Design Trends That Define the Modern Office

These are the latest trends in office design.

In the world of art, trends move quickly. Interior design is no exception.

If you’ve stepped into a newly-designed startup office in the past few years, you’ve surely noticed some similarities. Despite our best efforts to be unique and stand out from the crowd, sometimes it’s inevitable that certain ideas would take hold and replicate themselves across different spaces. These are a few design trends that are inseperable from the modern office.

office design

1) Sitting on the Stairs
Have you ever tried to sit on the stairs at a crowded venue, only to be told by security that you’re creating a fire hazard? Well-kept stairs are an oddly tempting place to rest your feet, especially when all of the chairs and benches are taken.

Some offices have taken it upon themselves to install seating alongside and underneath staircases. In addition to making use of limited real estate, this technique makes the staircase itself look more lively. Rather than solely being used as a means of transit between floors, these multi-purpose staircases serve as place to relax and chat.

office design

2) The Cafe Aesthetic
For one reason or another, coffee is a big part of startup culture. Craft coffee has become a bit of an icon among young workers, and every major city in the States boasts its own clique of independent roasters. Offices pride themselves on serving craft coffee from sources that locals trust.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that the cafe aesthetic itself has taken over office design. If you don’t know what style to go for, just make your office look like a fancier Starbucks.

There’s merit to the trend, of course. Cafes are cozy and homely, yet they facilitate work. Many of us spent our student days working through assignments in coffee shops, and it’s hard not to associate Starbucks with free wifi. The cafe aesthetic is a safe bet for the young demographic that’s the likely target of coworking spaces and startup offices.

office design

3) Wood Paneling for Texture
In our age of sleek glass and durable steel, wood has come back in vogue. Much like the aforementioned cafe aesthetic, wood brings to mind a homelier feel than the uptight professionalism of gray carpet and glass walls.

But there’s more to it than dropping a wooden slab in the kitchen and calling it a dining table. Processed woods can be used to create a tailored look. When installed as paneling, wood injects natural color and texture into an otherwise artificial environment. Used sparingly and cautiously, wood-based furnishings give off a comfy vibe without turning the office into a cottage.

These are a few of the trends we’ve noticed from checking out coworking spaces and tech offices, but they would surely vary from region to region. What are modern offices like in different parts of the U.S., or in cities like London or Paris? If you have any examples in mind, reach out on Twitter and we’ll share them with our following.