TRENDS REPORT: Contrary to popular belief, furniture and design trends are not arbitrary. They are a direct response to what’s happening in society. A famous example of this is the Bauhaus design school, founded in 1919 in Germany. Its avant-garde designs grew out of the culturally experimental Weimar republic, the newfound freedom of which was made possible by the the old regime’s defeat in World War 1.

Likewise, 2018 furniture trends are responding to the current state of the world and the sometimes toxic levels of stimulation. It has felt to many like the last few years just won’t stop. The pace of change is frenetic, global politics feel constantly fraught…and the #metoo movement has been triggering all sorts of revelations and very few exculpations. Social media is a daily brawl. Is it any wonder amidst all this stress that consumers are aching for a nest to which they can return, switch off and restore themselves to a state of calm?

All hail the rise of ‘Feel Good Furniture’, which reflects this deep need for a restorative; a tonic of sorts. This year, look out for curvy furniture, overstuffed sofas filled with down and deluxe homewares. It’s all about maximum comfort and active nurturing this year. Take the bedroom chair above, which is the perfect human cocoon and juxtaposed against the calming white palette of the rest of the room.

This curved ‘Lune’ sofa by Jaime Hayon was on display at Milan Design Week and is the perfect end to any day.

‘Lune’ Sofa by Jaime Hayon

Colour-wise, soft pastels will still be strong in 2018, with pale pinks prominent. This doesn’t just hold true for the home. Office lobbies, hotels and airports are also seeking to evoke a more tranquil atmosphere. A standout piece from the Milan design fair last year was the ‘La Isla’ sofa designed by the Swedish design studio Note. In a world in which we are travelling more, furniture can provide an oasis. Or as Note puts it, the sofa’s “seductive curves and soft upholstery call out to all those navigating a lobby, desperately seeking refuge.”

‘La Isla’ by Note for Sancal

Soft fabrics are also key for these pieces of furniture, with squishy leather and sensual velvets all back in vogue.

There will be plenty of ‘Feel Good Furniture’ on display at the Australian International Furniture Fair (AIFF) this July in Melbourne. Co-located with Decor + Design, together they form Australia’s No.1 Interiors Event, featuring over 250 exhibitors from across the furniture and soft furnishings sectors. Subscribe now to stay up-to-date on speakers, show features and trade visitor registration.