Furniture Photo Credit: Clinton Hussey

Virtuous Reality: 5 Furniture Trends Well-Positioned for the Future

The top furniture trends as we head into 2019.

Many of the most influential design shows of 2018—Salone del Mobile in Milan, Paris’s Maison et Objet, London’s Design Biennale—shared similar overarching themes such as “Emotional States” or “Virtuous,” each calling for designers to create meaning in design in seemingly fractured times. The result: furniture trends that emerge for 2019 take this social, economic, environmental and technological landscape into new mash-ups, from over-the-top maximalist colour palettes to quieter, nature-influenced design.

The other thing these trends all have in common? They’re all pretty damn beautiful.

furniture trends

Super Chunk

Indulgently chubby or plump pieces were, ahem, big at NYCxDesign. Oversized forms and silhouettes were one of the top trends at Sight Unseen (which hosts the Offsite design fair during NYCxDesign to showcase new ideas and talent). It translated to texture, too: tubular, corrugated, chunky. Furniture is going fat forward, like the big-and-bold honeycomb burst of the Bubble chair by Roche Bobois or the voluminous volcano-shaped Fuji pouf by MDF Italia.

Dark grey Cabaret easy armchair by Kenneth Cobonpue ($3,675), bloomfurniturestudio.com

Lime-green Bubble chair by Sacha Lakic for Roche Bobois
(price on request), roche-bobois.com

Oversized ceramic shapes by Nathalie Du Pasquier
by Bitossi (starting from $1,800), livingspace.com

Fuji pink and grey felt poufs by MDF Italia (from $1,755),
livingspace.com

furniture trends

Nod to Nature

“Biophilia,” the notion that humans have an instinctive connection to nature—and a desire to bring it indoors into domestic spaces—continues to hold strong in the design sphere. During Milan Design Week, Moooi wallpaper paid homage to the beauty and textures of extinct animals, featuring motifs from dodo plumage to dwarf-rhino skin. At NYCxDesign week, the (ongoing) tropical modernism trend was seen in vibrant palettes and breezy rattan, much like the glossy black and natural-cane panels of the Suri desk designed by Ceci Thompson for CB2. Its exotic vibe and boho chic seems to answer nature’s call—and a return to retro.

Fladis seagrass baskets
($15), ikea.ca

Selection of tropical plants
from West Van Florist Home and
Garden, westvanflorist.com

Blue mesh side table with marble top
by Kettal ($1,910), informinteriors.com

Industriell pendant lamp
($30), ikea.ca

Black and rattan Suri cane desk
($1,599), cb2.com

Halves side table
by Muuto ($500), vanspecial.com

furniture trends

Soft Ware

Salone del Mobile’s first-ever manifesto asked designers to use technology to benefit well-being. Enter Google, which made its debut at Salone this year (with an installation highlighting its hardware designs for the home), as well as Sonos (announcing a design partnership with Hay), and even Instagram (launching the @design handle and #DesignForAll hashtag at the fair). Tech, it turns out, can be beautiful: the Qlocktwo Classic, for example, tells time with words (techno typography!); Bang and Olufsen’s Shape is a wall-mounted wireless speaker system that looks as good as it sounds.

BeoSound Shape core amplifier and dampener, wall-mounted speaker system
by Bang and Olufsen ($7,630 as shown), commercialelectronics.ca

Matte white LED Tetatet torch light by Davide Groppi ($758), informinteriors.com

Qlocktwo Classic by Brandmasters International ($3,000), livingspace.com

Glass Empatia light by Artemide ($1,140), livingspace.com

furniture trends

Return to Retro

Furniture designers have always referenced the past,
but there’s a certain wistfulness to the reboots of the 20th-century designs predominating Milan Design Week. “It’s about nostalgia,” said Felix Burrichter, design savant and creative director of architectural magazine Pin-Up. Take the quiet charm of the relaunched 1950s-era
Result chair with its simple oak seat and backrest (a
collaboration of Danish and Dutch design houses
Hay and Ahrend) or the more glam spirit of the 1968
Panton chair (reissued in a limited chrome for its 50th anniversary at IMM Cologne). They’re a very-now reflection and renaissance of mid-century design’s heyday.

Result chair by Hay ($450), vanspecial.com

Loft sofa by Bensen ($4,875), informinteriors.com

Black leather and gold-frame chair by Colette Berger for Minotti ($12,625), livingspace.com

Study in Red and Study in Yellow paintings by David Burns

furniture trends

To the Max

Forget less is more. Maximalism was on display at Salone del Mobile in clashing patterns and pop-art pieces. Loud and proud, it’s about colours and stimuli that bring the fun (read: happiness, one of the “Emotional States” explored at the 2018 London Design Biennale). That sense of joy and whimsy is found on the magic-carpet ride of “Allan’s Fever” by Wool and Silk Rugs and aboard the wild stripes of the modular Voyage Immobile sofa by Roche Bobois.

Astro mobile light suspension Designed by Andrew Neyer for his collection “Stuff by Andrew Neyer,” ($4,450), lightform.ca

Voyage Immobile modular composition sofa (price on request), roche-bobois.com

Cala high chair by Kettal ($7,399), informinteriors.com

8’x10’ Allan’s Fever by Wool and Silk Rugs ($18,400), salari.com

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