Design thinking

Trend themes

Emelie Hedén Edlund

We’ve selected four significant interior trends that will surely inspire us this year.

Buyers, architects, designers and journalists from 60+ countries came together at this year’s edition of Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair – the world’s largest meeting place for Scandinavian design and a key annual event for tracking interior trends. From among the fair’s top-notch offerings, we’ve selected four significant interior trends that will surely inspire us this year…

Interior trends move faster than trends in most other product areas and can strongly influence the direction of future design ranges within consumer goods companies. Here’s our selection of four relevant themes for 2017 from the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, as well as highlights on color and finish applications for the year.

Art Deco Remix

In contrast to the strong trend of light pastels, grayscale and humble Scandinavian minimalism, this more dramatic, attention-seeking style carries a lot of self-esteem. It’s a mix of art deco and lounge aesthetics from the ’60s and ’70s.

Many armchairs and sofas overflow with confident shapes that, combined with velvet and fur, call for attention and say, “Here I am!” Other exclusive materials like marble, copper, brass and gold aren’t new, but when they’re placed in this context their luxury is emphasized.

This year’s guest of honor at the fair, Jamie Hayón, is a perfect fit for Art Deco Remix. He designs exclusive, whimsical items that blur the line between art, decoration and design.

*Top images from left to right:
Lammhults + Hope – Gold/brass chair accentuated with fur
Tom Dixon – Art Deco inspired lighting, Photo:
&Tradition – Retro velvet sofa

Nature in Focus

Sustainable thinking remains a relevant topic. It’s a slow moving but steadily growing trend.

Some materials like cork have been around for a while, but we’re seeing increased use of bio plastics and other natural materials – predominately wood. Solid, barely treated wood lasts forever and ages beautifully. Living materials, such as different varieties of plants, are increasingly being used for both decorative purposes and in functional applications.

The movement toward fully sustainable solutions were most obvious in the Greenhouse section for students and up-and-coming designers. The exhibition Now/Then by Lund University showed what sustainable concepts could look like on a personal level, i.e., repairable sneakers or algae-based water purification.

New Functional Minimalism

Decluttering is a growing movement within minimalism. Millennials are increasingly moving into tiny, efficient apartments and donating their superfluous possessions. At the fair, we observed products designed with reduced material consumption and simplified production.

New Functional Minimalism is practical and constituted from primitive form elements but often with a twist or discreet element of humor, for example, an unexpected proportion or color application.

Illusory Perspectives

The Illusory Perspectives trend highlights a disruptive visual expression that’s in contrast to the super-soft and friendly shapes we’ve gotten used to the last couple of years. At the 2017 fair, we saw a revival of angled shapes and asymmetric compositions that reference an ’80s aesthetic: slanting stools by Tom Dixon, amoeba-like tables by Swedese and asymmetric tables by Eilersen.

The approach is unexpected and a bit provocative. By next year we’ll know if it was just a temporary backlash against the ordinary – or a larger trend to follow. Either/or, we find it inspiring for 2017.

Color in Focus – Green

From moss, velvet petroleum and pale sage to brighter shades, green is the key color for 2017. It’s calm, comforting and reminiscent of qualities of nature as it refers to sustainability and experiencing nature itself. Pantone has selected a fresh tone called Greenery (15-0343) as Color of the Year 2017. According to Pantone, Greenery is nature’s neutral.

Color in Focus – Orange

Some of the main brights spotted at the fair were shades of orange and red. A prominent example that attracted a lot of attention was Sulla Bocca di Tutti, the fair’s pop-up café designed by Stockholm-based Note studio. Warm orange works well as eye-catching standalone color application or on smaller parts as a popping accent. We also saw deeper, more muted reds like burgundy and rusty orange hues.

Finish in Focus – Speckled Surfaces

This year we also saw speckled finishes in many subtle or extravagant executions. These speckled surfaces reference Memphis (’80s) architecture and add a lot of personality. One of the most unexpected applications was the new speckled patterned textiles in the Swedese booth, reminiscent of old transport textiles. After many years of marble, marble, marble, granite is once again up and coming. Terrazzo is also an interesting speckled material that we see even more of this year. When applied judiciously, speckled surfaces grab attention and bring minimalistic design to life.