Designer furnishings enhance our domestic lives with form, function, and beauty. And the latest crop, fresh from their debuts at international design exhibitions like Salone de Mobile in Milan, also tap into our collective growing interest in all things green and simple. From innovative creations that keep plants well watered, to sound-disguising tables and chairs that mimic the Scandinavian aesthetic, here are five of the best "nature-chic" trends for the home.
1. It’s a jungle out there
It continues to be a good year for the color green. First Pantone declared its Greenery shade as Color of the Year 2017, now interiors brand L’Objet has used jungle green as inspiration for its new range of spiked lamps, mirrors, and pedestal stands. The Celestial bowl on a stand comes in small, medium, large, and extra large, each earthenware vessel adorned with hand-painted golden spikes and studs, in stark juxtaposition to the smooth surface of the bowl. Like many of L’Objet’s pieces, it can be put to practical use or displayed as an eye-catching centerpiece or object. The range is also available in black and gray.
2. Sound-absorbing wood
The pared-down, Scandi-style Wakufuru tables and benches by Glimakra began with a thought. “Wood as a material always contributes a natural warmth to interiors,” says their designer Johan Kauppi. “I wanted to find out if solid wood furniture could also reflect some of the sound atmosphere that is experienced within forests.” The acoustic secret of the Wakufuru is elegantly integrated into its underside, where an open-frame construction conceals three different layers of sound-absorbing materials, which interact with an optimized air gap. The benches and tables come in various lengths, widths, and heights, but as Kauppi points out, “the design is very consistent.” Side tables and islands complete the collection.
3. Terrazzo tables
The trend for homewares made from marble shows no sign of ending any time soon. Another Brand is the latest company to find new uses for the hard stuff, and has reimagined its popular Primo tables in terrazzo. The pedestals come in small, medium, and large, which means they can work in virtually any room in the home; next to sofas, chairs, and beds or as standalone pieces. To make the trio of tables—the Primo Terrazzo Tavolini—marble chippings and cement are handcast then ground to a fine finish before being intensively polished for maximum shine.
4. Creature comforts
The Convex Metamorphosis Mirror is, according to its creators Boca Do Lobo, inspired by the concept of evolution and designed to challenge the notion of beauty. It’s a love it or loathe it piece of design made from a hand-hammered sheet of brass, coated in a nickel bath. The insects that populate it are chemically treated to achieve different finishes. Boca Do Lobo has also produced the Concave Metamorphosis Mirror, also in brass but given a nickel finish, on which insects “portray a territorial dispute where chaos is indulged.”
5. Plant happy
Spanish design studio Goula/Figuera wants to help you go green. The studio’s founders, Pablo Figuera and Álavaro Goula, have produced a series of prototype plantfeeder-cum-lamps that look part design object and part mini paradises or jungles. Named after the Latin for green, the Viride combine our love of lighting with our love of houseplants. The duo have devised three variants so far. Viride Uno has just one light, for plants that require no soil and get water and nutrients from the air; Viride Dos that has two LED panels and a wide container, for plants that require lots of soil; and Viride Tres for hanging plants.