NeoCon 2017 | The Future of Healthcare & Industry Trends

NeoCon 2017 Recap

The largest office furniture trade show in North America is a global platform for commercial interiors. Located at the Mart in Chicago, this year’s 49th annual event was held from June 12-14 and hosted 50,000 design professionals from around the world.  The event, known for its display of innovation, caters to vertical markets from hospitality to corporate and education to healthcare.


Healthcare is no different than any other market, as it’s incredibly important to consider trends – regardless the size of project. NeoCon showcased the newest up and coming trends, and although predictable they can be easily implemented and extremely influential to a facility’s successful business model.

 – Active Waiting Room –

Similar to commercial office environments, healthcare facilities are providing their patients with a variety of spaces to be productive while they wait. Standing height counters allow multiple visitors to plug-in; whether its to do their work, charge personal devices or even participate in healthcare provided educational programs. This type of work space can be flawlessly executed in an existing waiting space or incorporated into a brand new design.Kimball Health active waiting room

Kimball Health | Alterna

A new product launch for Kimball Health, the Alterna casework series has an endless amount of configurations and customization capabilities.  In comparison to the more predictable millwork solution in the healthcare arena, Alterna also boasts modularity.  It’s components can be easily modified without having to disrupt the surrounding environment and in turn create less down time, inspiring facility departments to implement it into their furniture standards.

And with a wide variety of materials and hardware options, this product can be designed for any healthcare facility, providing function for all types of spaces from waiting rooms to exam rooms to treatment bays.

Kimball | Pep Seating

The new side chair and stool duo from Kimball are stylish, comfortable and most importantly functional for any type of healthcare space.  Pep is light weight and it’s poly seat is easily cleanable, making it a dream for EVS staff.  The sled base stool, shown in the active waiting room, is the perfect solution for patients to plug-in and pull up to the counter. Its companion chair is available with a four-leg base, in the same poly colors, and looks lovely in a cafe environment.

Kimball Health | Spruce Occasional Tables

Also launched at this year’s NeoCon is the coordinating occasional table series within the Spruce Lounge collection.  Coffee and side tables are available in the same finishes and table top materials making this series a complete solution for healthcare waiting spaces.

Spruce lounge with occassional tablesThe solid surface top has an optional spill groove making it perfect for waiting room and patient spaces.  The Cupron solid surface, which continuously kills harmful bacteria within 2 hours of exposure, can be applied in areas of concern like high traffic spaces and Emergency Department waiting rooms. Cupron solid surface is shown below, in grey, on the Sanctuary bedside cabinet.

Wait times are unfortunately part of the operation, but facilities are recognizing that when their visitors are offered a variety of solutions to distract the mind, stress levels are reduced and overall patient satisfaction rates are increased.

– Mixed-Use Consultation Rooms –

Consultation spaces are being designed to support a variety of meeting types and allow patients to relax during stressful visits. Comfortable seating, positioned adjacent to an enclosed exam area, creates a place for patients and their loved ones to sit together while learning about diagnosis and treatment options. Chicago_2017_31a

Kimball | Pairings

The two seat lounge with 8″ arm is perfectly sized for family members to sit together, allowing room for one more to perch on the arm. Pairings can also be configured for spaces with limited privacy by adding the side and back panels. Coordinating occasional tables are also available.Pairings 2seater with coffee table

AllSeating|Foster Patient Rocker

Patients can find comfort in smaller scaled chairs, like rockers or gliders, in mixed-use consultation rooms. The newest addition to the Foster seating collection from AllSeating was highlighted at this year’s NeoCon. The Patient Chair with rocker base inspires a calming motion and has a relaxing effect.

Design professionals understand that with the correct material application, lounge furniture can also be utilized in exam rooms to provide comfort to patients and their loved ones. Environmentally conscious and high performance upholstery are abundant in the industry and Xorel, by Carnegie Fabrics, is one of the top contenders in the healthcare arena.  These plant-based textiles are embossed with new graphic patterns, creating depth and texture that can be applied as wallcoverings or upholstered on furniture.

Xorel|2017 Product Launches

By providing functional and comfortable seating for the medical professionals, patients and their loved ones, mixed use consultation rooms can satisfy a variety of different needs and allow healthcare facilities to maximize their square foot utilization.

– Hospitality-Driven Treatment Bays –

Depending on the treatment, patients are required to spend several hours sitting in their chair. This lengthy amount of time can increase the patient’s level of stress and cause further complications to their recovery.  Therefore, it is crucial to provide spaces that promote relaxation.  By taking cue from spa-like environments from the hospitality industry, treatment bays are being designed to minimize stress and encourage effective recuperation.

Infusion Bay _ Villa Health Sleep Sofa. Alterna. Sanctuary. Meadow

Kimball Health now has a full line of furniture that can be utilized in these types of spaces.  The Meadow patient recliner can be specified with a variety of different options, customizing the features to aid in the particular treatment type. The Villa Health Sleep Sofa provides seating and storage for family members to wait while their loved ones receive treatment. The newest product launch – Alterna – offers unlimited storage components, including locker spaces, open cubbies and wardrobes.  Wall mounted panels are available in coordinating finishes to help protect the wall from damage and make these spaces feel more hospitality-like.

Carolina | Saven Rocker

Saven Rocker

One of Carolina’s newest healthcare launches is the Saven Rocker. It was designed for mothers and their babies, but can provide a resting place that helps all types of patients restore through its gentle, soothing motion.  The adjustable arms make this chair comfortable for all body sizes and allows nursing staff to tend to patients more easily.

Concertex | 2017 product launches

Concertex released twelve new Phthalate Free Vinyls, with exclusive ClearShield™ + Graffiti-Free® Layers, that are perfect for all healthcare environments.  These soft-handed, coated fabrics are bleach cleanable have 500,000+ double rubs.

Applying hospitality design aesthetics into treatment spaces creates a calming environment, aids in the recovery process and enhances the overall patient experience.

These trends made their way into the 2017 NeoCon showrooms and although some are already available, many of these new products will emerge in the coming months.

For quick reference to the Kimball 2017 product launches – check out this quick look book: Fresh for 2017

About CDI

CDI is a cutting-edge commercial furniture dealership that believes thoughtful design and strategic planning are critical components in the success of every project. We can help companies achieve their business vision and goals and help maintain your workplace investment. CDI creates functional and inspiring interiors designed to foster employee well-being, productivity and engagement.

CDI is a “Select” Kimball Office dealer. The “Select” status is Kimball’s premier dealer designation, which demonstrates dealership excellence in sales, service, financial stability, business processes and more.

Contact Us

Corporate Office & Showroom:
1711 Paramount Ct., Waukesha, WI  53186
P  262.521.1010

For more information, pricing or to schedule a showroom tour, please contact:
Dana Marble, Healthcare Account Executive
P 262.544.8694

NeoCon 2017 in Review

The 49th annual NeoCon has concluded and its 50,000+ attendees have returned home, eager for what the future holds in commercial interiors. As one of the largest and most pivotal furniture trade shows in North America, NeoCon showcases the latest products, ideas and industry trends. The event, held annually at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart from June 12-14, caters to an array of vertical markets and draws interior designers and architects from around the world.

Outlined below are four industry trends currently circulating throughout commercial design. We’ll touch on how these trends made their way into the 2017 NeoCon showrooms and the new products that will emerge in the coming months.

Industry Trends

CDI 2017 Neocon Review Trends Balance Within Office Culture.

Balance Within Office Culture
Work environments are becoming increasingly flexible in order to offer greater autonomy for today’s diverse workforce. Not everyone works the same way and providing a variety of options for differing work styles is vital to overall productivity and company success.

The opportunity to choose where and when to work, along with the availability of flexible and mobile work spaces, can lend a hand in helping employees find balance in the office. Changing requirements within the workplace require adaptable furniture. Modular soft seating, workbenches, desk pods, collaborative and breakout furniture, and acoustic elements are all examples of office furniture that boost a high performance in the adaptable workplace.

CDI 2017 Neocon Review Trends Health and Wellness 3

Health & Wellness
The health and well-being of employees is paramount when designing a work space as it can directly affect an organization’s productivity and overall moral. Designs that promote movement and foster social connection are key in building a healthy, employee-centric environment.

An increasing number of businesses are also taking cues from nature and incorporating biophilic design into their work spaces to increase overall employee health and wellness. Studies have shown that integrating natural light and materials, views of the outdoors, and greenery into a modern built environment is a great way to refresh a work space and help occupants feel invigorated. Not only is the use of biophilic design mentally beneficial, it also impacts employee physical wellness by improving air quality, reducing stress and lowering blood pressure levels and heart rates.

CDI 2017 Neocon Review Trends Multi-Generations in the Workplace. In creating an inclusive culture to meet the needs of each age group and thus encouraging engagement, collaboration, and learning, organizations can more effectively attract and retain employees of all generations.

Multi-Generations in the Workplace
Employee engagement plays a key role in achieving overall organizational success in the multi-generational workforce. While most businesses realize the importance of engagement, a recent study by the Harvard Business Review found that three-quarters of surveyed business leaders noted their employees were not highly engaged. For an organization to cater to employees of varied ages and create engagement, it is important that their work space does the following;

  • Allows flexibility and mobility in work styles
  • Celebrates individual and team contributions
  • Provides opportunities for engagement and spaces for collaborations
  • Provides a third space for relaxed interaction and independent work
  • Clearly communicates organizational goals or objectives

In creating an inclusive culture to meet the needs of each age group and thus encouraging engagement, collaboration, and learning, organizations can more effectively attract and retain employees of all generations.

CDI 2017 Neocon Review Trends Technology

The ever-evolving category of technology continues to play an indispensable role in our lives, both at home and at work. With wireless charging technology becoming popular and the availability of furniture that allows seamless technology integration, work spaces are becoming increasingly connected and functional. The importance of this sector and the solutions it offers will certainly see an uprise, especially as younger generations continue to flood the workforce.

Furniture & Showroom Trends

CDI 2017 Neocon Review Furniture & Showroom Trends

The 2017 NeoCon showrooms were, as always, flooded with eye-catching furniture with a focus on ancillary pieces. Shades of plum and blushing pinks were draped throughout multiple vendor spaces, while boutique-like bronze and gold finishes also started to make an appearance. Modular designs and various touch-down areas encouraged mobile and flexible work styles. Work stations and collaboration areas were heavily personalized with paper management, accessories, and various lighting options; all highlighting the industry’s shifting focus to ancillary options.

Here are a few examples of how vendors incorporated industry trends in their showrooms.

Kimball incorporated a little bit of everything in their North Wells Street showroom. They showed off resimercial furniture with their Boyd and Bloom Lounge lines, desktop ancillary options, and integrated technology throughout many of their seating, desk and table options. We tried out the Pairings Lounge chairs with tech arms and found they offered just the right amount of privacy and convenient integrated technology in case our cell phones needed a quick boost.  The living wall within the hospitality area quite literally offered a breath of fresh air.

CDI at Kimball Office Chicago Showroom: Living Wall; Villa, Dock, Pep, & Custom Bars; Pairings & Dwell

A bright palette of colors and clean geometric shapes welcomed us into the Allermuir showroom. Show attendees were perched on every inch of the Paver Sofa System, demonstrating its use as a flexible and collaborative work space. The newly introduced Tarry lounge chair offered a sense of privacy and relaxation in an otherwise boisterous showroom. Multiple industry trends could be witnessed throughout the space, including modular soft seating, black furniture frames, and various touch down areas that welcomed a variety of work styles.

CDI at Allermuir Chicago Showroom: Paver Sofa System, Famiglia Chair, Mozaik Tables

JSI Furniture
The JSI showroom brought the feeling of home into the work environment, offering a contemporary, free-standing lounge collection with residential styling aesthetics. We felt inclined to sit back and relax in the new Indie lounge pieces and rest our tired feet on one of the many colorful, plush poufs that were scattered throughout the space. JSI showcased the industry’s focus on ancillary option with a display of hanging magazine pouches, lighting options, mobile purse hooks and flush, mounted marker boards. Freestanding privacy panels depicted a sense of seclusion, creating a “space within a space.”

CDI at JSI Furniture Chicago Showroom: Indie Lounge. Moto Lounge, and Accessories

Mayline – Safco
Bold orange chairs and accessories lined the Mayline-Safco showroom. A mix of traditional worksurfaces and innovative pieces were illustrated to encourage movement and collaboration. The newly unveiled Atmosphere Collection, which includes modular seating, benches and individual chairs, faciliates engagement and the freedom to flow seamlessly from meeting to relaxation. With a robust Active Collection and a wide variety of furniture options, Mayline-Safco has everything needed to make a smooth and stylish transition between spaces and postures throughout the day.

CDI at Mayline-Safco Chicago Showroom: Zenergy Swivel, Anywhere Table & Swivel Keg

Pops of vibrant orange and yellow invigorated our senses in the Global showroom, where space utilization and flexibility was the goal. The newly introduced Global Duet stacking table offers the optimal flexibility in a learning or training environment, speaking to both the education and corporate markets. Paired with the Popcorn chair in the showroom, the tables are lightweight, easily stacked and can be specified to gang together. A pair of bold, yellow Vitrola chairs with matching accent pillows followed the resimerical trend with its classic, finely tailored design. The River Personal Harbor, a new addition to the River series, has the ability to integrate power and provide a feeling of privacy, giving users the option of mobility throughout their workday.


New Product Review


Kimball New Product Review by CDI: Nash Stool, Lusso Chair, Narrate/Theo Lounge Chair(clockwise from top left) Nash Stool, Lusso Chair, Narrate/Theo Lounge Chair

Kimball New Product Review by CDI: Pairings Perch, fiXt Table/Dwell Ottomans(from top) Pairings Perch, fiXt Table/Dwell Ottomans


Allermuir New Product Review by CDI: Famiglia Soft Seating, Tarry Lounge Chair, Mote Credenza, Jinx Soft Seating(clockwise from top) Famiglia Soft Seating, Tarry Lounge Chair, Mote Credenza, Jinx Soft Seating


JSI New Product Review by CDI: Indie Lounge Collection (tables, pillows, seating, poufs) and Bourne Stools(clockwise from top left) Indie Lounge Collection: Lamp Table, Single Seat Leg Lounge/Accent Pillows/Triangle Table, Round Pouf, Low Lounge/Two Seat Leg Lounge/Triangle Pouf/Bourne Stools


Stylex New Product Review by CDI: Ridge Guest Chair, NYC Standard Lounge, Verve Chair, Ridge Lounge Chair(clockwise from top left) Ridge Guest Chair, NYC Standard Lounge, Verve Chair, Ridge Lounge Chair


New Product Collage(clockwise from top right) River Personal Harbor Lounge Seating, Spritz Task Seating and Zook Table, Vitrola Lounge Seating

About CDI
CDI is a cutting-edge commercial furniture dealership that believes thoughtful design and strategic planning are critical components in the success of every project. We can help companies achieve their business vision and goals and help maintain your workplace investment. CDI creates functional and inspiring interiors designed to foster employee well-being, productivity and engagement.

CDI is a “Select” Kimball Office dealer. The “Select” status is Kimball’s premier dealer designation, which demonstrates dealership excellence in sales, service, financial stability, business processes and more.

Contact Us

Corporate Office & Showroom:
1711 Paramount Ct., Waukesha, WI  53186
P  262.521.1010

For more information, pricing or to schedule a showroom tour, please contact:
Michele-Aubry-LinkedinMichele Aubry, Director of Sales | 262.278.8916

Keys to Achieving Healing Healthcare Environments

Creating a satisfying healthcare environment requires holistically combining the needs of the patient, caregivers and loved ones to build the most effective design. Through our years of experience, we’ve seen first-hand that workplace design improves the overall health of employees and we are excited to be taking this next step in the healthcare industry by aiding those whose job it is to heal persons in the hospital by creating natural, healing environments through design.

We believe a customized design experience is crucial in fostering comfortable healing processes, promoting productivity among hospital staff and improving patient and caregiver safety, resulting in overall patient satisfaction.

Design for Patients & Their Loved Ones

A focus on designing facilities that cater to patient and family needs and comfort can aid in reducing stress and generating faster healing times. If the environment is calming and comfortable, anxieties about the visit can be dispelled and overall satisfaction with the experience can increase.

The Patient Room

Creating an environment within the patient room that is both safe for the patient and efficient for staff is imperative considering that patients spend most of their hospital stay within their room.

Kimball Health | Overbed Tables

Being confined to a room during the duration of a hospital stay can cause stress; therefore, providing adequate storage and customized power modules is beneficial in providing a positive experience. These features should be easily accessible by the patient to reduce stress and allow for nursing staff to assist patients with more critical issues in lieu of spending time helping with simpler tasks.

Kimball Health | Sanctuary

Patients’ visitors spend time in their room as well, so providing them with customized solutions, such as power capabilities and storage drawers for personal items, can help them feel comfortable within the room. If visitors enjoy being in the patient’s room worry-free, their focus can remain on helping their loved one recover.

This Kimball Meadow Patient Recliner allows for ease in patient transport while still adhering to patient safety. Movement is free and easy with rotating casters, but the chair can still be locked into position if necessary. Other adjustable features, such as the dual-sided Trendelenburg capability (which raises the patient’s feet above their head), an independent footrest operation and infinite back controls accommodate customized treatment services.

Kimball Health | Meadow

If a patient’s stay in the hospital will be lengthy, family may desire the ability to spend the night in the room with the patient. Accommodations for them to comfortably stay with their loved one encourages participation in the patient’s care and leads to better outcomes for patient recovery.

Kimball Health | Villa Sleep Sofa

The Waiting Room

Considering that family members play an important role in helping their loved ones heal, it is also essential to have destination spaces for them to connect, find respite and rejuvenate to allow for the best possible experience for any visitors, ultimately allowing them to solely focus on their loved ones needs.

Kimball Office | Pairings

Customized furniture in waiting rooms can aid in the physical and emotional needs of a person waiting to speak to a medical professional or awaiting news on their loved one receiving treatment. The versatile Kimball Pairings Lounge Based Collection is designed to be able to work alone or in combination with other pieces, offering endless configurations to achieve comfort.

Kimball Office | Villa

This collection’s ability to be designed for any space allows a person to actively control their level of comfort, hopefully easing nerves about an already uncomfortable and anxiety-filled visit to the hospital or doctor’s office.

Design for Healthcare Providers

While design for healing centers on the needs of the patients and their loved ones, it also focuses on the needs of the caregiving professionals as they are in constant and direct contact with the patients – ultimately responsible for overall satisfaction of the health organization. Productivity, efficiency, health and safety are all contributors of increased success in overall outcomes and patient satisfaction and should be considered when designing the ultimate healing space.

Productivity and Efficiency

With adjustable technology, caregivers can optimize communication. Trust between patient and caregiver during treatment is critical, and increasing the level of engagement between the two can cultivate that necessary sense of trust. Effective communication can enhance overall patient satisfaction with the quality of care they have received.

Additionally, adjustable technology can reduce discomfort and provide important postural benefits for caregivers working lengthy hours, most of which up and on their feet. Minimizing discomfort aids in their ability to work productively during these long hours and reduce the risk of any concentration issues that often lead to errors in patient care.


The principles of ergonomics minimize risk of injury, discomfort and error rates while maximizing productivity. Using design technology that highlights adjustability, flexibility, support and easy use can reduce error rate in treatment, simultaneously improving patient care and outcomes.

Humanscale | Mobile Cart

Ergonomic mobile carts allow for caregivers to spend more time caring for the patients and less time worrying about technology, ultimately allowing them to visit with more patients. Since these carts increase mobility, there is an added health benefit for the healthcare providers. Additionally, they save crucial time and energy by allowing for real-time data entry by caregivers, reducing the risk of error that can result from remembering the information and compiling it later.


Technology that enhances productivity and ergonomic improvement for caregivers can also create a safer environment for patient care. Since there is a direct correlation between nurse fatigue, patient care and safety – maximizing patient safety while minimizing risk of error is essential.

Humanscale | Pony Saddle

The Saddle and Pony Saddle seats are ideal for working closely on the computer and offer a healthy way of sitting if leaning back on a back rest is not an option. Comfortable and versatile, these seats improve posture and allow for long-term comfort.

The V6 technology wall station was engineered & designed by the Humanscale Design Studio specifically for the healthcare environment.

Humanscale | Adjustable Wall Stations

This customized wall station supports a monitor and keyboard – along with hardware, shelves and accessories – that allows for easy positioning. Comfort for the caregiver and effective communication between them and the patient can be effectively maintained through this ergonomic design.

Managing fatigue and providing solutions to minimize fatigue is key for maintaining high-quality patient care and safety within the healthcare system. Designing spaces for caregivers and providers directly responsible for patient care can improve overall work place well-being. Offering designs that highlight productivity, ergonomic improvements and safety can streamline caregivers’ jobs and make positive impacts on the work environment and with patient care.

Final Thoughts

Focusing directly on the needs of patients, their family and those who work in the healthcare industry is critical in overall satisfaction with a healing experience. A customized design directly allows for comfortable accommodations and ergonomic improvements, increased productivity, enhanced safety measures and beneficial patient care and outcomes.

About the Author

Dana Marble has an interior design background & worked in the architectural industry for 10+ years before joining Corporate Design Interiors.  As a healthcare account executive, Dana is able to apply her project experience and help her clients develop patient-centric environments, which promotes successful business and increases overall satisfaction rates.

About CDI

CDI is a cutting-edge commercial furniture dealership that believes thoughtful design and strategic planning are critical components in the success of every project. We can help companies achieve their business vision and goals and help maintain your workplace investment. CDI creates functional and inspiring interiors designed to foster employee well-being, productivity and engagement.

CDI is a “Select” Kimball Office dealer. The “Select” status is Kimball’s premier dealer designation, which demonstrates dealership excellence in sales, service, financial stability, business processes and more.

For more information:

Contact Us

Corporate Office & Showroom:
1711 Paramount Ct., Waukesha, WI  53186
P  262.521.1010

Dana Marble
P 262.544.8694

Giving Employees Healthier Options with Xsede Height Adjust

Kimball Office | Xsede Height Adjust.

Giving employees a healthier option for their workspace.
Today’s employers are doing more to support employee wellbeing.  Architects and designers are designing for workplace wellbeing. And now with Kimball Office’s new Xsede height adjust desks; an employee’s work surface can support it as well.
With the touch of a button, Xsede height-adjustable benches and tables allow employees to seamlessly shift between sitting and standing. Freeing them from the negative health effects of staying in the same position for their entire workday.

Xsede is designed to work anywhere in any space. It can be used as a freestanding table in a private office. As a benching arrangement that can support employees working together — even if the work surface heights they enjoy are completely different. You can even add privacy panels to Xsede for workers who need their own space.

With a power/data beam stretching from end to end Xsede not only keeps phones, computers, and other devices powered throughout the day, it keeps cords neatly organized and out of sight. Which means, with Xsede you can satisfy employees who want a healthier workspace and those who want one that’s less cluttered.


For more information, pricing or to schedule a showroom tour, please contact:
Michele-Aubry-LinkedinMichele Aubry, Director of Sales | 262.278.8916

Contact Us

Corporate Office & Waukesha Showroom:
1711 Paramount Ct., Waukesha, WI  53186
P  262.521.1010

Top 3 Benefits of Employee-Centric Workplace Design


It’s no surprise that when a person feels genuinely cared for, they also feel inclined to reciprocate the same gesture. It’s no different in a professional workplace setting. Employees that feel valued by their respective company are more engaged, strive to exceed goals and contribute their best to the company’s overall success.

Traditionally, employee-centric companies focus on demonstrating their care for the physical, emotional, social, and mental needs of employees (as a whole person) by offering flex-time, wellness plans, recognition programs and the like. But looking at the overall well-being of an employee also means it’s important to meet those needs within the workplace environment itself on a day-to-day basis. Employee-centric workplace design is the best way to meet those needs and it not only makes employees feel valued and cared for, it provides three additional benefits:

Develops Stronger Relationships

Collaborative spaces – According to the 2016 Gensler research findings, the most innovative employees spend almost half of their time working in collaboration with others, either in person or via technological devices. Designing a space that invests in the individual employees, allowing them ease of collaboration and choice in where they work helps to foster strong working relationships. top-3-post-colab-image

Amenity spaces – Gensler has also found that successful employees have 2 times more access to amenities. Designing several spaces for employees to work in is great, but designing additional spaces for them to unplug from work is very beneficial. These spaces provide time for employees to build inter-personal relationships at the workplace and demonstrates that the company cares for the individual on a personal level by giving them some personal space and time.


Connection/Purpose – The study also demonstrates the importance of designing a space that helps employees feel a strong connection to their managers and the company’s overall mission and impact on the community at large. This connection not only builds stronger relationships with individuals, but strengthens the relationship of the employee to company.


Promotes Overall Health

Support station designThe Ted Moudis Workplace Report has found that “convenience is no longer king” when it comes to support stations. It’s a widely-known fact that over two-thirds of the workforce is disengaged from their work, and workplace stress is on the rise, afflicting 8 out of 10 workers. To combat stress and disengagement, well-purposed space for communal technology is now designed with exercise in mind. Instead of having a printer at each employee work station, a centralized location encourages healthy and frequent movement throughout the work day, improving overall health and aids in refocused engagement.


Incorporate nature – “Biophilic design (designing a space that connects people to nature) can reduce stress, enhance creativity and clarity of thought, improve our well-being and expedite healing,” according to Browning, Ryan & Clancy in the 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design. So naturally, workplaces that incorporate nature in their design respectively improve the overall health and well-being of its employees.

Work space adjustability – The Gensler report has also found that employees work better in spaces that are more easily adjustable as it’s one of the key factors for consideration in workplace design. Adjustability not only creates ease of utilization at a workspace, it also promotes improved health of employees by its ability to be customized to an individual’s posture. Good posture and healthy physical workplace practices create comfort, reduces stress headaches and also contributes to overall health.


Drives Innovation

Choice – Gensler’s research study states that “Innovative companies are 5X more likely to have workplaces that prioritize both individual and group workspace.” As stated earlier, almost half of an innovative employee’s time is spent working in groups, which naturally means that almost half of their time is spent doing the opposite. The secret to helping your employees succeed in both of these endeavors is to create more functional workspaces, allowing them the choice to move freely from individual focused work stations to collaborative workspaces. The fact that they are able to make these choices promotes innovation.


Purposeful use of spaceOverall, the results of the Gensler study have proven what we’ve believed to be true all along: The design of a workplace has a direct effect on a company and its employees’ innovation and creativity.

On average, employees at innovative companies have better-designed, more functional workspaces that unlock creative potential,” says Diane Hoskins, co-CEO at Gensler. “Employees truly flourish when they have room to not only collaborate but also have space to focus, and are empowered to work when and how they work best—both within their workplace, and in other locations outside it.”


 Why is all of this important?

Designing an employee-centric workplace helps to meet the needs of the employees collectively and as individuals, aiding them to become the best versions of themselves. When a person is at their best, they perform their best. Knowing that the company cares about their workspace needs, yields stronger workplace relationships, healthier employees, and unlocks creativity and innovation.


Experience the CDI Difference!

Want to learn more? Come and visit our showrooms to experience the depth of what CDI has to offer. Learn first-hand how we combine aesthetics, innovation, creativity, functionality, versatility and nature into the space that perfectly suits your needs and helps your employees create their best work.

About the Author

heather-headshot-2016Heather Nemoir, IIDA, is Partner and General Manager at Corporate Design Interiors whose goal is to help clients realize the possibilities through innovation in their workplace environments.  She holds a B.S. Degree in Interior Design from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is NCIDQ Certified #026717.

About CDI

CDI is a cutting-edge commercial furniture dealership that believes thoughtful design and strategic planning are critical components in the success of every project. We can help companies achieve their business vision and goals and help maintain your workplace investment. CDI creates functional and inspiring interiors designed to foster employee well-being, productivity and engagement.

CDI is a “Select” Kimball Office dealer. The “Select” status is Kimball’s premier dealer designation, which demonstrates dealership excellence in sales, service, financial stability, business processes and more.

For more information:

Contact Us

Corporate Office & Waukesha Showroom:
1711 Paramount Ct., Waukesha, WI  53186
P  262.521.1010

Milwaukee Showroom:
191 N. Broadway, Milwaukee, WI  53202
P  414.226.6005

Downsizing the Cubicle

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration Open-Office-Circa-1930

The open office has been around since the early part of the 20th century with desks being arranged in rows,  after the introduction of the original panel system in the 1960’s, the modern day cubicle has defined today’s office. It’s been the subject of many studies and punch lines. Now in the 21st century, we’re in a time where real estate prices are rising, computers are shrinking and a new generation is coming into the workforce.

Forbes is predicting that by 2020 the average amount of space per employee will drop to 150 square feet while other researchers are predicting it will drop even lower to 100 square feet per employee.

According to Core Net Global, a commercial real estate association, the average square footage per employee in 2012 was 176, down from 225 square feet in 2010.  Are companies investing in less real estate or using their real estate differently?

It’s a little of both, companies are giving their employees less personal space, and adding collaborative space to their offices. Companies are doing away with private offices and reducing the number of high-paneled, fully-surrounded workstations and opting for more open plan or benching systems that puts only a few feet between employees. This is a very intimate and informal way of working but for the younger generation entering the workplace; it’s something many of them don’t mind and are quick to embrace.


Why the migration to more open and collaborative spaces?  It’s not just because the cost of real estate is rising or because collaboration is the new buzz word. Cubicles, more currently referred to in the furniture industry as “workstations”, no longer need to be 8×10 or 5×5 and for one very simple reason: technology. Technological advancements have improved items like monitors that no longer take up half a desk top, the rolodex has been replaced by a cell phone and no one needs to store hard disks, floppy disks or reams of paper files at their desk.  By eliminating the excess space no longer necessary for storage, it opens up space needed for an individual.

Technology has also provided greater mobility.  Research points to sitting all day as bad for health (and overall productivity).  Movement is a healthy component of the workday, and offices are being designed around flexible movement needs.   Open offices provide employees with more movement than ever before because there are more places to work.  Untethering an employee from their  desk and chair is an ever-growing priority.  If there are too many distractions,  individual refuge spaces where someone can go, close a door and not be distracted by the open office provide a key option.  CDI’s Cloud Room, shown below, provides a fully enclosed room featuring a height-adjustable Humanscale Float Table that allows the end user to sit or stand to get their heads down focus work completed.

CDI Cloud Focus Room

Companies have realized that shrinking the workstation allows for other opportunities such as more conference rooms, collaboration areas and community spaces.

Kimball_Dock_(Conference Room) R1

Conference rooms provide the formality of a private office but the team oriented environment that the new workplace is going toward. Oft-loaded with the latest technology, a conference room like the one pictured above featuring Kimball Office Dock® Meeting Table and Kimball Office Stow™ Presentation Wall allows everyone to plug in, share ideas, connect with other cities while providing needed privacy as well not disrupting the rest of the office.

New Dock Meeting (Setup B)_R4

Collaboration areas include everything from tables between rows of desks that enable workers to pull up their own chair to the table to have a quick impromptu meeting to more permanent pieces like the Mio™ from National  or the  Dock® Work Table from Kimball. An added benefit of collaboration areas is that their ability to double as a second work space for employees and provide flexibility to support mobility.

Lastly, community spaces are important and quite different from the other spaces mentioned. Community spaces are areas like CDI’s work café, where employees can work, eat, relax or gather.

This community space is an informal environment within the office that levels the hierarchy much like the rest of the open office does.  It features a varied array of furniture layouts ranging from a large kitchen island with stools to comfortable lounge seating around the fireplace to banquette seating equipped with tabletop power and data access throughout.

The extreme of tearing down all walls in an office and no one having an assigned area is exactly that, while it works for some companies it’s by no means a one-size fits all solution.  What is important is to design an office that can evolve with company growth,  evolving generational workforces  and technology. Any workspace consideration needs to account for the current structure of the company and how it can be enhanced. Key considerations must include:

  • How can a space be more functional
  • How can square footage be best-utilized in an effort to create a productive office space
  • How can space be used to help employees feel more comfortable in the office

A workspace overhaul  or new build out is an exciting process with countless considerations. Corporate Design Interiors has the experts on-hand ready to understand a client’s business, their workflow needs and how best to design a workspace that enhances productivity in an effort that inspires creativity, collaboration as well as admiration and appreciation from both employees and customers alike.

Written by Eileen McGee – Contributor

For additional information on the product or applications noted above, or to schedule a consultation to discuss a new project, contact:

Michele-Aubry-LinkedinMichele Aubry, Director of Sales | 262.278.8916

2016 Pantone Color of the Year


Pantone just released their 2016 Color of the Year and for the first time introduced two shades – Rose Quartz and Serenity.  “Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace,” the company said.

A departure from the vibrant colors of past years, this year’s color duo brings calm and relaxation.

Past Pantone Colors

As described in their news release, “Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.”

With today’s workplace evolving and creating greater focus on well-being and connection to nature, designers will find the use of these two shades a welcoming palette for creating calming respite areas.  Corporate Design Interiors‘ new office and showroom illustrates the use of this tranquil tone on the walls of one of their small focus rooms.

CDI Cloud Focus Room

2015 Pantone Color of the Year




Pantone just released their 2015 color of the year – Marsala.  This comes as a great surprise considering for the past seven straight years, the colors have been extremely bright and vibrant.   Remember Honeysuckle and Tangerine Tango from 2011 and 2012, respectively?  Marsala, a natural robust earthy red that falls within the brown family, is just the opposite.  It enriches our mind, body, and soul, and brings the feeling of warmth, romance, and elegance, yet it does not overpower with it’s versatility.  While it exudes confidence, Marsala can be used on its own or it can make the perfect neutral and pair with just about anything from warmer taupes, grays, and golden yellows to blues and greens like turquoise and teal.  Check out just how flexible Marsala is with some color pairings that Pantone put together.


Our favorite color combination has to be when Marsala is paired with metallics, anything ranging from bronze to pewter.  Maharam, one of our all-time favorite textile manufacturers, just released the pattern, Carapace, by designer Hella Jongerius, which comes in seven different colorways.  Number 001 incorporates a multitude of metallics while Marsala is used as a neutral counterpart.

Tuesday-Textile-by-CDI-maharam-carapace Tuesday-Textile-by-CDI-maharam-carapace-info

With a 100,000+ double rub rating, a PFOA-free stain resistant finish, and an acrylic backing, this upholstery can be used in a multitude of applications including high traffic areas.  For more inspiration on Pantone’s 2015 Color of the Year – Marsala, visit our dedicated pin here.

All I Want For Christmas Series – Part 3 of 3

Christmas Eve is tomorrow and you can actually feel the holiday spirit in the air.  People seem to be either rushing around frantically to make holiday arrangements or they are in complete vacation mode.  Come tomorrow, I will officially be in vacation mode and enjoying much needed time with family and friends.  However, there is still one more day before Christmas and my holiday wish list wouldn’t be complete without revealing the final item on my All I Want For Christmas Series!

CDI---All-I-Want-for-Christmas (2)

With so many new trends in the workplace today, it’s hard not to notice the abundance of architectural elements that have arose.  Room dividers and wall partitions have become extremely popular in recent years because not only do they add architectural interest and allow natural light to pass through, but they can be moved, allowing for a workspace to be easily reconfigured. LOFTwall, a commercial and residential manufacturer, recently expanded their line of wall partitions and unveiled the WEBwall.


WEBwall‘s unique appearance consists of overlapping and interlocking elements and is made up entirely of aluminum .  It comes in two heights: 53″ and 78″.  A single unit is 52″ wide, but can be easily extended when selecting add-on sections. The color choices include silver, white, black, or you can choose a custom color.


Take a peak at the WEBwall in action!

Flashback Friday: The Employee Lounge – Ho Hum to Playful Fun


The idea is still the same, take a break from work, but the evolution of the employee lounge has changed drastically.  Whether you choose to socialize a bit and spend time playing something to take your mind off of work or isolate yourself in the corner for a mental break from everything and everyone, the modern day lounge has become everyone’s “happy place”.  The trend over recent years has been toward employers offering the relaxing oasis and office playgrounds as a perk to retain employees and keep them on property.  Anything goes from swings and slides that were previously exclusive to the outdoors to gaming & sporting equipment that rival something of an adult Disneyworld.


Image Source:


AOL Head Quarters – Palo Alto, California
Image Source:


YouTube – San Bruno, California
Image Source:

United Therapeutics

United Therapeutics Silver Spring, MD
Image Source:

For further inspiration on creating unique lounge areas, check out our boards on Office Playgrounds  Bringing Outdoors In and  Lounge Areas.

CDI-Web-Lt-Green CDI-Twitter-Mint CDI-Showroom-Tour-Gold CDI-Pinterest-Red CDI-Linkedin-Amber CDI-Google-Dk-Green CDI-Facebook-Aqua