Key directions for furniture, lighting designs in 2023 cited

Trend forecaster WGSN has reported the key directions for furniture and lighting designs in 2023, including perspectives on flexibility, comfort and sustainability.

“The environmental context and economic crisis will make consumers review their consumption habits and invest more carefully into their homes. Prioritizing quality over quantity as well as conscious material and production choices will be key in 2023 and beyond,” Laure
Grezard of WGSN Interiors said in a report.

Aiming to increase the lifespan of a product, Grezard said looking into repairability, responsible redesigning and customization options are key.

She also highlighted the growing sustainable material options as this impacts sourcing responsibly when working with virgin materials, as well as looking into commercially viable recycled or renewable alternatives.

To capture this opportunity, industry players and brands are advised to conceive products with end of life in mind and design for longevity with long-lasting and high-quality materials; use responsibly, locally sourced and waste materials and marketing the origins of all
components; and invest into flat-packing as well as dismantling for repair or end of life recycling.

Sustainable by design is among the 10 trends that will inform products, interior styling and marketing campaigns this year.

Others include flexible solutions, social seating, snug comfort, new retro, industrial luxe, considered craft, biomimicry, color play and pattern-full.

With living spaces needing to serve more activities, the report said clever and efficient product solutions are also key.

“Optimizing available space is paramount. For pieces that remain visible, such as portable lights, the priority is to marryfunctionality with aesthetics, as these items are on constant display. Indoor/outdoor versatility remains a key area of focus: Blomus’s daybed can be used in both environments. Floor-to-ceiling and stackable or moveable shelving systems are another great flexible product opportunity,” it said.

As socializing and relaxing at home remains a key focus for consumers in times of economic uncertainty, Grezard said oversized modular sectional sofas double as islands for relaxation and conversation.

“The latest forecasts expect inflation rates and an overall recessionary landscape to continue confronting consumers in 2023 and beyond. Providing a comforting embrace and reassuring tactility will be key qualities consumers will seek to bring into their homes. Some
of these pieces will also double as warming-up alternatives in which to snuggle while saving on heating,” she said.

The report said a retro look with a modern twist remains a perennial direction for all interiors, including lighting and furniture, interpreting classic designs with an updated aesthetic.

“The reassurance found in tried-and-true retro styles confirms its ongoing appeal to consumers, especially in times of uncertainty and upheaval. This is particularly relevant for furniture pieces where the investment can be considerable: spending on a product whose look is
familiar yet timeless – alongside a more reliable resale value – becomes easier to approach for consumers,” it said.

Grezard said a softer take on industrial styling will evolve in 2023, with furniture and lighting pieces being elevated by the unobtrusive elegance of luxe materials.

She said products with this aesthetic are updated through refined crafting techniques and processes, replacing the rough workmanship of the former industrial look.

“Elevated finishes come to the fore, and wood brings a softer tactility to this direction alongside metal,” she added. “Patina remains important, but it is more controlled in its outcome and complements the overall refined look. Play with juxtapositions to update and soften the industrial narrative, such as matte with shine, timeworn effects with smooth wood, or velvet with metal.”

Grezard said the apparent imperfection of the maker’s mark adds unique value to products, honoring handcrafting techniques and an artisanal approach.

“It is important that whether mass- or hand-produced, the outcome is respectful of the research and the narrative driving the product development. This design direction will remain a key driver for product design and increasingly reach mainstream as consumers seek and
appreciate the added value and uniqueness associated with handicrafts,” she said.

Grezard said biophilic designs reconnect consumers with nature, bringing the otherworldly qualities of a fantastical exoticism to interiors.

“This direction blurs the line between indoor and outdoor, real and surreal, either by celebrating natural materials or by borrowing shapes from organic elements,” she said.

The WGSN report said bold colors for furniture and lighting products continue to infuse positive sentiments into homes, counteracting recession and pandemic blues.

“Brands and designers explore diverse ways to bring color to ranges, applying them with varying techniques to enhance materials,” it said. “Color plays a key role in the material itself beyond finishes, confirming the importance of colored stone across interior product

In a look at the evolution in 2023 for the maximalist trend, Grezard said vibrant patterns take center stage in bold and purposefully mismatched statements.

“This is a great direction for updating core and perennial collections, proposing pattern implementations via slip-covers, stick-and-peel patterns, and lively lampshades among other options. Styling is really important here to catch the eye and convey the narrative in the right way,” she said.

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