The Ben Johnson Interiors team always like to stay well ahead of the curve when it comes to workplace design and so they naturally attended Clerkenwell Design Week recently in London.
Clerkenwell is home to more creative businesses and architects per square mile than anywhere else in the world, making it an exceptionally important design hub. To celebrate this, Clerkenwell Design Week has created a spectacular annual showcase of leading UK and international brands and companies presented in a series of showroom events, exhibitions and installations that take place across the area.
Clerkenwell Design Week celebrated its 10th year in May 2019 (21st-23rd) and has firmly established itself as the UK’s leading independent design festival.
The Ben Johnson Interiors team visited the festival and have returned brimming with exciting news of the very latest workplace furniture, colours, fabrics and design concepts on show in 2019.
We also liked “Assemble” – an eye-catching, streamlined executive chair range with a contemporary Scandinavian influence from Connections.
On Point table
The Kin products featured at Clerkenwell by Allermuir would fit timelessly into any interior design scheme. They’re a range of mono-shell seats that are designed to be as simple as possible without losing sturdiness. Characterised by their fluid lines, the Kin collection is made up of chairs and stools that come in eight bold colours.
Naughtone’s Lasso Stool was also a hit for us. Pretty, light and portable, it would be great for project work within open spaces.
The On Point table by the product brand Offecct (owned by Flokk) is worth a mention too. This is an elegant meeting table with an option to accommodate plants, offering a sense of privacy and well-being.
Colours, textures and overall themes
Dominating colours and tones this year were rich and earthy – ochre, brown and orange mixed with softer pastel tones. We attended an excellent talk by designer and trend forecaster Nina Bruun on colour in interior design. She focuses on the longevity of a colour for social responsibility, environment and cost, so the colour green – representing nature and the environment – is important for her. Nina creates a colour scale of around five colours, and suggests that when any two of the five colours are paired, they should complement each other perfectly.
Biophilic design – bringing elements of nature and greenery into the workplace – continues to be a strong trend.
We noticed that there still seemed to be a huge emphasis on having flexible areas and informal meeting zones incorporated into the main working areas. In addition, the emphasis on flexible working areas and informal meeting zones included into the main working areas was as paramount as ever.
Hygge Rocker from Connection
Orangebox chairs in muted colours
The next big colour trend in workplace design is set to be yellow, according to Nina. Manufacturers Flokk; Vitra and Boss are already embracing this with their new ranges.
Dark colours in place of black are being introduced into many ranges. This was evident by the finishes selected by many manufacturers to showcase their products.
Also noticeable at Clerkenwell Design Week 2019 were some great textured wood finishes – particularly from Orangebox and Connection and heavily textured Bute fabrics showcased by Boss Design and Deadgood.
Sofa by Flokk
Chair by Deadgood featuring textured fabrics by Bute
Boss Design yellow chair
There was a great deal of emphasis on acoustic pods at Clerkenwell this year with many different styles on display. Among the quirkiest was an Orangebox “concept” acoustic pod decorated with scent, music and faux-fur walls – to connect users with all their senses and create a calm zone for quiet activities away from the hustle and bustle of an open plan workspace.
Frovi showcased a standout concept piece involving metal frames, creating ‘zones’ within an open plan space. The frames could be linked together to create larger spaces. Each zone was carefully ‘dressed’ with panels of felt, metal, fabric and even foliage, and filled with furniture to give the zone a certain feel.
Frovi metal frame zone maker
Orangebox “concept” pod with faux fur
Products most likely to recommend to clients
We loved the stylish Coze family of chairs and sofas by Orangebox and would certainly suggest them to clients. They’re extremely comfortable too – https://www.orangebox.com/products/coze. The products include a traditional wing back, an elegant high back, a two-seater sofa, a low back armchair and a high stool.
The new Volo stools from Allermuir are perfect for desk-end meeting spots. They can be tucked under a table/desk and quickly pulled out when needed. Any fabric can go on the seat pad so they can fit in with any design scheme.
The Coze chairs from Orangebox
We are also fans of this smart Axyl bench from Senator Group’s Allermuir brand. Axyl is the result of Allermuir’s first collaboration with London based designer Benjamin Hubert and his studio, Layer.
Our team consensus was that the company that showcased the best products at CDW2019 overall was Senator Group’s Allermuir www.allermuir.com
The Clerkenwell Design Week is always a great experience and a must for everyone in the interiors business. This year was no exception. There was so much to see and do and the place was buzzing with energy, excitement and new ideas. Very engaging and absorbing. We’ve come back with all sorts of different concepts, designs, solutions and brilliant new products to suggest to clients!