Interior trends can be fleeting, but it sometimes helps to raise a finger to feel which way the creative winds are blowing. When it comes to forecasting the future, few do it better than WGSN. We asked its experts to provide some insight into the ideas and aesthetics we can expect to see appearing, not just this year, but across the next decade.
The solar revolution
We’re sure the climate emergency and cost of living crisis have already persuaded you that renewable fuels are the way forward. But, for those few who still need convincing of the benefits of solar (the cheapest source of electricity, as well as one of the cleanest), there’s a whole new generation of makers working to create products and solutions that are not just smart, but also beautiful.
Last year, the designers Marjan van Aubel (creator of the ‘Sunne’, a self-powered solar light for the home) and Pauline van Dongen launched the world’s first Solar Biennale in Rotterdam and Eindhoven, hoping to bring together the creative minds capable of thinking beyond basic rooftop panels to imagine new solar-powered concepts for homes, public buildings and more – the German firm Sono Motors already has an electric car powered by the sun in production. Be prepared for even more innovation; the future’s looking sunny.
Extreme comforting texture
As the world looks set to continue being a challenging place beyond this year, it’s safe to say that people will definitely look to their homes as a space to feel cocooned, comforted and protected. Surrounding ourselves with softness – in a visual, tactile and acoustic perspective – is a powerful, emotive way to counterbalance the difficult and uncertain times we are living in.
Following on from the design world’s obsession with plush corduroys and velvets, expect to see an interest in supersized texture. Heavily quilted fabrics, padded details and chubby designs are the styling touches to watch out for.
The eagle-eyed may already have noticed this style beginning to take hold – just look at the plump, checkerboard quilting on Rodolfo Dordoni’s ‘Twiggy’ sofa for Minotti, or Kirkby Design’s second-generation ‘Cloud II’ textile with its ultra-puffy look. It’s not just furniture and fabric, though. The next step will be walls – the new ‘Rayures Jumelles’ 3D wallcovering from Élitis is surely a trendsetter.
Jewellery for the home
‘Improve don’t move’ seems to be the homeowner motto of the moment and, with mortgage rates unlikely to fall soon, this is an approach that has real legs.
A new area of focus will be the literal nuts and bolts of interiors, with people looking to give their homes a glow-up rather than fully refurbishing or replacing elements. It’s all about taking the practical and making it a bit more fabulous – think ceiling lamps connected by golden chains, diamond cut knobs on sideboards, and accents that embellish and elevate the everyday.
Yes, even hardware is getting luxe. Don’t believe us? At Salone del Mobile in Milan last year, we spied fluorescent-orange connectors and feet at the launch of Off-White’s furniture collaboration with Cassina. Brands such as Swarf, which has long been offering handles and hooks with design credentials, will soon be joined by many more. Tom Dixon, for example, recently expanded his ‘Fat’ collection to include architectural ironmongery.
Digital cosy leaps off the screen
Our lives are increasingly lived on and through screens, so the blurring of the tangible and the digital seems inevitable. We aren’t talking about the metaverse or NFTs, though. Increasingly, physical designs are being created as much for how they look on-screen as how they appear IRL.
This movement is brilliantly encompassed by the 3D artist Andrés Reisinger, whose CGI digitally rendered, pink-petalled ‘Hortensia’ chair went viral and then into production with Moooi.
So how will this merging of the unreal and real life affect interior design? Expect hyper-realistic textures, curvaceous, otherworldly forms and optical effects that would usually be confined to designers’ imaginations.
And the colour that will typify the trend? ‘Digital Lavender’. It’s already popular in fashion and consumer tech, so it can only be a matter of time before it reaches our walls and floors, too.
Sweaters for furniture
Cosy textiles are hardly a new obsession for the design world – just think about the boom in popularity bouclé has enjoyed in recent years – but what if swapping fabrics at home was as simple as putting on a new jumper?
Soon, consumers will dress and undress furniture with the same ease that they switch between their summer and winter wardrobes. Of course, reupholstery has long been possible for those who grow tired of the look of a sofa or armchair, but we’re talking about the rise of a simpler, more instant option: slipover covers in the latest must-have fabrics.
It’s all about customisability, and the sofa brand Cozmo is currently leading the way. It offers a range of ‘Jackets’, from velvet and ecru to snuggly fleece, that transform its modular sofa. Expect to see more of this approach as brands commit to helping us maximise the life of much-loved pieces.