The Indian furniture market is one of the sectors in the country that has witnessed an evolution of its own by expanding beyond chairs and tables to designed interior wardrobes, sofas, consoles and more. India being the fifth largest furniture producer in the world and the fourth largest consumer of furniture, the Indian furniture market had been valued at USD 17.4 billion in FY21, and is predicted to reach USD 37.7 billion by 2026, growing at a double-digit CAGR of 13.37 per cent during 2020-2026, informs a report by Invest India.
The past three pandemic years witnessed the investment of value-added furniture into consumers’ living spaces, courtesy of the work-from-home phenomenon. Additionally, the growing middle-class population, rising disposable income and the growing number of urban homes have also contributed to the expansion of the Indian furniture market. As we embark on a new beginning, Furniture Design and Technology (FDT) foretells the trends and design shifts of the furniture industry with expert opinions. Before that, let’s jump onto a quick recap from 2022 that witnessed an interesting turn of events for the furniture industry where consumers’ wants and needs observed a drastic change.
The trend of the need for a personalized space within the house for the work-from-home situation continues in the post-pandemic world where hybrid working conditions have become the new normal. “This led to the demand for study tables and ergonomic chairs throughout 2022,” informs Mr Hussaine Kesury, Chief Category Officer, Pepperfry.
Consumers have realised the importance of comfort after spending months and years in lockdown. Sachin and Neha Gupta, Interior Designer, Beyond Designs believe that post-COVID, when we were still craving comfort in 2022, furniture design saw a focus on softly curved and textured furniture. Mr Erik Jan Middelhoven, Home Furnishing and Retail Design Manager, IKEA India adds, “We see an increase in the desire for comfort – softer edges, round shapes, tactile surfaces and organic/natural materials.”
Over the past two years, multi-functional furniture also gained traction in India. Mr Middelhoven, points out that most Indians struggle with storing and organizing as one of their biggest frustrations in life at home. “A continued development can be seen in smart and affordable home organizer solutions such as wardrobes with smart and personalized interiors,” he adds.
Sustainable furniture was the talk of the market in 2022. Mr Srikanth Varma, Founder and Principal Designer, Esvee Atelier reflects, “Post-COVID, customers have been keen to understand what material is being used. People have now started practicing conscious living.”
Ar Anupriya Sahu, Founder and Design Head, Alankaram states that as the awareness of the need to protect the environment grows, the demand for eco-friendly furniture also increases. “Consumers are becoming more interested in purchasing furniture that is made from sustainable materials. Several new materials, such as bamboo and recycled plastic, are being used to create furniture that is not only stylish but also environmentally friendly,” informs Mr Dinesh Pratap Singh, Co-Founder, Woodenstreet.
Customers experimented with fabrics like velvet in seating and sofas, upholstered beds, marble top centre tables, dining tables, etc. Natural wood tones, rattan and vintage furniture that evoked nostalgia warmed the heart, while textured surfaces and natural tactile textiles were sought after. “Cotton, linen, velvet and boucle fabrics became popular. Earthy hues, as well as soft pastels brought comfort to anxious minds,” adds Sachin and Neha. Another key trend shaping the Indian furniture market is the rise of new materials and manufacturing methods. “New manufacturing methods, such as 3D printing, are being used to create unique and customized furniture pieces,” adds Mr Singh.
As per Invest India, the size of the online furniture retail segment grew from USD 300 million in 2017 to USD 920 million in 2020 recording a CAGR of 32 per cent. According to Mr Singh, “The Indian furniture market in 2022 saw an increasing popularity of online furniture stores. Online furniture stores offer many advantages over traditional brick-and-mortar stores such as a broader range of products, more competitive prices and greater convenience.” For Mr Kesury, “Shopping in furniture has truly become an omnichannel, and therefore, furniture brands are ensuring that they are available for their target consumers online as well as offline.”
Sajal Lamba, Co-Founder and Director, Wriver listed other aspects that garnered prominence, “Enhanced tech and process innovations across various stages ranging from production to delivery and logistics have impacted the furniture value chain in India. Product innovations with options to create elegant, low-maintenance, easily installable designs have become popular. In particular, the opportunity to customise furniture in terms of materiality has offered more versatility to the consumer.”
This article is a part of our exclusive Cover Story ‘ FURNITURE DESIGN TRENDS’ which is originally published in Furniture Design & Technology (FDT Magazine) January 2023 print issue. If you want to read the full story, please subscribe Furniture Design & Technology Magazine here:
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FDT is a B2B monthly bilingual magazine from India that shares the pulse of the furniture business in India and connects the manufacturers, OEMS, product designers, architects, showrooms, designers and dealers.Read More
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