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Get Inspired in the New Year with Stylish Design Trends

Kick off the New Year with modern rental furnishings that reflect 2017’s hottest trends in event décor!  CORT is introducing a variety of stylish new products for meeting and event professionals that will help planners create captivating, engaging, and immersive environments.

Trends in soft seating for events mirror the trends in home furnishings and continue to be dominated by all shades of gray and light colored linens with a strong shift towards eclecticism. The muted color palette is not only clean but features lush textured fabrics, fur, and velvet to give a soft organic feel.

Minimalistic furnishings in gray tones, such as CORT’s new modular Hexagon Ottomans and Island Double Sofas, embody the clean, neutral mid-century trend and serve as the canvas to layer color and other décor elements that provide individuality.  This aesthetic must still accommodate technology, and by adding charging tables and powered seating to spaces, designers can ensure they are addressing those needs as well.

Whether it’s a meeting in a hotel ballroom or an evening gala, clients want designs that exude warmth and facilitate connections. Pantone’s Spring 2017 color palette, along with Color of the Year, “Greenery”, offer an unusual juxtaposition of vitality, calmness and the great outdoors which represents this trend. Using earth centric colors and mixed materials in tables, ottomans, and décor also infuses organic elements, which is critical in today’s event design. Greenery is a great way to bring the outdoors inside and CORT’s full range of life-like greenery helps divide space and bring designs to life.  When blended with simplistic or geometric furnishings and pops of color that appear in nature, you get a fresh look that feels natural.

The rustic and vintage looks of the recent past are also morphing toward eclecticism, and combine art deco, modernism and urban industrial styles together for a more sophisticated, residential vibe.  Gold and brass metals complimented by glass, wood or marble surfaces are trending in accent and dining tables, as well as shelving and other occasional furnishings.  “The look of the season is marble surfaces,” says designer Jordan Carbotti of Perfect Surroundings, “You’re seeing it incorporated into nearly every event design and it mixes easily with other materials and fits into any theme, not to mention it’s really sophisticated.” 

Finally, meeting and events must reflect changing millennial generation expectations and facilitate networking, engagement and connections.  Technology and power incorporated into seating and tables helps keep attendees stay charged, but flexibility in furnishings is also paramount.  Ottomans, such as CORT’s new Marche collection, available in 10 colors, are a great way to create campfire seating and small theater groupings that can be easily rearranged for impromptu creative gatherings within larger meetings.  An added bonus, they add a wonderful pop of color!

Today, planners must think about creating meeting environments that are comfortable and functional - Gone are the days of boring theater seating using uncomfortable banquet chairs.  Attendees expect a higher standard to help foster creativity and learning.  Upgraded meeting furnishings such as CORT’s Meeting Chairs, PRO executive chair, or Roma seating collection are good examples of the type of stylish, modern seating that can be mixed together to design a meeting room for maximum engagement.

To learn more about CORT’s exhibit and event rental collections or top trends for 2017, visit

Kevin Dana is the Director of Marketing and Product Development for CORT Trade Show and Event Furnishings. He’s responsible for national marketing strategy across all channels and developed CORT’s proprietary event furniture brands; including the Endless collection, Luna Lighting, Napoleon, and Elements decor collections. Kevin has served as a trustee on the National Association of Catering & Events Foundation, was named 2013 Marketing Professional of the Year by Event Solutions magazine, and is an authority on event furnishing and décor trends for the trade show and special event industry. He lives in San Francisco.