2024 Design Predictions: Warm Tones and Cool Tech

Published: December 11, 2023

2024 Design Predictions

As we approach the end of 2023, it’s remarkable to reflect on the journey this year has been for 210 Design House as well as the evolution of the design industry. As a one-stop luxury design resource and showroom partnering with the best kitchen, bath and furnishings designers from Italy and beyond, we were invigorated by the return of Salone del Mobile in Milan this past spring. It informed our 2024 design predictions.

We carried that inspiration into a multitude of our projects, witnessing their evolution towards greater scale, heightened creativity, and, consequently, the creation of more beautifully designed spaces.

Case in point: The Residences at the St. Regis Chicago, which have been occupied on a rolling basis since 2021. The property’s 404 standard units and 21 penthouse units all include 210-designed kitchens (above) and baths. After reaching those heights – 1,198 feet, to be exact; the St. Regis is now the third tallest skyscraper in the Windy City – where will we go next? And moreover, what will 2024 have in store for design all over the world?

At 210, we’re predicting a return to warmer wood tones, a new look for heavy metals, and the emergence of new tech in classic designs – though if this year has proven anything, it’s that the design world is constantly evolving and inspiration is everywhere.

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A Return to Warm Wood Tones

Among our clients, there’s a clear pull towards the cozy vibes of medium wood tones – those comforting warm-whiskey colors – especially in kitchens and baths. Right in between the stripped natural woods that have dominated recent designs and the super-dark woods of the past, this palette hits the sweet spot – warm, not overly bright – creating a welcoming vibe that feels both contemporary and timeless.

In our showroom, we installed a wet bar, complete with custom bronze handles, metal wrapped doors and a reeded wood front in a warm, smoky oak color that epitomizes the trend. Not only does the color feel fresh, but the piece itself, which was completely customized for our space, definitely has us excited to work on more custom millwork projects for clients. Customization is only becoming more important as we move into 2024.

Heavy Metals Get Textured

Perennially cool, metals will be more versatile than ever in the coming year. While classics like unlacquered brass and polished nickel will remain popular, we’re partial to warmer metallic tones (think bronze, champagne and gunmetal), and we’re really enjoying the trend of textured metal finishes. They bring that touch of sophistication, adding to an overall sense of warmth and comfort that feels essential in today’s designs.

We’re seeing the trend in Snaidero’s cabinet-front options, including the Elementi, which is available in a powder-coated aluminum finish that gives a pleasing-to-the-touch diamond effect, and the Bronze, which has a braided-finish glass that looks almost like woven fabric.

Additionally, Wall&decò’s innovative wallcoverings in the Bronzage finish has a crystalline, glass-like surface finish, giving it a metallic effect that changes with the light. It’s somehow both classic and completely new.

New Tech Adds Functionality and Beauty

Our clients are increasingly embracing modern materials that create innovative design possibilities. For example, noorth’s Touch vanity looks like a single block of stone or wood but contains seamlessly integrated drawers. Wall&decò’s WET wallpaper, which we installed in a new showroom display this summer, allows a traditional design element to enter previously unthinkable places. Completely waterproof, WET eliminates the need to design a separate, water-resistant area of the bath, and can even be installed over existing tile, removing the labor- and time-intensive process of tearing out tilework.

New tech will continue to enter the kitchen space in functional ways. We can now embed charging stations and heating elements directly into stone countertops – no plugs or burners needed – and Snaidero is offering a back-painted illuminated glass backsplash that has magnetic capabilities. It not only removes the need for under-cabinet lighting, but allows easily changeable floating elements, such as shelves and hanging rods, to snap directly onto it.

In 2024, we can only expect more innovation in materials. Think how far melamine and laminates have come in recent years. We’re now seeing wood-like melamine that is almost indistinguishable from the real thing in terms of look and feel but has the added benefit of being incredibly durable. Adapting common materials into elements suitable for luxury design is only going to continue. Why choose high style or high functionality when modern designs let you have both?

—By Alexander Adducci, senior designer, 210 Design House

Photo credit: 210 Design House

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