Discover how to incorporate ancillary spaces with top trends. Enhance functionality, aesthetic, and wellbeing in lobbies, lounges, and work cafés.

The world of interior design is evolving, blending beauty with practical functionality. Designers are incorporating ancillary spaces – informal, flexible areas, often found in lobbies, lounges, work cafés, and collaborative spaces.

Including ancillary spaces in your design not only boosts utility but also enhances your space’s overall appeal. Here’s ideas on how to achieve this while staying on-trend and incorporating principles from Steelcase’s research on designing for joy.

What are ancillary spaces?

Ancillary spaces are the versatile, often underutilized areas within a larger environment. Unlike standard office furniture such as desks and task chairs, ancillary furniture includes lounge seating (chairs and sofas), lounge tables (coffee tables, end tables, bistro tables), lighting, and various accessories. These pieces are designed to support multiple activities and postures, making them ideal for creating comfortable, flexible spaces.

ancillary spaces

Top material and commercial design trends

From the resurgence of natural elements like wicker and wood to the timeless allure of mid-century modern, these trends are shaping the way we design ancillary spaces. Let’s explore the top material and commercial design trends that are defining commercial interiors this year:

Wicker and Rope+Wood

    • Natural materials are making a strong comeback.
    • Wicker and rope combined with wood elements create a harmonious blend of texture and warmth.
    • Rope and wood tables bring an organic, handcrafted feel to the space.


    • Bouclé fabric, known for its looped, nubby texture, is a major trend.
    • Cozy and inviting, perfect for lounge seating.
    • Versatile, fits seamlessly into both mid-century modern and contemporary design schemes.

Mid-Century Modern

    • Continues to be a favorite with clean lines, organic forms, and functional elegance.
    • Incorporate pieces like sleek lounge chairs with tapered wooden legs or minimalist coffee tables.
    • Adds timeless appeal and enhances the functionality of ancillary spaces.

Cozy & Neutral

    • Creating a cozy atmosphere with neutral tones remains popular.
    • Shades of beige, gray, and white make spaces feel warm and inviting.
    • Add texture through materials like wool or linen.

Top material and commercial design trends

Jewel Tones and Saturated Spaces

    • Bold colors like deep emeralds, sapphires, and rubies are impactful.
    • Adds richness and sophistication to ancillary spaces.
    • Creates striking spaces when paired with lighter neutrals or dark wood finishes.

High Contrast

    • Creates visual interest through stark differences.
    • Pair light and dark colors for a dramatic statement.
    • Highlights design elements and adds depth and dimension to the space.

Outdoor Elements

    • Bringing outdoor elements inside is gaining traction.
    • Use natural materials like stone, wood, and plants.
    • Create a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor spaces.

Top material and commercial design trends

Designing ancillary spaces for joy: six dimensions of wellbeing

Joy is at the heart of ancillary spaces, where thoughtful design meets functionality to enhance wellbeing. Steelcase’s latest research shows that design can influence all our senses, fostering moments of joy and boosting productivity. By focusing on six key dimensions—meaning, optimism, authenticity, belonging, mindfulness, and vitality—designers can enhance physical, cognitive, and emotional health. Integrating these dimensions with top design trends allows for ancillary spaces that are both functional and joyful.

Here’s how to achieve this while incorporating the latest corporate design trends mentioned above:

  1. Meaning: Create spaces that reflect the values and culture of the users. Personalized touches and artwork that tells a story can imbue a space with significance and foster a deeper connection.
  2. Optimism: Use bright colors and ample natural light to create an uplifting atmosphere. Incorporating the 2024 Pantone Color of the Year, Peach Fuzz, can add a cheerful and welcoming vibe to any ancillary space.
  3. Authenticity: Choose materials and designs that feel genuine and timeless. Natural materials like wood, wicker, and rope bring authenticity and a sense of calm to the environment.
  4. Belonging: Design spaces that encourage interaction and community. Comfortable seating arrangements and communal tables can foster a sense of belonging and inclusivity.
  5. Mindfulness: Create quiet areas with minimal distractions for relaxation or focused work. Incorporating cozy, neutral tones and soft fabrics like bouclé can help create a serene atmosphere.
  6. Vitality: Incorporate elements that stimulate the senses and invigorate the spirit. Bold jewel tones, high contrast designs, and dynamic furniture arrangements can add energy and excitement to the space.

pantone peach fuzz color of the year

By focusing on meaning, optimism, authenticity, belonging, mindfulness, and vitality, you can create ancillary spaces that are not only practical and beautiful but also uplifting and supportive. These spaces offer comfort, flexibility, and a sense of community, making any environment more enjoyable and fulfilling. This approach is important because it can entice employees to return to the office, enhance engagement, and boost productivity. An environment that supports these values leads to higher job satisfaction and well-being, benefiting both employees and the organization.

ancillary spaces in your design

Ready to transform your space with the latest in ancillary design?

Discover the perfect selection from our extensive portfolio to curate a unique atmosphere that resonates with the vibe and culture of your space. Contact our Lifestyle Team for expert guidance and innovative solutions that seamlessly blend functionality, aesthetics, and wellbeing. Whether you’re refreshing a lobby, lounge, work café, or collaborative area, our team is ready to help you design versatile, stylish, and inspiring environments.