IKEA is our one true love when it comes to budget-friendly furniture options. Regardless of the stress it can put us under while following the diagram-heavy instructions (nothing a bag of meatballs can’t cure), we always find a way to hack + fall back in love with the Swedish DIY furniture brand. As if some of the company’s latest collections haven’t been cutting edge enough, the brand is already looking toward the future of home design and decor. IKEA’s head of design, Marcus Engman, chatted with Fast Co Design about all things future home, from multi-function pieces to personalization. Check out some highlights from his thoughts below.
1. Small Space Living
With the current increase and future expansion of tiny housing, many living spaces do not have designated spots for one use only. Living rooms are also functioning as office space, as well as dining rooms. For example, Marcus has already noticed the sofa isn’t solely for socializing anymore. Due to this trend, he believes furniture is going to have to evolve just like the space it occupies.
He told the site what he’s currently observing: “We’re already seeing a lot more people buying day beds instead of sofas. That’s fluid home thinking.” He believes this trend will hold and expects the table to become the centerpiece in homes, as it’s a multi-functional object for various activities. So get ready to stand and hover around the table for game nights, people ;)
2. Versatile Furniture
We love a good multi-purpose piece, so we’re all for this furniture forecast. Continuing down the small space route, Marcus is confident all furniture will become functional for more than one purpose. “It’s possible that pretty soon a stool might be one of the most important pieces of furniture in your house, because it can do so many things besides be a stool. You can use it as a bedside table, a seat, an end table, or a step ladder, and you can easily design them to be nestable, so many stools can be stacked on top of each other when they’re not in use.” As long as stools will remain DIY-friendly, we’re all in.
3. Less Storage Space
Less space equals fewer storage opportunities. So not only will there be fewer options for where to hide and hold things, you’ll have to turn to smarter outlets for the things you will be keeping around. Marcus predicts that although there will be less storage, there will be more opportunities to show off the things you do have. We’ll take open shelving over no shelves any day.
4. The Internet of… Furniture
It’s really no surprise that IKEA’s head of design sees a big future for tech-friendly furniture. They did just announce charging furniture, after all. He gave further insight into the company’s desire to expand on the smart home. He thinks in the future people will be just as excited and curious to download an update that adds new features to their smart appliances as they are to download the latest version of iOS. And he’d totally be right.
5. DIY It Up
Personalization makes your house a home, so naturally IKEA wants to encourage the practice. Marcus knows this will be huge, and states that customization on a mass scale will be the next big frontier in furniture design. While we’re all for it on a large scale, we can’t deny we love seeing users’ IKEA hacks and wouldn’t want them to go anywhere.
6. Unique Fabrics
Due to our reliance on and lengthy interactions with electronics, Marcus assumes people will want fabrics that are interesting and “weird.” He told the website, “The near future of the home is a tactile one, filled with weird fabrics and materials that have been custom-designed as a contrast to the smartphone and tablet screens we spend most of our days touching with our fingertips. We’d totally like to snuggle up in a 3D-printed blanket.
Check out the full interview on Fast Co Design.
What predictions for the home are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments.