For those of you who aren’t familiar with NeoCon, it’s the largest design expo in North America and an interior designer’s heaven.  For three days every summer the Merchandise Mart, an 18 story building the size of a complete city block, is filled with showrooms displaying the newest collections of furniture, textiles, wall covering, flooring, technology, etc., etc., etc.  This year there were over 40,000 attendees.

Every designer must make the pilgrimage at least once in their career; I personally believe it’s important to make the trip every other year to stay current, inspired, & relevant to the trade.  Just as it’s a doctor’s responsibility to their patient’s to stay up to date on current knowledge, trends, & technology; it’s our responsibility to our client’s to do the same.

There was a lot to see and learn this year and while it’s impossible to cover everything in this blog, I’ll do my best to give you an overview of some of the most interesting, inventive, & memorable displays.  I’ve broken it down into 9 trending categories, let’s get started!


Color was all over the place this year but there didn’t seem to be an overwhelming loyalty to one particular shade.  While mustard yellow is still hot there was a general mix of bright colors throughout the expo.  Saturation was the prominent quality.  Bright tones mixed with subtle neutrals were everywhere.  We did see a nod to Pantone’s color of the year, Tangerine Tango, but it was sparsely represented compared to the “color of the year” in year’s past.  It seems that this year, designers have been given free rein to practice with almost any color in the crayon box – Watch Out!



Texture was everywhere – tile, furniture, wall systems, artwork, textiles, etc.  It was a high-touch event to say the least!

Don't forget to check out the other blogs in this series! Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, & Part 5


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