2017 was an interesting year for interior design. We saw a strong resurgence of geometric patterns, metallic accents, and the embracing of textured design elements. We also saw an unprecedented number of designers begin to incorporate more raw, nature-based materials.

In 2018, look to see companies double down on these trends and move in a couple new directions as well. We’ve identified some key trends in office and interior design that will propel your office into 2018:

The return of the traditional workspace (sort of)

With the rise of the now branded “millennial tech startup”, office design took a turn for the more flexible. Many companies, especially startups, opted for large, open spaces. Formal offices and cubicles have been few and far between in new offices over the past several years.
While these offices are great for wow factor and impressing guests, many organizations have come to the realization that bean bags and MacBooks can only influence productivity levels so much. Proper workstations remain the most effective element to increase productivity in an office space. Therefore, the workstation is storming back! Not as the high-paneled cubicle you’re visualizing at the moment however – that thing is dead.
The modern workstation is a fusion of the open layout with the utility of a traditional desk space.

Modular/adaptable buildout

The office of the future is not a permanent one. It adapts to the ever-changing work landscapes shaped by the people that inhabit it. With teams and org charts constantly changing, the flexibility of office layouts is absolutely crucial when it comes to future-proofing your office. Modular workstations and buildout components allow your workspace to grow and evolve as you do. Make sure you choose a partner that will be around for the long haul, allowing you to make adjustments as needed. (Our number is below 😉.)

Activity-based design

Employees don’t do the same work all day long; work looks different depending on what stage of a project you’re in. When you start a new task, sometimes you need a solid brainstorming and collaboration session to give your project initial direction. Other times, it’s necessary to put the headphones in, dig in, and crank out a task. When it gets down to the wire, you might need all hands on deck in the same room to make the final changes and feedback. Look for dedicated spaces of all different shapes, sizes, and resources to optimize each of these phases of productivity

Doubling down on nature

2017 saw a resurgence of natural materials and greenery in the office. In 2018, look for designers to take that to the next level with full-blown biophilia. Having plants in an office has been scientifically proven to increase workplace productivity, creativity, and reduce sickness and absence! Floor-to-ceiling green walls, built-in irrigation, and entire buildings designed around greenery will be best practice elements going forward!


Texture will continue to play a huge role in design this year. Textured accent walls are an excellent tool for drawing guests from one space to another. Look for designers to branch out even further in 2018, experimenting with different raw materials and building upon last year’s fixation with metallic finishes.

Mobile technology

Mobile technology will continue to work its way into the office space. More and more businesses are providing laptops and mobile technology solutions to their employees in lieu of full desktops. All sorts of wireless technologies are finally closing the performance gap with their wired counterparts, so be prepared for the war on wires. With all the industry-leading flagship smartphones now supporting wireless charging, furniture of all shapes and sizes will support built-in wireless charging for mobile devices!

These are just a few of the design elements that we’ll see shaping workspaces this year and beyond. Follow us on social to stay the loop of the latest design trends! Let us help you see what your dream office can look like. With Vertical Interior Design’s incredible designers and Rieke Office Interiors’ custom fabrication capabilities at your disposal, the possibilities are limitless!


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Elgin, IL 60123-7814
Phone: 847.622.9711
Fax: 847.622.9750