The Best Furniture, Lighting and Homeware of 2023

Ft relaunched icons, brand debuts, and collectible essentials.

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It’s not entirely clear why, but it seems as though 2023 was the year of the Great Sofa. Comfort was king, and designers have upped their game when crafting the living room centerpiece – so much so that it was difficult not to fill this entire list full of them.

However, we’ve managed to refrain – narrowing down our favourites and peppering them in between some of our other favourite pieces of the year, from an artful kitchen crafted from discarded materials, to a lamp based on 16th-century ball games.

We spent 2023 wandering the design fairs, exhibitions, and stores to find the best launches – bringing you a list that comprises a mix of collectible and more shoppable, consumer pieces. Read on for our selection of the 20 best furniture, lighting and homeware launches of 2023.


Kashima sofa re-edition
Michel Ducaroy for Ligne Roset

Ligne Roset, creator of the Togo, looked to launch one of its iconic designs back into our homes this year. Also designed by Michel Ducaroy, the Kashima is described by the brand as a “comfortable Chesterfield”, and similar to Togo, is made entirely from high-density foam inners. Its likening to the Chesterfield comes from the quilted covers, which snugly fit across the structure.

Dal Piece table
Anna Maria Øfstedal Eng for Ferm Living

The basis of the collaboration between Ferm Living and Øfstedal Eng stemmed from the designer’s varied creative disciplines, which see her explore the boundaries of art and functionality. Composed of recycled casted aluminum, the Dal Piece takes on a form that sees non-uniforming curves and rounded edges replace straight sides. Øfstedal Eng explained that she was “moved by the brutal aesthetic of a mountainside found in Gudbrandsdalen,” where “the slow trickle of water had assiduously eroded the hard rock, carving out a distinct stone cave with captivatingly curved walls.”

Box Furniture collection
Max Lamb

Despite being one of the most successful designers of our time, it turns out that Max Lamb isn’t immune to accumulating rubbish. His studio, by his own account, was filled with piles and piles of discarded packaging, which got him thinking, how do you give scrap material a heightened value? For a collection shown at London’s Gallery Fumi, he began to transform cardboard into furniture forms and functional sculptures. Starting points ranged from unbleached cardboard tubes used to store and transport his Space-Dyed tufted rugs, and corrugated cardboard from transporting works to museums and galleries.

Groovy Armchair
Paulin Paulin Paulin and Basic.Space

At this year’s Design Miami, Pierre Paulin’s family-owned company Paulin Paulin Paulin presented its first-ever solo pop-up in the city’s Design District, highlighting a range of original pieces. Among them was a limited-edition version of the Groovy Armchair in a ‘Blue B’ Streamknit fabric, which was designed in collaboration with digital marketplace Basic.Space and is being sold on their exclusively in limited quantities.

Luva modular seating
Gabriel Tan for Herman Miller

This is the kind of chair that you’re just desperate to sit on. Luva – Portuguese for “glove” – has been designed by Gabriel Tan to resemble the soft grip and padded support of boxing gloves and the delicate rolled tops of Japanese futons. Similar to the Maralunga, the Luva can expand into an open-back. Its modular design arrives in an armchair and chaise, through to a and detachable ottoman adds to the variety.

Pet Bed
Poltrona Frau

Not exactly one for us to crawl into ourselves, but for our four-legged friends, Poltrona Frau had luxury furniture options covered this year. From the wider pet collection, this bed has been crafted from the brand’s signature Pelle Frau leather and has a wooden inner frame that is shaped to ensure good posture.

Patchwerk kitchen
Espace Aygo

Brussels-based collective Espace Aygo collaborated with Copenhagen gallery Tableau to transform found materials into this one-of-a-kind kitchen. The “Patchwerk” kitchen is fully functioning, but entirely unique. To create it, Espace Aygo – comprising Sijmen Vellekoop, Salomé Sperling, Jaime Le Bleu, and Line Murken – picked up recycled materials from across the city. Colourful details are added onto the metal surfaces, which conceal a dishwasher and fridge, and are complete with a stove, sink, lamp and glass holder. The sink is cast concrete, with a tap disguised as a tree branch, while the splash backs extend from the countertops and are cut in a waving pattern.

Haller system in Olive
USM

This year, USM Modular Furniture‘s beloved Haller storage systems arrived in a sophisticated shade of olive green. The special-edition hue was applied across the company’s familiar credenza, media console, storage unit and serving cart, and was described by USM as being a “perfect balance between warm and cool tones” that can “[blend] seamlessly into any design style.” Agreed.

Interplay bench
Giles Nartey

At London Design Festival in September, architect and researcher Giles Nartey presented a project titled “Interplay”.⁠ “Interplay is an exploration of the continual dialogue between craft and ritual, the inanimate and the human interactions which animate,” he said at the time. ⁠Using a structural form based on a traditional West African bench bed, the project is brought to life with engravings etched across its surface. ⁠”Interplay proposes a performative interaction, it embeds the game known in Ghana as ‘Oware’ within its form and suggests a spatial negotiation between the game, a communal bench, and a daybed,” he added. ⁠

Bilboquet lamp
Philippe Malouin for Flos

Bilboquet is a future-proof classic. Almost anthropomorphic in its design, its form takes cues from that of a magnetic ball joint, as well as bilboquet – a game originating from France in the 16th century.⁠ In a similar way to a magnetic ball joint, the lamp is made up of two colorful cylinders that are joined by a magnetic sphere. The top cylinder is able to rotate fully around the sphere, shining the light in any direction required. ⁠In terms of its likeness to bilboquet, it mirrors the shape of the tool used to play the game, which consists of a wooden ball tied to a string, with a goblet-like “cup” in which the player catches the ball.

TF V1-05 Ultra Dust system
Tim Teven Studio and Flora Manon

Not something you’d typically see on a “best furniture” roundup, but that’s why we love it. Upgrade your cleaning cupboard with the “TF V1-05 Ultra Dust” – a collaborative project by Tim Teven Studio and Flora Manon. The collection of objects, first presented at Dutch Design Week, includes a dust bin, hand sweeper and shovel. Its structure is formed from bent metal, with visible nuts and bolts adding to its industrial look. ⁠

Chaise Boat sofa
Orbe

We interviewed Orbe founder Jobe Burns upon the brand’s first collection launch. In a nutshell, he described what they create as “components necessary for a sense of fulfilment”. From the team’s London studio, an experimental approach is applied across a range of soft and hard furnishings. Earlier this year, they released the first phase of home goods – a collection cleverly titled “Soft Launch”, which was made up of squishy, plush furnishings crafted in Kvadrat fabrics. Our favourite launch so far, though, is the “Chaise Boat”, which sees a cantilevered, rubberized metal framework and soft, plush topper.

Mirrors
Ready to Hang

An entirely new brand that we’re really excited about, Ready to Hang is shaking up the business of mirrors and bringing personal style to an object typically expected to blend into the wall. The collections are launched through monthly drops, with designs including “Puffer” which gets its name from its puffed-up frame, “Squeeze”, which looks to have been pinched in the middle, and “Zip” that features a geometric pattern down its sides, similarly to the teeth of a fastening.

Maralunga 50 sofa
Vico Magistretti for Cassina

This year, Italian design label Cassina celebrated 50 years of one of its most iconic sofas – the Maralunga. Typified for its folding backrest, the sofa was designed by architect Vico Magistretti, and has gone on to become one of his hallmarks. To celebrate the anniversary, Cassina released the sofa in a special-edition red leather – a shade favored by the architect and featured often throughout his work.

Mwasi Armoire
Kim Mupangilaï

“These pieces have been in the works for what felt like a decade, but it gave me the opportunity to explore femininity, place, history and cultural landscape,” Kim Mupangilaï said of her Kasai Series, of which the Mwasi Armoire is a part of. The teak form features a handwoven rattan door that takes inspiration from an African shield, and was first previewed at a show at New York’s Superhouse gallery.

Midst Table
TAF Studio for Muuto

The glossy finish of the Midst Table is what caught our attention. Designed by Stockholm-based design and architecture practice TAF Stdio practice – founded by Gabriella Lenke and Mattias Ståhl – the round Midst Table is about bringing people together, and putting them on the same level. “The name refers to the center of the table being a gravitational point, while its round shape cancels out hierarchy — there is no head of the table,” the designers add.

Shell Chair reissue
Hans J. Wegner for Carl Hansen & Son

Hans J. Wegner first introduced his Shell Chair at the Cabinetmakers’ Autumn Exhibition in Copenhagen back in 1963. It wasn’t a huge hit at first, and it took decades for the chair to get the status that it has now. This year, in celebration of its 60th anniversary, Carl Hansen & Son released the chair in an exclusive edition made of rosewood and oak, giving it a new, warmer look.

Mirrors for Aliens
soft-geometry

During this year’s NYCXDesign, soft-geometry subverted the Indian thali, by turning its shape into a series of mirrors. The studio’s founders, Utharaa L Zacharias and Palaash Chaudhary looked to their own culture to reimagine the steel dinner plate. Entitled “Mirrors for Aliens” the collection juxtaposed the founders’ roots in India, and posits a wider discussion on both culture and the multifaceted nature of design. The collection sees the thali in its truest form – with its shiny, segmented sections. The steel plate has then been polished to receive a mirror-like finish.

My Sweet Centerfold shelving
Drew Abrahamson

We could’ve picked anything from Drew Abrahamson’s “Brief Forays into Reality” collection for this list. However, we settled at this wavey shelving unit titled “My Sweet Centerfold”, which is crafted from a combination of plywood, veneer, automotive paint, steel, and brass. The Melbourne-based designer wanted to evoke a sense of escapism through the designs, which he created through a proces that began by drawing each at scale on the studio wall. “From here it all gets a little more cowboy,” he says.

Poikilos
Objects of Common Interest

In April, the Nilufar Depot gallery in Milan became home to a shimmering showcase of furniture crafted by design studio Objects of Common Interest. Titled “Poikilos”, the collection offered a deep dive into iridescence. Using a resin recipe devised by an old acquaintance named Ovidiu Colea, the studio created seats, tables, lamps, and vases that make visual effects that play tricks on the eye – appearing to transform from liquid to solid. Whatsmore, because of the method developed by Pataloti, the pieces can be melted down to create something new, and also negate the offset of any waste thanks to the way it is processed.

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