Six Trends to Shape Furniture Design in 2024

By Clare Tattersall

At the start of the new year, Germany’s largest interior business event is once again poised to be the key meeting place for the international furnishings scene.

Returning to its usual, long-established date in the calendar, Jan. 14-18, IMM Cologne will delve into trends for the season ahead. Here’s what’s forecasted.

Flexibility Redefined
There has been a sea of change in living styles with traditional boundaries between living areas disappearing and homes being transformed into versatile spaces that function not only as places to live but also as places to work. Bathrooms are being reimagined as private spas, kitchens are evolving into indoor gardens and gardens are becoming extended ‘green living rooms.’ In line with this trend is flexible furniture — multifunctional pieces for both living and working spaces, weatherproof sofas for indoor and outdoor use, and modular furnishing concepts suitable for all manner of spaces and budgets.

Sustainable Aesthetics
The interior design industry is putting greater focus on product cycles in order to optimize the use and lifespan of furniture. ‘Circular-ready’ tables, chairs and sofas made from repurposed offcuts or bio-based materials are being launched on the market in increasing numbers. Environmental certificates are helping consumers to choose sustainable furniture and take into account environmental considerations, as well as factors like healthy living spaces.

Inspiration from the Natural World
Topics like sustainability, recyclability and durability aren’t only affecting how people choose furniture; they’re also influencing its colour and shape. Natural shades like algae or earth tones are currently on trend. Integrating natural or nature-inspired materials lends interiors a refreshing natural atmosphere. This approach is rounded off by soft, organically inspired shapes in the design of furniture.

Sheer Comfort and Security
In times of uncertainty, the desire for a safe and cozy refuge from the world intensifies. Calm design and surfaces that are pleasant to touch help to create a relaxed living environment. The current interiors trend favours fabrics, patterns and textures that appeal to the senses, as well as materials like wood, leather and natural stone, which are being used more in furniture finishes. This design approach creates spaces that radiate warmth and feelings of grounding and connection.

Back to Basics
Contemporary attitudes to life are translating into a desire for simplicity, which is reflected in the trend toward more minimalist furnishings. The principle of omission by design is increasingly being applied to new furniture. Thanks to their compact dimensions and simple shapes, graceful and minimalist chairs, tables and sofas suit any space. Minimalist design stands for timeless elegance as well as restraint. One positive side effect of this approach is that it saves resources without compromising on quality.

Colourful Living Spaces
In contrast to understated minimalism and natural-looking earth tones, bold colours are expected to set a countertrend. The idea is to welcome a cheerful and lively ambience into the home. Colours like red, yellow and green are a deliberate departure from the muted colour palette of many new interior design collections. Armchairs and sofas in eye-catching shades are particularly striking and create individual highlights. This joyful design trend is permeating all areas of the home, spreading a positive atmosphere.

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