furniture

Photo: Pulpo

As one of Singapore’s most popular suppliers of quality, high-end furniture, XTRA Designs is at the forefront of what homeowners want for their homes. Buying trends in the past months have indicated an increasing desire for “more organic shapes; sustainable, portable, and functional designs; (timeless icons) and convenient designs that serve a dual purpose,” shares Jem Ramos, XTRA Designs’ marketing manager.

These trends are undoubtedly a spillover effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, where homeowners found solace in indoor greenery, had to reconfigure their homes for working or studying from home, or mulled over the sustainable impact of mindless consumerism. Here, Ramos and several architects and designers, ruminate on the furniture trends of 2024.

1. Timeless, iconic designs

furniture
The iconic Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman was the first seating of its kind when Herman Miller introduced it in 1956. (Photo: XTRA Designs)

It is no wonder that the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman were one of XTRA Design’s bestsellers in 2023. The iconic design beckons with its well-designed form and a timber frame synonymous with the beloved mid-century modern era. The elegant Folding Screen by Irish architect Eileen Gray is another classic piece that has stood the test of time.   

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Available from Space Furniture, the Folding Screen was designed by Eileen Gray in 1930 for ClassicCon (Photo: ClassiCon)

Elliot James Barratt, the co-founder of Elliot James Interiors, believes 2024 will see more homeowners commissioning bespoke furniture to have “something completely original and personal”. In the luxury homes he designs, he often works with British designer Alexander Lamont and French designer William Guillon to customise pieces.

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A penthouse designed by Elliot James Interiors with a custom-designed rug made by Tapetti Rugs. (Photo: Elliot James Interiors)

“This growing trend to work with unique craftsmen and create something personal is ultimately a more sustainable way of purchasing furniture as it has more longevity,” Barratt comments. If custom furniture is out of one’s budget, he suggests looking at auction sites like 1stDibs for vintage pieces that are also well-crafted and stand the test of time. 

2. Furniture as art

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The Cora brass lamp, designed by Karl Zahn for Roll & Hill, is available from Space Furniture. (Photo: Roll & Hill)

Artwork does not have to be limited to traditional paintings on walls. “Artistic lamps can be treated like sculptures in a space, landing the right dose of drama to spaces such as a powder room,” highlights Gwen Tan, the co-founder of Formwerkz Architects and founder of interior design firm Studio iF

An example is the Cora brass lamps from Roll & Hill, which have a distinctive Art Deco aesthetic. Ong agrees. She has used the Nenufar Blooming chandelier from Serip Organic Lighting in the homes she has designed, as their organic forms naturally become a focal point in a space. 

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The Nenufar Blooming lamp in bronze from Serip Organic Lighting is one example of the luminaires from Serip Organic Lighting whose forms are inspired by nature. (Photo: Massoneong)

Uniquely designed mirrors can also take the place of hung paintings. In her design of the Meyerhouse show suite, Ong selected the Bienvenue Mirror from Ligne Roset, whose fluid shape and integrated timber element make it a highlight on a wall.   

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The Bienvenue mirror from Ligne Roset, featuring an oval shape and a curving walnut shelf, is available from Grafunkt. (Photo: Massoneong)

Additionally, the quirky forms, bright colours, and interesting use of materials from Swiss brand Pulpo — one of Tan’s favourite brands — elevate utilitarian objects into modern art

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The form of the Chou Chou stool-cum-side table from Pulpo celebrates the uniqueness of ceramic. (Photo: Pulpo)

3. Craft and small makers

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Neri&Hu designs the timber wardrobe from Ariake’s Umu bedroom collection. (Photo: Sebastian Stadler)

When Tan visited the Maison&Objet furniture and accessories fair in Paris this January, she noticed many pieces highlighting the craft aesthetic and philosophy. A brand that celebrates craft is Ariake, with designs made from natural materials and whose pieces are crafted in Morodomi in Saga Prefecture, Japan.

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Neri&Hu designs the timber wardrobe from Ariake’s Umu bedroom collection. (Photo: Sebastian Stadler)

Ong also notices the craft trend, highlighting the growing appreciation of artisanal studios and small makers such as Studio Kallang from Singapore. “The local furniture design studio has been commissioned by Diptyque stores to customise furniture and mirrors as they bring an interesting take to craft and woodwork,” Ong points out.    

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The Lacquered chair, hand carved from Douglas Fir and designed by Minjae Kim for Garcé & Dimofski. (Photo: Sean Davidson)

A source she hopes to work with one day is Lisbon-based gallery Garcé & Dimofski. It specialises in the collection and rare, high-grade products for the home, made by small-scale fabricators and traditional artisans that experimentally meld art and design, and that respect the honesty of materials such as ceramic, brass and wood.

4. Versatile, portable pieces

Multi-functional furniture pieces are useful not only for small homes. They also alter the aesthetic of a space quickly and without much fuss. Tan highlights some pieces from Pedrali that do this. 

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The Hevea potholder allows homeowners to display different kinds of plants. (Photo: Andrea Garuti, courtesy of Xtra Designs)

The Hevea indoor potholder has easily removable polypropylene pot modules that are easy to attach — either opposite one another or in a spiral for two different looks. A longer version doubles as a screen. 

Another piece of furniture from Pedrali is the Guinea stackable chair, whose back and seat cushions can be detached for easy maintenance or changed should one desire a different aesthetic. 

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The Melt portable LED lamp offers up to 10 hours of battery life. (Photo: XTRA Designs)

Portable lamps are also increasing in popularity, Ramos highlights. The Melt portable lamp from Tom Dixon and the Panthella 160 Portable lamp from Louis Poulsen join the expanding number of brands creating such petit luminaires to facilitate modern-day living.  

5. Sustainable designs

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Made in Japan, the limited edition Lapel vase is made from smooth upcycled calf leather offcuts and natural Japanese paper fibre. (Photo: Polène)

More and more, manufacturers are looking at processes or materials that attempt to reduce their carbon footprint and waste. 

An example is Mobje, a Japanese brand that collaborated with French handbag brand Polène on the Lapel vases for Maison&Object, Tan shares. Made from upcycled leather and natural Japanese paper fibre, they have malleable tops that can be adjusted. 

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Designed by Simon Legald, the Bit stool from Normann Copenhagen’s composition of plastic waste bits means that each piece is unique. (Photo: XTRA Designs) 

There is also the Bit stool from Normann Copenhagen, made up of small bits of 100 per cent recycled household and industrial plastic, Ramos mentions. Paola Lenti’s Metamorphosis collection directly tackles the waste issue, too, with a collection made from fabric and trim remnants that were meticulously catalogued by the Italian furniture brand’s founder for several years. 

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Bruco is a seat from Paola Lenti’s Metamorfosi collection, which has been awarded the Green GOOD DESIGN AWARD 2023 and the NYCxDesign Award 2023 in the category of Environmental Impact. (Photo: Sergio Chimenti, courtesy of Proof Living)

Brazilian designers Fernando and Humberto Campana, renowned for creating iconic pieces with waste materials, were invited to create a collection of five pieces. One of them is the floral-like Bruco indoor seat, whose upholstery is made from polyester fibres derived from the recycling of PET bottles.