One of our favorite things about design is the ever-changing landscape and amazingly creative new ideas that continue to inspire and excite us. This year, the products we saw at High Point Market in North Carolina and the Milan Furniture Fair in Italy were no exception. As always, the newest trends were evident and the design team at Sklar Furnishings have summarized our top trends to foster your imagination:
The optimism was everywhere! Bright windows on the stores in downtown Milan, stunning color on the locals walking in the spring weather, incredible patterns of color on furniture. Monotone displays of color, whether it was pink, teal, bright green, orange, or various shades of blue, was a stand out at the fairs as it brought together various shades of the same color family to create a powerful palette.
At the fairs we saw rope on all types of furniture, both indoors and outdoors. On patio furniture, as an accent on rugs and accessories, on chairs – it was difficult to ignore this trend. We also saw lots of different types of rope being used from braided to loop, from thin to thick, some created from actual ropes and other that were synthetic or plastic.
Oval and Shaped Dining Tables
Oval, elliptical and boat shaped tables with soft rounded corners were standouts against the traditional rectangle and round shapes. Furthering the organic resurgence in life and lifestyles, these shapes provide a more fluid and naturalistic feel. In addition to these unique shapes, there were a number of square tables at the fair, many with extensions available.
Leather, Leather, Leather
Not content to just be used on sofas, sectionals and dining chairs, leather was seen on any flat surface imaginable. We saw leather on table tops, wrapped around shelves of a bookshelf, as an insert in a night stand top or lining the drawers of dressers and credenzas, even as a lamp shade. The quality and mastery of applying leather was highly evident throughout the fair and it added an elegance and warmth across all of these applications.
Purposefully pleated bedding and blankets were on full display providing interest and character to beautifully made beds. We also saw pleats on the backs of sofas, on ottomans and the doors of buffets adding a feeling of softness and texture. These are small details that made a big impression.
Thank goodness for the innovation of combining memory foam and down together, which, when used in seating gives an incredible feeling of sitting on a bag of feathers, with lightness and a slight bounce back when you stand up. Using feathers and memory foam in combination ensures the comfort of down, with the clean lines that memory foam provides. This is really offering the best of both worlds.
So subtle, but definitely there, the use of two or more colors or textures adds to the intrigue and character of a piece. We almost didn’t see it at first. Chairs and sofas with different color and material on the front and back or even side-by-side bring a unique and creative flair to furniture.
The impact of technology on furniture design and manufacturing was definitely on display at the markets. From mobile phone apps to improve the fair experience, to furniture that operated with the press of a button (for example, opening and closing an extension dining room table), to materials that were improved using technology (real leather that can be in the rain for over 8 hours!), there are real strides being made in this realm. “Alexa, recline my chair!”
Combining various table sizes has always been a trend for the past couple of years and this year we saw it again, but with more varying heights, sizes, materials and shapes. With bunching tables, anything goes really, and it’s a great opportunity to express your personal style.
Curved & Wrapped
Sensual curves belted and wrapped with organic material that ranged from leather to bamboo, was prevalent with every vendors’ designs. We love this new trend and picked up one from our Italian vendors – soon to be available in our Boca Raton showroom!
Detailed and finely crafted, the textured fabric we saw added a richness and beauty to every object they were used on. Many were traditional tone-on-tone and similar to a brocade but we also saw some new intriguing uses of textured fabrics, for example plain leather on one side of a seat and textured fabric on the other.