About NeoCon

For Laura and Liam, interior designers at Schmidt Associates, NeoCon is simply an event that can’t be missed. NeoCon is the largest commercial interiors show in North America, and has been held at The Merchandise Mart in Chicago since 1969. The three-day event, buzzing with over 1 million square feet of exhibition space, focuses on fostering connections and learning opportunities in the interiors industry. The event showcases more than 700 leading companies and attracts nearly 50,000 design professionals.

NeoCon features new products specific to each of the following:

  • Workplace
  • Healthcare
  • Hospitality
  • Retail
  • Education
  • Public Spaces
  • Government


Top Trends for NeoCon 2015


1. lounge

Majority of the furniture throughout the showrooms trended towards designs reflecting the 1970’s in both the lines of the furniture and the colors. Further, residential furniture styles that embodied comfort and privacy started to creep into the commercial work place, focusing more on creating areas that provide a sense of relaxation and privacy that a person feels at home.

One such example of this “home to office” trend can be seen in the showroom’s lounge areas. The lounge pieces featured were geometrically shaped, yet comfortable and inviting. In addition, sofas and foot rests were also trending to really achieve that “homey” feel in the workplace.

2. floor

Carpet tile systems ruled the flooring category in residential and in the office. While carpet has been a primary floor covering in office spaces for some time, the new trending tile systems put a larger focus custom design. The carpets came in square tiles or planks with a lot of added texture and organic patterns. These tiles and planks could then be arranged however the designer pleased to match the look and feel of a specific room.

Carpet trends:

  • Mix and Match tiles and planks: Different colors, textures and patterns to make new, unique patterns. Allows for owner to choose how they want their tiles or planks arranged.
  • Deconstructed carpet: Backing shows through the raised texture to mimic the look of natural products like wood, stone, and cobblestone streets.
  • Modern floral patterns


3. Felt

Felt was featured in nearly every showroom and proved to serve a variety of purposes, especially in the workplace.

Felt was used for:

  • Desk and room separators
  •  Acoustics
  • Wall decorations and coverings


4. Ottomans

Bright colors and geometric shapes sum up the ottoman trend. Majority of the ottomans were displayed as sets with multiple geometric pieces, which allowed for the individual ottomans to be connected and arranged in a variety of ways.


5. Focus Spaces

Similar to the lounge areas, the focus spaces also provided privacy and comfort in the workplace. Many of the spaces were tall like old phone booths and formed some sort of cocoon around a person’s head to keep the sound in and block outside distractions. Majority were made with bright colored felts and featured comfy chairs and foot rests, once again pushing for that homey feel in the office.


Closing Thoughts

“NeoCon is a great opportunity to not only see new products and finishes, but also to see fresh ideas on how these components can be incorporated into different settings. The experience fuels our creative minds and strengthens our know-how for future projects here at Schmidt Associates.”
– Liam Keesling, Schmidt Associates Interior Designer