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NeoCon Preview

May 3, 2016

Well it’s draft season again and these are our first round picks!

This month the insanity begins. From New York to Vegas to Miami, and finally all culminating at the big show in Chicago, we don’t need to remind you of the whirlwind of groundbreaking design you’re going to experience this tradeshow season, not to mention the next wave of trends and superstars about to make their debuts.

But by the time NeoCon rolls around in June, if you’re anything like us, you’re more than just a little weary. So true to form, we’ve provided our yearly road map—some of the best of the best you’ll find in between the stairwells of the Merchandise Mart.

And if these products are any indication of the story 2016 is telling, then it’s bright, bold, and beautiful for the foreseeable future. Textiles saturated with color, furniture with daring and powerful lines, and stylish new ways to improve functionality—telltale signs of an industry that's certainly gotten its swagger back.

1. The Arper Freestanding Parentesit is a new model that extends the product’s functionality, as well its privacy and comfort. Use them to carve out a three-dimensional space for any type of use. Modules are available in four options: two different sized round panels, one square panel, and one combination square and round panel, all available in Arper’s full range of fabrics.

2. The Crest lounge from Encore was designed by Qdesign, and features a rocker base that encourages continuous movement. The generously proportioned seat and back don’t hurt either. Seems to us like this chair is going to make working a lot more fun.

3. Mayer Fabrics has joined forces with Sunbrella Contract to introduce the Vollis Simpson Collection. The line celebrates the metal sculptures of the late folk artist, and include six different pattern depictions of his pieces. Proceeds from sales of the line will be donated to the Park and Conservation Project.

4. BioFit Engineered Products will be showcasing a variety of models from their Pro and Tech series chairs (featured here) in the MVMT seating line, as well as fromthe bimos by BioFit and Foundation lines. MVMT greatly enhances the user’s range of motion and by extension comfort and performance.

5. The Ode Lamp from Herman Miller features a soft, coaxing light that whispers to those around it. Featuring anti-glare LEDs and spun-steel shades, the product comes in various heights and freestanding or surface-integrated options. The user can grasp any part of the lamp’s stem to turn it on or off, thanks to touch technology. It’s available in black or white.

6. The Tête-à-Tête from Martin Brattrud has some serious curves. Part of the Assembli Collection designed by Primo Orpilla, the line offers more than just good looks. It provides both visual and acoustical privacy as a seating system that includes lounge chairs, and sofas with low, mid, and high backs, as well as a variety of accessories.

7. Humanscale adds to its wide array of sit-stand equipment with the QuickStand Lite adjustable keyboard and monitor arm platform with a 40-inch radius articulating arm. The counterbalance mechanism allows for easy transition between postures for the user. It can hold single or dual monitors up to 25 pounds.

8. Ultra 3D Lam from Envirawood is the latest evolution in surface laminates. This single product covers nearly every application from panels to complex 3D components. Choose from realistic wood grain images, abstract patterns, faux stones, graphic artwork, any solid color, or solid metallic color in satin or high gloss.

9. National Office Furniture’s Farrah is a chic and sleek little addition to their repertoire. The chair features beautifully facetted legs and comfortable sit. But go check out the full line of seating and tables right away.

10. LOFTWall’s BLOX system is a unique arrangement of panels available in 12 colors and six frame configurations that also manage sound control. Place it anywhere to absorb up to 85 percent of sound. The fabrics are tackable and made with a wool felt finish. They also absorb VOC pollutants.

11. Doni from KI made the list because according to the company it is the only stacking chair made in North America to combine hip-articulating comfort with standard two-tone poly color options. The full line includes an extensive palette of materials, colors (solid or two-tone) and base styles (stack, guest, task, tandem, fixed seating, and Learn2). Custom match any color.


12. Look out for Brentano’s indoor/outdoor Cornerstone collection to be lighting up the Merchandise Mart with vibrant, tropical colors as well as two new textures, three new stripes, and two mid-sized patterns. Neutral options are available for the softer needs of interiors.
The line also features easy cleanability and stain and wear resistance.

13. BuzziSpace is beefing up its one-of-a-kind sound-dampening lighting repertoire with BuzziLight Alhambra and Royal. The
two new patterns are CNC-cut BuzziFelt, allowing for dramatic shadowing and filtering to splash across the walls. Both come in
63- or 93-cm height.

14. Interface was inspired by classic woolen textiles this year, translating that into the World Woven Collection. From Japan to the UK and Australia, Interface designers worked together to decipher trends through the lenses of local textile histories. Nine styles have been compiled and are comprised of a variety of patterns and textures from the past, as well as two color stories (one soft, less manicured and one flat and orderly).

15. Choose the look, thickness, and hand of Querkus from Hardwoods, a unique surfacing product that combines authentic materials with engineered stability in a wood panel. Veneer matching techniques include wire brushing and patented “saw effect” scratching options.

16. Honest Square from HBF Textiles is a uniquely textured textile product within the Christiane Müller Collection that provides acoustical and privacy properties. It is just one example of how Müller has kept
comfort at the core of this line.

17. Leave it to Milliken to draw inspiration from the most unique of sources. Whale Song captures the mammals’ musical
spectrum and communication patterns in four standard patterns of highly textured, loop, and tip shear carpet. Manufactured with ECONYL yarns.

18. Get ready for the debut of CF Stinson’s three new performance fabrics: Blip, Concentric, and Outlander. Each has a unique aesthetic all its own. Concentric features fine lines that weave themselves into an elegant geometric pattern; Outlander provides a modern woolen look; Blip has a crisp, tweeded texture.

19. Go experience the Trillia stool from Gunlocke, designed by IDa Design. It’s the perfect companion to their Briefing line of collaborative furniture and is an example of exceptional wood craftsmanship. It features grain detailing and mixed materials such as a solid-ash hardwood seat and minimal metal at the base. Available in bar or counter height.

20. Móz’s Blendz collection features varying tones of copper that result in a very original color statement for the metal architectural wallcoverings. A choice of textural grains are available and thickness ranges from .040 to .125 inches. Standard sheet sizes are 48 by 96 and 48 by 120 inches.


21. The UP lounge designed by Martin Ballendat for Sandler Seating is a handsome addition to any office interior. It features a contemporary rounded silhouette, solid black walnut arms, and leather upholstery. A variety of bases are available including four-leg wood, polished aluminum swivel, and black aluminum swivel.

22. Chris Adamick brings the Parallel portfolio of soft seating and coordinating tables to Allsteel. This contemporary take on classic reception furniture offers unmatched functionality. The line can serve in a more formal role or create highly flexible collaborative areas. Design details such as unusually wide arms which provide extra surface for device usage and perching have been integrated to further promote interactive behavior.

23. Utilizing its Encore BCF nylon featuring ColorLoc Plus Stain Removal Technology, J+J Flooring introduces the Stellar Collection. Under the company’s Invision brand, the line is inspired by the variety of landscapes and experiences one can encounter in Death Valley National Park.

24. Arborite has punched up the color for their 2016 Solids line. A wide range of bright and bold to neutral and classic laminates, the collection (of course) also delivers the quality and functionality that Arborite is known for.

25. No need to align the seams of Plaid from Chilewich, a new wall-to-wall flooring offering that is also available in 6-foot roll widths for wall textiles. The repeat is 36 inches and can also come in 18-inch square tiles and 6- by 36-inch planks. Available in three colorways that use a rotation of 14 different colors in solid and bi-color yarns, which makes no two tiles the same, even when laid in the same direction.  

26. Burnish is an electric new print from Innovations, one of eight in the June collection, all inspired by fashion. It’s comprised of six metallic colors, reminiscent of the frost on a jewelry storefront in NYC. Burnish is a 54-inch Type II vinyl wallcovering.

27. Shibori Linen from Architex is a 100 percent linen textile inspired by the Japanese resist-dye technique, arashi shibori. It is hand-dyed in four unique colorways (Dogwood, Indigo, Nettle, and Walnut), meets 50,000 double rubs, and is protected by Nano-Tex stain resistance.

28. KnollTextiles is getting bright and bold with the Balance Collection. Saturated yellows and bright blues come together to build this performance line of upholstery, wallcoverings, and drapery. Four of the five upholsteries achieve 100,000+ double rubs on the Wyzenbeek and Chant (a textural wallcovering) is stocked with Crypton Wall.

29. Camira’s Synergy is a softer, stronger, lighter, and brighter version of the company’s bestselling wool fabric, Blazer. It’s constructed from New Zealand wool and 5 percent nylon and achieves an abrasion performance of 100,000 double rubs. Synergy comes in 75 colors, and is featured here in the electric mod Zig Zag print by UK designers Parris Wakefield Additions.

30. Performance leather? We’ll take it! Garrett Leather is introducing Flight, a line of full grain leathers that meet strict standards in tear strength, finish adhesion, and elongation, without compromising the beauty Italian leather is known for. It’s offered in large hide sizes that average 58 square feet. All 20 colors are GREENGUARD certified.

31. The WilsonArt 2016 Contract Launch offers a huge range of options from textile looks to weathered aesthetics and material features like wood and stone. All focus on the beauty of the evolution of a product.

32. Skara by Loewenstein, an OFS Brands company, gives you the opportunity to play with textiles with both inner and outer upholstery areas. The versatility continues with three different models (high- and mid-back lounge swivels and ottoman) and two different base options (4-prong “return-to-center” swivel base in polished aluminum and disc “return-to center” swivel base in polished aluminum).

33. InteriorArts is showing off their new range of 37 high-pressure laminates featuring a variety of aesthetics, from versatile neutrals to wood grains and even industrial looks. All are GREENGUARD certified for low VOCs and are available in 4- by 8-feet sheets. InteriorArts laminates are ideal for vertical use in interior spaces.

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