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5 Things We Learned at NeoCon & BDNY

As we unpack from the last of our 2022 trade shows, we always tack stock of what we learned at each show. This year, Design Pool exhibited at NeoCon for the second year. In addition, we also exhibited at Boutique Design Magazine’s BDNY. Whenever we exhibit at a show, we’re there for two reasons. First, we want to introduce interior designers to Design Pool. Second, we walk the floor looking for trends in pattern, color, and the industry in general. As the world has emerged from a global pandemic, new changes have occurred in interior design. We noticed many of these changes at NeoCon and BDNY.

5 Things We Learned at NeoCon & BDNY


People are looking to connect to a place and each other, whether at a restaurant with friends, a hotel for a business trip, or with colleagues at the office. When interacting with a space, they want it to reflect the place they’re in and get a sense of the local personality and flavor. Consumers also want more opportunities to connect with each other and the community. Spaces that make those connections happen organically help strengthen the community.


There has been much research about the healing power of nature for our mental and physical health. Even looking out a window at nature can have a positive impact when it’s impossible to go outside. This has propelled architects and interior designers to develop new and exciting ways to connect people directly to nature and incorporate biophilic design into their projects. From real plant mural installations to open-air lobbies to designing hospital rooms with outdoor views, the barriers between inside and outside are coming down.

Experiential Design

Many different types of businesses are no longer only competing with each other for business. They’re also competing with the home experience. Consumers have gotten used to getting takeout and eating at home or working from their quiet home office. For businesses, that’s lost revenue. Hotels and restaurants must create an entire experience to lure consumers out of their homes. The same is true for offices. Getting employees to give up the comfort, privacy, and flexibility of a home office and spend time and money commuting to an office is no easy task. Employers are looking for ways to design a commute-worthy experience to lure employees back to the office.


One of the most important lessons of the COVID pandemic is that everything can change instantly. Those businesses that adapted quickly to the evolving situation gained the trust and loyalty of their customers. And ultimately, they fared better through tough times than those who didn’t. In many instances, adapting quickly meant new technology, such as a POS system for online orders or an e-commerce website. Additionally, businesses had to adjust their physical spaces with clear signage or physical partitions. However they adapted, the goal was for employees and customers to feel safe and comfortable. When designing new buildings for the future, designers are doing it with this in mind to help businesses adapt quickly to whatever unexpected situation surprises them.


Today’s consumers have more information at their fingertips than ever before. With this information comes the ability to make informed decisions about where they spend their money and on what. They want to know the core values of a company and get to know the people behind it. In addition, they are interested in the products and services they buy. Who made them and where? Where do they go at the end of their lifestyle? What is the impact of their manufacturing on the environment? With many more choices available to consumers, they want the information to make informed decisions about their purchases and support businesses that align with their values.

Exhibiting at NeoCon & BDNY was a valuable way to take the pulse of the industry. Why? Because seeing and hearing what the industry is looking for helps us design our patterns to fit these needs. What have you seen at shows in your industry? We’d love to know! Leave us a comment or DM us on Instagram so we can see what you’re experiencing too.

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Kristin Crane

Kristin Crane has designed jacquard designs for the home furnishing and residential jobber market for many years, with mills in the US and in China. Today, she writes about pattern and design trends for Design Pool from her home in Providence, Rhode Island. When not writing about fabric, she can be found weaving in her home studio or hiking along the Rhode Island coast.


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