Woodworking Trends Shaping 2021

A huge focus on interiors and our home environment over the past year means that 2021 is set to be an exciting year for woodworking.

We have all spent more time at home than ever and customers are becoming increasingly inspired by furniture that is multifunctional, sustainable and unique.

In this blog, we explore the biggest trends that have been shaping the woodworking industry in 2021…

Multi-functional furniture for the home office 

The ‘Superlifter coffee table’ by Alistair Smith, a 2020 graduate of the professional course.

Now that many of us will soon be working from home as well as in the office, hybrid furniture is a key furniture trend as we progress further into 2021…

Multipurpose pieces save space and can deliver on both beauty and function. Think pop-up coffee tables that turn into a desk or an open-sided bookshelf that can act as a wall to separate the seating area from the workstation in a living room.

Crafting the perfect piece of hybrid furniture can take real innovation and is something that we encourage on the professional course at the Chippendale School. Multi-functional design provides a chance for furniture makers to stretch their creativity, and who knows, your smart design could become the next sofa bed!

Buying better and less  

We have spoken in previous blogs about Why Less Is More and how the rise of campaigns such as Oxfam’s Second Hand September and Marie Kondo’s famous decluttering methods have resulted in many of us buying less than before.

This trend has grown since the last lockdown, with a third of UK shoppers intending to buy less according to a study by e-commerce agency, Melody, meaning that customers will be prompted to think hard about the durability and quality of the furniture they are buying.

To add, studies have shown that our happiness is affected by our spending habits – those of us who consume less and opt for repairing instead of replacing, have an overall better state of being than those who engage in other ‘green’ behaviours.

We are proudly one of the few institutions that put a focus on furniture restoration, we see this as a duty to fine furniture making and fully support a widespread move to repairing in favour of replacing.

Embracing natural materials

Professional course student Lennert, sizing up his next cut in the workshop.

Buyers are increasingly eco-conscious and bespoke or refurbished woodworking pieces, fortunately, fit the bill. Not only this, the HOMI 2020 Interiors fair in Milan and Stockholm Design Week 2020 were both abuzz with innovative eco-friendly concepts, recycled products, biodegradable designs and stylish takes on natural materials.

Rattan, cane and other natural materials have made a comeback in home furnishings and this shift of focus on sustainability is not just another interiors trend, it is set to become a way of life.

Embrace this trend but try to look for locally sourced timber and materials to reduce the impact on the environment.

Bespoke made furniture  

Throughout 2020 and into 2021, people have come to a collective realisation of just how important our living spaces are to our way of life and as a result, the appeal of custom-made furniture has risen significantly.

This has been the case for our Professional Course alumni and furniture maker Ewan Ogilvie, who has been inundated with orders for his bespoke made cabinetry at Ogilvies of Haddington.

Ewan’s customers are drawn to owning commissioned work that is unique and draws on the character of the building that houses it. Often these pieces will become high-quality heirlooms that both makers and consumers hope will stay in the family for generations.

Buying furniture from local makers 

Kitchen cabinetry by Ogilvies of Haddington, owned by Ewan Ogilvie – ex student of the Chippendale School.

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, bringing fresh ideas and healthy competition that challenge the status quo and drive growth. Often, local furniture makers will be our friends, family, or valuable members of our community.

The customers of furniture-making businesses, and all industries for that matter, are showing an increasing want to support the development of their local communities, especially over the past year and continuing into 2021.

Furniture, particularly the larger pieces, can have a real impact on the environment when we are transporting it from a store to our homes or having them delivered from an online store, so the fewer miles they have to travel, the better!

From sustainability to the shift in working environment, how our customers consume and use furniture is changing. The woodworking industry is set to thrive in 2021 and beyond and so it could not be a better time to grow your business or take your woodworking hobby to a professional level.

If you are thinking about studying woodworking at the Chippendale School, we are currently accepting applications for our 2022/23 Professional Course which will enable you to become a qualified maker. If you are interested in this or any of our other courses, see more information here.

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