We asked our trend advisors and other outside experts to address the design movements and cultural touchstones that may influence home design in the first quarter. They also shared what’s on their radar for 2024, and what looks they will be happy to see disappear. Here’s what they had to say.
Do you see aspects of the Brutalism movement expressed in recent product development?
Brutalism’s origins had a focus on the minimal and functional, combining simple geometric and rectilinear forms and elements. But Brutalist monochromatic palettes and rough, unfinished materials have a cold, almost militaristic vibe that seems at odds with what we want to surround ourselves with right now. There are some beautiful designs taking a cue from the geometric form focus of Brutalism, but these are frequently focused on circular rather than angular forms. Tortuga Forma exemplifies the softened coloration, finish, and materials define this new, softer approach. One exception to the above would be Serax. They have created beautiful expressive home accessories faithful to the Brutalist aesthetic. —Tom Mirabile, founder, Springboard Futures
What key patterns do you expect to be influential in 2024?
I see florals as key motifs for 2024, taking on a more retro style and midcentury vibe that feel modern and cool and less flouncy. These fresh and lively florals are contemporary and bold and add a welcomed newness to any space, breathing new life into upholstery, wallpaper and accents.
Pattern Play is another welcome trend that we see continuing in 2024. It made its resurgence in the second half of 2023 with geometric patterns mixing in scale, color and technique. In 2024, we are going to see geometrics mixing with florals, creating an overexposed pattern play like we saw in the ‘80s. —Nancy Fire, Nancy Fire Designs
How do you think current world events will play out in terms of color and design choices?
Current world events will play out in terms of color and design choices as we are more engaged in our total lives than ever before. We move forward with focus through carefully curated lives that reflect exactly who we are today and who we aspire to be tomorrow. These translate to colors inspired by optimism and hope, which are the clear, mid-range of brights we see coming through. As we voice our values, we select products that offer a nod to nostalgia and are a testament to tradition, humbly adding humility and warmth to our environments as we repair rather than replace. These will continue the ranges of what we call “nuanced neutrals”, colors which are subtle and soothing. We will seek out fun, fabulous and futuristic forms, but they must also function. These are inspiring the bright, digitally informed ranges of color found in the Metaverse and gaming. Innovative and inspiring design will comfort us through craftsmanship, circularity and sustainability as we honor the heritage of design and hone our approach to artistry. These will inspire the natural dyes and earth tones and, of course, the continuation of the family of energized and essential greens. —Patti Carpenter, principal and global trend ambassador, Carpenter + Company
What recent or anticipated movie releases do you think could impact furnishings design?
Mission Impossible 7: Exoticism and adventure. This could manifest in home furnishings such as rattan furniture, bamboo accents and outdoor seating.
The Flash: Superhero chic. Bold colors, geometric patterns and metallic accents could become more popular in home furnishings.
Fast X: Glamour and speed. This could lead to an increase in interest in leather sofas, chrome accents and neon lights.
Oppenheimer: Midcentury modern style. This style is characterized by clean lines, simple silhouettes and organic shapes. — Linda Simpson, American liaison, MC&CO
What new materials for home are you most excited about this year?
I am excited about Lapitec because it is a “sintered stone” and is price competitive with other engineered stones. It is made of minerals and does not include toxic resin binders or toxic chemicals in its composition. Its performance characteristics are similar to natural stone. It is silica-free, and it is nonporous, so it doesn’t require stone treatments, which often contain toxic ingredients. —Jonsara Ruth, co-founder and design director, Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons School of Design
Will we see more 3D printing in 2024?
3-D printing is well established for industrial applications, but does it make sense for home interiors? My answer is yes for many reasons. Among them is the drive for sustainability, which is especially important for Gen Z. -3D printing creates items on-demand. No excess inventory, no waste. Another reason comes from the long march toward personalized environments that has been in progress since the 1980s. This method provides options for all kinds of customization for items from furniture to decorative objects. Finally, 3-D printing can speed up the time required for innovation. Consumers are looking for what’s new and what’s next with increasing frequency, as evidenced by the shortening lifecycle of a trend. 3-D printing can help product designers feed the appetite for newness by producing limited color or style possibilities that can turn faster than ever. — Michelle Lamb, editorial director, the Trend Curve
In what part of the world will we discover new artisans?
There are so many parts of the world that have amazing artisans and crafts. We are always focused on areas on Africa, as they are home to some of the largest communities of indigenous people who are an unbroken connection to their craft cultures. South Africa, Morocco and parts of East Africa seem to be capturing our attention at the moment. I am also focused on Central and South America. Additionally, we are looking at parts of Asia including the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. — Patti Carpenter
Will red be more important in 2024?
Dark reds will take the lead in 2024. That doesn’t mean pinks will suddenly drop off the radar, however, the drama of deep values is set to overshadow them. — Michelle Lamb
What are the newest examples of wellness-based products for home?
There are many wellness-based products for the home, but in 2024 we will see a big focus on syncing sleep to circadian rhythms. Many of us are realizing that it’s not just about the number of hours spent in bed but syncing our sleep to our natural circadian rhythm [that’s important]. In 2024, expect a surge in tech tools and routines aimed at harnessing the power of our body’s internal clock. Keeping your system’s rhythms in tune can help improve symptoms of chronic pain conditions, and waking up refreshed and invigorated will no longer be a rare luxury but an everyday reality. —Nancy Fire
What microtrends (such as balletcore) are on your radar right now?
2023 has proven to be the year of the girl as women are reclaiming and celebrating their femininity in all forms. With that being said, we have seen a plethora of hyper-feminine aesthetics emerge as microtrends. From the soft girl aesthetic to rom-com core and the coquette aesthetic, all of these microtrends embody a divine feminine energy. I am also seeing a ton of crossover between these microtrends.
While these aesthetics are primarily fashion trends, we are seeing this feminine focus emerge in home interiors as well. This aesthetic can often be characterized by dainty and soft elements. I have been seeing bows everywhere, from bedding to bathmats, and they are being applied as both a print and a physical application on items. I am also seeing an uptick in ruffles, ticking stripe rose prints and pastel colors. Sandy Liang recently debuted her first home collection which perfectly captures this feminine aesthetic. One of the standout pieces in my opinion is the wool runner, which features pink ribbon detailing. The collection also features pieces with rosette appliques and other ultra-girly details.
Also tied to this theme is the fake cake trend I have been seeing all over my social media feeds. Jasmine Archie of Pretty Shitty Cakes jump started this cake craze with her retro-inspired cake sculptures and home décor. She recently collaborated with Urban Outfitters to bring an entirely cake-based collection to our homes. The collection features a range of decorative accessories that are all adorned with her signature piped frosting details.
As an inheritably nurturing trait, femininity fosters softer, more compassionate environments. These environments give us the space to lean into our emotional well-being. This is very much needed given these tumultuous times we are facing. —Kristen Moonjian, director of home + lifestyle, FS (Fashion Snoops)
What aspects of 1980’s designs do you see coming back?
The resurgence of 1980’s design can also relate to the hyper-feminine conversations we are having with the microtrends I touched on above. The feminine spirit within us is guiding us back to many of the glamorous aspects of the 80s. As a way to make the mundane moments more meaningful, we are compelled to amp up our everyday experiences. We are romanticizing our lives. This 80’s renaissance is bringing back a lot of luxurious materials such as your supple velvets, high-shine brass and captivating marbles. These luxe materials are completely transforming our everyday living spaces with their grandeur flair. Many of the bows, ruffles, and floral chintz I spoke to previously resonate here as well. Curvaceous shapes are also key here. Nothing has a sharp edge. The dressing room is making a big comeback, in both hospitality spaces and residential properties. In response to romanticizing our lives, we are enhancing our everyday rituals such as getting dressed, putting on our makeup and doing our hair. — Kristen Moonjian
How does the zeal for personal expression and authenticity impact trend development?
The zeal for these doesn’t affect trends, the zeal is the trend. The trend for consumers’ desire/need for personal expression has created growth opportunities for businesses who make it simple for consumers to be creative. Online retailers such as Shutterstock are helping people transform memorable moments into meaningful products. Suppliers with direct-to-consumer personalization capabilities also saw growth, like Maple Leaf At Home which creates personalized wood cutting boards, gifts, and entertaining accessories. Mass retail has had a harder time responding to this trend, because their model serves the many, so from both operational and marketing perspectives, delivering product that meets the customers desire for personal expression in any authentic way is extremely challenging. —Tom Mirabile