[dropcap size=small]N[/dropcap]ow in its 56th edition, the Salone Internazionale del Mobile continues to set the tone for the year ahead with inspiring designs for the home. Trends that emerged this year include fluid pieces that adapt and adjust to different lifestyles, contemporary uses of traditional craftsmanship, murky colours as alternative neutrals, sculpturally curvy forms, and innovative use of design and manufacturing technology.

We see storied brands collaborating with a healthy mix of celebrated and promising designers, as well as practised craftsmen, to get to the heart of what a home should feel like. While the new designs come in unexpected forms, colours and materials, they all set out to forge new relationships with their users. There is an overarching call for home furnishings to fulfil functional needs, catering to the individual, and to enhance a homeowner’s emotional well-being.

Want to get ahead of the game? Here are the designs to bookmark before they make their way into stores here.

(RELATED: Update your interiors stylishly with new Milan Furniture Fair launches by 7 top fashion brands.)

FLUID FORMS

A user-centric approach is ubiquitous among both established and emerging labels this year, with designers pushing the envelope with inspiring ways that people can interact with home decor products. This concept is epitomised by the reimagination of modular seating and adjustable lighting designs. They challenge the notion that mass-manufactured products are one-size-fits-all, and strive to off er features that can be personalised. The desire for a tailored experience at home continues to motivate manufacturers to offer choices that revolve around multi-functional pieces with flexible components.

HONOURING CRAFT

As rich in texture as the stories woven into their construction, artisanal elements tap into people’s desire to own pieces that are not only exclusive, but also comes with a narration. Just like precious art pieces, a product’s story heightens its value by painting another layer to people’s enjoyment of the design. Whether it’s the high standards of skill needed to create the perfect streamlined silhouette, or a traditional weaving technique that can fuse with contemporary designs, the magic of craftsmanship remains an indispensable aspect of luxury.

MURKY SHADES

As design-savvy homeowners are beginning to shun predictable interior design themes, such as industrial or retro looks, in favour of more personalised and eclectic styles, brands are catering to the market’s increasingly diverse tastes with wonderfully ambiguous hues. Many new collections include selections that hover around tertiary colours, which set a new standard for neutrals. Designs in this dusky palette can easily blend into homes of any decor style, making it a wonderful choice for those who enjoy reinvigorating spaces by mixing it up with meaningful pieces accumulated over time.

CURVES AHEAD

The design industry is often a reflection of society’s zeitgeist, and, after the West’s widespread financial crises, people’s desire to be comforted gave rise to designs that embrace users readily with soft, undulating forms. And as political instability persists in today’s climate, the home is defined not just as a shelter, but as a safe haven where homeowners can be soothed in restful ambience. This is made possible with seatings that envelope the user rather than embellish the home, and by designs with sensual lines that are visually and physically calming.

TECH-RICH

There’s no denying that smart homes are on-trend, with new design concepts unveiled every day that promise to radicalise the way we live. On the home front, this often entails fancy automated lighting and sound systems, and appliances, or kitchens that are made to impress. Luxury furniture manufacturers, however, have chosen to steer away from overtly advanced designs to focus on technology enhancing everyday lives in subtle ways. As a result, lighting designs that look and feel familiar now have value-added functionalities such as increased portability, thanks to cable-free innovations, and advancement in manufacturing processes has opened the door to more sustainable and creative furniture designs.

(RELATED: Why Furniture Design Faces a Digital Disruption.)