In 2023, many industries changed the way they operate and the products they manufacture, and the furniture industry is no exception. Its transition toward 3D visualization and digital commerce began prior to this year, but it is mainly now that we are seeing design trends that will dominate the furniture industry in 2024.
At Red Label Abrasives, our customers include large-scale furniture production facilities as well as smaller woodworking shops that produce one-of-a-kind pieces. In this blog, we’ll use insights gained over the previous year to reveal what furniture design trends you can expect during 2024 and beyond.
Overarching Design & Manufacturing Trends
As younger generations continue to move out on their own and buy homes, the demand for customized furniture has been rising accordingly. Instead of buying into general trends, new homebuyers are aiming for unique ways to furnish their spaces.
In the furniture industry, this means developing made-to-order workflows that allow manufacturers to respond to demand rather than keep stock. With automated workflows, furniture companies will not only deliver customized pieces more quickly, but will also be able to better control the costs and quality of their final products.
Augmented reality (AR) has also influenced the furniture industry in recent years. Buying furniture is an inherently visual experience, as shoppers factor in size, materials, and color to determine whether a chair, sofa, or table is compatible with their current furniture. Therefore, it's only logical for this trend to emerge as a way to bridge the gap between in-store and online shopping.
AR is particularly useful for this industry because it allows customers to ‘try out’ furniture without having to buy it. In addition, Research has repeatedly shown how useful AR is to the shopping experience. One particular furniture company reported adouble digit increase in online sales from AR implementation.
Digitalization of the Manufacturing Process
Traditionally, furniture production has relied heavily on manual processes, but today's increase in demand, e-commerce, and the need for cost control make it imperative to digitalize. This involves integrating the workflow from the e-commerce website through production with the goal of shortening delivery times, minimizing errors, enhancing quality, and increasing margins.
Manufacturers who have primarily used manual production processes will need to ensure that they have the tools and technologies needed to make custom pieces efficiently and without error. These resources, such as digital printing and automated nesting, will help eliminate stock challenges, reduce costs and improve material utilization.
With environmentalism continuing to be a key concern, interest in sustainable furniture has skyrocketed, creating two trends expected to last for a long time to come:
Recycled:Affectionately termed ‘vintage,’this trend has people hauling their parents’ and grandparents’ old bed frames, dining room sets, and living room furniture out of the garage or storage site,stripping away old lacquer and paint, and giving it new life in a modern environment. By making use of what’s already there, the work of yesteryear’s craftsmen enjoys new audiences and landfills won’t overflow.
Recyclable:Buyers are showing more concern about the origin of the materials used for furniture production. Although sustainable sources and eco-friendly manufacturing processes can add to the cost of the pieces themselves, consumers are willing to pay it to maintain responsible buying practices.
The use of bioplastic materials and materials that have a low impact for the environment will continue to trend and grow in 2024. Many furniture makers will be pushing to create furniture with new and unusual materials.
Even before COVID-19 compelled businesses everywhere to transition their workforces online, evolving technology meant that employees were no longer tethered to their workstations. People are using their extra bedrooms as home offices and furnishing them with desks, chairs, and shelves that are equal parts professional and comfortable. In the office, signs of this newly fluctuating workforce include shared areas like oversized tables made from heavier materials and lightweight chairs that are easy to move from one work surface to the next.
There has been a market for smart furniture for some time, but the demand has been increasing, especially now that more people are working from home. Smart furniture has functional capabilities that include:
Charging mobile devices
Listening to music or the news
Browsing the Internet
Chilling beverages (one coffee table-bar fridge combination does exactly that)
These versatile furnishings are rapidly growing in popularity, and many regard them as the future of furniture.
There is a growing trend towards unique and unusual furniture places that wouldn’t be out of place in an art gallery. Made from natural wood or metal and polished to ahigh gloss, they are equal parts showy and utilitarian. Many of them are painted or coated in bright, solid colors, invoking the Seventies style in an ultra-modern setting.
Although furniture trends change from one year to the next, one thing remains the same: quality. A superior base material that’s been shaped, smoothed, and polished by an equallypremium abrasive will yield results that turn brand-new pieces of furniture into potential heirlooms.
Emerging Design & Color Trends
Cool, Neutral Colors
2023 has been a stressful year due to inflation and global warfare, and some stability in our surroundings is desired. Cool, neutral colors like grey and blue will be popular for the tranquil feeling they evoke. Darker shades of blue are expected to replace black in 2024 as the new standard color for creating contemporary elegant spaces.
Furniture With Natural Elements
More time spent indoors can equate to a longing for the outdoors. Many will be looking to bring more nature into the home. Furniture with natural, organic elements are expected to sell well in 2024. Elements like wood, cotton, leather, and seagrass will help to bring the feel of the outdoors in.
Non-Porous Building Materials
2024 will see a huge focus on improving overall wellness and health. With the American public more germ-conscious than ever before, furniture made with non-porous materials will become a selling point. Bacteria and germs have a harder time sticking to non-porous materials like cement, metal, smoked glass, and laminate. There will likely be a growing desire to have furniture made with bacteria-resistant materials in high-traffic rooms like the living room, dining room, and kitchen.
For the furniture industry, the year 2024 promises to be an interesting one. Consumer wants and needs have dramatically changed in the short space of a year, and while they will always need furniture, the way they shop for it presents new challenges. If manufacturers wish to remain competitive, they must embrace new design and manufacturing trends and leverage new technologies in order to take advantage of a growing digital marketplace.
About Red Label Abrasives
We are one of the leading abrasive vendors for the furniture manufacturing industry. Red Label Abrasives sellssanding belts,sanding discs,sandpaper rolls, andsanding sheets and pads designed to work with the softest woods, hardest metals, and even plastic and composites. For over 35 years, we’ve custom-manufactured premium-quality, long-lasting abrasives at affordable prices for furniture manufacturers.
We’ve earned a reputation for our stellar products, but we’re also known for offering exceptional customer support and unrivaled technical support. When you work with a family-owned company like Red Label, you can expect a level of service that far exceeds expectations. Our abrasive technicians would love to help you find the right abrasives for your application. We can alsocustom manufacture abrasives for you if we don’t have what you need on our online shop. For more information on our furniture industry products or to place an order, please fill out acontact form or call 844-824-1956.
David Kranker is a writer and creative maker who has been covering the abrasive and knife-making industries on the Red Label Abrasives Blog since 2020. David spends his time continually researching sanding and bladesmithing to provide readers with the latest and greatest information. In his free time, David utilizes abrasives for many different home and auto projects at his home in Delton, MI.