Despite the obvious differences between dresses and dining tables, blazers and beds, the fashion industry and the furniture industry are a lot alike. Both deal in colours, material, and form. Both strike a balance between style and function. Both are subject to shifting trends.
As the world of fashion evolves so does the world of furniture design, and today we’re seeing more and more interesting pieces emerge in response to changes in lifestyles, environment, and technology. Here are five of the emerging trends. Let’s see what the future holds.
Reduce, reuse, recycle isn’t just a credo for our garbage bins, but also for the pieces that fill our home. In recent years reclaimed wood and refurbished industrial lighting have become hugely popular not only because they come with a history, but because they feed into our desire to consume less. Even when new, the manufacturing process for furniture is becoming more sustainable, more eco-friendly, and companies are being rewarded for it. Earlier this year PETA announced their first ever Vegan Homeware Awards, recognizing the best cruelty-free designs for the home. Among the winners? IKEA for best faux-sheepskin rug.
As our living spaces become smaller and more efficient, our furniture is following suit. Today we have console tables that extend to seat dinner for ten and beds that double as storage even when we sleep. In 2016 Hannabi, a Hungarian furniture brand, designed a modular sofa that can be split into four separate parts, functioning as a single full-height sofa, two seating mats, or a single bed.
Condo dwellers are already experiencing the benefits of customized furniture design thanks to the efforts of interior designers like Melandro Quilatan and Tania Richardson, Founders of Tomas Pearce IDC, who created the custom kitchens at Westwood Gardens. Now this trend is gaining even more traction as new production methods allow for increasingly customized pieces that make every space feel as unique as the people who inhabit them.
Ten years ago bedside tables and work desks were home to a tangle of cables connecting our phones, computers, speakers, and various other technological devices to power bars and electrical outlets. Today, Bluetooth has already reduced the need for this digital ‘spaghetti’ and in the future, as the lines between technology and home design blur even more, we may have no need for external wires at all. Already companies like Fonesalesman and IKEA are producing pieces that look like the furniture we know and love, but with superpowers like the ability to wirelessly charge our devices. And Samsung has designed a TV that resembles a framed piece of art when not in use.
A step further than integrated technology, interactive technology will respond to users and the environment in increasingly advanced ways. The Balluga bed, for instance, monitors the pressure applied to different areas of the mattress, automatically adjusting firmness and temperature for a better sleep. And tools like Connected Food technology will let your oven “sense” what’s inside and tell you how to cook it, based on a combination of weight, oven model, even kitchen altitude.