The Future of Furniture Design (Originally Published in New Dreamhomes and Condominiums Magazine)

In Home Decor, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on April 25, 2016 at 3:00 AM

The future has a lot in store for furniture design. Christopher Wright is a designer with Figure 3, an interior design practice based in Toronto. He is also a member of the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO). Figure 3 specializes in corporate office, retail and hospitality design and a small bit of residential. He has thoughts on where furniture design is going.

“Minimalizes and mondernism have had a huge impact on the aesthetic of furniture and prices of modern furniture,” says Wright. “The ability of making furniture less expensive in China has had a huge impact. Furniture in Italy and Europe was beautiful but out of people’s range. It’s also gotten people to live with modern design.”

Wright mentions that technology has a huge impact and new materials used in furniture production is enabling designers to be even more creative. It’s also become quite a fashion industry as well with a plethora of HDTV and Women’s TV programs and TLC programs and all the programs that specialize in interior design and trends.

“I’d like to think that out of all the rooms in the house kitchen design has become very sophisticated and I would like to think that could spread into other rooms into the house,” Wright says. “The same sophistiation and design into other rooms of the house based on function. More open plan living, instead of people living in a bunch of different rooms, where the kitchen, dining, living and entertaining will be in one big space and that will change the way furniture evolves.”

With the growth of condo living there is an upswing in multi-functional products that are designed for small spaces.

“Emotion is creeping back into design where it’s almost sculptural in qualtiy,” says Wright. “One designer I really admire is Patricia Urquiola. Google her images.”

Monique Le Ray with Le Ray Design has been a designer in Canada for 27 years. She agrees with a lot of what Christopher Wright has to say.

She was trained in Paris, she worked in Dubai at the start of her career. She came to Canada in 1981. Le Ray is also a member of ARIDO. She is third in a generation of people in her family in the furniture business and designed a restaurant with her Dad. She does residential and commercial spaces in her design business.

“I think we are going to go more towards the trend that we went with Wenge, the dark espresso wood,” says Le Ray. “It’s a type of furniture that is a wood veneer. Darker than a walnut. See a lot of that furniture in the stores with a very, very simple lines. It is very easy to copy and lots of furniture is coming from China now. In a Paris show in January there is more accent on ormentation. Like when people bring overscale objects and overscale patterns as a way to dress up the simple lines. See that more simple style but with more presence.”

Now there is more of an executive look in furniture design. In future, Le Ray thinks the trend will be to stay away from that.

“If I furnished my own room, I would go with a chair of a different style and a table of a different style. Ultra suede is very sophisticated in look. That is a common fabric that we use lately. The buffet would be an exotic piece. It becomes a very personalized interior. Even in a bedroom of the same thing I would not buy the whole set. I would find something for the side of the table and a chair. It becomes a one-of-kind result.”

Le Ray also says that furniture pieces will continue to be lower to the ground and technology also plays a big role in the change towards the future. Functionality will be key. As well as having furniture that goes with artwork and photography.

“Each client is different that I would not push the furture look on someone who likes the classic materials. The revolution in furnishing is also technology and also people live differently. They live less formally than their parents and the furniture design has a different use. People can even do without a dining room. Have a fireplace to create more an ambience. The kitchen is changing tremendously as well….becoming very clean looking and the gallery for entertaining. People do not buy furniture for the sake of buying furniture…they choose the best way for furnishing a place. The need brings the design instead of the other way around.”

For more information about Le Ray Design you can visit the website at

  1. Patricia Urquiola is definitely a designer to admire – her furniture, lamps, even tiles have always something warm, elegant, feminine and practical. And she creates trends!

  2. […] This article in particular was of great interest because it mentions how furniture has changed by observing precedence. Italy and Europe had appreciated pieces but they were out of range and it accounts for the ethical issue of manufacture in China and outsourcing to meet demand. I feel this is a critical issue to engage with for our drivers of change. In addition, I also learned from the article how furniture is progressively changing to adapt to smaller space and multi-functions which is HIGHLY relevant to a world with high population. The website is of great interest as it discuss the topic from an emotional side whilst referring to these key future issues. Renzo Piano Home Garden System […]

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