This year's NeoCon show at the Merchandise Mart was impressive as always. Here are some of the most interesting things I saw while I was there, and some trends I've noticed.
Bulletproof Office Chairs
No, I am not making this up. I guess we must now trust our furniture to protect us from violence since our laws will not? These chairs from Neutral Posture have a discreet bulletproof vest in the seat back that can be detached and worn, or left on the chair so that it can be used as a shield. Naturally, the company that makes them is based in Texas.
The mannequin is wearing a vest riddled with .357 magnum bullet holes. They didn't go all the way through.
Furniture for Introverts
Besides the new line of furniture by Steelcase informed by the research into introverted work styles that Susan Cain has done, many manufacturers this year have created enclosed seating where you can work ensconced in privacy.
Some of these pieces grew up to become cubicle substitutes.
The soft, high-backed seating was also prevalent in the form of banquette style pieces that were put together to create meeting spaces.
Accent Colors / Color Palettes
Is gray the new beige? It seemed to be everywhere this year as the neutral color of choice. It was often paired with shades of yellow or chartreuse.
Curved sofas and modular seating wound their way through booths and showrooms all over NeoCon. This one from Okamura looks so cozy.
And here are some more I liked.
New companies I just discovered
Some are new to NeoCon and others are just new to me.
Mamagreen has some of the most stylish outdoor furniture I've seen in a while. It looks good enough to go indoors. Modist is available to the trade only. They have great prices and a wide range of styles.
I'm familiar with Bend furniture
because I've seen it on Dot & Bo and other online retailers, but it
was great to see it in person and find out about how I can buy it
direct from the company for clients.
While exploring the rest of the Mart I happened upon the sultry and mysterious Jean de Merry showroom. It's also trade only, but here's a sneak peek at one of their coffee tables.
My favorite showroom
Every year the participating showrooms compete for awards. This year my favorite was Evolve Furniture.
My favorite booth
I love this beautiful booth from Ode Creative. It's so romantic. It could be part of a wedding chapel.
I am fascinated by the textures of these products and really want to make something out of them. It could be something functional or a piece of art.
Other cool stuff
Leland's showroom was looking lovely, too.
It would be cool to do a DIY version of this using recycled shipping pallets.
Buzzispace keeps it quirky.
These chairs from Izzy+ are funny-looking but surprisingly comfortable.
And their showroom is adorable, as always.
A mood board from the Universal Fibers booth.
I like the shoe store concept that leather manufacturer Moore & Giles used. They also sell the hair on hide shearling featured on the footstools.
Herman Miller shell chairs on parade in the lobby. Or are they models on a runway?
I want this kitchen.
See the rest of my NeoCon photos on Flickr.