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Toned-down, Teched-up and thinking big – 2012’s Interior Design ThemesPosted on: April 20, 2012
I’ve just returned from the Milan Furniture Fair – a crucial barometer of interior style for the year ahead – with news that the trend-setting designers have focused on toned-down leather, built-in iPod connectivity and 10-place-plus dining tables for 2012.
In Milan it became clear that leather will still dominate living room sofas and armchairs, with a gradual move towards leather and fabric mixes as the cost of leather starts to increase, but colours continue to be toned down with greys, taupes and buttermilks leading the colour parade.
That probably reflects lifestyles – people like a little quality and luxury, but they want to be discreet about it. But they do also like to add a little ostentation: Blanket stitching detail and contrast piping is emerging from all the leading furniture suppliers – but there’s likely to be a lot of functional home furniture becoming the standard, with such features as dual motor seating allowing movement of head rests independently of foot rests.
But we’re all now taking tech for granted as a given: there’ll be great demand for integrated audio systems, and the furniture makers are bowing to that – creating sofas and chairs allowing iPods to be docked on sofas and corner units, and for music to be played through integrated speakers within the leather.
But lifestyle is probably most clearly reflected in the dining room: We’re going to see a lot of large-scale tables allowing 10-plus people to dine comfortably – that’s a sign that home entertaining is still on the up, with dining rooms becoming a centrepiece room.
Manufacturers are mixing materials to produce eye-catching designs as a consequence, with marble dining tables with Swarovski crystals and leather bases in all colours and finishes – including white crocodile effect – very much on the menu for 2012.
Discreet designs and colours are making their way into the dining room as well, though, with greys also making an appearance – but watch out for a new wood called ‘Koto’ finished with lacquer giving an amazing balance for a natural contemporary product.
But the manufacturer to watch in 2012: it has to be Kartell, with Phillippe Starck’s ‘One More’ and ‘One More Please’ bar stools – basically from the same stable as the iconic Louis Ghost chair – once more grabbing the design headlines.” Visit our website to browse through our stylish home furniture Manchester store.