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Trends for Office Furniture in 2012

Today’s guest post comes from across the pond. Alex Morris works for Office Kitten in Manchester where he writes, researches, and blogs about the business world. In this post, Alex peers into his crystal ball and gives us a glimpse at upcoming trends he expects to see gaining ground in the US. Read along and see if you think his predictions are “spot on”.

2012 will offer a myriad of changes in office furniture design. Expect to see businesses incorporating new trends, embracing environmentalism, and utilising the latest styles. If you want your office to stay trendy (or if you are just interested in taking advantage of what this year brings), pay attention to these trends and fit your office accordingly. It can make your workers happy, and it’s always energizing to change things around.

Green Furniture

In 2011, green furniture was really on a roll. In 2012, the adoption rate is expected to explode and garner even more mainstream awareness. This means less toxic finishes, lower carbon footprints and fewer resources used. However, this does not mean that the furniture will be uncomfortable or hideous. Green technology has learned from the modern age. Sustainable manufacturers make great looking items that are comfortable.

Small Profile Furniture

Going along with the green revolution’s standpoint of using fewer resources, office furniture is expected to have a smaller profile. Out with those clunky office chairs and desks and in with smaller, more modern looking ones! This will make you office space look much bigger, and it will feel rife with new possibilities.

Accommodating Gadgets

Even in the office, smart phones and similar gadgets are important to have. For the longest time, office furniture has not been accommodating to these devices; but 2012 is going to change that. The furniture is going to be made to fit these devices, and there may be docks to charge them as well.

Multipurpose Office Furniture

Much like green furniture, this isn’t new, but the adoption rate is expected to increase. Office space is often scarce. Using a multipurpose piece allows you to maximize that space. Why use a desk and a table, when the two can be combined?

Vintage Furniture

This once again feeds into the green revolution, but not in the way you think. Obviously most vintage furniture was treated with very toxic finishes that off-gassed a terrible aroma. Unlike modern furniture treated with similar finishes, vintage furniture is finally done off-gassing. This means you don’t have to experience the toxic smells or effects. Not only that, but there is no need to use more resources .

International Inspirations

America is the melting pot of the world, and that is going to show in 2012’s office furniture. There are expected to be many designs that are inspired by Asian and European design trends, mixed with American sentiments.

Round Edges

In the past, most office furniture had sharp edges. It looked very business-oriented and very strict – seeming to forget that people, not machines were working in the office. In 2012, many office furniture pieces are going to have fun and loose round edges that look and feel better.

Natural Colours

Years past have seen many vivid colours in office furniture, but 2012 is going to be about lighter, more natural colours. You should expect to primarily see wood tones, as these are less likely to contain unnecessary chemicals than vivid dyes and finishes. They also breathe life into the office, so enjoy them.

Custom Pieces

Offices tend to commission custom pieces every now and then to fit specific needs. This practice is expected to increase in 2012, both in home and corporate offices. This enables you to really make the office yours without having to worry if a standard design fits your office or not. While this trend is a little on the expensive side, it is expected to pay off.

Lighter Pieces

Since office furniture is expected to get smaller (and because fewer resources are used to make green office furniture), 2012 is also going to be a year with lighter pieces. This not only works better for the environment, but it allows you to move pieces around to give the office a new feeling. Use this to your advantage. Every few months, move some things around. It will keep you from getting bored of your office, and gives you a chance to find the perfect setup to promote productivity and workflow.

As 2012 progresses, you are going to see these office furniture trends explode into the mainstream market. Consider getting these pieces now, before you are left behind!


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