Interior design businesses live on trends. Understanding the current, persistent and upcoming tastes are crucial to create spaces for their clients that won’t date quickly. As a specialist in PR for interior design, I know the importance of understanding where those trends are heading.
Back in January, I went to the Furniture Show at the Birmingham NEC. As one of the UK’s largest trade shows for the interiors industry, brands were showcasing their newest products and the halls were abuzz with inspiration for 2023-2024.
Image credit: The January Furniture Show / Instagram
It was the perfect place to assess the lie of the land, because the annual event is the best place to get the low-down on upcoming trends from some of the best-known interior brands — both in the UK and further afield.
Since then, I’ve been able to see the direction the sector has chosen. So what will stick and what won’t? What will prove popular and what will be quietly left alone? Here’s what I think are reliable bets for long-term trends:
Three key trends to focus on
People are still spending much more time at home than they did before the covid pandemic and brands need to strike a balance between beautiful products and ergonomic design.
Sofas are the mainstay of home life, being where people spend the majority of their time. There’s a clear trend for sofas in 2023 and 2024 to focus more on cocooning qualities, sheltering people from the bustle of life with textiles that are soft to the touch. The aim being to give living rooms a much clearer focus as restorative places.
The great shift in consumer attitudes and behaviour means that brands can no longer afford to exhibit little more than a token gesture. They need to clearly show their audience that they are living and breathing all things sustainable, to minimise the environmental impacts of their businesses.
This comes down to the materials used, the processes of manufacturing and the suppliers used. However, it also includes the operation of the business itself. Consumers are trying to avoid overconsumption and, as they are more savvy than ever, many will research a brand’s eco-credentials before shopping.
According to Pinterest, there has been a 530% increase in searches for ‘mixing modern and antique furniture’. Both this trend, and the burgeoning enthusiasm for a new Hellenistic revival, seem to be having a moment spurred on by people’s desire to make their homes more unique.
Interview with Louise Healy-Adonis, co-founder of The Better Trends Company
Louise Healy-Adonis is co-founder of The Better Trends Company, which partnered with The Furniture Show to showcase some of the top trends that are predicted to take the design world by storm in 2024. I spoke to her to pick out the highlights from the show.
What were the outstanding parts of the show for you?
Walking around the hall, it’s clear to see that colour is having a comeback. There were a lot of beautiful stands that really embraced colour and used it in interesting ways.
This aligns with our trend predictions for 2024, especially the use of warmer feel-good tones and zingy accents usually reserved for fashion. We’ve previously seen a lot of monochrome and neutrals but it seems that the Marie Kondo ‘serenity through sterility’ idea is being challenged and more colourful designs are taking centre stage.
Which was your favourite stand?
Image credit: Scatter Box / Instagram
We loved the Scatter Box stand — the use of texture really stood out for us. It was the perfect mix of tactility with low-pile, burnout and then more plush fabrics.
What are your personal favourite trends for 2024?
Dreamwave is a cultural aesthetic that is growing and gaining traction, especially on social media platforms like TikTok.It’s inspired by surrealist ideas, dreamcore and new ways we work with technology. On the catwalk, a good example is Viktor & Rolf’s absurdist haute-couture upside down dresses or JW Anderson’s SS23 collection.
However, the dreamwave trend is apparent not just in fashion, but in behaviour — so perhaps it’s reactive. It could be a strange aesthetic to compliment strange times. It’s both inspired by and continued through AI Image Generators like Dall-E or MidJourney, creating new looks that are otherworldly and, because of their assemblage, can’t be recreated by humans.
As with everything, it would be a mistake to jump on a trend just because it’s there; you should only use it if it aligns with your brand and culture. Trends like dreamwave will filter down slightly from the inaccessible realms of high-fashion and cutting-edge culture. The aesthetics will come through in a more accessible way, in formats that are easier to utilise.
Do you have any favourite design events?
As well as The January Furniture Show, Top Drawer is a definite favourite. It’s so busy and attracts people from all over the world. It also has a whole section for recent graduates and emerging companies, which means it is amazing to see the next generation of talent.
Which are the brands to watch in 2023 and 2024?
YesColours is definitely one to know. The brand offers a range of paints in vibrant, powerful colours, with a focus on sustainability specific to UK issues.
With the world of interiors touching so many businesses in various sectors to some extent — as well as consumers’ homes — knowing the right design path to take can be tricky. These trends, though, should be a reliable direction.