The last 18 months have been especially chaotic for offices, retail businesses, and hospitality ventures that saw a major disruption in every part of their operations. Commercial spaces are constantly changing and evolving, but 2020 has forced a radical rethink in how we design public environments. As people get vaccinated, things are regaining a sense of stability, but the way we work, shop, and dine has undergone a massive shift. This has sent architects and designers back to the drawing board to create spaces where customers and employees can feel safe. Below are a few commercial interior architecture and design trends leading the charge in 2021.
Open Layout Spaces – Open office or multi-purpose layouts have long been the default choice for modern spaces, and this trend will stay relevant as the demand for well-circulated workspaces continues to rise post-pandemic. The use of flexible, movable barriers will gain popularity in response to a growing demand for multi-purposed interior spaces. Moreover, open-plan spaces are easier to clean and limit the amount of surfaces employees touch.
Minimal Contact Use – From hotels to offices to retail spaces, everywhere you go will have a contactless experience as a prerequisite. Automated experiences enabled by technology will take center stage wherever possible – doorways, lighting solutions, faucets and elevators, will increasingly function by voice- or motion-activation. App-based solutions for previously physical processes will further drive contactless experiences in public spaces.
Greenery – Commercial designers will bring more nature indoors to soothe customers and employees and create a calm and healthy environment. Biophilic interiors will continue the recent upward trend, resulting in more spaces incorporating plants, green walls, natural materials. Biophilic interiors will not only keep people happier but will improve their mental health and well-being. Access to nature will be one of the biggest commercial design trends in 2021.
Renewed Focus on Finish Materials – One of the most fascinating aspects of post-covid interior design will be the careful selection of finish materials. Commercial spaces will incorporate easily sanitized and antimicrobial finishes that make interiors safer and more efficient. There will be a push for incorporating self-cleaning surfaces that can resist or remove debris and bacteria automatically.
Joy – Not exactly a trend, but a significant factor central to all future commercial spaces. Interior designs which spark joy and have plentiful light and bright colors will dominate commercial architecture. Use of exuberant patterns, colors, and designs combined with the use of fun décor items, furniture, and installations will help create spaces that try to ease the anxiety that the world has suffered in the last few months.