Chemistry in Interior Design

Earlier this month, NeoCon offered an inside look at new trends transforming commercial design—highlighting enhancements in the offices of the future and the benefits of wellness-focused designs.

In the rapidly evolving interior landscape, chemistry creates high performing materials that help designers innovate. For example, the products of chemistry contribute to the durability and comfort of furniture, the energy efficiency of lighting and the aesthetics of stylish décor.

Read examples of how chemistry elevates designs:

Light-emitting diode (LED) lighting is a frequent choice for illuminating commercial spaces and offices, offering energy efficiency, durability and long life. In the future, LED lighting could cut global energy demand by a whopping 30 percent.



Vinyl flooring is moisture-resistant, durable and easy-to-clean — helping to provide a hygienic and safe environment in healthcare facilities, offices and restaurants. Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) offers high-end aesthetic designs and patterns for flooring surfaces that can be warm and comfortable underfoot.

vinyl flooring


Sustainable surfaces and countertops are made using a composite blend of epoxies, recycled glass, and other commonly discarded post-consumer materials. The end product can be composed of up to 90 percent recycled materials, helping designers attain LEED credits for their projects.

sustainable surfaces and countertops


Water-based epoxy coatings dry quickly, providing a tough, protective layer for flooring in hotel lobbies or hospital hallways. Water-based epoxy resins are also used for high performance and decorative flooring, such as terrazzo flooring, chip flooring, and colored aggregate flooring.

water-based epoxy coatings


As a cushioning material in upholstered furniture, flexible polyurethane foam helps make furniture durable, comfortable and supportive. As a carpet underlay, polyurethane foam cushions floors, making it more comfortable to walk on.

upholstered furniture and carpet overlay


Chemical manufacturing companies and interior design firms make great collaborators, working together on projects that use the latest science to create innovative technologies and materials. Below are a few examples of interior design projects at the headquarters of chemical manufacturing companies which have earned awards and certifications.

  • FMC Corporation, one of the world’s leading specialty chemical companies, selected Granum A/I to design its global headquarters in the new FMC Tower at Cira Centre South in Philadelphia. FMC also selected HALCON to provide private office, open plan, and conference solutions for the 280,000 sf space. The completed project recently received LEED Gold Certification for its commercial interior, which uses sustainable materials and provides superior indoor air quality.
  • International design practice Atelier Hitoshi Abe won the ICONIC AWARD for its reimagining of 3M Corporate Headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota. Various spaces throughout the 3M campus were redesigned to reinvigorate the complex; including new stairs serve to improve circulation between different levels and tangram patterning in the courtyard.
  • Two buildings at The Dow Chemical Company’s Texas Innovation Center in Lake Jackson, TX recently received LEED Gold Certifications, partly due to due to the work of Kirksey Architecture, which used leading interior design principles to achieve desired functionality and sustainability. The buildings save about 20% in annual energy use, 38% in annual water use and diverted 78% of construction waste from landfilling during the construction process.