Is it me or is the furniture thread EXTRA dry!!!

So I’m kind of tired of seeing titles that say can you ID this chair… or who designed this… or look at my portfolio. Lets talk about something!!! What are your interests people? If you’re currently a student or a working designer what are your goals and ambitions? Do you have other interests besides furniture design, what kind/style of furniture are you drawn to the most? Any emerging trends or colors that are currently catching your eye? What types of textures and materials are you into? I myself am a beginning furniture design student but i would love to discuss things with people that have the same or similar interests as I do… Share your thoughts and stuff.

i have to agree.

i find more interesting furniture discussions in the other forums.

interesting… which forums do you frequent?

Why pigeon-hole yourself? Frequent all of them. :wink:

ummm ok. I dont believe any one is “pigeon-holing” but people tend to have fav sites, or forums they may like more than others… which is why i asked that particular question.

furniture threads pop up in the general forum and sometimes a few others.

interesting trend (US): homeowners are knocking out walls to have fewer rooms in their homes, creating larger spaces. however, the demand for larger-scale furniture has reduced and not just because of the economy. This also means Americans are looking at smaller homes that they were before a few years ago.

Well, this American is, or I should say, was, planning on a major downsizing; but the housing meltdown pretty much annihilated any chance of doing that for some time to come. The 2,400 sq.ft. that we live in now is just too much to deal with; two people don’t need that much space. At dinner last night we were reminiscing how our first 890 sq.ft. '50’s era house, with it’s big covered patio, large yard, and detached two-car garage would be perfect for us now. Hindsight is 20/20 I guess; that $430 a month mortgage payment would have been nice too right about now.

We’re in the process of jettisoning all of our “big” furniture; a 96"/84" sofa sectional, an over-sized club chair and ottoman, and some case goods. They were all “contemporary” in style, but time has shown that they were only marginally comfortable, and heavy to move when vacuuming. Their size pretty much dictates where they can be in the house, and being fond of moving stuff around from room to room, they are a bit restricting.

Recently we’ve had some old family heirloom furniture reupholstered. They were in storage, and having drug them out into the sunlight for the first time in years, I was suddenly struck by how much more “human” in scale it all is; lighter in weight, and interestingly, more comfortable to sit in/on.

I’m wondering what the demo is on the people who are buying smaller furniture now; older, less able to move heavy pieces?; younger, can’t afford the bigger stuff? Or is it an awareness that parallels the “green” movement … . less is better. Not to mention easier to move from place to place in an economically unstable time.

well, let me begin with my own personal downsizing. it’s just my wife and i with a lazy dog. we have moved 4 times since jan 1st 2004. each time we have parsed down what is really important and what is trivial. in the middle of the four moved we semi-reversed by buying a 2000 sq ft home in charlotte,nc. our move to LA saw our home size reduce by 35% (and increase in price by 350%…goddamit). this meant making more from less, focusing more on ‘luxurious’ details and surfacing like flooring, amenities, and fixtures. i’ll admit my favorite hobby is working on my cars, so i had to jettison a lot of custom parts and projects i had been working on because i didn’t have the room in our efficiency 2 car garage. our yard is a LOT smaller and i have to tend to far less yard than before.

so anyways, back to demographics…in general terms, a downsizing is across the board, with exceptions. the 32-50 age bracket is the demo looking for somewhat larger homes, but on average they are moving into smaller homes than the previous gen may have sought at that age. ‘mcmansions’ are passe. the open floorplans and home entertaining have become more prevalent. i am finding solutions that accommodate organizational cubbies, vertical storage and concealable accomodations are gaining a lot of interest. formal or dedicated solutions are not helpful. a duality or multifunctional design from a traditional configuration is what i’m finding most interesting.

with smaller living spaces, more organization is key.people will always have ‘stuff’, artifacts, peripherals to life, whatever you want to call them. in the past, you might store this stuff on a bookshelf, in a closet, whatever. with limited, open spaces, this isn’t feasible. it adds visual clutter.

people work more from home, yet dedicated rooms for doing this aren’t wanted or available. people work from home in a casual environment. accommodate through convenience. laptops and wireless connections have moved computing into the living room and on the sofa. giving traditional items like occassional tables, endtables, consoles, even lounge seating the functions to aid in this casual work environment are appealing to a downsizing household. secretary desks, convertible worksurfaces, even casual dining tables are asked to be modern home offices.

entertainment is still a huge genre of furnishings that is evolving quicker. old model was a large ‘alter’ for your TV. men wanted to showcase their trophy. this trophy is their huge 50-something plus inch tv. women don’t necessarily like this. where a home theater might have the solution, the market and technology is calling for integration into these smaller spaces. insert your own conclusions from convergence technology. HDTV sales are still brisk, but 42" and smaller are selling much better as people are forgoing the plus-sized models.

bedrooms are sanctuaries that are seeing more luxury and opulence through materials and stlyle. places we typically haven’t seen well designed furniture items and design are moving to the forefront. these are garages, bathrooms, launndries, kitchens. it’s not just cabinets anymore.

something i’ve found helpful for a lot of these solutions is to consider the ergonomics and postures to these multifunctional pieces. working from a sofa on a laptop is uncomfortable for a long time, leaning forward from a sofa to an occasional table is harsh on the lower back. articulating surface for facilitation are good solutions.

materials are getting interesting. euro compliant, carb cerified engineered woods are expensive and becoming the demand. alternatives solutions are showing up as rattan, cheaper and softer solid woods, metal substructures or metal accented exostructures celebrated as a design detail. bolder patterns for fabrics, surfaces that are inviting to the touch. textural qualities to the materials are pretty big right now.

The RTA market is enjoying a better perception among consumers. higher quality materials and finishes are part of the consumer acceptance. essentially people don’t mind having to assemble their furniture if the quality perception is there.

think this

to this:

so, i give you what you asked for and - nothing?

or is everyone scrambling for Las Vegas?

i’ll be there friday - monday. i’ll be staying at the monte carlo hotel.

you can find me by looking for the stylish, 30 something white guy drinking scotch in the VIP rooms. :finger guns:

thanks for the read, some interesting stuff in there