Top Office Design Trends 2024/2025 From Clerkenwell Design Week (CWD)

Clerkenwell Design Week (CWD) is the ultimate trade show for office fit out companies like JBH Refurbishments. Such an event plays a crucial role in establishing the 2024/2025 top office design trends.

What its Like to be Immersed in The CWD 2024 Experience

As you step onto the cobbled streets of London’s design district, you find yourself immediately drawn to the variety of independent show rooms with a luxurious array of furniture, carpets, tiles, kitchens, washrooms, decorative solutions and all manner of fixings and fixtures. All designed to meet the needs of high-end commercial interior fit outs.

This fanfare of ‘design must-haves’ is our opportunity to get a feel for new products and to gauge the top office design trends for 2024/2025. We also get the opportunity to discuss manufacturing processes with the experts, which we can later share with our clients. To have all these showrooms and access to essential information in one place is vital to the design sector, particularly because the landscape of office design continues to evolve at pace. 

With a breadth of new and innovative solutions on offer, JBH Refurbishments is able to design workplaces with greater comfort, flexibility, and opportunities to engage. We can also ensure we tick all the boxes for our client’s low carbon targets. 

Top Office Design Trends 2024/2025

In this article, we’ve condensed our key takeaways from CDW 2024 to give you the low down on the top office design trends.

Sustainable Materials Continue Drive The Fit Out Sector’s Zero Emissions Targets

Clerkenwell Design Week 2024 confirmed the sector’s focus on implementing sustainable building practices and materials. Hats off to the furniture and flooring manufacturers who have led the way in developing products that are 100% recycled and recyclable. It’s this conscious drive for reducing unnecessary waste that enables us to deliver eco-products for our client’s office refurbishments as standard. 

sustainable office design
eco carpets
sustainable office fit out

Comfort and Collaboration Go Hand in Hand

Most companies today have embraced a hybrid workforce, with a combination of working from home and the office. As a result, the way we furnish offices continues to focus on creating zones for collaboration, meetings and for independent working. 

Although dedicated workstations remain a fundamental requirement in office design for the majority of our clients, there is an increasing desire for comfort seating, breakout areas and small meeting rooms, where comfort and collaboration take priority. 

The wonderful furniture makers and designers at CDW 2024 have made this possible by creating new and interesting pieces, that can become a prominent office design feature.

Take for example this enclosed seating area with integrated lighting and an adjoining soundproof booth. It’s a compact system that can fit into most workspaces and provide a practical, all-encompassing breakout solution.

breakout seating

Chairs and Seating – an Effective Means of Uplifting an Office Interior

For some time, seating has been used to upscale office interior design. This is due to a wider variety of shapes and colours of seating. Consequently, office interior designers can be more adventurous with colour, pattern and shapes to deliver a unique interior.

Although not new products, we’d still like to share this selection of chairs, which can bring an equal measure of comfort, colour and style to any office interior.

meeting room chairs
meeting room chairs
cool office chair
comfortable office chair
cool office chair
yellow office chair

Colour Everywhere 

Colour was everywhere at CWD 2024! From shelving units and powder coated chair legs to coloured sinks, light switches, and curtains, the show was awash with colour. As an office design company, we were delighted to see the variety of products that will enable us to introduce colour without overpowering the design.

Leading colour trends for 2024/2025 are a combination of blues, greens, coral and vibrant pinks, with the occasional pop of yellow. 

office shelving
curtains for office partitions
navy office table

Tarrazzo is Trending

Bringing extra pops of colour, with a sustainable twist to office design was a variety of terrazzo products on display at CWD 2024. This Italian inspired surface combines chips of marble, quartz, granite, glass, and other materials, with a cementitious binder that is polished to create worktops, tiles, splashbacks and more. We love the flecks of colours that can bring that wow factor to any kitchen, bathroom or floor.

terrazzo style

Curves and Chunk

During our CWD 2024 visit, we noticed a strong use of curved edges and shapes used to create impressive items of furniture and ironmongery.

Tables featured a dominant curved edge, while chairs and seating were creatively manufactured with curved framework and unholstered to emphasise the soft lines.

office table
office sofa

Vintage Vibes 

Vintage styles and stackable wooden framed chairs have been a popular exhibit at CWD for a few years now. This raw and robust style is reminiscent of 1960s and ‘70s furniture, and often features a loop and twist cane weave. As you can see in the images below, this chair style is somewhat more refined for office design in 2024. 

chair with weave back
70s vintage style chairs

Natural Materials

In 2024 there’s been a shift in the use of natural finishes in office design. The popularity in wood flooring and furniture can be seen echoed throughout the office and into the kitchen, where a combination of wood and laminate cabinets has become a popular feature. 

office lockers
wood kitchen
wood flooring for office

Lighting Features 

Lighting plays a pivotal role in office design, and there was an abundance of playful and opulent styles to choose from at CWD 2024. While the more ornate and obsure are likely suited to hospitality interiors, from time-to-time the decorative lighting can cross over to the office. Below you’ll see a selection of the lighting fixtures on display that would be a fantastic feature as part of an office design and fit out.

office design lighting
office colour lights
pottery lights
horse shoe light
ring ceiling lighting
wall lights

That’s a Wrap on CWD Top Office Design Trends 2024/2025

Thank you for reading about our visit to Clerkenwell Design Week 2024. If you’re looking to update your office interior to meet today’s workplace culture and would like to integrate the latest office design trends, you can arrange a free office design and fit out consultation with JBH Refurbishments. Contact our team today to book a site visit.

ADHD Friendly Office Design Hacks

This October is ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder) awareness month, so we’re here to bust the myths and offer some ADHD friendly office design hacks to address the challenges that so many people with ADHD face day to day.

As an office design and fit out company our aim is to support and offer guidance on creating a more inclusive workplace, where everyone feels valued and accepted. Part of that is understanding the unique needs of businesses and their workforce. In this article we’ll uncover:

Busting the Myths of ADHD
Who ADHD Affects
Why Should Businesses be Aware?
How To Recognise ADHD Traits
What Careers Attract Someone With ADHD?
How Employers Can Support ADHD Employees?
Day to Day Challenges of Having ADHD
Addressing Everyday Challenges With ADHD Friendly Office Design Hacks
ADHD Diagnosis Rates Are Soaring – What Should You Know?

Busting the Myths of ADHD

ADHD is not just a neurodiversity that should be associated with ‘naughty school boys’, as it has been wrongly associated in the past. Although it is far easier to identify in boys, it could well be affecting member of your team and they may not even be aware themselves. Sometimes it takes a close colleague or friend to recognise the symptoms. 

People with ADHD are often considered to be flighty, not focussed, and have a bad memory, impulsive and disorganised, but for so many this is simply not the case. Those with a late diagnosis often find ways to overcome these struggles through self-taught coping mechanisms that they have unconsciously done throughout their life.

Who ADHD Affects

The ADHD brain is complex, it’s creative, sociable, interesting and can be extremely knowledgeable about specialist subjects. Therefore, it’s not always easy to recognise ADHD or believe that these people experience daily challenges. It’s especially hard to spot, as a lot of the traits can be similar to menopause, hormonal changes and trauma.

With more awareness on the topic, people are beginning to identify with the challenges of ADHD, leading to a soar in later life diagnoses. This is especially true of girls and women, who present their ADHD traits very differently to their male counterparts through unconscious-masking. As a result, ADHD diagnoses for females might not occur until the age of 40-50.

Why Should Businesses be Aware?

Many people have lived much of their adult and working life unaware they have a neurodiversity. Consequently, they may have struggled at work, changed jobs frequently or found their own coping mechanisms without even realising it. 

Inclusivity in the workplace is paramount and through building awareness, people who identify with ADHD traits can be given professional opportunities that meet their strengths. Employers can cater for their needs and no doubt reap the rewards of a stronger more inclusive workplace.

How To Recognise ADHD Traits

Some people with ADHD can fulfil professional and skilled careers, unaffected by their neurodiversity. 

On the other hand, there are people that really struggle. For example, red flags could be:

  • Poor communication skills
  • Not partaking in group discussions 
  • Dominating the conversions
  • Responding late to texts or email
  • Coming across blunt and rude
  • Easily distracted 
  • Tendency to procrastinate.

If you have concerns about someone who might be struggling with undiagnosed ADHD, here’s some things to look out for:

  • High stress in what should be a straightforward task. 
  • Overwhelmed by lots of tasks presented at once.
  • Hyper focussed on a task, unable to hear others, even when they are asking direct questions.
  • Skipping meals and breaks to get something done.
  • Frustrated by interruptions and presence of others.
  • Unable to focus and taking lots of breaks, or interrupting others at work.
  • Going off on a tangent.
  • Vacant in meetings or conversation, but often taking in the information. 
  • Interrupting mid-conversation or finishing sentences for others.
  • Leaving projects to the last minute but working overtime to get it done.
  • Spending longer on a task than others may consider necessary. For example, writing and rewriting drafts.
  • Giving a task their all at the beginning, then not completing it, or taking longer to complete, as the interest deteriorates.

What Careers Attract Someone With ADHD?

People with ADHD have to follow a career that they are passionate and interested in. For an ADHDer it can be harder to think inside the box rather outside, as they are inquisitive, impulsive, and intuitive, with a thirst to learn more and make changes. As a result, you will likely find a lot of entrepreneurs have ADHD, even if they don’t know it yet. Take Richard Branson for example. 

These behaviours are attractive to many employers, who seek to recruit those with a desire to innovate, troubleshoot and exude passion. An ADHD brain must be stimulated to remain interested in their specialism. They are not intended for repetitive work but can have an eye for detail if a topic feeds into their interest. With this in mind, here are a list of professions that might typically suit someone with ADHD:

  • Teacher
  • Journalist 
  • Chef
  • Event Organiser
  • Stage manager
  • Beautician
  • Marketer
  • Hair Stylist
  • Small business owner
  • Entrepreneur
  • Freelancer
  • Heathcare provider
  • IT and tech
  • Artist

How Employers Can Support ADHD Employees?

People with ADHD, knowingly or unknowing, can find the workplace a challenging environment. The best thing an employer can do is spread awareness of ADHD. If an employee believes they have ADHD or has been diagnosed, the employer should:

Acknowledge there is an issue, and ensure the employee feels heard.

Understand and comfort the employee. 

Never assume you know their struggles as each ADHD person has different levels of traits

Support by asking what can be done differently?

Research ADHD and see if you can offer help and guidance at work.

Provide assistance in areas the person is struggling.

Be Flexible as the person may need to work from home or in a quiet space. There needs may also change, but if you remain flexible you will also get the best out of someone with ADHD.

Day to Day Challenges of Having ADHD

While employing someone with ADHD can bring many benefits to your organisation, they can suffer day to day challenges that can interfere with work and relationships. Here are some examples of ADHD challenges.

  • Distractions can be small noises, movement, or day dreaming. Having somewhere quiet to escape to is essential.
  • Impulsivity, anger and going off on a tangent can lead to frustrations, so regular check-ins and time management tools can help keep the workload on track.
  • Hyperactivity can cause difficulty sitting still and fidgeting. In a workplace where people are mobile, such as a classroom, retail or hospitality setting, this is less of an issue, but in an office environment, the employer should consider allowing more face-to-face interactions.
  • A poor memory can really impact a person’s performance at work, but there are ways to manage this. Writing lists is important, but they need to be achievable. It’s best to spend some time breaking down large tasks into manageable chunks to prevent being overwhelmed. These smaller tasks can then be presented in list form or a task management tool. There can be great satisfaction in physically ticking off an item as complete.
  • Boredom is torture to someone with ADHD. If a task is not interesting it can be put off, left on the backburner or dismissed altogether. So, when it comes to paperwork and tedious tasks, you’re best setting timers and deadlines to keep the ADHD brain challenged.
  • Hyperfocus is not necessarily a trait you might associate with ADHD, but hyperfocus can be an ADHD superpower. It is when someone is so focussed on their work they can’t hear or notice what is happening in their surroundings. Noises, conversations, and hunger can be suppressed when someone is in hyperfocus mode. While this sounds amazing, it may mean the person comes across as rude or arrogant. If forced out of hyperfocus mode, it can cause the individual stress, anxiety, anger and generate mood swings. Hyperfocus is not something an ADHDer can force or switch on or off.
  • Sensory overload can be set off by anything, from the clothing you wear to a noisy environment; from being hyperfocussed to juggling a range of tasks. Sensory overload causes someone with ADHD to burn out quickly. With ADHD it can take a lot of energy to tune into a task, as detractions and burnout are major challenges.  To help reduce sensory overload, encourage breaks, and provide somewhere to wind down. 

Addressing Everyday Challenges With ADHD Friendly Office Design Hacks

JBH Refurbishments is an office design and fit out company that frequently explores the unique needs of different working environments and the people within them. ADHD is a very real challenge that affects more people than most of us realise. Growing awareness of neurodiverse challenges including ADHD, is helping us to reach the next level of an inclusive workplace.

We’ve already talked about some of the challenges associated with ADHD, so now let’s look at the how we can address these with some clever ADHD friendly office design hacks.

Quiet Spaces

Our number one ADHD friendly office design hack is the most important of all; introducing a quiet space, somewhere to unwind, or work quietly without distractions is super important. In fact, everyone can benefit from a quiet workspace from time to time. Here are some examples of spaces you can include within your office design to provide a space away from distractions:

  • Soundproof booths for individuals or larger booths for small groups.
  • Private meeting rooms in a variety of sizes to suit differing needs.
  • Breakout space within the office where an individual can escape their workstation.
  • Kitchens (when quiet) and canteens can double up as a workspace, provided they offer a range of table/seating options.
  • Acoustic panelling within the office can absorb sound.
  • Covered outdoor areas can offer a great alternative workspace in warm weather.
  • A wellbeing room with relaxation influences can be a space to unwind or take a break.

Activity Zones 

Working with people as part of a group stimulates someone with ADHD, and it can encourage everyone to collaborate more effectively. To encourage collaboration, our second office design hack is to introduce activity zones, a place where different groups/departments can sit, discuss, or even mentor others. Typically, we’d suggest dedicating a space that is away from the main office. We suggest designing and furnishing the activity zone with:

  • Comfortable seating, ideally with integrated tables and charging for laptops.
  • Large central table for displaying/sharing/work.
  • AV system for conference calls, or exploring digital documents, videos and other assets as a collective.
  • Acoustic panels or soft furnishings to absorb the groups noise.

Energy Burners

People with ADHD can suffer with excess energy and overthinking, causing fidgeting and unsettled behaviours. To help burn off pent-up energy or unwind, an office design hack is to introduce:

  • A small gym
  • A wellbeing room for light exercise
  • Height adjustable desks to allow for sitting and standing
  • Table tennis, pool table, darts, gaming or virtual simulator
  • Treadmill or bikes with integrated laptop desks
  • An outdoor space.

Calming Design Features 

Maintaining a calm space can be incredibly helpful to someone with ADHD. An ADHD office design hack is to use decorative tranquil design features, such as:

  • Office planting
  • Water features 
  • Fish tanks 
  • Soft furnishings
  • Pendent lighting 
  • Lamps 
  • Rugs 
  • Sofas
  • Acoustic panels and accessories 
  • Music
  • Muted tones, greens and blues

Task Support 

We’ve touched on the difficulty of boredom, time management, and forgetfulness associated with ADHD. So, it’s important to integrate office design features that promote better productivity, such as:

  • Clocks and time aids
  • Interesting décor
  • Activity zones (as mentioned above)
  • Visual leadership boards and reward schemes
  • AV system
  • Spaces designed for comfort
  • Inspirational messages and artwork

ADHD Diagnosis Rates Are Soaring – What Should You Know?

The subject of ADHD has captured many headlines in recent years, with diagnoses rates rising to astronomical levels, particularly in adults. 

The NHS Business Services Authority data for England released in December 2022 identified 170,000 patients who were prescribed at least one CNS stimulants (ADHD medication) between July and September 2022, which is an increase of 2.4% from the same period in 2021. However, these figures do not account for numbers of undiagnosed people with ADHD and those that are not on medication. 

Dr Tony Lloyd, the Chief Executive of the ADHD Foundation, explained their figures suggest around a 400% increase in the number of adults seeking a diagnoses since 2020. According to the foundation, one in 20 people in the UK are affected by the condition. 

In particular, girls and women have g­­­­one undiagnosed, as the traits present very differently than in boys and men. Females have a tendency to mask and internalise ADHD symptoms, which then get wrongly diagnosed as anxiety, menopause or depression, while boys and men present externally through their behaviours.

Dr Ulrich Müller-Sedgwick, a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, reported that least four times more boys than girls receive a diagnosis of ADHD. Therefore, there are expected to be 50%-75% undiagnosed ADHD women in the UK. 

These women have likely struggled with symptoms of ADHD for much of their lives, due to their ability to mask and internalise. In fact, ADHD rates for women over forty have soared in recent years due to increased awareness. 

ADHD has also been spotted by healthcare professionals due to more women aged of 45 and 55 seeking support for menopausal symptoms, which can be similar to ADHD traits, such as an inability to focus, brain fog, forgetfulness and losing items.

Doing their bit to share their own experiences are celebrities and entrepreneurs, who have outed themselves as ADHD. The likes of Loose Women presenter, Nadia Sawalha, Melanie Sykes, Christine McGuinness and Johnny Vagas, have publicly spoken about their struggles, explaining that the diagnosis brings clarity to their behaviours and allows them to explore medication, therapies and coping mechanisms. 

Share and Spread Awareness

This blog has allowed us to research in detail ADHD, and explore how we can all promote a more inclusive workplace. If we can help you create an ADHD friendly office design, please get in touch with our team. In the meantime, we ask that you share this link and show support for ADHD Awareness Month. 

Why are Gender Neutral Toilets being Scrapped in 2024 

The Government’s stance on gender neutral toilets has been reviewed and updated. New regulations announced on 13th August 2023 mean single sex toilets are to become the default on new non-residential buildings and those undertaking major refurbishment. 

What Does it Mean for the Workplace, Schools and Public spaces?

The types of buildings affected by the change includes private and public environments, such as: workplaces, office, schools, hospitals, public washrooms, travel, hospitality and recreational facilities. All of which will need to re-address their washroom signage and, in some cases, the design and layout.

Why Are we Returning to Single Sex Toilets?

The increase of gender-neutral washrooms with shared cubicles and hand-washing facilities in schools, workplaces and public spaces has caused concern over privacy and dignity for women and girls. It is also reported that shared queue and a decreased choices have led to the decision.

While trans-rights groups argue that gender neutral toilets can combat discrimination for people using male or female toilets, Rushi Sunak explained that communal cubical and hand-washing areas have led to “dignity and privacy concerns” among women who feel “unfairly disadvantaged.”

Kemi Badenoch, minister for women and equalities, said: “It is important that everybody has privacy and dignity when using public facilities. Yet the move towards ‘gender neutral’ toilets has removed this fundamental right for women and girls.

“These proposals will ensure every new building in England is required to provide separate male and female or unisex facilities and publish guidance to explain the difference, protecting the dignity, privacy, and safety of all.”

What Will and Won’t Change?

All new non-domestic public and private buildings will be required to provide separate single-sex toilets for women and men and/or a self-contained, private toilet as a minimum.

Some examples of non-domestic public and private buildings, include: schools and education establishments; office and commercial environments; shops and shopping centres; airports and train stations; cafes, coffee shops and restaurants; hotels, gyms, leisure facilities, museums and tourist attractions.

The new regulations will enforce:

  • Return of default single sex male and female washrooms in non-residential buildings and newly refurbished buildings.
  • Increase in self-contained toilets for unisex use where space allows.
  • Disabled toilets will not be affected.

Why Were Gender Neutral Toilets Introduced Originally?

The application of gender-neutral toilets was introduced after an uprise in demand from trans-rights groups who wanted a reform on toilet labelling to give more choice to trans and non-binary individuals. The uptake in gender neutral washrooms accelerated during the period 2013 to 2022. 

During this time, public, educational, and commercial spaces have been encouraged to adopt unisex washrooms in their establishments to become more inclusive. However, with this change, there has been cause for concern over the shared system, mostly relating to the privacy and dignity of women and girls. 

The Government’s Call for Evidence Received 17,589 Responses

The change in building regulations surrounding gender neutral washrooms followed the government’s call for evidence for the provision of toilets for men and women.

They received 17,589 responses from individuals and organisations (17,484 individuals and 105 organisations) and updated the information on 13 August 2023.

Key Take Aways That Led to the Decision

While 83% of people that responded to the call for evidence were supportive of non-gendered toilets and only 12% stated supportive of separate sex toilets, a staggering 86% of people had safety concerns for particular groups:

  • 79% of responses mentioned safety concerns for trans/non-binary people
  • 75% mentioned safety concerns for women

In the technical review on, it states:

“While men can then use both cubicles and urinals, women can only use the former, and women also need safe spaces given their particular health and sanitary needs (for example, women who are menstruating, pregnant or at menopause, may need to use the toilet more often). 

“Women are also likely to feel less comfortable using mixed sex facilities, and require more space.”

Other Top-Level Issues Mentioned in the Report Include:

  • Menstruation – 74%
  • Design of toilet facilities/accommodation (including urinals) – 73%
  • Family use/children – 72%
  • Disabled persons toilets – 71%
  • Equality Act 2010 – 69%
  • Medical conditions – 69%

Complaints About Gender Neutral Toilets

In recent years, the topic of gender-neutral toilets has been debated, surveyed, researched, and deliberated since they became a popular feature in schools and public spaces. 

It’s a topic that has hit the headlines on numerous occasions. Even Suzanna Reid – Good Morning Britain’s co-host at the time – wrote her column in the Mail Online in October 2019 about ‘Why we MUST keep the ladies’s loos for the ladies’

The main issues lie with the concerns around privacy and dignity for women and girls. To give some perspective on this, a blog on Trans Gender Trends shared feedback over the years from concerned parents, teachers and pupils in schools, which have been encouraged by councils to install gender neutral washrooms in a bid to prevent bullying and become more inclusive.

Examples of complaints from parents in schools:

“There are seven-year-old girls using the same toilets as 11-year-old boys.”

“My daughter has said she doesn’t feel comfortable about it.”

“Although we are all up for equality we feel this is not allowing our children to choose.”

“A lot of our children don’t want to use toilets of the opposite sex.”

“My daughter told me that other girls in the school felt equally outraged and I wasn’t surprised. I dislike unisex toilets even as an adult, but imagine being a teenage girl having to open a sanitary towel or tampon with a boy in the cubicle next door. No, no and no. Girls need privacy.

“Talking of boys, I asked my daughter how her male counterparts felt about the new loos. “They’re pervs,” she joked. “They’re delighted. They’ll probably drill holes in the walls.”

How are Schools Affected?

Schools that have adopted the gender-neutral washrooms will need provide a male and female washroom. In some cases, it will simply mean relabelling the existing washrooms with the appropriate signage and informing students of the change. 

If the design and layout is more complex, then JBH can offer support and advise on adapting and dividing the space to provide male and female washroom facilties.

How are Public Spaces Affected?

Public spaces will be required to provide single sex male and female washrooms with clear signage, plus a facility for disabled users. If space allows, public washrooms can also offer ‘universal washrooms’. Essentially, a universal washroom has a self-contained, private toilet, with a wash hand basin for individual use.

How are Commercial Spaces and Office Refurbishments Affected?

Privately owned non-residential properties should provide separate male and females toilets, plus facilities for disabled people. Where it is only possible to provide a ‘universal washroom’ (the official term for gender-neutral), the washroom must be enclosed and self-contained with a toilet and hand basin. 

For workplaces undergoing a major office refurbishment, the designs and layouts should accommodate a single-sex toilets and disabled washrooms as default. 

Continuing The Conversation about the Practicals of Toilet Design

While it has been established that toilets should now be for single sex and disabled use, the conversation continues, as the government launches a technical review in accordance with the Equality Act, which will explore the following:

  • Reducing queuing for toilets, as male toilets allow for a quicker turnaround.
  • Clearer signage relating to gender specific language to avoid confusion.
  • The ratio of female toilet spaces needed, versus the number for men, given the need for women to use cubicles. 

What Does This Mean for JBH Clients?

Building regulations will be adapted to stipulate the changes from gender-neutral to single sex toilets. As a commercial design and build company that provides fit outs and refurbishments for a range of environments, including schools, offices, public spaces, retail, hospitality and industrial, we will adhere to the latest regulations as outlined below to ensure our clients provide a safe and respectful workplace. 

  • Separate single-sex toilets facilities are provided for men and women.
  • and/or self-contained, private toilets are provided where space allows to ensure privacy and safety.
  • Mixed sex shared facilities are not an option, except when lack of space allows only a single toilet.

For advice on washroom refurbishments, or commercial fit outs, please contact our team. 

Commercial Interior Design Trends from Clerkenwell Design Week

As the dust settles on last month’s Clerkenwell Design Week, we’d like to share our core takeaways from the event to give you the most up to date commercial interior design trends.

What is Clerkenwell Design Week and Why Does it Matter?

For one week of the year, interior designers, project managers, business owners, influencers and decision makers descend upon the streets of Clerkenwell in Islington, London. 

Clerkenwell is the creative epicentre of cutting-edge designer showrooms for commercial and residential interiors. Normally, these showrooms operate on an appointment only basis. But, for one week in May, a mass of showrooms open their doors, welcoming everyone from the interior design sector.

As well as showrooms, suppliers from across the globe exhibit their wares in large marquees, erected across Clerkenwell’s cobbled streets and within its historic buildings. The streets are lined with inspiration for commercial interior design companies, who get to see a wide range of products, including:

  • Furnishing 
  • Flooring 
  • Lighting 
  • Hardware 
  • Partitions 
  • Acoustics
  • Kitchens
  • Decorative accessories
  • …and more

As a London commercial design and build company, we relish the opportunity to explore new products and we took away some notable trends that we look forward to implementing.

Sustainability Comes as Standard

Sustainable products were hot on the agenda at Clerkenwell Design Week. There wasn’t a chair or a table that hadn’t been subjected to an analysis of its eco-credentials. 

It was reassuring to know the breadth of soft furnishings made from recycled fabrics and fibres, the tables made from sustainably sourced timber, and the wall finishes made from recycled plastics. It is remarkable that in a relatively short space of time, the industry has adapted to sustainable ethics in order to provide eco-solutions as standard. 

It was equally delightful to learn about the broad range of these products are made in Britain. 

Colour is Big and It’s Bold!

Clerkenwell presented a treasure trove of colourful products for commercial interior design. 

From bold soft furnishings to an eclectic mix of powder coated hardware, including light switches, door handles, taps, table and chair frames. Colour appeared prominent in most showrooms. 

Of course, there was an equal measure of muted and warmer tones to cater for a range of commercial interior design applications. Accents of salmon and olive continue to be a popular hue for soft furnishings, mixed with natural woods or charcoal.

It’s all very well going big and bold with your colour choices, but there’s a balancing act to achieving a designer finish. The key to integrating bold colours is ensuring the overall design is complementary. To see how JBH can support your commercial interior design, get in touch to talk to one of our team.

Commercial interior design bold colour

Traditional and Contemporary Lighting Combine 

On our travels through the cobbled streets of Clerkenwell, we came across a charming showroom for antique and contemporary designer lighting. 

In the world of hospitality and retail interiors, the combination of traditional and contemporary styles has been implemented for sometime. Occasionally, we see brands use this style in offices as well, but less so. Perhaps it’s time to include some of this unique style in the workplace…time will tell.

commercial interior design lighting

Feature Furniture 

So, the wingback chair, booths and sofas have been used in commercial interior design for a while, but it’s a trend that keeps elevating to the next level. In part, that’s because of the way offices and workspaces operate today. For example, the hybrid work format demands flexible and collaborative workspaces. 

In its infancy, the hybrid workspace was uncertain and was not as well considered as it is today. Knowing that it’s a work arrangement that most businesses have adopted for good, the commercial interior design has adapted to create zones and breakout spaces in offices. Feature furniture plays a big part in creating these spaces. In many environments, feature furniture can create a new zone without making major structural changes. 

Comfort Seating to Prevent Health Issues

Did you know that one of the biggest workplace injuries is caused by sitting at your desk, working on a computer for prolong periods? It can cause neck strain, muscle tension, and even impaired breathing. 

Having an ergonomic chair or stool that adjusts to your unique posture and seating position can make all the difference. Clerkenwell Design Weeks presented a number of options and one in particular caught our eye. 

This sprung system comes as stool or chair and automatically adjusts as you lean forward, sideways and backwards. It strengthens the back, prevent tension and promotes an upright posture. Although other chairs and stools may look more appealing, having tried and tested it, we can highly recommend the product for comfort.

There are many other great adjustable chairs in different styles, making the decision of buying for a whole workforce a minefield. To help our clients, we offer a trial and test session for office chairs as part of our commercial interior design and build service. Get in touch to find out more.

sprung office stool

Staying Active While Working 

It’s a well-known fact that staying active during the working day is good for productivity, general health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy to get up from your desk and move, so we were delighted to try out this desk/exercise bike. It comes with a large desk space for your laptop and the resistant adjustment means you can make your workplace workout as easy or challenging as the mood takes you.  

exercise bike desk

More Thought for Hybrid Workers 

As we mentioned before, Hybrid working is here to stay. For London businesses, there are many benefits to hybrid working for both the company and their staff. Two of the main factors being the financial savings on travel for staff and running costs of a large office space in our capital. 

This means the London office is gravitating to an informal design and layout. As such, the furniture experts are becoming more accommodating by providing:

  • Sofas with USB sockets and swivel desks built in.
  • More options for activity-based working.
  • Plus, high performance acoustic booths for uncompromised work.
hybrid working furniture

Just Because…

Aside from the main themes of Clerkenwell Design Week, there were several products that we have seen before, but just can’t resist mentioning. These are:

  1. Colour taps that offer chilled, sparkling and boiling water, even flavoured water.
  2. Acoustic feature lighting, plant pots and coat hangers.
  3. Colourful porcelain wash basins.
colour taps office

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