NeoCon 2023 Recap

Last week interior designers Jessica Knowlden and Haley Becker set off to Chicago to experience the latest in interior design…

NeoCon 2023 Recap

Last week interior designers Jessica Knowlden and Haley Becker set off to Chicago to experience the latest in interior design trends at NeoCon 2023. We met with them post-conference to find out their favorite products, showrooms and hear about their experiences. Read more below!

What were some of the most unique product(s) you saw?

Jessica: The most unique product I saw was the Hedge Seating by Shiavello Furniture. Its design was playful and sculptural – unexpected for a sofa. When you sit on it you completely sink down and then bounce back up.

Haley: One piece I found interesting was the Pippin lounge chair designed by NaughtOne and inspired by Doc Martens. It is made for collaborative work and easy to move with a strap handle and hidden casters underneath. The red Shiavelllo bench was super interesting as well. Another piece that stood out to me was an all-aluminum workstation. It was futuristic and maybe a little cold, but it was very unique!

Who had the best showroom / booth? 

Jessica: I liked seeing the Kvadrat Fabric showroom. This is one of my favorite fabric manufacturers and their showroom featured a unique art-like installation of the fabrics. My favorite showroom was MillerKnoll. It was stunning and incorporated the newly merged company’s Bauhaus roots. The showroom featured iconic pieces in a beautiful, bright materials. It was fun to sit in a $14,000 chair!

Kvadrat Fabric
Andreu World

Haley: I loved the Andreu World showroom. Once I saw it, I was immediately inspired and knew it would be perfect for one of my current projects. All of their pieces were just so beautiful and they match what I was looking for in color, textures and form. Overall, the MillerKnoll showroom was definitely the best installation. The furniture was full of rich textures and the layout of the showroom made it a standout.

What are some of the trends you noticed at this year's NeoCon?

Jessica: Trends I took note of include amped-up colors, suedes and leather, more rounded / organic shapes, Earth-friendly products made from recycled plastics, a lot of acoustics and a huge focus on biophilia.

Haley: Similar to Jess, I noticed there was a big trend in creating coziness through soft, rounded furniture and unique acoustic solutions. Comfort was prioritized, with many pieces offering moments of privacy and relaxation.

What did you enjoy most about attending NeoCon and visiting Chicago?

Jessica: I enjoyed everything about it – from seeing new trends in furniture, fixtures, and textiles to meeting new people. It was also great to share this experience with my coworker Haley. We were able to bounce ideas off each other for current and future projects. Plus, the food scene in Chicago is amazing. We had some memorable lunches and dinners with reps from different companies like sushi at SushiSan, Mediterranean for lunch at Avec, dinner at Fulton Market Kitchen, and more sushi on our last night at Kai Zan.

Haley: I left feeling very inspired by the color trends, soft rounded furniture and use of acoustics. It was a lot of fun getting to go with Jess as well. We had a packed schedule and met up with many of the Los Angeles reps who showed us new products. I have to agree on the food – everything we ate was so good and it was the best sushi I've ever had.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Jessica: We were hosted by Focal Point Lighting (big thank you for hosting us!) and got to tour their factory. They showed us prototypes for new products and asked our opinions on the designs. The tour focused on their free-standing furniture light pieces, acoustic light fixtures, and incorporating biophilia into lighting.