The Francis Files
2024 Design Forecast: Artisan Glass & Stitched Leather
November 1, 2023 - Written by Kevin O'Gara
High Point Market is always a great place to spot the details that you'll see from designers and retailers the following year (it's like a looking glass for home design). For the final part of my 2024 trend forecast (see my previous posts on Art Deco and silver's comeback), I wanted to focus on the materiality I saw from the showrooms in the Design Influencers Tour – beyond the metals I shared making a big comeback in my last post. I saw a big emphasis on craftsmanship with handcrafted elements adding special detailing to furniture designs. It's definitely part of a very long-term reaction to mass production, but it was cool to see how it was translating to the latest designs from manufacturers.
Amber glass bubbles on an aged brass chandelier by Hudson Valley Lighting
One-of-a-kind artisan glass vases in various sizes from Bobo Intriguing Objects
Specialty Glass Home Decor
First up, specialty glass is also making a splash. Glass from places with a long history of glassmaking, like Italy, is adding a unique spin to many of the light fixtures I saw. Think colorful glass pendants and handblown glass vases. and even side tables. These pieces interact with light so nicely and can add a great layer of color and texture to a room.
Milky cloud glass globes give this chandelier a unique texture by Hudson Valley Lighting
Another example of amber glass bringing warmth to decor with this selection from Accent Decor
What's the difference between Venetian and Murano glass?
You'll often see references to Venetian or Murano glass from Italy in luxury home decor, and you may not realize that they actually refer to the same thing. Murano is a small island off of Venice and is the birthplace of Venice's longstanding glass traditions (that they used to keep secret to hold a monopoly on the market!). The term Murano is more commonly used by artists and collectors, but Venetian-style mirrors are often used to describe the intricately etched mirror style that originates from there as well.
A diamond-tufted-back armchair and cane-back accent chair with leather ballet-style ties by Hancock & Moore
Artisan Leather Furniture Details
Secondly, leather is having a huge moment. While there are definitely more "vegan" leather options too, many people are realizing that plastic leather is pretty unsustainable, so I don't think we have many great alternatives on the market yet. Leather is still a popular upholstery choice, and the details at market I saw were really fashion-inspired, especially coming after a couple of years of woven leather bags and accessories having a huge moment thanks to Bottega's influence. Whether it's contrast stitching on leather chairs and sofas or woven leather details, I loved seeing these upholstered pieces that had a very artisan look. See my favorite leather home decor below.
A sculptural cream leather accent chair with side stitching at Jamie Young & Co.
Contrast stitching on a modern round accent chair by American Leather
Contrast leather paneling on a pair of ottomans at Hancock & Moore
Corset ties on a leather dining chair by Brazilian brand Uultis
Is leather furniture durable?
Leather is actually four times more durable than fabric, so it's a great choice for pet and kid-friendly upholstery in your home. As with many natural fabrics, the sun will bleach and age the finish, so you'll want to keep it away from direct light. Leather also develops a natural patina over time with use. It's prone to cracking if it's not properly taken care of, so make sure to condition your leather furniture regularly to keep it moisturized.