Industry Insight: Incorporate 2016’s Interior Design Trends Into Your Office Fit Out

With 2016 nearly upon us, Outkast’s Lead Designer Sophie Bowers takes a look at what interior design trends we can expect to see next year and how they will impact office fit out design.
Throughout the commercial office fitout industry, the past year has seen a steady rise of interior design been a focal point with companies undertaking an office refurbishment or office fitout. Throughout 2016, the Outkast design team anticipates to see this emphasis on bespoke design to continue, leading away from the traditional use of heavy corporate colours and office lined hallways towards a more considered and collaborative environment.
This change in attitude towards the importance of office interior design is reflective of the current leasing market with the majority of commercial leases running for shorter periods of 3-5 years. This new approach allows office fitout companies such as Outkast to incorporate contemporary and future trends that customarily would only be seen in homes and retail spaces. If you are considering a new office fitout during 2016, make note and be sure to incorporate these forecasted top interior design trends.
Sophie Bowers Outkast's Lead Designer
Material Trend Forecast: The Natural Instinct
The sustainable approach to design has recently translated into materials and finishes evidently seen in the combinations of raw look timbers, hemp woven fabric and exposed concrete. This style creates a calming, neutral pallet which not only helps to achieve “Green Star” ratings, but also when added with sophisticated textures and metallic finishes; is perfect for an office interior design scheme. This trend follows on from the recycling and pre-loved movement which will continue throughout 2016 in the form of “Modern-Industrial” interior design styling. The Outkast design team often implements the “Natural Instinct” approach to materials and finishes when designing for traditional corporate or global companies such as Scandinavian based EF International.
Outkast Design Manage Construct office fit out for EF International
Material Trend Forecast: Go Bold With Colour
During 2015, commercial office interiors embraced the “Nordic/Scandinavian” trend and whilst this design scheme will continue in 2016, we expect to see a greater use of bold colour. These pops of forest green and pale pink will be reminiscent of moody boudoirs and pastel nurseries, not images usually associated with an office fit out, however will be featured heavily in new furniture and accessories.
Dulux have designed four contemporary ranges around the popular colours to watch for 2016. Colours such as Army Canvas, Ripening Grape and Atelier are perfectly suited to be paired with the above “Natural Instinct” trend. Outkast designers love to include feature paint walls and bold colour statements which is in line with the long recognised ideology that bright colours motivate and increase productivity.
Outkast Design Manage Construct office fit out for LGS
Material Trend Forecast: Back To Nature
In line with the growing attitude that a happy worker is a productive worker, in 2016 we will see employers cater to staff’s primal instincts of craving sunlight and natural greenery. This will result in office fit outs incorporating more plants and increasing natural exposure to the outdoors. Companies such as Facebook have embraced this trend by introducing large scale vertical gardens and green walls.
Research shows that exposure to nature can increase concentration which improves productivity by up to 12%. Outkast includes plant hire in all of our commercial office fitout quotes and expect 2016 to also see an increase in the fitout of balcony spaces.
Outkast Design Manage Construct HQ office fit out
Material Trend Forecast: Get Abstract With Tessellation
In 2016 consider using an abstract pattern within rooms that are traditionally corporate to add a touch of bespoke design flair such as in Outkast’s fitout for Survey Monkey.  The next big trend will see companies gravitate towards more geometric designs which feature movement through a tessellated pattern.
This trend will be seen frequently in materials from patterned splashbacks to hexagonal floor tiles and untraditional shaped carpet tiles. Products such as Interface’s Human Nature Planks incorporates natural textures in a long plank form that can allow commercial interior designers to create artwork within a budget. Bolon, a Swedish based Company, has ruled the market in this trend for years and continues to be forward thinking in the latest ranges released.
Outkast Design Manage Construct office fit out for Valad
Material Trend Forecast: Mixed Metals
In 2015 we have seen the rise of metallic finishes, highlighted in copper pendant lights and chrome/marble coffee tables. Moving forward in 2016 we expect to see less copper in new office fitouts and more brass featured. This throwback to the “Mid-century Mod” design style has a sophisticated edge and pairs flawlessly with raw timber accents.
When designing, if a more timeless look is desired then these brass finishes will suit the bill. Consider mixing metal finishes when accessorising; a brass tray on the coffee table, a black aluminium shadow line throughout the reception desk and brass linear cabinet door pulls.
Outkast Design Manage Construct office fit out for Buchan Group
Spatial Trend Forecast: The Open Office
Long gone are the days when offices lined the windows and workers hid behind high cubicle screens. 2016 is all about collaboration and the open office design. Workplace leaders such as Google, Facebook and Linkedin are at the forefront of this trend and through their achieved success; other companies are now starting to embrace this concept wholeheartedly.
Open workspaces help to create a sense of community and encourage collaboration. Changing your office fitout to open plan can be a major cultural shift and will always result in some pushback.  To conquer this, Outkast has designed many hybrid fitouts which incorporate traditional offices for the executives and open, collaborative spaces for the teams.
Outkast Design Manage Construct office fit out for Corval
Spatial Trend Forecast Keep It Flexible
Following on from “The Open Office” trend comes the need for a new variety of spaces whose sole function is to serve as quiet areas or multipurpose rooms. Back-of-house meeting rooms are been replaced with flexible casual meeting zones surrounding by whiteboard paint or TV setups. A popular arrangement is the standing hot-desk where teams can have a quick discussion.
Similarly, the need for “quiet zones” has increased with off-the-shelf products such as quiet pods available on mass now. The trend for phone booth style rooms will also increase in 2016 where workers can take a call or bust out a few hours of uninterrupted work. Flexibility will be key in the upcoming office fitouts. .
Spatial Trend Forecast Home Away From Home
The “Google Effect” is a common term discussed by clients when discussing their wish list for the new office fitout. This refers to creating an open plan office with a healthy combination of multipurpose spaces and social areas.
In 2016, this will continue to culminate in the desire for larger breakout spaces and lifestyle amenities. Considering we spend the majority hours of the day at work, companies are looking to provide areas such as end-of-trip facilities with bike racks and showers, rooftop entertaining spaces and large communal kitchens. A trend has emerged to have a cafe vibe in these areas where workers can relax and feel at home.
Similarly, incorporating that “homely” feeling into office interior design will continue to emerge as a relevant trend in 2016. As seen in the Outkast HQ design, this can result in kitchens been located near the front of house area, creating a more welcoming atmosphere. Incorporating playful spaces such as putt-putt golf courses, Ping-Pong tables and Xbox stations are also on the rise.
Outkast Design Manage Construct office fit out for Kyko
As always, office interior design should reflect the culture of the company and have a strong brand visual identity. By placing an emphasis on efficiency and flexibility, the fitout will provide an pleasant and purposeful space for staff. As we move into 2016 consider incorporating these material and spatial trends into your next commercial office fitout.
Outkast Lead Designer
Sophie Bowers

For press enquiries please contact Alice Inigo-Jones (02) 9299 7051 or Marketing@Outkast.com.au