The biggest furniture trends for 2016 have a sense of authenticity and naturalness. For this blog I'm looking at trends as measured by local sales in Australian retailers year to date, which is different from the forward or international trends often discussed in the media.
1. Leather sofas are huge at the moment, specifically aged or antique looking leathers in tan colour with lots of natural markings. These leathers will be semi or full aniline and are actually quite hard to maintain but look and feel amazing. Don't try to match these too closely by colour as each hide is unique and even on the same sofa you can expect variation in panels. Look for a 3 seater around $3,000.
2. Large dining tables and case-goods made from Australian hardwoods (Vic Ash / Tassie oak) in a natural finish. White American oak has been huge but the Aussie timbers are now coming on strong as manufactures are using less stain and letting the timber speak for itself. Note that light coloured timbers will yellow slightly and that is considered a normal part of the ageing process. These table will last forever and should not be treated nicely..the more use and abuse they get the better they look. 2.4m tables around $2,500 are good value.
3. Marble top accent tables on brass or bronze antiqued metal bases. This look picks up on both the natural material vibe and the post-scandi drift towards luxury. Scandi simplicity is still massive of course and will always work well with Australian lifestyles but there is normally a reaction to a popular trend and luxury is it. Marble is everywhere and your only choice is wether to choose a natural raw finish which may stain or go for one with a clear protective finish which is easy to maintain. Expect to pay around $800 for a marble coffee table.
4. Concrete anything. Table, lamps, bowls etc. Concrete is not a natural product, but it has a natural type of feeling about it which is what makes it work in this context. It also helps that it is grey, which is the first, second, and third best selling colour in anything this year and last year, and probably next year despite the forecasts you may read. Cracks and chips in concrete are hard to repair so be really careful about your delivery of these products. One of the great advantages of concrete is that it is made by pouring into to a mould which allows you to get almost any shape you can think of. Look for imported concert tables around $1500 or bespoke locally made ones closer to $4000.
5. Upholstered bed heads, in your choice of fabric. Bedheads are getting taller every year as mattress get thicker and thicker until sometime soon you will need a higher ceiling. Bedheads are an area where you can spend more time personalising your look with lots of local manufactures making these to order in your choice of fabric.
International trends like walnut and other dark timbers haven't got traction in Australia as yet but will continue to be pushed.
If you have any questions please get in touch or leave a comment...