March 24, 2023

Sustainable products and materials can be used to create a premium look for the eco-conscious home, often at value-focused prices, as the desire for luxury driven interiors continues despite the cost-of-living crisis, according to a report from trend forecaster WGSN.
“In tandem, conversations around sustainability and concerns about the climate crisis are rising in public consciousness and are set to impact the luxury industry,” said interiors stylist Joanna Thornhill.
To help eco-aware consumers get the look they want without compromising on sustainability, Thornhill highlighted interior trends which include refined rattan, innovative eco-materials, sculptural and statement stone, contemporary wood construction, kinder textiles, elevated country style, statement metal accents, and softened minimalism.
She said cane weave, wicker, and rattan are visually refined to soften design-forward furniture and schemes.
“Rattan pieces create a feeling of connection to nature and craft, thanks to the materials and techniques used in woven products still being connected to artisanal methods. This gives a sense of ecological and cultural value that’s timeless and reassuring, even when contemporary in design,” she added.
Brands are also advised to experiment with new technology to create planet-positive products with cutting-edge aesthetics.
“While older generations define sustainability by the materials used to create products, Gen Z are more likely to associate it with cutting-edge, sustainable manufacturing techniques,” Thornhill said.
She said designers are also playing with myceliated organic waste to produce high-end forms as they lean into an irregular and natural aesthetic.
The report further said traditional marbles are also used in contemporary ways with modern silhouettes across fixtures, furniture and accessories.
“With 85 percent of luxury sales growth driven by Millennials and Gen Z, contemporary designs in premium stone materials will appeal to this consumer group,” it said.
Thornhill cited Etsy’s 2023 trend predictions reporting marble as a “growth area” due to the “brightness and dimension” it brings to a space.
She said unusual choices of material and contemporary motifs show how wooden furniture can work in innovative schemes.
“Social media data shows that conversations around sustainable timber and locally sourced wood rank 17 percent higher,” she said.
“Brands and designers are experimenting with unexpected choices of wood, favoring finishes that allow the material’s beauty to shine.”
Thornhill said brands can also incorporate bio-based and organic and more sustainably produced textiles across upholstery and rugs.
“Sustainable textiles remain an ongoing discussion, as consumer interest in less harmful materials and a desire to buy upcycled or recycled products grows,” she said.
“Sustainable, natural materials such as jute, bamboo and silk can present design flexibility, offering a premium look rather than being styled in an earthy, boho way.”
Thornhill said country and farmhouse looks continue to trend, with rural living remaining an aspiration for many.
“This versatile style offers the opportunity to introduce upgraded luxury elements, from high-end kitchen units to marble bathroom splashbacks. Think about lesser-anticipated materials, such as porcelain,” she said.
As solid metals are generally endlessly recyclable, Thornhill said these can be used to create luxe accents on fixtures and fittings, accessories and statement sanitary ware.
“Metallic details and finishes can offer an instant visual uplift and transform tired spaces, potentially eliminating the need for full refits. Most solid metals are eminently recyclable, without being diminished in quality,” she said.
On softened minimalism, Thornhill said warm and simplified pieces allow the beauty of natural materials to shine.
She said minimalist schemes tie in with a core concept of sustainability, following a less-is-better approach, which means less wasteful purchasing.
“Minimalist design tends to favor high-quality finishes and carefully executed accents, which also tie into sustainable design. Favor quality natural materials within minimalist schemes or designs, but not at the expense of softness and texture: the trend for curved comfort continues to gain traction. Irregular marbles with interesting veining, wooden furniture with visible grain, and rugs with cozy textures all imbue an eco-friendly sense of luxury,” she added.
The report said Future heirlooms and sentimentality in crafted pieces informs WGSN’s Care Culture forecast.
“Upcycling gets an uplift, as designers look to reclaimed materials to create high-end art, decor and furniture,” it said. – Press release