While we're all for timeless, classic design, it's always fun to spot a new furniture trend.
The new year is often a time when we start to think about updating our interiors and investing in new pieces of furniture.
To help guide you in the right style direction we've selected the top furniture trends for 2021 so you know you're on the right track.
- See: Interior design trends 2021 – the 20 top looks for the New Year
1. Create curves with tubular furniture
Not since Eileen Gray, Le Corbusier and Marcel Breuer has there been a greater fascination with the simplicity and possibilities of this cylindrical form.
With the emphasis today on the home as a family space, used for socialising and relaxing as well as preparing food, regimented rows of units and clinical design can look a little stark.
The answer? Curves. Full-on voluptuous or gently rounded, curves will lift the layout and soften the overall look of your room, adding a bold design focus or a subtle touch of shaping to your décor.
'Curves offer that touch of individuality that everyone is searching for, softening the lines in the interior to create a much more welcoming space,' says Graeme Smith, conceptual designer, Metris.
2. Live in a natural material world
The growing focus in design on products made from wood, wool, stone and ceramics is not just to do with a revival of interest in craft; in a world increasingly dominated by synthetic materials and virtual reality, natural materials add a human dimension to our environment that may have beneficial effects on our health and happiness.
So what is it that we can’t resist about natural materials? Is it simple physical pleasure? There is no joy in running fingers along a plastic moulded chairs, but caressing the grain of oak is instinctive.
‘Natural materials offer a multi sensory experience. They give us something unfathomable that chimes with our humanity,’ asserts texture artist Kate Blee. ‘Often the least processed materials provoke the deepest responses – think plunging your hands into a bag of rice flour.’
- See: Living room trends 2021 – the key looks for your living space
3. Weave in a new look
The new requisite is for furniture that brings texture to a scheme, sparking a revival in woven forms, from simple, sculptural, bamboo headboards to Seventies-inspired rattan seating and natural, cane tables.
Woven materials have been giving our homes rustic charm since its 1970s revival – and this season you can expect to see this in-demand material on every wishlist.
Forget questionable 1970s conservatory furniture. Bring a rustic touch of relaxed warmth to your home with this season’s modern take on tactile woven pieces.
Seen across an array of hardworking indoor-outdoor moulded furniture and statement homewares, this strong, durable and lightweight bend-and-weave material offers stripped-back appeal and natural comfort that easily blends in to any style or scheme.
A textural treat for comfort lovers, this warm-as-toast look is relaxed and oh-so modern heritage.
4. Introduce color pop furniture
Make a statement with a brilliantly bright piece of hero furniture. With many manufacturers now offering bespoke color choices, this style offers a quick and easy way to update any space.
For thrill seekers out there, go extreme and choose large items, such as cabinets and sofas, in contrasting or clashing colors to that of the foundation scheme. For a softer approach, layer tonal variations of a hue.
5. Factor in freestanding designs
While the definitions of freestanding and modular furniture might be open to interpretation, one thing is certain; choose this type of design and the look that it’ll give your room is dramatically different from a standard scheme.
‘Modular and freestanding furniture allow you to blend different styles to give more of an eclectic mix, which isn’t so readily achievable with runs of fitted furniture,’ says Bill Schilling, designer and joint MD of Kaizen Furniture.
‘It can also give a room a sense of space, freedom and visual excitement. If you like this style and your designer has worked closely with you to ensure all your needs and tastes are met, then there can be no real drawbacks.’
While the unfitted or modular look works well in a large room, when there’s no risk of it feeling crowded, it can be adapted to work in a compact space with carefully chosen modules.
6. Hark back to yesteryear with vintage piece
Vintage, salvaged and retro pieces will all have their place in 2021.
With many of us wanting to approach life in a more sustainable way, it is unsurprising that vintage, pre-loved furniture is having a welcome resurgence.
The key is to reference the look rather than slavishly reproduce it, using strong colors, favorite pieces and a less-is-more approach for a vibrant, cohesive scheme.
‘Build up a vintage-style scheme gradually,' says Angie Pinckney, Decara. 'It’s the kind of look that needs layering – so choose pieces over time that mean something to you.'
- See: Bedroom trends 2021 – the latest looks for a beautiful bedroom scheme
What is the furniture trend for 2021?
2022 sees designers and decorators alike opting for furniture that is entirely made from raw, natural materials found in nature.
There is also a possibility that natural materials may be good for our health. Biophilic design is the theory that humans have an innate connection to nature, and creating built environments that connect to the natural world measurably improves health and well-being. It has a set of clear principles, one of which is to use natural materials.
A backlash, a search for something real and tangible to counter the virtual world in inevitable. ‘It is a movement, not a trend,’ claims Sebastian Cox. ‘The Arts and Crafts movement was a response to the Industrial Revolution and this is a response to the digital age,’ he says. ‘It is the beginning of a very long reconnection with nature.’
Is painted furniture still popular for 2021?
We envisage painted furniture still being at the forefront of interior design – mainly due to its versatility and the ability to customize looks.
One of the most appealing and varied finishes for cabinetry, paint lends itself to both the classic looks of the traditional home, and to crisply modern linear designs.
The advantage is in its almost limitless choice of colors, allowing you free rein to express yourself, whether your home is period or contemporary, country or urban.
And you can always re-paint if you want a change or update in the future.
Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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