The success of the trade fair duo of imm cologne and LivingInteriors in 2016 gave Koelnmesse cause to celebrate – the fact that there were 80,000 satisfied trade visitors (a 5 percent increase on 2014) from 128 countries and 1,185 exhibitors from 50 countries says a lot. But the Cologne event didn’t only score highly in terms of good business. At the start of the year, the industry also showed its best side in terms of creativity and innovation and proved that it picks up on trends quickly and understands how to integrate them into their offer in a timely manner. The trends are also often developed upon and taken further.
So, considerations of individualisation and multifunctionality were top of the list for many manufacturers, showing that the industry also takes account of the advancing trend of urbanisation. Furniture performs several functions at the same time, is compact and can be assembled, disassembled and reconfigured without tools or much effort. On display was a “furniture flexibility and mobility” which is particularly popular with “postmodern nomads”, who frequently move home.
In terms of colours, manufacturers are making use of a broad palette: even gaudy is acceptable – even if it is only to provide a small, colourful accent. It is almost standard practice now for customers to be able to choose their own colour combinations from palettes which have been designed using the full spectrum. Combining different materials is also the order of the day. Wood, metal, glass and plastic are cheerfully mixed together in pursuit of the ideal chair or the perfect shelf.
The theme of cosiness provides a further counterpoint to the wave of coolly detached urbanisation. The living room – and indeed the bedroom – are no longer just a retreat. We receive guests here and want to make it cosy for ourselves, friends and family. And anyone who has the space can get even a little bit more cosy. To serve this purpose, there are still lots of big, sometimes individually customisable sofa landscapes with soft cushions and cuddly covers – in velvet, for example. The velvet look also gives the cover the mid-century charm, which is currently en vogue and whose 1950s and 1960s chic is also gaining ground amongst many smaller pieces of furniture.
Regardless of whether cool understatement or exuberant kitsch – everything in the home should be organised. And we want to be able to adjust to changing circumstances quickly and conveniently. A small table must be capable of being converted in the blink of an eye into a large table, where we can entertain guests at any time. We want to be able to hide away useful accessories that can unfortunately also create clutter, such as books, newspapers or remote controls, in a place near the sofa – or even in the sofa. And if on top of that the covers are also stain resistant or at least child’s play to clean, we feel one step nearer to our dream of the ideal home.
A selection of new products on display at imm will show what these steps may look like in detail.Photos