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Curvy, mobile and green – the seating trends of 2018 – Rounder, softer

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Curvy, mobile and green – the seating trends of 2018 – Rounder, softer

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Look around the contemporary furniture showrooms, and you’ll see an interesting trend: seating design has become curvier.

“We are seeing rounder, softer shapes, soothing cocooning pieces that more than ever are aimed at making a home an inviting sanctuary,” explains Claire Gibson from well-known furniture manufacturer, La-Z-Boy.

This is ‘feel-good’ furniture that is padded, with downy fillings for maximum comfort. “The shapes, focused on nurture and restoration, are reminiscent of bubbles, nests, clouds and balloons, maximising one’s ability to relax and connect with the new generation’s quest for ‘cocoonection’,” says Gibson.

A chair that tells your story

In essence, seating design has become less commercialised and more personalised. “With the rise of social media, we are all putting our homes on show more than ever before, and as our private spaces become more public, so they are also becoming more personal, and a better representation of who we want to be. This is having a big impact on seating design, as there is a much greater drive for customisation, and the need for furniture to help tell your story,” says Gibson.

Mobile seating

Another strong trend in 2018 is the mobile chair, a seat that is no longer clunky-looking and awkward to recline. Walk around the Grafton Everest and L-Z-Boy showroom in Johannesburg and you’ll see a large range of mobile seating in every colour and covering, including generously proportioned full suites with individual recliner seats that look like normal sofa seats when set straight, the only telltale sign being discreet recliner buttons on the sides.

“Mobile seating today comprises recliners as well as incliners, which means the seating can be placed much closer to the wall, so you can recline without using any more space. This is an important consideration if you’re living in a small space, as you need more compact furniture that doesn’t take up too much valuable floor space,” says Gibson.

Vintage with warmth

Vintage glamour is still in vogue, meanwhile, although today’s take on this decadent trend is very different from the stark and glossy glamour that has been popular for the past few years.

Says Gibson: “Today’s modern glamour still means lots of jewel tones, luscious velvet-type fabrics, deep-pile carpets, tufted and quilted patterns, and shiny metallics – but it is being delivered with a much softer touch. It’s subtle, with old-world shapes, intensely rich, warm hues, and the glamour of a time gone by, but delivered in a personalised, modern way.”

Green consciousness continues

Organic inspirations remain a big driver when it comes to décor, and this is playing out in the materials used for seating. “As a society, we have never been more in touch and in tune with the world around us, and our love affair with nature seems to be growing exponentially. Not only are we including lots of natural materials in our décor, such as leather, wood, stone and metals, but the colour palettes also reflect those inherent in Mother Nature.

“Shades of browns, greens, greys and off-whites have never been more popular. Accents in brighter natural hues, such as sky blues, grass greens and coral reds, are used widely to create pops of brightness juxtaposed against the more relaxing, muted natural tones,” says Gibson.

Grey is the new black

Looking at colour trends, the ‘grey is the new black’ trend is still riding the wave of popularity, and will stay trendy for some time to come. However, there will be a few new tweaks going forward.

Says Gibson: “Darker tones, such a liquorice, for example, are really gaining momentum. This tone is almost black, and it is being used to great effect as a small accent colour alongside plenty of white and cream – creating a monochromatic look that is strong, but in a calm and gentle manner.”

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