Ambiente in Frankfurt is where you would expect anyone who is anyone in the consumer goods space to be. Spread across five days, the design fair welcomes over 4,440 exhibitors from 89 countries with almost 140,000 buyers from 168 countries. Ambiente is more than just a fair. With some of the most exciting and innovative designs, it’s an experience and an opportunity to discover the trends and themes that consumers can expect to see in stores around the world soon. The Discern Team's annual visit to Ambiente left us impressed by the breadth of design and decor option. The fair delineated four trends at different talks, displays, and presentations which we agreed with and were inspired by. Here is what we thought about each of them.
This trend likens itself to a cross between a trendy industrial look and country chic. You can sense this by looking at the colours, neutrals such as grey, white and black accented with shades of rust, teal, and mustard. The materials are another hint at what this trend is all about. You will find durable materials, well suited to both in and outdoors, such as cast iron, concrete, and bamboo which have been manipulated to look more trendy than usual. These all fit into the environment of the warm, cozy home which you could see demonstrated by the Danish brand Nichba Designs and German brand Sebastian Frank.
The more time we spend thinking about the design, the more we look at how to become sustainable and environmentally friendlier. Recycled and upcycled products have been a huge emerging trend and one we don’t expect to back down anytime soon. These products, featuring bold colours, came together to create the second theme of the event. Colourful Intentions is not about hiding behind neutral shades and soft edges, it’s all about being loud and confident. This comes alongside Benjamin Moore’s selection of Caliente as their colour for 2018 which resonates well with this theme. The solid colours, varnish and fluorescent details turn ordinary products made of materials such as wood, metal and recycled plastic into attractive design-forward objects. Products such as 7 Moods soaps by Mood of the Day and the Parisian brand- Louise Carmen with her notebook collection will be making waves in the design world for 2018 and beyond.
Technology has become an important aspect when it comes to our homes and interiors experience. Whether this is through home automation, production techniques or designs, technology is increasingly contributing to well-being at home and hence is an increasingly important trend for consumers as well as for designers. The stylistic direction of technology-friendly brands is always visually impactful with elegant, sensible lines and futuristic materials and innovations. This trend appeals to our emotional sides, surprisingly, rather than with its more functional outward appearance. The idea at Ambiente is one of fusion, to fuse technology with familiar materials such as paper and linen, wood and metal, metal and glass. Also, interesting materials such as wafer-thin foils, soft textile structures and innovative optical accents with iridescent colours were on display. Look at the award winning brand- Closca did to visualize this trend completely.
Perhaps our favourite trend, Opulent Narrations bring us back to a forgotten era of plush living, using lavish materials, techniques, and design elements. Examples of opulent materials include the use of porcelain with artistic decoration, precious stones, and unusual leather work. By combining luxurious materials with quirky, modern designs, this trend brings luxury to our everyday lives. Velvet is no longer relegated to only jewel tones and fine enamel can be designed in colours beyond simply white. The idea is to expand the idea of opulence by using innovative design. The process behind many of the pieces defined by this trend, such as the The Bimbesbox, a handy wooden wallet from the Palatinate / Germany, and the premium net bags by Kalaika, Berlin, showcases the incredible amount of detail and finesse that goes into the production of these pieces and how the trend of opulence is making a come back into everyday living for many. Don't be surprised to see modern takes on tapestries, the come-back of brocades, embroideries and relief carvings.
Ambiente remains a particularly important trade fair to visit every year. While walking the halls you will run into CEOs of well-known and iconic retail stores from around the world, and their talented buying teams who are scouring the thousands of stands to find the best products to bring to their retail shelves. Ambiente is all about business, about where the industry is headed and reveals the direction of design for the homes, interior decoration, and furnishing accessories. The trends this year showed us how opulence and simplicity can harmoniously co-exist, how attractive it is to be daring and how well-designed everyday products can make us happy. Finally, design with a conscience is becoming increasingly important. Sustainable materials and production methods are becoming more of a norm and while they still come at a premium price, we expect over the next few years to see a lot of development in this area. Good design can achieve good things!
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