Interior design trends at imm cologne 2018

imm cologne 2018 will feature a range of furniture trends with more than 1200 exhibitors from 50 countries showcasing current colours and forms as well as forecasting design trends.

The styling of one’s own home is the actual top trend: the new pleasure in decorating is a sales driver in interior design. Photo:; Koelnmesse

Homogeneous colour surfaces and graphic patterns

Apropos patterns: they appear to have focused entirely on the floor but, when used vertically, they make an appearance as solid, framed providers of accents on individual walls. While a real explosion of patterns and colours has taken shape with carpets, where one will often find graphic designs and bold magenta tones, most surfaces of the home appear as if dipped in rich, full-surface colours, which are at most structured by fine-lined geometric patterns. It almost looks as if the Windows desktop background with its default saturated colours has made the leap from the computer screen into the home. However, the “click” is the real trend, namely the possibility to create, select and order individual colours or fabrics.

Not only the patterns are getting more graphic, so is the furniture itself. (Photo: Kettnaker)

Flat furniture: living in images

Not only the patterns are getting more graphic, so is the furniture itself. Supported by the use of solid colours and tone-in-tine combinations, not only the slim furniture with an emphasis on contours merges almost weightlessly into the modern interior design arranged like a two-dimensional collage; so do the larger volumes.

Shades of green are popular, as they perfectly flank the Green Living trend with its natural materials and plant collages – like the Dining Chair shown here (Design: Sebastian Herkner) from Ames in the Cologne flower studio Où j’ai grandi. (Photo:; Koelnmesse)

Sometimes masculine blue, sometimes feminine rose, and of course green: the trend colours for living

The trend colours of 2018 are also rich and solid, sometimes as an accent, sometimes as a complete dressing for upholstery and free-standing furniture. The dark colour in the plum-blue range already proposed two years ago as the “new black” has now arrived in living rooms with a broader impact as the Pantone colour “Ultra-Violet”. The “Heart Wood” colour favoured by Akzo-Nobel in a somewhat warmer, more pleasing form has what it takes to clad entire sofa landscapes in harmonious shades. Both colours are especially well-suited to the warm brown of woods. Next to these, shades of green still remain popular, as they perfectly flank the Green Living trend with its natural materials and plant collages. Red is often used as an accent, both with wood and with Ultra-Violet, and adds life to the furniture world.

The trend colours of the year 2018 have already had their impact on the exhibitors of imm cologne, like here, for example, with the Ultra Violet of Flötotto. (Photo: Flötotto)

Material trends: wood in the bathroom, marble on the table

Lots of nature remains popular with regard to materials – sometimes authentic, sometimes as imitation. Here, the classic tile with wood pattern is dominant not only in the bathroom or kitchen. In contrast, real wood parquet and even real wood bathroom furniture are gaining ground again in humid areas, while the marble traditionally found in the bathroom and on the floor has established itself in furniture design, after becoming popular quite some time ago with designers as a material for one-offs and exclusive labels. With new production processes, marble can now be employed in many other areas, so that the natural stone is being discovered for its fine grain for tables, shelves and wall panelling, and even for light design.

The mix of new products by Geberit, Axor and Bette, combined with traditional design elements, accounts for the charm of the marble bathroom in Cologne’s Nippes district. (Photo: Andreas Körner; Koelnmesse)

Solitaire instead of elitist: the design classic

Connoisseurship is proven when one uses design classics as furniture – or such items as could one day become them. The role model is provided by modern classics, mostly in clear Scandinavian forms. Solid wood, accompanied by appropriate natural materials, such as stone, wool or wool-like textiles, wicker, leather and metal, dominate as materials. The fan community has thereby long since stopped being defined only by money, but instead now by connoisseurship. In a time of mix & match, nobody needs to purchase complete sets anymore – purchased and collected is what one finds and/or can afford at the moment. At the same time, something special requires a special framework to really do it justice. No other furnishing style enters into such a close relationship with the architecture.

Tidy, but not polished to a shine: at the imm cologne action ‘Furnishing Cologne’, the trend toward the ‘perfect home’ is staged as a mixture of a few, exclusive items of furniture and economical decoration in a Cologne apartment in an old building, with the workshop chairs and the side table Airy from Muuto (Design: Cecilie Manz) as eye-catchers in an atmosphere otherwise characterised by a sense of orderliness and reduction. (Photo:; Koelnmesse)

Perfect home: reduction as the art form of living

Slow living and a livable minimalism are the answers to overexcitement through consumption, media, permanent communication and work. Home is becoming an enclave of peace for an ever increasing number of people, which expresses itself aesthetically in an atmosphere characterised by orderliness and economical, select furnishings and decoration. Howwever, in addition to this, the living space is also a statement for the consciously chosen lifestyle and proof of good taste. For this reason, the originality and design quality of the solitaire furniture are an absolute must, which has long since stopped being addressed only by Scandinavian cult labels.

imm_cologne_2018Not boring is the main thing: boho is the new ethno

Boho is the cosy answer to the cool principle of orderliness. Where the glossy edges seem ironed out or an aesthetic of emptiness spreads a sense of meditative peace, boho seems loud and full, and sometimes a little freaky. A little bit thrown together, improvised and combined with love – this is how to best outline the style lived by unconventional spirits of the times, and which now also found its counterparts in the assortment range of the trade fair and commerce. Thus, for example, boho fans that wander through the first interiors trade fair of the year in January, imm cologne, may find what they’re looking for not only among the living accessories, but also among the global lifestyles or the design editors of the Pure Editions halls. This movement has even left traces with the large premium brands in the form of original carpets, divans or leather coverings that appear to have grown soft from years of use. Accessories and textiles are the uncomplicated elements that boho works with. The ethnic borrowings come from all over the world; cushions made from old kilim rugs are combined with fabrics from India and blankets from Peru. Even Scandinavian furniture somehow seems exotically Nordic in the mix supplemented with wicker, rattan furniture, sofa throws and a lot of green plants.

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Article and images courtesy imm spotlight.