The imm Cologne 2024 trade fair confirmed these megatrends in the industry
“We are sensing a strong preference for naturalness – and from this, a trend towards natural tones, natural materials such as wood and stone as well as round and organic shapes,“ said the German furniture industry in the run-up to the imm cologne trade fair (January 14 to 18, 2024). “In these turbulent times, people are longing for a homely, cozy atmosphere,“ adds Jan Kurth, Managing Director of the associations. He cited durability, the use of high-quality materials and the careful use of resources as key concepts for the development of demand.
“Sustainability is becoming increasingly important when buying furniture. The first brand manufacturers are taking back used upholstered furniture in order to refurbish it for resale or to dispose of it separately,“ reads a press release from the furniture industry.
The experts noted the following for the individual living areas:
* Dining tables – whether made of wood or marble – are given soft, organic shapes. Thanks to comfortable, upholstered dining chairs with armrests, the dining table becomes a sociable focal point where people like to linger for a long time.
* Cosiness is also a top priority in the bedroom, the room for rest and relaxation. Veneered wooden surfaces, solid wood elements and lacquered surfaces create a cozy atmosphere.
* Bathroom furnishings are becoming increasingly important, as the demand for quality of stay is constantly rising. The days of the practical wet room are long gone. Many dark tones and natural colors can also be seen in the bathroom.
* In the kitchen, cabinet fronts with a grooved look are becoming increasingly popular. They make the kitchen homely and lend it a handcrafted charm. New are +75-centimeter cabinet widths.
For some years now, the German furniture industry has had certifications with which companies can identify themselves and their products as ecologically correct. In 2016, the Gütegemeinschaft Möbel launched a “Climate Pact“ and the “Climate Neutral Furniture Manufacturer“ award. The aim is to reduce CO2 emissions and thus contribute to the 1.5-degree target of the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference.
The quality mark “Climate-neutral furniture production“ is new and has now been achieved by a number of manufacturers. The award procedure is as follows: applicants draw up a balance sheet of their unavoidable emissions for one year and offset these through recognized climate-friendly measures, such as switching to “green“ electricity, bicycles for employees or e-transporters for the company. Other areas of action could be insect-friendly flower meadows, lighting with economical LEDs or less air travel by the bosses.
imm Cologne is one of the most important furniture fairs in the world. After the Corona [Covid] years, it returned to its traditional date in January 2024. Its young talent competition “Pure Talents Contest,” which was held for the 20th time, has become a trademark: 893 designers from 76 countries competed for the coveted exhibition spaces.
“Connecting Communities“ was a key theme this year: the focus was on exchanging ideas and maintaining contacts.
This was accompanied by the new trade fair design Drawing on this idea, the concept for The Circles was developed. The circular event spaces were spread across the entire exhibition area, acting as central gathering places for participants. Oliver Frese, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse, explains the positive response to the new format: “The Circles have transformed imm cologne into a dynamic, interactive platform that created diverse forums for conversations and inspiring spaces for discussing industry issues.”
As is tradition, the “Passagen Interior Design Week“ took place in parallel with imm cologne this year: Across Cologne’s city centre, a programme of events was hosted, featuring around 150 exhibitions in showrooms, galleries, furniture stores, cultural institutes, museums and universities.
Around 750 exhibitors from 42 countries participated in imm cologne 2024, which was hosted across a gross exhibition area of 137,000 square metres. 110 exhibitors came from Germany and 640 from other countries. Around 42,000 trade visitors from 129 countries attended imm cologne. International visitors accounted for around 50 per cent of the audience.
imm Cologne 2025, January 12. – 16.
Photos: Kölnmesse / companies
(09.02.2024, USA: 02.09.2024)