Inner trends may be fleeting, but sometimes it helps to lift a finger to feel which direction the creative winds are blowing. When it comes to predicting the future, few do it better than WGSN. We asked its experts to give us a glimpse of the ideas and aesthetics we can expect to see, not just this year, but over the next decade.
The solar revolution
We’re sure the climate emergency and the cost of living crisis have already convinced you that renewable fuels are the way to go. But, for those who still need to be convinced of the benefits of solar power (the cheapest source of electricity, as well as one of the cleanest), there is a whole new generation of manufacturers working to create products and solutions that are not only smart, but also beautiful.
Last year, designers Marjan van Aubel (creator of ‘Sunne’, a self-powered solar lamp for the home) and Pauline van Dongen launched the world’s first Solar Biennale in Rotterdam and Eindhoven, hoping to bring together creative minds able to think beyond basic roof panels to dream up new solar power concepts for homes, public buildings and more – German company Sono Motors already has a solar-powered electric car in production. Get ready for even more innovations; the future looks bright.
Extremely comforting texture
As the world looks set to continue to be a tough 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 yourself with gentleness – from a visual, tactile and acoustic perspective – is a powerful and emotional way to counterbalance the difficult and uncertain times we live in.
Following the design world’s obsession with corduroys and plush velvets, expect to see an interest in oversized textures. Heavily quilted fabrics, upholstered details and chubby patterns are the style touches to look out for.
Eagle-eyed may have already noticed this style starting to take hold – just look at the plump checkerboard quilting of Rodolfo Dordoni’s “Twiggy” sofa for Minotti, or the second-generation “Cloud II” textile from Kirkby Design with its ultra-puffy look. It’s not just about furniture and fabrics. The next step will be the walls – Élitis’ new ‘Rayures Jumelles’ 3D wallcovering is definitely avant-garde.
Jewelry for the home
“Upgrade, stay put” seems to be the motto of the moment for homeowners and, with mortgage rates not expected to drop any time soon, it’s an approach that has real legs.
A new area of focus will be the literal nuts and bolts of interiors, with people looking to spruce up their homes rather than renovating or replacing features entirely. It’s about taking the practical and making it a little more fabulous – think ceiling lights connected by gold chains, diamond-cut knobs on sideboards and accents that embellish and enhance the everyday.
Yes, even the material becomes luxurious. Don’t believe us? At the Salone del Mobile in Milan last year, we spotted neon orange connectors and legs as they launched Off-White’s furniture collaboration with Cassina. Brands such as Swarf, which have long offered 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 hardware.
Digital comfort jumps off the screen
Our lives are increasingly lived on and through screens, so the blur between the tangible and the digital seems inevitable. However, we are not talking about the metaverse or NFTs. Increasingly, physical designs are created as much for their on-screen appearance as for their IRL appearance.
This movement is brilliantly embraced by 3D artist Andrés Reisinger, whose CGI-rendered digitally-rendered pink-petalled “Hydrangea” chair went viral and then went into production with Moooi.
So how will this fusion of the unreal and real life affect interior design? Expect hyper-realistic textures, curvaceous, otherworldly shapes and optical effects that would typically be confined to designers’ imaginations.
And the color that will characterize the trend? ‘Digital Lavender’. It’s already popular in fashion and consumer tech, so it can only be a matter of time before it hits our walls and floors as well.
Cozy textiles aren’t a new obsession for the design world – just think of the boom in the popularity of bouclé in recent years – but what if swapping fabrics at home were as easy as putting on a new sweater?
Soon, consumers will dress and undress their furniture with the same ease as they alternate between their summer and winter wardrobes. Sure, reupholstering has long been possible for those who tire of the look of a sofa or armchair, but we’re talking about the rise of a simpler, more instant option: slipcovers in the latest essential fabrics.
It’s all about customization, and sofa brand Cozmo is currently leading the way. She offers a range of ‘Jackets’, from velvet and ecru to cozy fleece, which transform her modular sofa. Expect to see more of this approach as brands pledge to help us maximize the life of much-loved parts.