Story at a glance:

  • The world’s top commercial interior design event took place in Chicago in mid-June 2023.
  • This year’s designs included many products that help to make spaces feel warmer and safer.

Products that help to create safe, comfortable spaces were among our favorite designs at this year’s NeoCon.

This year’s major commercial design event—the world’s leading platform for the commercial interior design industry since 1969—took place at The Mart in Chicago from June 12 to 14, 2023.

Here’s a look at some of this year’s most exciting sustainable office furniture solutions and more from NeoCon 2023.

Workspace Team Locker from Hollman


Photo courtesy of Hollman

This new workplace storage solution from Hollman makes it easy to do great work. The Workspace Team Locker is designed to hold heavy equipment, store multiple uniforms, and protect personal belongings. It also offers employees secure locked areas, LED lighting, and a personal charging station.

The fully customizable design is made for company branding through color selections and logo placements. Premium materials include marine-grade vinyl cushion seating, stainless steel grill detailing, and antimicrobial linen interiors options.

This newest solution was inspired by Hollman’s Elevate and Elevate + Athletic Lockers. Hollman products qualify for BIFMA Gold for indoor air quality, and 80% of projects qualify for LEED points based on recycled content and low-emissions materials (and we love those zero-VOC finishes). Hollman is also Green Certified with a 96.14% waste diversion rate.

Nook Pod


Photo courtesy of Nook Pod

Pods are here to stay, and Nook Pod has a wide selection of multipurpose mobile spaces where you can collaborate or put your head down and focus. The fully customizable Nook Huddle complements and extends any space’s functionality, with comfortable, sustainable seating for two people.

Nook is committed to net zero emissions and aims to reuse, recycle, and remanufacture where possible. The company uses FSC-certified wood products and recycled fabrics. Even the lampshade is 3D-printed from recycled ABS plastic.

Bentley’s Culinary Collection

Bentley’s new Culinary Collection includes three styles—On the Block, From Scratch, and Serve It Up. “It was inspired by the scratch marks left behind in cooking. The pattern is dynamic. It’s fabulous,” says Victoria deVuono, vice president of product and marketing at Bentley. She likens the process of designing and manufacturing beautiful flooring to that of preparing a great meal—and the Culinary Collection serves up great options for any project.

On the Block’s deep texture, reminiscent of the nicks and grooves of the butcher block, makes an impact, while From Scratch can spice up any space with a bold, large-scale, multi-directional pattern. Serve It Up is more reserved, with an approachable style and simple elegance.

All are produced in a carbon neutral, LEED Gold–certified manufacturing facility and all include Declare labels and have achieved Red List Approved status through the Living Building Challenge, among other sustainable accolades. All of the flooring is manufactured with Bentley Premium Nylon, PVC-free, and Cradle to Cradle–certified.

AHF Products


Nod to Nature flooring. Photo courtesy of Armstrong Flooring

AHF Products celebrated a theme of unity at this year’s NeoCon as they brought together three top commercial brands—Armstrong Flooring, Parterre, and AHF Contract.

Within the AHF Contract portfolio the Nod to Nature collection is particularly compelling and comes in three styles—Rewilding, Dry Back Traditional LVT; Individuality, Loose Lay Thick LVT; and Visionary, SPC Rigid Core.

The same designs—including wood, linen, and stone visuals—are offered in multiple constructions so customers can find the exact look they want for flooring in any contract space. The flooring stands up to dents and stains and is easy to clean with simple damp mopping. The floors also include antimicrobial technology that inhibits the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew.

Garden on the Wall Preserved Gardens


Garden on the Wall installation at BNA (Nashville Airport), installed in January 2023. Garden on the Wall experts say it’s the largest preserved garden/moss wall in the world. Photo courtesy of Garden on the Wall

Preserved gardens from Garden on the Wall provide a sustainable, low-maintenance alternative to living walls and are said to retain their vibrant appearance for seven to 10 years without requiring water, sunlight, or soil. These preserved gardens make biophilic design even more accessible in workplaces and more. Garden on the Wall has completed and installed more than 1,600 projects since establishing their company in 2014.

These solutions are also listed in the mindful MATERIALS database, Transparency Catalog, have a Declare Label, are RED List–free, and conform to the Healthy Hospitals Initiative, among other sustainable initiatives.

Bjelin’s Hardened Wood Collection


New hardened wood options from Bjelin. Photo courtesy of Bjelin

Part of the Swedish family-owned Pervanovo company group based in the south of Sweden, with state-of-the-art production facilities in Croatia, Bjelin invented the world’s first laminate flooring products. Their new hardened wood collection won the Best of NeoCon 2023 Award in the Hard-Surface Flooring: Natural Materials category.

“We’re thrilled to win this prestigious award,” Zach Adams, Bjelin’s general manager for the US, said in a press release. “This is a testament that our hardened wood flooring range is one of a kind. Made from high-quality European wood, these floors are durable, beautifully designed, and a more sustainable option.”

The new hardened wood offerings combine innovative and revolutionary technologies with the luxury feel of a real wood floor. The development is in collaboration with the sister company Välinge Innovation AB—best known as the inventors of the click floor.

The floors are not only waterproof; they offer incredible impact protection. They’re also easy to install and are now available in extra-large dimensions that are both beautiful and cost-effective.

Extremis’ Manille

Manille is a new outdoor table from Belgian brand Extremis that gives you endless design options you can feel good about. Each bench offers an uncluttered look with a slight inclination and backrest.

Experience endless modularity as an extension piece allows you to connect multiple tables side by side. An intuitive and protective shade system invites you to stay outside all year-round. Anchor the table to the ground, if you like. Inclusive design invites wheelchair users to easily sit at the head of the table.

Colors (subject to change) are papyrus white, Earth, Reed green, Verdigris, and Galvanized steel.

Ethnicraft’s Barrow

Cozy up to Ethnicraft’s new Barrow for Two and a new hue—pine green—for the beloved Barrow lounge chair and pouf. The sofa was designed by Jacques Deneef, along with the rest of the collection, with the idea of minimal living.

Once available in soothing off-white, warm copper, and energizing ginger colorways, the lounge chair and pouf are now available in an earthy, peaceful green.

Ethnicraft was established in Antwerp more than 25 years ago by two friends—Benoit Loos and Philippe Delaisse. Today the brand continues to broaden its creative palette while also using wood sourced responsibly from carefully managed forests. They continue to take a circular approach to design.

Mohawk Group’s Mycotopia Collection


Mohawk Group’s Mycotopia collection offers a mix of patterns and textures using Durkan’s Definite and Pattern Perfect. Photo courtesy of Mohawk Group

The Mycotopia Collection from Mohawk Group’s Durkan Hospitality makes biophilic flooring dreams come true with plush, hand-tufted area rugs made from 100% New Zealand wool. Mycotopia celebrates the beauty and ecological importance of mushrooms and is inspired by the intricate patterns found in mushroom structures.

The design team commissioned artwork from Connie Avery, an artist with ArtLifting, for the collection. ArtLifting is a platform for artists who are traditionally underrepresented in the contemporary art market.