Furniture Flipping 101
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The top ten trending furniture styles and design styles cover image

Remember the trending furniture styles of shabby chic and farmhouse with their chippy whitewashed finishes? You may have noticed their popularity waning in the past few years. Let’s look at the latest trending furniture styles.

One trend that has stood out is that natural woods are making a comeback. This trending furniture style has been particularly notable for a few years in the immense popularity of mid-century modern furniture. As 2024 evolves, we still see many MCM pieces and décor.

Of course, not everyone loves the MCM style, but many other furniture styles are also popular. My home leans more toward the traditional furniture and décor style, with lots of dark, strong-grained wood and fun touches of colour thrown in to keep it fresh. Many design trends incorporate natural wood, which we will get to shortly.

Why are trending furniture Styles Important to you?

As a furniture refinisher, you must keep your target market in mind. Consider that when you choose furniture for your home, you choose furniture that suits your needs and style. If your target market has not met their basic needs and is looking for budget-friendly furniture, style won’t be as important as functionality and price.

If your target market has met their basic needs and wants a stylish piece (which suits the more creative or skilled furniture refinishers), you can look at the trending styles and determine what furniture styles will sell in your area. In the Business Management Course, I cover the psychology behind people’s purchases and how to fulfill their needs to build a solid customer base.

Not only will it benefit you to create trending furniture styles that suit your target market’s needs, but it is vital that you know how to identify the style so you can use these descriptive keywords in your description and tags to reach your target market.

Two Components to Trending Furniture Styles

Design styles have two components: the furniture’s style and a room or home’s style. We identify furniture styles by their period or area of origin or the designer. Generally, in homes, furniture styles don’t exist independently. People develop a design style as they incorporate furniture styles into their homes.

A room’s style (or home’s style) is often a mix and match of furniture styles. If everyone was a designer, these styles might have a more straightforward, precise look. As individuals, we tend to create our styles based on how we interpret the style to look.

For example, you can combine mid-century modern furniture styles with some traditional pieces and create a modern rustic aesthetic or maybe a boho modern or eclectic design style. The final look and style are up to the customer and based on their preferences. Due to this cross-over effect, choosing pieces with a few different trending styles allows you to sell to a broader range of clients. Keep these different design styles in mind when staging your pieces.

The top 5 Trending Furniture Styles

Here are the top five trending furniture styles you will encounter, and next, I will discuss the top five trending design styles. Over the years, certain furniture styles have emerged as perennial favourites, transcending trends and generations.

Mid-Century Modern Furniture Styles

Number one furniture style characterized by sleek lines, organic forms, and minimalist design, Mid-Century Modern furniture has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years. Mid-Century Modern, or MCM as it has affectionately come to be known, originated in the mid-20th century.

This style boasts timeless pieces that effortlessly blend form and function. Iconic features include tapered legs, clean silhouettes, and natural materials like wood and leather. Pieces like the Eames Lounge Chair and Noguchi Coffee Table remain coveted classics, adding a touch of retro charm to contemporary interiors.

Mid Century Modern Furniture Styles chair, desk, bookshelf with clean tapered lines
Source: Mostly Danish

Scandinavian Furniture Styles

Similar to MCM but markedly different, Scandinavian design embodies simplicity, functionality, and understated elegance. With its emphasis on clean lines, light colours, and natural materials, this style creates inviting and uncluttered spaces. You can thank Scandinavian designers for their influences on mid-century designs.

Scandinavian furniture often features minimalist yet comfortable forms, emphasizing craftsmanship and quality. From the iconic designs of Arne Jacobsen and Hans Wegner to the affordable offerings of IKEA, Scandinavian furniture continues to captivate consumers seeking both style and practicality. For this style, think of light-coloured woods, whitewashed with whites and neutral colours. 

Source: The Spruce / Alyssa Vela

Industrial Furniture Designs

On the other end of the aesthetic spectrum, inspired by factories and warehouses’ raw, utilitarian aesthetic, Industrial furniture celebrates the beauty of unfinished materials and rugged craftsmanship. Exposed metal frames, reclaimed wood, and distressed finishes are hallmarks of this style, evoking a sense of urban sophistication.

Industrial furniture adds character and depth to modern interiors’ contrasting sleeker styles. Whether a vintage-inspired dining table or a distressed leather sofa, Industrial furniture injects spaces with industrial chic appeal.

furniture style industrial furniture wood and metal
Source: Wayfair.ca

Traditional Furniture Styles

Landing in the middle of the aesthetic spectrum are the traditional furniture styles. Rooted in classic European designs, Traditional furniture exudes timeless elegance and sophistication. Rich woods, intricate carvings, and luxurious fabrics are characteristic of this style, evoking a sense of luxury and refinement.

From ornate canopy beds to intricately detailed wingback chairs, Traditional furniture brings a sense of grandeur to any room. While it may evoke images of formal living spaces, Traditional furniture suits a range of interior styles, from traditional to transitional. Consider this furniture style for those customers who favour vintage and traditionalist design styles.  

While the ‘traditional’ definition of traditional furniture styles can be quite ‘stuffy,’ you can offer a more relaxed take because many people aren’t looking for a design style that is too formal. 

Traditional furniture style
Source: Decoraid.com

Contemporary Furniture Styles

Defined by clean lines, bold shapes, and innovative materials, Contemporary furniture reflects the spirit of the present moment. This style embraces experimentation and creativity, often blurring the lines between art and design.

Contemporary furniture includes sculptural statement pieces and modular sofas designed for modern living. With an emphasis on sleekness and versatility, Contemporary furniture is well-suited to urban dwellings and forward-thinking interiors.

These furniture styles are often found in big box stores and reflect the current style. As trends change, contemporary furniture styles update, so the contemporary style description changes. You can keep your product line fresh by staying on top of the contemporary furniture styles.

Source: Huset / samlevitz

The Top 5 trending design styles

As discussed, design style trends incorporate furniture styles. Your furniture pieces won’t exist in a vacuum, and customers will add them to their current design style. Consider that design styles can mix and match furniture styles, so don’t feel you must stick to one furniture style when targeting the following design trends.

However, consider that eclectic, stand-out pieces must fit into someone’s home. So, while using your creative freedom to create a masterpiece is great fun, not everyone has a place for unique designs, and those pieces can take longer to sell. Try to fit into these trending design styles to sell more pieces.

Modern Rustic Design Style Trends

Modern rustic design style combines the warmth of rustic aesthetics with the clean lines of modern design and modern rustic furniture. This design style often incorporates natural materials like wood and stone, paired with sleeker finishes and minimalist forms, creating a cozy yet contemporary ambiance.

modern rustic design style
Source: Better Homes and Gardens / Photo Array USA

Sustainable Eco-Friendly Design Style Trends

With growing awareness of environmental issues, there is a rising demand for sustainable and eco-friendly furniture. Consumers increasingly seek pieces made from responsibly sourced materials, recycled materials, or those with low environmental impact. Designs that prioritize longevity and recyclability are gaining traction. Consider this design style trend when marketing your furniture – you are saving it from the landfill by refinishing a vintage piece. Let your customers know you care about the environment.

Boho or Bohemian styles fit into this aesthetic and target market. You can mix and match wicker or rattan and bold rugs with greenery and some antique or vintage upcycled furniture to create this design style trend. Add some macrame and natural wood, and you will get the idea.

Sustainable design style
Source: Livspace

Multifunctional and Modular Design Style Trends

As urban living spaces become smaller and more compact, multifunctional and modular furniture solutions are gaining popularity. Designs that adapt to different needs and maximize space efficiency are in high demand. Examples include sofa beds, storage ottomans, and modular shelving systems.

Who is your target market? Are they downsizing Gen Xers? (Yeah, that is a thing, as the Boomers have now hit the retirement homes, and we, Gen X, move into our 50s and 60s).

Try converting a dresser into a multi-functional item that serves as a TV stand, storage unit, and stereo cabinet. Some cabinets make a coffee bar and kitchen catchall. MCM, industrial, traditional, and many other furniture styles can achieve this design style. 

Source: Wayfair.ca

Vintage and Retro Design Style Trends

Nostalgia significantly drives the popularity of vintage and retro furniture styles. Mid-century modern designs, in particular, continue to capture the imagination of consumers with their timeless appeal and iconic silhouettes. Consumers are looking for vintage pieces with a modern twist, such as stylish Art Deco pieces.

Consider taking items like a china cabinet and converting it into a buffet and a separate display cabinet on new legs. These smaller pieces with a vintage flair are popular design hacks. Like the multi-functional design style trend, this vintage or retro style trend can incorporate different furniture styles to suit various tastes. 

vintage revival design style
Source: Just the woods

Global and Cultural Influences Design Style Trends

Furniture styles inspired by diverse cultural traditions and global influences are trending. From Moroccan-inspired patterns to Japanese minimalist aesthetics, there is a growing appreciation for designs that reflect different cultures and traditions. Customers seek pieces with authenticity and a connection to the broader world.

As immigration increases and demographics change, consider broadening your design styles to include cultural influences.

moroccan style
Moroccan Style Source: blog.sampleboard
African Style Source: ionosfera

Customization and Personalization Design Style Trends

With the rise of online shopping and digital platforms, consumers increasingly seek customizable and personalized furniture options. Brands offering made-to-order pieces or customization services are gaining traction, allowing customers to tailor furniture to their preferences and needs. By offering customization services to clients, you can style their furniture to their design preferences.

furniture transfers custom design style
Redesign by Prima Furniture transfers Source Shabby Nook

How to Stay on top of Trending Furniture and Design Style Trends

Remember that trends in furniture styles can evolve rapidly. Develop a style that sells in your market and watch for emerging trends. You can check out websites or apps like Pinterest and Houzz and online blogs or magazines. Watching television designing shows will also identify style trends as they become popular.

Want to learn how to Refinish Natural Wood?

Do you want to learn how to refinish furniture, including how to natural wood? Many furniture flippers are used to working with paint and primer and do not know how to refinish natural wood. Check out my Furniture Flipping 101 program, which covers everything from the basics to how to build your business. You can see the complete program’s components here.

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