New materials, looks and styles


CDW. Chairplan

Be inspired!

As a creative and innovative designer and manufacturer of chairs and soft furnishings we like to be at the forefront of new product ideas and design. With that in mind, it would be no surprise to  find us rooting around through the best of everything at this years Clerkenwell Design Week.

Sarah Roberts, our product design expert, gives her guide to what was best at the Show, what to look out for,  and how it could inspire your seating choices for the year ahead.


Detailing to create statement pieces

Stitching. CDW. Chairplan

Whether you’re looking at office chairs, meeting booths, office pods, sofas or soft seating, the year ahead looks to be all about the finer detailing…

All of this detailing can be used to help highlight certain aspects of the soft seating & chairs to make it a statement piece. Particularly in a business setting, corporate detailing can also give the furniture a more bespoke, personal feel.

Beyond the upholstery, other detailing looking to be at the forefront in the coming year is about the build design including:

  • Air charge – power supply ports
  • Cubby holes built into the meeting pods and booths


Deep buttoning. CDW. Chairplan

Fabrics too…

If you’re looking to create a statement piece or liven up your office space, new fabrics and vinyl are the way to go. There were 2 noticeable trends to look out for:

  • Patterns – vary from subtly, bold, bright and daring which are ideal for working with a neutral solid colour: two-tone upholstery
  • Using a contrast of vinyl with fabric, to encourage people to sit down, and feel the different textures that are available


Wood is making a comeback

Stylish metal and chrome finishes have been the favoured look for chairs and seating for many years now but is it time for wood to make a comeback?  Well it certainly seems so at CDW where wood seemed to be at the forefront for the furniture sector.

Using wood in the design highlights a much more natural feel and look. Some ways to use wood in the design included:

  • Used as the main focus point legs and tables
  • Pallet furniture – whether it be a table, chair or sofa with the addition of seat pads, back and cushionsWood in design. CDW. Chairplan
  • The outside wooden frame is exposed (styled design only) with the adding of seat pads, backs and cushions for the comfort aspect
  • Full chairs made out of 5 layers of 3D veneer which can be plied into any direction and shape – got to see the original product halfway through production and the finished product



At Chairplan we have already seen a big growth in orders for meeting booths and pods but it looks like that this trend is going to continue in the year ahead.

Booths and Pods have already become a popular way to break up large open place office space while simultaneously creating quite working spaces for meetings. Increasingly their uses are spreading into other office spaces, particularly where there is less room for meeting rooms, hallways and even reception areas.

Some of the innovations include:

  • Half pods – single-seater pods with a lower back
  • Standard sofa height pods – semi circle seating without the table built in
  • Pods with built in adjustable tables, that can be adjust by a touch of a button (height and depth to suit all users) this is also included the benefit of a sit-stand environment
  • Sensory Nook. CDW. ChairplanSensory nook – aimed at a controlled environment for people with special needs, including dyslexia, autism. A welcoming refuge in a busy environment
  • Large lounge chairs/pod chairs for single use – ideal for privacy of the individual worker
  • And, as mentioned earlier, built-in storage areas and power support


Acoustic, seating… multi-purpose the way forward?

Noise can be one of the biggest impacts on staff in a work place. As a result, much time and effort has been spent on creating products and materials that will reduce the impact of office noise. While screens and panels featured quite heavily at CDW, it looks like the next step is to integrate other functions in to them, such as a curved screen with a built in chair, a hot desk area or shelving.


Do it your way, go bespoke

The meeting booths and multi-purpose panels are typical of the bespoke, custom-made emphasis being demanded by our clients. Whatever the idea, style, look, feel or features, anything now seems to go. And so, if you want bar stools with bar height table and on the other side is a seating area, then get in touch with Chairplan.


Turning ideas in to great furniture

CDW was a great opportunity for us to see innovative new materials and products, as well as the renaissance of wood in furniture design. It’s all great inspiration but of course now it is about using those ideas to further enhance our product ranges to give all of our partners the very best products to choose from, so watch this space!


About Chairplan

A family-run business that was founded in 1996, Chairplan is a leading UK based designer and manufacturer of chairs and soft furnishings for offices and businesses. More about us»

From our Royston, Hertfordshire, factory our specialist team are able to provide a wide range of chair and seating furniture solutions as well as design, build and manufacture bespoke items.

Find out more…call us on 01763 244 112