It’s January again which, to the interiors enthusiast/trend watcher/all-round design monger, can only mean one thing—trade show season has begun. Last week, it was Maison & Objet—Paris’ biannual furniture, home decor and lighting event. Even more importantly, 2020 was the show’s 25th anniversary.
We highlight the interior design trends you should be keeping your eye on this year.
Image Credit: @kraski.englishcolors, @tinekhome, @dooq
It’s not often that such a continuum of interior design styles is represented in one given year but, alas, M&O2020 managed to do so—seemingly looking back to iconic styles of previous decades as much as looking forward to emerging designers.
Three emerging styles into which most looks could be categorised are: playful inspired by a modern Memphis Group style, all things natural, and what can best be described as a mature Postmodernism—post-Postmodernism, if you will.
First, following suit from fashion brands such as Delpozo, zany colours mixed with graphic patterns and tongue-in-cheek design made a solid argument for the fun-loving Memphis Group style in the 21st century.
In direct contrast, the predilection towards a more natural look took the form of unfinished woods, raffia fringing, purist wooden joinery and relaxed textiles—all slightly underdone but underdone fabulously. Tine K Home’s stand of bamboo chairs and burlap rugs was particularly rejuvenating.
Lastly, brands such as Portuguese furniture maker Dooq defined the previously mentioned post-Postmodernism with push-the-envelope designs of winged cane chairs (a note on that: caning doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere either), fur-wrapped sofas and like. It blended the out-of-the-box thinking of the style’s previous incarnation but with actual function in mind.
Image Credit: @noomhome, @collector.group, @francescaavossastudio
It’s no surprise that furniture felt playful this year (it comes with the territory of two of the key styles, above). Whether overtly in form, colour or material or subtly, it wasn’t taking itself too seriously. French interior design studio Colonel featured luminous orange fan detailing and colourful doors on its clean-lined furniture and Ukrainian brand Noom Home’s Yves Klein blue exercise ball seating wasn’t to be missed.
Unique coffee tables were particularly prevalent this year. An undulating coffee table sculpted from one singular block of marble, amoeba-like mix and match wooden coffee tables and a marble, wood and cane design from Federico Peri for Collector were a few of the highlights.
Volume and scale (again playful) were seen a lot. Ligne Roset’s popular stands debuted pillowy new furniture by designer Yabu Pushelberg along with its iconic Asmara modular sofa by Bernard Govin. Whether oversized or overstuffed, the message was clear—bigger is better in 2020.
Image Credit: @reymondcomms, @revelarchitecture, @concept_verre
Barely there, linear lighting was extolled this year as the show’s Designer of the Year Michael Anastassiades exhibited his trademark mobile-like light sculptures—a retrospective of sorts of the last 12 years of his career. Exploring the relationship between delicacy, balance and proportion, the designer’s space imbued a sense of calm with its suspended glowing spheres and honest lines.
Similarly authentic in its design intention, straw, rattan, cane and wicker lighting was seen throughout the show; just one element of the overarching natural trend. Designs were oversized (again with the volume), taking advantage of the inherent lightness of the materials and often grouped to create a statement.
Glass pendants aren’t exactly groundbreaking but this year’s lighting designers—Formagenda, Giopato & Coombes, etc.—gave them a reboot in the form of strings of delicate mouth-blown shapes. Whether smooth and pebble-like, bubbled or angular and geometric, glass stacks are in.
Image Credit: @ccrugs, @lagitatricededeco, @hello_peagreen
From Jaime Hayon’s doodles to Deidre Dyson’s colour experimentations and Jaipur Rugs’ stylised designs to CC-Tapis’ free-form silhouettes, statement rugs were all over the show, literally. The floors and the walls were bedecked with remarkable area rugs which didn’t feel the need to choose colour over pattern or shape over texture.
Decor was a lot about organic shapes, raw textures and even prehistoric vibes sometimes. Humble urns, terracotta finishes and Stone Age-esque pottery were some of the decor seen. Basically, if it looks like it’s just been unearthed during an archeologist dig or was created in the core of the Earth, it’s a keeper this design season.
Fan shape, semi-circle, half moon, demilune—whatever you call it, it was applied in all sorts of ways this year. The motif—often associated with the Art Deco era although used entirely differently at M&O2020—was seen in sconces by Noom Home, mirrors by luxury Italian bathroom brand Antonio Lupi, lighting by Ago Lighting and even in the forms of furniture by Inot and Schneid Studio.
Image Credit: @houtique, @maisonetobjet, @maisonetobjet
Pastels, solo and used together, were big. Spanish brand Houtique stood out for its unabashed use but the reclaimed saccharine tones also featured in stands by Ligne Roset, L’Objet and Rising Talent Adrian Garcia for Studio Adret. Seletti’s utterly wacky upside down Pop Art-filled, neon-lit, galactic animal menagerie world also featured a good few pastels. But, then again, what didn’t feature in that immersive space?
Diving deeper into the colour wheel, red tones were prominent; surprising for a year that will supposedly be governed by blues. Rusty autumnal hues of oxblood, wine and rust orange were seen at Duistt, Eichholtz and L’Opificio, as were more eye-popping cerises and coral.
Tempering such colourful stands were those who heralded the return of monochrome. Some stands, like Ralph Lauren and L’Objet, favoured classic monochrome—a crisp white and black pairing—yet others championed a warmed up version which paired creams, sands and taupes with charcoals and blacks.
Image Credit: @collectionparticuliere, @veroneseparis, @ateliersdart
Textured fabrics—boucle, shearling, et al—were increasingly popular this year, a refreshing alternative to the glossy velvets of recent years (which also featured). A designer fabric most associated with iconic Mid-century modern curved sofas and modular couches, boucle was found upholstered on the furniture designs of Greenapple, Collector and Eichholtz as was Pierre Yovanovitch “Papa Bear”-style shearling for 101 Copenhagen’s Big Foot stool.
Sustainability and green design continues to be a focus, even in high-end furniture design and for good reason. The design world has apparently come to an overwhelming consensus that sustainability is needed more than ever and to a realisation that it can be achieved by high-end furniture designers; in fact, it should be. The Melting Pot table by Pop Corn Design Paris uses recycled plastic and all that comes with it, including embedded price stickers from the plastic’s past life.
Ceramics are still in, but this year it was about simple, matte and unglazed to highlight interesting textures and organic forms. The show’s standouts were Paolo Paronetto with its papery Italian ceramics in powdery shades of mauve, apple green and lemon, and 101 Copenhagen’s mottled white vessels.