Natural stone was once again a material used in furniture making, with marble varieties being used a lot, especially with strong colors
Sustainable living is in first place among the current living trends that emerged at the IMM Cologne trade fair (January13th to 19th 2020). „Consumer decisions … are being increasingly evaluated under the aspect of climate neutrality“ the press releases said. Therefore, consumers would like to see „that natural materials and solid wood are preferred in the home“, and the list of examples of such materials was long: Bamboo is being tried out as an alternative to wood, just as much as plastic-reinforced paper as a leather-like upholstery fabric. Wickerwork of rattan, willow or bamboo brings a winter garden feeling into the house.
Natural stone, by contrast, was not mentioned anywhere, even though marble, granite & Co were present at many stands.
We conclude: The press office of the fair and the departments that work for it do not consider natural stone to be a natural and environmentally friendly material. After all, they had still named stone as a trend material in 2018.
To complete the trend analysis of the fair’s trade fair:
* Sustainability means that consumers are also interested in the history of materials, so „the origin of the materials, recycling capability and general harmlessness with regard to nature, climate and social standards … The story behind the product, the storytelling, is thus becoming more important all the time,“ according to the fair Organizers.
* in 2nd place is „Green Living”, which means among other things that the furniture for outside is also used indoors;
* „Smart living” is the trend in the next place: it means furniture that can be controlled „Lamps that serve as Bluetooth loudspeakers; night tables with cordless mobile phone charging stations; cabinets that provide mood lighting; mirror cabinets with multimedia function, tables that adjust to our ideal amount of movement and sofas that note the individual favorite seating position; lights that help us fall asleep and beds that nudge us gently into another position when we snore.“;
* other trends have as their objectives „more efficient”, „more comfortable”, „boundless”, „more colorful” and „more decorative” living.
Back to natural stone.
Its role is usually to be an accent that gives a piece of furniture elegance and timeless beauty. Three aspects were striking this year:
* more than before, exotic marble was used, those with strong colors and also textures;
* even among suppliers of simple design in the lower price segment, such stone types are found in large numbers;
* surprisingly often it was actually genuine natural stone and not artificial stone.
We were also surprised at how many unusual design ideas were shown at the fair, such as playing with the veins in a large slab (Draenert) or playing with sediments (Favius). We will be reporting on them separately in future issues.
It should also be mentioned that Antolini was not present, unlike in previous years, and Lundhs from Norway did not return after a performance in 2019.
As far as the statistics are concerned, the exhibition company counted 128,000 visitors (150,000 had been mentioned last year). About 50% of them came from abroad, similar to 2019.
Photos: IMM Cologne / Peter Becker
(10.02.2020, USA: 02.10.2020)