Colours and fabrics work together in the design of any space. However, in offices there are limits to how colour and fabrics can be used, especially as environmental concerns are increasingly taking centre stage in how work spaces are designed and maintained.
Karolyn Kane, a Workplace Consultant here at Envirotech, tells us that there are trends at play in how colour, and colour in fabrics are used, but there are also concerns that have to be addressed for longevity and sustainability to be maintained.
1) Splashes of Green or Corporate Colours are Popular
- “Grey fabric and white trim is still popular,” Kane says. “Splashes of colour have been green, lately, but some people choose blue or red depending on their corporate colours. There are still not too many people who want to use lots of colour in upholstery as it seems to ‘date’ furniture too much.”
- “The tech companies are looking for pops of colour to give the workplace a more fun and creative atmosphere for their employees,” Kane says. “Colour is employed in small ways like on cushions, on pedestals, in casual meeting room areas, or in the cafeteria.”
2) Bold colours are a Trend for the Millennial Generation
- “Bold colours for the millennial generation,” is also a trend that Rob DoCarmo at Contract Textile Group has noticed, but there are a number of considerations companies should make when selecting fabrics for upholstery of office chairs, reception room and meeting room furniture.
3) Texture, Durability, and Recycled Content is a Concern
- Durability is important, but it’s not the only factor. “Cleanability and ease of maintenance are increasingly important factors,” DoCarmo says. “There’s also a lot of interest in texture and recycled content is definitely very important.”
- According to DoCarmo, the best options are for companies who want to make their office design or re-design as green as possible are fabrics with a lot of recycled content such as post-consumer recycled polyester and post-industrial recycled nylon.
- It’s also possible not to upholster the back of furniture that is positioned against walls, but “this can lead to more difficulty for upholsterers in the process and less durability so there are trade-offs,” DoCarmo says.
4) Chemical Sensitivities for Employees is a Concern
- Another concern in fabric choices is health & wellness related issues because of chemical sensitivities among employees that might be triggered by off-gassing when office furniture is re-upholstered. To address those concerns, look for fabrics that have reduced topical flame retardant treatments and more inherent flame retardency, DoCarmo advises.
Interior Design Fabric Trends
- Look for bold colours in upholstery. These will be in solids with fewer patterns.
- A focus on rich and luxurious looking textures that are both soft and durable.
- Larger pieces of soft-seating in more fabric for more casual work environments that appeal to the younger workforce.
- Office chairs and other seating will have higher backs to create a greater sense of privacy and a quieter work environment.