about our own processes – the ‘how’ was very much as important as the ‘what’.


Quieting the noise with acoustic solutions

Ironically, noise combatting solutions are something brands are increasingly shouting about. With open plan workspaces the most prevalent layout for UK offices, it’s perhaps no surprise that the British workforce is crying out for a quiet corner.

Thanks to ageing building stock, it’s, of course, not always viable to chop and change a working environment. And this has given rise to all manner of companies innovating new concepts that will slot into an existing space.

Whether it be a telephone booth – exhibited by the likes of SilentLab and Martela at Clerkenwell Design Week – to our own Kyoto collection of privacy sofas and chairs, businesses can get an effective solution without breaking the bank.

Taking this one step further are the manufacturers of micro-environments. OFS’ Obeya – Japanese for “big room” and designed by Roger Webb of Webb Associates, is a wooden framework that can be installed in offices to better ‘define’ open spaces.


Colour, specifically orange

When it comes to commercial spaces, the default colour palette can often be monochrome. Keeping it inoffensive, an ‘all-rounder’, if you like.

But this year has seen brands take a slightly braver stance. Those who previously stuck to neutrals have ventured out of their comfortable 13-1012 Frosted Almond, and into deep reds, mellow yellows, and, dare we say it, orange.

The go-to shade of Instagram’s fashionistas for some time – we’re looking at you, Pip Jolley, it’s now also crept into interiors. The trend was championed by Vitra at this year’s Milan Design Week, with burnt orange rugs adding pops of vibrancy to their room-sets. We also opted for the upbeat hue when selecting the Kvadrat fabric to upholster our new Kyoto collection.

Cosy home comforts

With home-working on the rise, businesses are wise to the fact that to encourage people back into the office, they need to provide an incentive for them to be there.

As Evelien Reich, editor-in-chief at ELLE Decor Netherlands aptly put it in a recent article: “When people work from home, it’s not because they have a better chair, or a better desk there – a lot of people work at their kitchen table. It’s more likely because they’re in their own environment. They know there won’t be any distractions, and they can play their own music, and have their own tea.” And we couldn’t agree more.


Comfort is core...

Comfort has always been at the core of every piece we produce here at Roger Lewis, originally stemming from our roots in creating residential furniture, and now extending to commercial settings. Increasingly, workspaces are bringing elements of the home into the office. And brands are adapting their products to suit.

Although there are many ways to introduce comfort into the workplace, choosing furniture shapes traditionally reserved for residential spaces can help support collaboration, while lamps and pot plants evoke relaxation.

So, there you have it. A whistle stop tour of the trends that have made the most impact on us over the past six months. If there’s anything we’ve missed, drop us a line, and be sure to follow us on Instagram for more from Nick and the team.


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