Where do tomorrow's furnishing trends first appear? At the international furnishing fair imm cologne in Cologne, trendsetters and creative newcomers will present the innovations of the coming year. The imm cologne presents interesting living ideas from new innovation drivers, market leaders and brands and provides new impetus for the furniture market.
Visitors to the imm cologne 2019 might find that a lot of the new furniture seems strangely familiar. Sideboards are ultra popular right now and being flanked by cool armchairs and light-footed sofas; shelves are less common – in this age of Twitter, YouTube and Kindle, books have almost become display items – and are being hung on the wall like they used to be, whereas we’re presenting our treasures in showcases. Retro is a stylistic element rather than a style in its own right. It’s not just that modernist, mid-century and pop culture classics have cult status – their forms are popping up all over the place again, albeit in new interpretations, with a new finish or in a new guise. When life is marked by change, the tried and trusted becomes desirable – and looks surprisingly fresh in a new mix and a new setting. Whether bright and brash, industrial-style or shown off against a dark, elegant, art deco background, furniture soloists are inhabiting our living rooms, whereas a neat, systematic look tends to be more common in the kitchen or bedroom. The differences between town and country, cramped and spacious interiors, large and small furniture are widening. All things considered, the increasing flexibilisation of our lives calls for new furniture: smaller, more modular and more multifunctional. After being banished from the sofa and cultivated on wallpaper, patterns – sometimes printed, sometimes in 3D – are making a cautious comeback on highlight pieces like the sideboard.
The trend towards a light palette of greys accompanied by natural or pastel shades continues to endure, although it seems to be inspired by nature and ethno motifs rather than the Scandinavian style. But there are two other important directions that deserve a mention: the multicoloured look and a dark, elegant approach. The avant garde is combining variants of the primary colours to create an effect like a Mondrian painting, whereas the lifestyle faction prefers a brasher, bolder look and is combining various shades of orange not just with dark green but with yellow, turquoise, petrol or even mint. Warm, darkish colours are very much on trend; they harmonise with reddish wood, while dark shades of blue and green can be combined with gold and brass to create an art deco feeling.
Wood is just as popular as ever. But that’s hardly surprising: besides being sustainable, it’s also healthy and versatile and creates a snug feel. Right now, it’s often given a rough look – but in the sense of “not sleek” rather than “not smooth”. Apart from that, metal is extremely popular, mostly in warm, upmarket colours and finishes like gold and brass. And it’s not just being used for sofa or table legs: it’s also cropping up as a decorative element for lighting, tables and wall-mounted elements. Glass is in the process of establishing itself as the third force and basketwork and wicker are popular too, with natural stone popping up here and there to add an exclusive touch. Leather is being used for its soft, luxurious qualities, and when it comes to home textiles we’re seeing a lot of purist covering fabrics and the comeback of a classic: velvet. It’s mostly being used in plain colours and is a great option if you’re looking for a sense of warmth, a soft look and feel and a hint of luxury.