Moving on to NeoCon, two trends stood out for me this year. One was the identifiable "capture" of natural elements in translucent materials, such as panels and screens; the other was a design aesthetic centered around cocooning. Together, these trends are working toward solving a core human tension: our need to bring a little outside in – while keeping the outside out!
The wall tiles and panels I saw from la casa deco offer unique possibilities. This company specializes in manufacturing modular wall panels and tiles that showcase materials harvested from nature – including shells and mother of pearl. The panels create stop-in-your-tracks luster and translucency that can give a space natural opulence. The company's Pearlflex product is actually flexible and moldable, which opens up even more creative possibilities.
Another example of this trend is the Varia Ecoresin®line of panels from 3form. Manufactured with 40 percent recycled resin, these panels create wonderfully soft and textured effects. I loved 3form's Organics panels, which "suspend" natural materials – from thinly sliced bamboo to beargrass to larkspur – inside a translucent resin. You can even work with 3form to create customized translucent resin panels for your next project. They're gorgeous. To read a past story we ran about 3form, click here .
The other big trend at NeoCon was cocooning, and this was most visible in the privacy-seating modular "meeting pods" offered by manufacturers such as Steelcase and Herman Miller.
Privacy screens and workplace seating are becoming increasingly integrated. Check out Steelcase's Campfire Collection, for example. The newer conference-seating systems are portable and modular, with three-quarter-height walls angling over the top of each seat, increasing privacy and workplace focus. The effect was like sitting inside a mini soccer stadium – it would be impossible not to focus on the task at hand!
As for color, pink and turquoise were everywhere – colors we're featuring in our Sherwin-Williams colormix™ 2011 trend forecast. I was thrilled to see a turquoise very similar to Synergy (SW 6938) in 3form's panels, and furniture manufacturer Haworth was making generous use of a pink similar to our Exuberant Pink (SW 6840).
If you haven't had a chance to explore our Sherwin-Williams color trend forecast, be sure and stop by our Facebook page, where we've created a special tab for you to do so.