Year in Review: Interior Design Influencer Lia Griffith on the Trend of Greenery and Eco-Friendly Furniture in 2019

Some of this year’s top furniture trends include a return to natural materials, rattan chairs and an abundance of greenery.

Each year there are certain design elements that are on everyone’s mind and in everyone’s home. To get the inside scoop on this year’s biggest trends, ESTATENVY sought out interior design and furniture experts about the kind of choices they noticed their clients were making in their homes.

Lia Griffith is a designer, artist and interior design influencer who has been featured on The Today Show, O, The Oprah Magazine, The Hallmark Channel and more. Before starting her successful design website and company, Griffith cut her teeth designing for restaurants and retail locations across the country.
“When we start one of our projects, we make sure to examine what is happening as a whole in the interior design world,” said Griffith. “As an overall trend in 2019, people are more interested in bringing the outside in. Whether it is in regards to furniture, decoration or color, the natural aesthetic and use of sustainable materials are very popular right now.”
According to Griffith, this isn’t just a booming trend of plants and foliage, but also a renewed appreciation of nature-inspired tones and materials.
“We’ve noticed a reconnection to grounded materials such as stone, light-colored wood, linen and organic tile,” she said. “Instead of painted or stained wood, furniture that features a simple and natural finish is becoming increasingly sought-after. In the same vein, there is a big demand for eco-friendly furnishings and materials.”
Specifically, Griffith cites rattan chairs as one furniture trend that has made a comeback this year. While these bamboo-like seats are often confused for wicker chairs, rattan is a specific, durable material that features a solid core and is available in an array of natural colors.
“People are more drawn to the lighter-colored wood when it comes to rattan chairs,” said Griffith. “In fact, I even purchased a rattan chair for my living room and matched it with a natural-fiber ottoman.”
Another trend that Griffith has noticed is a return to curved furniture. “The midcentury modern wave of straight lines is fading away and curves are making a come back,” she said. “Now, there is more of a balance between the two instead of the cold and austere look of modernism. By combining straight lines and curved lines in the furniture of a room, it tends to soften the space.”
Even though design enthusiasts may think to go lighter when trying to achieve a more natural feel, Griffith advises being careful when it comes to a Scandanavian-like, sparse color palette. “The all-white look can be very tasteful, but this practice is difficult to pull off depending on the room,” she said. “Lately, dark, rich tones are making a comeback, both for furniture and for color. Still, it is very important to find the right lighting when using these colors.”
As the year wraps up, there are a few projects that Griffith is especially proud of in regard to some of these trends. “We specialize in DIY projects and we have a huge paper plant collection for those who want to take part in the greenery trend but find themselves in a house without proper sunlight,” she said. “These can act as a tasteful sculpture in the house. Whether it be nature-inspired wallpaper or monstera leaf pieces of artwork, we’ve found ways to bring nature into the house without breaking the bank.”
Last year, Lia Griffith appeared on the hit TV show Top Chef as a design expert to help create the interior of the pop-up restaurant named Conifer. According to Griffith, many of these trends made it into her TV-broadcasted design, including a dusty green color palette, pine tree branch inspired wall furnishings and more.
As Griffith looks to 2020, she is hopeful that high-quality craftsmanship will become the norm among furniture buyers.
”In addition to the use of sustainable materials, I hope people continue to invest in long-lasting and meaningful furniture,” she said. “Just because a piece of furniture is trendy doesn’t mean it can’t become a beloved, household staple.”