Furniture Photo Credit: Clinton Hussey / Styling: Nicole Sjöestedt

Trend Alert: Hot New Furniture for 2018

The hottest furniture design trends for 2018 celebrate rest and quiet, rounder and softer shapes, and soothing and cocooning pieces. Get ready to hibernate.

At Paris Design Week this September, the theme for the influential design show Maison et Objet was “comfort zone,” a response to the “discomfort zones of an unstable and insecure world,” says show coordinator Marie-Jo Malait. It’s a theme that’s influenced furniture design for 2018, with rounder, softer shapes, and soothing, cocooning pieces that, more than ever, make home a sanctuary.


Past Perfect

At Milan’s go-to furniture fair, Salone del Mobile,  an overarching theme of  “references to the past” emerged, including re-editions of classics like the Platner dining table and Ghost chair and a resurgence of materials like marble. It’s all about nostalgia. But this wistfulness also improves upon the past, with modern takes on traditional pieces, like Jasper Morrison’s Superloon LED floor lamp by Flos (above, left). It’s a nod to the past elegance of retro tripod studio lighting in a contemporary context of high-tech LED “edge lighting” functionality—all while shedding a soft and serene moon-like glow. Superloon LED floor lamp by Flos, $5,995; Vancouver, livingspace.com; Calgary, lightform.com

The Big Soft

Curvy is in, boxy is out. Feel-good furniture gets padded and downy with XXL comfort and size. “Soft materials are everywhere and contribute to our well-being,” says Maison et Objet’s Malait. “References to bubbles, balloons, nests, clouds, even pods and husks feed the creative imagination behind this new-generation cocoonection.” And channelling “cocoonection” is the Beam sofa system by Patricia Urquiola for Cassina (above), a series of soft cushions supported by a beam that creates “architectural rigour in a warm embrace.” Beam sofa system by Patricia Uquiola for Cassina, $20,067; Vancouver, informinteriors.com; Calgary, lebellearti.com

Go Boldly

Eschewing delicacy and relating back to comfort and stability, solidity is making an appearance in side and coffee tables and other furniture. Solid materials, bigger footprints, bolder dimensions—as seen at NYCxDesign 2017, where stable and durable pieces in wood and marble were at the fore. But this brawniness doesn’t mean rustic or rough. The Pluto table by Vancouver-based Ben Barber Studio (above), with its powder coated steel sphere base and glass top affixed with an oversized brass bolt, is both substantial and sophisticated. Pluto table by Ben Barber Studio, $7,800, benbarberstudio.com


Welcome to the Jungle

Emerald is going to be strong this year, and comfort also looks to greenery as sanctuary: “Greenhouse homes and passive houses are just waiting to be filled with a glorious Eden,” says Malait. Lush garden and jungle motifs are in, like de Gournay’s Rousseau wallpaper with its flora and fauna inspired by the 19th-century French artist Henri Rousseau. Designer Christian Lacroix brings this to full Edenic glory with his screen for the Roche-Bobois Nouveaux Classiques Collection (above, left). Paired with the bursting petals of the Bloom lounge chair by Kenneth Cobonpue (above, middle), it’s an at-home arboretum and indoor idyll. Maison Lacroix screen from the Nouveaux Classiques Collection by Roche-Bobois, $13,170, roche-bobois.com; Bloom lounge chair by Kenneth Cobonpue, $4,875, bloomfurniturestudio.com

Marble Works

Part of the back-to-bolder and more-melancholic trends, marble is making a resurgence. And at NYCxDesign 2017, statement pieces like Allied Maker’s carved-alabaster light totem and Marie-Victoire Winckler’s marble vases heralded the comeback of stone. Another such monolith, the Ilary side table by Jean-Marie Massaud for Poltrona Frau (above, right), is sculpted entirely from marble. Ilary side table by Jean-Marie Massaud for Poltrona Frau, $9,360; Vancouver, livingspace.com; Calgary, shaunfordandco.com


Green Piece

If 2017 was in the pink (with pale “millennial pink” still holding strong), 2018 is all emerald, going even deeper and more exotic than Pantone’s 2017 colour of the year, Greenery. As reported by the New York Times at Salone del Mobile, green was “everywhere, but in a darker and richer tone that is closer to emerald” and was a nod to another time, or “echo of Deco.” Here, get back to viridian nature by treading atop the Sea Floor Mud rug by Zoë Luyendijk (above). Sea Floor Mud rug by Zoë Luyendijk, $24,550, salari.com

Touch Tone

The comfort quotient continues with tactile, textural elements: deep-pile carpet, wool and velvet materials, tufted and quilted patterns. There’s even seating composed of stuffed animals, which “clearly betrays our need for nesting,” says François Bernard, scenographer for Maison et Objet. “Nowadays, a comfortable chair should be a sort of anti-shock pod. We like to nestle in folds of fabric as thick as duvets. The ideal chair is basically a cushion propped up on four legs!” Ikea’s PS 2017 corner easy chair offers a rather literal take made of pillows—18 of them. PS 2017 corner chair, $274, ikea.ca


Enjoy the Silence

Comfort also translates into a simplicity of design and a luxurious minimalism in furniture that cocoons and wraps to invite reflection and meditation. Soft, giving sofas and enveloping chairs are upholstered in heavier fabrics like velvet or wool, which absorb sound. Winged chairs like the Hideout lounge chair by Swedish design trio Front create a place for intimate reverie. Hideout lounge chair by Front, from $6,130, informinteriors.com

For more on the latest trends and the hottest new products in stores across the West, subscribe to the WL newsletter!

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