German Interior Trends 2022: The end of fast furniture

New year, new trends: A small sensation is emerging in the furniture industry. While the past years‘ mantra was “individuality“ with nice regularity, it seems like another value is taking over from ego-centricity. One that goes far beyond the home furnishing industry. We are talking about sustainability. It’s one of the main topics from the Trend Report 2022 of the Association of the German Furniture Industry (Verband der Deutschen Möbelindustrie, VDM), in cooperation with trend expert Katrin de Louw. In the following, we summarize the most important findings for you.

Adjustable back and foot sections ensure plenty of sitting and reclining comfort in sofas and armchairs. Photo: VDM/Willi Schillig Polstermöbelwerke

If trends were people, they probably wouldn’t have a very good reputation. You’d say they’re superficial, fleeting and incapable of deeper commitment – and also always just out for a quick buck. That this perspective is superficial in itself is proven by the topics that are currently moving the furnishing industry and which the Association of the German Furniture Industry (VDM) has summarized in its new trend report. It is shown clearly that social and societal movements change the purchasing interests of consumers.

A sudden pandemic

Sustainable consumption isn’t exactly a new trend. Right before sustainability could take over mainstream from organic markets and niche productions, a pandemic came by and turned everything upside down. Money that previously had been invested in travel and other out-of-home activities was suddenly spent on the own four walls. Cocooning, meaning the cozy retreat in the own home, underwent a renaissance. After two years of living in a pandemic the effects became more pragmatic. Day to day life has changed for people and with that the requirements for our interior. Due to Covid-19, interior has to fit our daily schedule. We need a space to work, a space to entertain the kids or let them study – funcionality in interior is more important than ever. “Sofas became workspaces, dining tables became allrounders, storage space included“, says the VDM. Technical features are on the rise as well – there is a need to be online anywhere and anytime, according to the VDM. Multifunctional interior is what “the customer will need in the upcoming year“. Functional flexibility isn’t only helpful in times of a pandemic but indespensable in small living spaces. However: Those who have space will use it now. Expansive tables, sofa arrangements and spacious lounges stand for “luxurious statements for more fun in difficult times“.

Retreat and recreation in times of Covid

Countless studies show that the pandemic burdens people. Uncertainty, longing for meet-ups and being locked in – all of those are stress factors that impact interior. Those who have enough space turn their private chambers, meaning bedroom, closet and bathroom, into a space to retreat. It’s getting more homely and there’s the opportunity to create a space worth living in with lightning, plants and different materials. The outdoor area, balconies, patios and gardens have to serve as a vacation-alternative. “We get comfortable outside“, says the VDM. Outdoor furniture is getting more appealing and cooking facilities invite to a nice dinner outside.

Saving the world with furniture (at least a bit)

There’s hope that the Omicron variant turns the pandemic into an endemic and life returns to normal. Some of the trends mentioned above will lose their meaning again, but here’s what’s safe: Sustainability will accompany the industry over a long period of time – also with regard to consumption. For the home furnishing industry this means: natural materials, resource conservation, durability and product transparency are more asked for than ever. Certified native wood and regional supply chains are trending. Material recycling management reached the interior industry just as the preferred consumption of durable furniture. Say goodbye to fast furniture!

And what does the beautiful appearance do?

Trends would only be half as interesting if they weren't about a beautiful appearance. While the customer requests mentioned above have serious backgrounds, short-living trends such as colours and shapes still surfaced this year and might look very different next year. The VDM made up a series of colour trends. These include two familiar tones: accents in black and anthracite will remain in 2022 – in sinks and faucets, but also on larger surfaces and in dark room scenes. The second trend promises more brightness: in English-speaking countries, "neutrals" are natural pastel shades that lend the interior a touch of timelessness and thus also link back to the topic of sustainability. And if all this is not enough colourful for you, blue and green will continue to be important trend colours, according to VDM. By the way, the Pantone Color of the Year 2022 is even more unusual: "Very Peri" is a purple shade that guarantees to catch the eye. So individuality hasn't quite disappeared yet.


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