Highlights from Stockholm Furniture Fair 2023

International fairs and design weeks like Stockholm Furniture Fair 2023 are great places to get a closer look at what’s brewing in the design industry and what’s making headlines. These are not just venues for budding intra-industry relationships but also a great ground to gauge the concerns of designers and manufacturers and for analysing upcoming trends.


Love That Design’s very first design report marked the Scandinavian countries as leaders in design. It was essential to test this first-hand and get a feel for what they had to offer. Our hosts, Aritco, swept us on a tour of their factory first thing after we landed. Every cup holder in the transit was equipped with a small bottle of champagne, gearing us up for a half-an-hour ride to their factory in preparation for the launch of their latest product the home elevator in a new format.

At the outset, it became clear that sustainability and design are key pillars in Swedish companies. The wood crating for their products is built to not only last multiple packaging but is also programmed for return once the product is delivered to their clients. Aritco’s factory showcased AI tools to spot gaps in logistics in assembly while the company geared its products to be compatible with IOT for future possibilities. Needless to say, the food was on point, and the ambience of dinner tables, set up in the centre of the warehouse with a jazz band playing in the background, was an experience worth repeating!

Our first morning in Stockholm was expectedly cool, but our first destination more than made up for it with a visit to the designer of Aritco’s elevators. As most designer homes go, every nook has a story, and this was no different. A dilapidated house that took years to become a home of his design and our envy. A three-floor home tucked away in the suburbs overlooking the forests housing their latest product. A great way to test your own designs! The newly-launched HomeLift is Aritco’s most compact lift yet and can traverse up to six floors, fit two people, be customised in various tints and has two opening options (double glass door or swing door). Aritco’s innovative ‘nut and screw system’ technology has a self-locking function, ensuring the lift will never fall. What’s most exciting is the LiftGuide on Aritco’s website which allows homeowners to create a bespoke life and view it in augmented reality!


Stockholm Design Week did not disappoint with two halls geared for the contract market and many stand designs rivalling Italy’s very own Salone but with more considered sizes. 

Back to the floors after a three-year hiatus, Stockholm Furniture Fair 2023 brought to light varied directions the interior and product design industry is taking collectively. Some of these directions are in continuation with the after-effects of the pandemic, and some signify a horizon after the pandemic blues. In either case, Stockholm Furniture Fair 2023, the world’s largest platform for Scandinavian design, boasted 400 exhibitors who put up a diverse showcase worth visiting. 

To know what trends, themes and causes are popular and/or gaining momentum in the interior design world right now, read on……..

🡲 Various ways, one goal - to be sustainable

No more a revolutionary concept, sustainability has slowly moved from an added feature to a basic requirement in product design. Yet, what remains notable is how different products and brands inculcate it into their offerings. Most regional firms wore their sustainable messaging as a badge of honour – reminding everyone that sustainable products do not mean boring products.

Leading by example, Stockholm Furniture Fair 2023 introduced The Nude Edition (Hall C), a new exhibition area with 11 pre-built stands and 15 sq.m. stands made of recycled and reused (or to-be-reused) material.  

In Hall B, Bolon grabbed attention with a popping pink stand that showcased rugs of myriad sizes underpinned by contemporary, quirky art. Be it made-to-measure or standard dimensions, the rugs were made using recycled materials and could be recycled again.

Most Sustainable Task Chair: Third of the ‘Ocean’ chair series, Path comprises 10 kgs worth of ocean waste. A special mention in Humanscale‘s products lately is Kvadrat fabrics, which also raise the bar in sustainability for these products.

Another benchmark is set by Interface. In September 2022, they achieved the status of a Carbon Neutral Enterprise, becoming the industry’s lowest carbon footprint carpet tiles.

Whether eliminating Red List chemicals or issuing Declare Labels, Humanscale leaves no stone unturned regarding being transparent with their sustainability practices. At Stockholm Furniture Fair 2023, the brand showcased ‘Path’, the world’s most sustainable task chair ahead of its global release. Infographics in a stark white booth highlighted how and out of what each part of Path made.

Interface CEO Laurel Hard, on achieving Carbon Neutral Enterprise status, said, “We’re not stopping here. We will continue to decarbonise even further. Reduce first, keep reducing, and balance what’s left with credible offsets until those offsets are no longer necessary. That is our way.” Hand in hand, with their vow to be conscious, were their tasteful designs and elegant colours offering a range of options.

An eye-opener, the ‘Now or never – 1 kg CO2e’ exhibition organised by Emma Olbers and EY Doverman succinctly demonstrated how mainstream materials affect the climate. The exhibit primarily aimed to inspire consumers, specifiers and manufacturers alike to take the onus and make conscious decisions. That evening ended with a talk on the future-proofing of the built environment. Where would we be in 25 years? While the answer swayed away from the dystopian, it became clear that we need to manage our resources urgently, or Hollywood movies might become our reality.

🡲 The visible influence of art and colour

Perhaps, this phenomenon could be attributed to the newest and most existing platform at Stockholm Furniture Fair 2023 – Älvsjö gård, which was focused on collectable design. Nonetheless, it was a refreshing break from the past clean lines and neutral tones trend.

Centre Feature Alert!

A showcase in the foyer of the halls at Stockholm Furniture Fair 2023 was executed by Front Design, a Swedish design studio that was this edition’s Guest of Honour. The installation exemplified how design can adapt to technological, environmental and social change. The product collaboration between Vitra, Kvadrat, Mooi Carpets & Moroso had a multisensorial display of the Nordic landscape using materials & products available today.

The showstopper was definitely the designers creating a ceramic seat in real time, don’t miss the picture!

While Moroso’s natural rocks-inspired Pebble Rubble is in itself a unique product, it’s positioning in the installation made it stand out more. Front Design also designed Pebble Rubble for Moroso, which is available in 16 colours. Inside, Moroso’s booth showcased the Gogan sofa and Ruff armchairs by Patricia Urquiola, and the Secret Cubic Shelves bookcase by the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson.

Talking about art and colour and not bringing up Object Carpet? That would be an anomaly. Especially now that they have launched their latest collection with Ippolito & Fleitz Group that offers eight qualities (combinations of structures and surfaces) and 111 colours – all while being free of emissions and pollutants. The qualities can be used in any permutations, and the collection is available as wall-to-wall carpets, rugs, and even acoustic tiles.

Impact Acoustics, another brand unafraid of pomp and colour, also added vibrance to their signature style. Their booth showed how their panels can be used for bespoke ceilings and furniture, and other elements.

Ege Carpets, yet another carpet brand, put on display their latest collection, 56 colours by Margrethe Odgaard – inspired by natural minerals. The collection is another addition to Ege Carpets’ Eco concept that has various wall-to-wall connections and is made of 100% regenerated yarn. Alongside, the brand also educated visitors on ‘Ege CircleBack’ – a carpet recycling program where they offer to take back used carpets for recycling. Currently, they offer this for 10 of their most popular collections and have plans to expand it steadily to their entire range. 

Lights and colours have a deeply embedded link, which is often not visible. At Zero Lighting‘s stand at Stockholm Furniture 2023, it was visible. The no-nonsense Compose collections – featuring table and floor lamps and ceiling fixtures, introduced a dose of whimsy in a neutral shaded stand. The sleek silhouettes, angular lines of Compose, and subtle winding of the Curves collection were juxtaposed cinematically.

🡲 The 'New' Workplace

We are mainly past the dreadful time of the pandemic, but spending time at home has raised crucial questions about workplace design that employers, designers, furniture brands and even employees themselves are looking to troubleshoot. The past two years have seen everything from boosting collaborative environments to rethinking core office furniture. 

As put by Andreu World eloquently in their publication Work Well-Seated, good design is good business. The book contains over 50 office projects from the recent past and gives a sense of what office design was pre-pandemic. A vital step in discussing the future is understanding history. At Stockholm Furniture Fair 2023 – Ola Rune from Claesson Koivisto Rune, Emma Blanche of FÄRG & BLANCHE and Núñez Villar of Andreu World delved into a panel discussion on the topic. On the other hand, Andreu World’s booth had furniture from revered designers like Philippe Starck, Patricia Uruquiola and Benjamin Hubert that promoted sustainable design, comfort and elegant forms.

Under the motto “Better Together”, Interstuhl showcased products for all ‘Splaces’. An amalgamation of the words spaces and places, Interstuhl’s Splaces are divided into seven categories – Welcome, Learn, Work, Meet, Relax, Lead, and Home. These categories aid both Interstuhl’s team and consumers in thinking holistically about how spaces would come together rather than focusing on a single product. The ‘What If We Fly’ collection, last seen at Orgatec 2022, is modular and storage-friendly furniture for teamwork. What’s impressive is that the collection has come to its full potential in the past few months and caught many more eyes.

Offecct imbued collaboration differently. Leveraging on the rage for colour and combining it with the gnawing need for privacy in workspaces, Offecct showcased two sofa systems that can be rooms in rooms! Given the rise of co-working spaces, the brand identified a need for office furniture that provided more than just space – these bright and bold sofa systems provide privacy, acoustics, good spatial experience and style.

Acoustics in an office without the mention of pods? At Stockholm Furniture Fair 2023, Silent Lab flaunted their top products – Microoffice Prime, Cubiq, Quadrio I, and the most recent Realm (pod for five) or Spark (pod for one). Accompanying these colourful pods were acoustic and ambient ceiling-hung lights that can dampen noise while shining bright!

Pedrali, too, picked up on the privacy aspect at their stand. Modular furniture and acoustic panels were the core of Pedrali’s displayed hybrid workspace. From the elegance of the Arki table to freestanding (Ypsilon Connect) and desktop (Toa Folding Screen) panels, Pedrali’s approach to the new workspaces comes with the freedom of reconfiguring spaces according to their needs. Relaxing areas at the brand’s stall had a distinctly biophilic approach.

🡲 Renewed brief of a home as an all-in-one space

If workspace design can be called the most affected after the pandemic, the design of a home is a close second. Now that people worldwide have experienced a life cut off from the outside, unexpected conveniences have surfaced. The population of the world is remodelling the function of the home around these newly arisen needs. A home is not just a place of comfort; now, it’s also a space of efficiency.

Furniture from Arper‘s Project of Living like the warm hug-like Shaal sofa, the sculptural Oell table or the aerodynamic Aeeri – symbolises the blurring boundaries between homes and offices. Colour, comfort and form are a few hallmarks of the Project of Living. Moreover, such furniture that exists at the border of residential and commercial, shall also fit in hospitality environments.

A debut to remember: Bisley presented a range of storage and furniture that was compact, clean and refreshing. LockerWall, a fully customisable chest of lockers and Outline, zone-dividers cum storage were note-worthy. Still, the smooth and quick transitioning of the Hideaway table from a console to a work desk intrigued the most.

Compact furniture pieces and technology speeding up tasks have skyrocketed, and people have recognised the need for space and time-saving. Aritco’s HomeLift makes for a great example. 

Coalescing the design sensibilities of Antonio Citterio with Technogym‘s expertise in gyming and sports, Personal Line is a collection of home fitness equipment that is luxurious and technologically superior. Parked in front of Technogym’s typical yellow-coloured wall, Run Personal treadmill, Cross Personal Elliptical (with Treble Dolby Surround tweeter speakers) and Technogym Bike Ride (with a high-resolution screen to binge-watch Netflix while cycling) are certainly not your standard gym equipment!

Heard of prefabricated buildings? What about prefabricated industrial bathrooms? Porcelanosa, an experienced brand of surfaces, promoted Monobath BUTECH at Stockholm Furniture Fair 2023. BUTECH prefabricates bathrooms and installs them on-site, reducing the installation time by half. Plumbing, electrical layouts – you name it, BUTECH does it all, the only requirement being lifting equipment and a gap in the cladding/walling to insert the bathroom. In their booth, Porcelanosa displayed their latest such as Fitwall® that sports a range of natural and designed textures and recreates volume in spaces.

🡲 Revisiting the classics

Nostalgia has always been a warm feeling – especially regarding the best. In looking back to move forward, quite a few brands have revisited their classic designs to fit the contemporary scene – and we are not complaining.

Take Juno 02 from Arper’s Project of Living, for instance – a clean, minimal silhouette of plastic chair revisited to remake a more sustainable choice. In its stand, even Pedrali gave the past a remix with products like Souvenir chairs reinterpreting the classic green chairs of the Jardin des Tuileries and Marco Pedrali’s Nolita, recalling its historical roots back to 1963.

As part of Stockholm Design Week, Swedish light manufacturer ateljé Lyktan presented an exhibition called ‘The Studio’ at Gallery Sebastian Schildt that brought their bespoke handcrafted luminaries in limelight. Table lamps – Bombus and Triggy, and floor lamp Hockey were designed in the eighties and are ateljé Lyktan’s first archival launch of the series. These were designed by Swedish designer Lars Bessfel, who back then felt that the upcoming years would see the death of bulky tables and hence compact lamps would be in demand.

03. Wrapping it up

The Stockholm Furniture Fair 2023 might not have been the first to showcase these products, but they certainly did a commendable job. It was a well-planned event, from the clean spacing between booths to a more open venue to the perfect separation between halls.

A great awareness was drawn toward embodied carbon in each product to yarns and recycled plastics. Upcycling and conscious buildings may be all the buzz at the moment, but we are hoping that it becomes mainstream and doesn’t require marketing in the years ahead.

Socialising, for most trade shows, is the central vein. We saw Neolith hosting a Show Cooking with Sebastian Gibrand, winner of the season of Chef’s Battle and head chef for the food at the Nobel Party. While Neolith’s Sintered Stone did shine in the event, it also made mingling entertaining.

Even ISKU arranged a Design Party at Stockholm Design District, offering attendees drinks, music and Nordic Design inspiration. Normann Copenhagen, whose stand showcased their latest collection including the Pix Lamp and Drape chair, also called upon visitors to join them for early evening cocktails four out of five days of the fair.

Lastly, our future partnerships with BIM OBJECT and Environdec are extremely promising for the design and construction industry. The ability to bring you product resources that help map out the sustainability arena in a structured, on-demand manner is truly exciting!

A few more glimpses from the event….

Related Articles