2024 trends: Embrace the soft, classic, layered

This year is poised to shift design dramatically in ways far from recent years. 

This is even hinted at by Pantone’s release of Peach Fuzz as the Color of the Year 2024, which the company has described as a reflection of an earnest desire to connect to something softer. 

2024 is moving us towards something that is not only gentler but also calming, assuring and even nurturing. We are looking at an expression of the sentiment to return to simpler times, evocative of our memories and everything familiar.

That being said, we can expect 2024 to emphasize hues, materials and textures that are more classic — elements that can convey emotions and tell a story. 

Design is anticipated to veer away from hard minimalism and throw out the window the much-loved and overly used industrial-looking layouts that have dominated the scene for a long time. 

Instead, interior arrangements will move towards a more maximalist approach that creates a more lived-in and layered look, primarily by incorporating traditional and vintage pieces.

Pantone’s Peach Fuzz will be accompanied by more somber and muted palettes of browns and other earth tones, stressing the idea of keeping us more grounded. This starkly contrasts with the whites, greys and cool shades that were popular in 2023 and are expected to fall out of popularity in 2024.

Yet, not everything will say goodbye. 2023 saw us fall in love with bouclé, herringbone, or stacked fabric and components that exude a quiet luxury and reflect an attention to subtle detail. We can still expect these patterns to continue to be enjoyed for years, the same with continued interest and exploration of biophilic interiors. 

This only shows the increased awareness of the need to achieve a sense of mindfulness, well-being and connection to ourselves and nature but also to develop a respectful and protective style of the ecosystem.

But on the other end of the spectrum, interior design as a profession in 2024 will be more emboldened to explore the possibilities that technology can offer. 

Just like in other allied occupations such as architecture, the gradual adoption of Artificial Intelligence and digital and virtual environments have massive implications for how artists perform and conduct the creative process or even interact with clients. 

Similarly, the form of smart home device is anticipated to continue to become more mainstream in many spaces, optimizing the efficiencies and performance of interiors. This also helps create more sustainable decorations in the process. 

Though apprehensions surround its use and application in works, AI and other innovative tools are here to stay and have the power to change the landscape in new and exciting ways.

But while various trends are forecasted and predicted to shape things in the new year, they will still follow them. As the design of spaces remains personal and context-driven, we are still reminded to follow a style that is truly expressive of our own.

About the author

IDr. Kristine Muñoz obtained her bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from the University of the Philippines and her master’s degree, with commendations, from the University of Hertfordshire in England. She is a full-time Interior Design Program faculty member at the De La Salle College of Saint Benilde School of Environment and Design.

Muñoz regularly conducts lectures and workshops on Design Thinking and Human-Centered Design as social advocacy. She also serves as the external vice president of the Council of Interior Design Educators. She splits her time between the academe and her practice under Bespoke Design Studio.

She has written extensively on architecture and design in both commercial and academic capacities, having previously held reporting and editorial positions and publishing research work.