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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We’ll be sharing more images from Clerkenwell Design Week on our social media pages. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and TikTok for more commercial interior design inspiration.


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