American Marketer

Home furnishings

2018 interior design trends to include the return of color, distinctive pieces

January 22, 2018

Bright colors are making a comeback in lieu of clean white interiors. Image credit: Fornasetti


The year ahead will be all about artisanal and one-of-a-kind interior design pieces, according to a report from online marketplace 1stdibs.

Around half of all designers surveyed by 1stdibs said that 2018 would see more interest and sales of unique, one-off pieces on the luxury design marketplace, with a focus on distinctive items made for individual customers. This trend is emblematic of the larger shift in the luxury world away from branded or recognizable goods in favor of more individualized and distinct items.

Waxing and waning
Ultra-affluent consumers with the power to redecorate their homes at will are constantly looking for new trends and pieces to define the spaces where they live.

While interior design trends shift slower than, say, fashion, the tides do change and both designers and consumers need to be aware of what are the most popular trends.

1stdibs surveyed top designers from around the world to determine what the most popular trends of 2018 will be and what trends from 2017 will fall by the wayside. The survey was conducted with the participation of 630 top designers that are a part of 1stdibs’ online marketplace.

One of the more notable trends is that the combination of clean white interiors and vintage pieces is headed out the door. Instead, wealthy consumers are more likely to want unique, modern pieces along with brighter color palettes.

1stdibs also emphasizes the importance of quality over quantity, recommending that consumers invest in large high-quality, high-end pieces as opposed to buying many cheaper pieces more often.

For those investment pieces, the surveyed designers recommended that consumers begin with a sofa followed by a dining table or wall art.

Emerging trends
As affluent consumers have become more comfortable investing in luxury online, early ecommerce adopter 1stdibs has found success translating the collecting experience to a virtual environment.

Founded in 2001, 1stdibs has grown to count a registered audience of 2 million, who turn to its curated, editorial site for its selection of antiques, home furnishings, art and jewelry. Helping consumers navigate what can be an overwhelming hunt for vintage finds, 1stdibs serves up content via a weekly magazine and daily blog, providing inspiration and perspective on design topics (see story).

The trends outlined in 1stdibs survey are consistent with some of the moves being made in the luxury interior design world recently.

For example, Italian decorative arts company Fornasetti is combining the elegant majesty of ancient and classical artworks housed at the Museum of Palazzo Altemps with the modern, surrealist style of brand's furniture.

Fornasetti's Citazioni Pratiche, or Practical Quotes in English, will see the atelier’s contemporary design interacting with the ancient artwork that the museum specializes in. The combination is yet another example of the symbiotic and natural relationship that can form between art and luxury goods (see story).

This is consistent with 1stdibs’ assertion that consumers are demanding more of a synthesis of new, modernist styles with vintage charms.

There have also been changes in the way luxury furnishings are sold, such as when auction house Christie’s catered to the collecting crowd by adjusting its decorative arts sales strategy.

Starting kast fall, the auctioneer launched a new program that more closely aligns its sales of home furnishings with industry fairs. This new approach will allow Christie’s to take advantage of an interested audience as their minds are on collecting (see story).

As the first month of 2018 comes to a close, the trends that have served design brands well in previous years are becoming less relevant while consumers look for new and unique ideas to fill their homes.