Office Furniture Trends in 2017

Published on: Author: Anne Langton

Neocon highlightsNeoCon is the holy grail of trade shows for the commercial furniture industry.  Want to know what trend-setting styles will soon be on showroom floors? Just ask Erik Booth, Director of Sales for Creative Office Pavilion in Boston MA, who recently returned from Neocon 2017.  Erik knows his way around the office furniture industry.  With 19 years under his belt at COP, he’s been to Neocon at least 14 times. Having seen office furniture styles come and go, even a seasoned office furniture insider like Erik admits that change is definitely in the air.

Apparently making a slow migration towards the OUTDATED OFFICE category are…

  • Cubicles
  • Assigned offices
  • Private offices

And what is driving this change? According to Erik, many factors are in play, but current trends have been “driven by the need for densification due to rising real estate costs, and the fact that today’s mobile worker is out of the office up to 40% of the time”. Terms have evolved describing these new workplace layouts such as “Free Address”, “Touch Down”, “Haven” and “Cove” spaces…and with each of these concepts come a whole new style of office product design and function.

Four takeaways from NeoCon 2017 are…


As a hybrid of residential and commercial styling, this trend continues to dominate the office furniture market.  Creating “homey” feeling interiors with productive commercial fundamentals is the goal here.  Design lines are softened and curved.  Color is back in a big way but in unexpected places like cabinet base toe kicks, drawer pulls and table legs.  Soft seating for collaborative spaces are more inviting.  “Even seat cushions are softer and more comfortable”, says Erik.


Workshelf by three h


Today’s trending office worker is no longer housed in neatly configured assigned cubicles or closed office space.  Based on the task at hand, employees now select their work space and “neighborhood” based on the type of work they will be performing.



Heya by OFS


To counterbalance the non-assigned work space concept, office furniture manufacturers have built in convenience and personalized features to create welcoming work places.  Features such as mini shelves to display photos, power convenience drawers for recharging and personal lighting sources were common in new furniture designs.


Wood made a huge showing this year according to Erik.  Wood trim, wood legged furniture, hand rubbed finishes and solid wood table tops were just some of the showstoppers at NeoCon 2017.

Mesa by Halcon

Langton Designs creates offices that work well and feel right.