In recent weeks, there have been some interesting furniture fairs in other European countries – a reason for us to research what styles and living trends could establish themselves in 2019. What was new and what are the trends in the EU member states? Are there similarities to the discoveries on the German market and what are the differences?
We took a closer look at several international interior fairs.
Those who wanted to enter this incredible marathon had to keep up, as the Habitare, Habitat, Maison & Objet and London Design Week were held in just a few weeks time. From September 7 to 22, 2018 it was possible to find out about the new design highlights and living trends 2019 in four different countries – which made it particularly interesting to compare.
The Maison & Objet in Paris was the first furnishing fair in this short time frame.
It is also one of those fairs for household goods and accessories. Every half year, this trade fair presents itself with numerous exhibitors and an even larger selection of products. It took place from Friday, September 7 to Tuesday, September 11, 2018. On 115,000 m², 3,000 exhibitors were present and showed their innovations to the 90,000 visitors.
The Maison & Objet deals with the topics around the interior in a special way. There’s not only a dedicated hall for everything around the living trends 2019 “Maison” (which here again is subdivided), but also halls under the motto “Objet”. Here you will find interested visitors looking for home fragrances, clever solutions for children & family, home textiles, trendy fashion accessories and much more. In halls 5a and 6 to 8 the typical interior themes were shown: furniture, beds, carpets, wall coverings, lighting, interior accessories, mirrors and much more.
Particularly popular were concepts with Art Déco flair. Opulent sofas, artfully designed small furniture and accessories enthralled the visitors. The special shows and areas presented a big variety of styles – from classic to modern.
After the Maison & Objet, the Habitare fair took place. It is a furniture, interior design and design fair for professionals and visitors in Helsinki.
Around 600 international exhibitors presented the latest trends, shapes and colors here. On 16,000 m², 59,200 visitors were able to obtain insightful information. It took place from Wednesday, September 12 to Sunday, September 16, 2018. The great thing about Helsinki is that a lot of Nordic companies are present here and their focus, like this year’s topic “Roots”, is also on functionality. For residents of such a barren area, the focus of every piece of furniture lies on the principle of functionality.
And so this fair stands out clearly from the fairs in France or Great Britain, where the topics often manifest themselves more in the aesthetic and artistic area. In Finland, it was the clean and simple designs that set it apart from the retro-scandi designs of recent years. For a trade fair so far north on the globe, it goes without saying that the furniture and products are also typically Scandinavian. It was particularly noticeable that the basic furniture constructions of Scandinavian manufacturers are becoming clearer and more practical again – one of the living trends 2019.
Furniture feet, for example, deviate from the previous retro character and are designed round and fixed vertically to the furniture. This gives most furniture pieces a touch of Asian flair. This is further supported by the typical bright Nordic woods such as spruce, pine and birch. In the home textiles and wallpapers, however, the patterns are larger and playful. The fabrics are soft in look and feel. Tassels and fellopics are still very popular. But also velvet and velor are in the mix now, though more restrained with home textiles. However in terms of sofas and armchairs, it is precisely these materials that are increasingly used – similar to the impressions one also had from Paris.
From September 14 to 22, design-savvy people met to celebrate the London Design Festival.
As part of the London Design Week the novelties of the furniture and design industry were presented again, especially of course from British manufacturers. But also exhibitors from over 36 other countries were on site. In London, there seems to be more emphasis on the artistic aspect of design. The object itself is staged, installed and propagated.
As a result, many art hotspots have established themselves in London: during the fair, inspiring designs from a wide range of designers and design companies were on view in various design districts, landmark projects, the V&A museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and design routes. The trade shows – the actual trade fair – provided many areas for exhibitors under the themes 100% Design, Decorex, designjunction, Focus/18 and London Design Fair. Every year, more than 28,000 dealers, manufacturers, architects, designers and interior designers, design-savvy people and members of the press visit this event.
The focus will then be on the latest furniture creations, lighting, textiles and accessories. Especially products for the interior styles Art Deco, Nordic influences and furniture from classic English styles such as the cottage, or shaker style were there to admire. For art lovers and (interior) architects, London is especially worth seeing.
At the end of September the Feria Habitat took place in Valencia. It is an international trade fair for furniture, lighting, home textiles and kitchen design.
Companies from the industry are offered a platform to present their products to an interested trade audience. All in all from September 18th to September 21st, the organizers welcomed 26,000 visitors and about 400 exhibitors on more than 25,000 m² in the four days of the fair. Typical for such a fair in Southern Europe: good-humored fair visitors, who enjoyed the summer sun outdoors and the well-stocked, impressive (and air-conditioned) exhibition halls. The main exhibition sectors of the Feria Habitat Valencia are: furniture, lighting, home textiles, decoration, as well as kitchens and accessories.
The living trends 2019 in the furniture segment focused on very modern furniture with a clear design language and on the other hand on opulent Art Déco pieces in sophisticated quality. These two great styles were also present in lighting: classic nostalgic or clear and modern. The modern couches & armchairs were characterized by pastel colors and valuable wood-metal combinations (often chrome) in furniture and tables.
The luxurious Art Déco furniture, on the other hand, was rather rich in colors, velvets and velours that defined the space. Accessories in brass and gold completed the picture. The connecting element was tables with noble marble surfaces. Again, we saw parallels with France and London.
Let’s come to our resumé of the living trends 2019 after these fairs.
In France, furniture and accessories from the ethno and Art Déco segment were very popular. If one considers that the proportions of old buildings in France is very high and Art Déco fits very well into it and if one knows that France is a country of migration, which for decades has been exposed to a large proportion of foreign influences, then the presence of these trend styles is understandable. We particularly liked the many design ideas manufacturers had for these styles: heavy brocade and jacquard fabrics for cushions on velvet and velor couches, hip totem masks and woven rugs to gold-rimmed noble mirrors – a successful composition throughout.
In London, it was the mix of art and design, especially in the modern segment, that thrilled the visitors. Helsinki showed how important it is to use its own resources in the country and surprised with its clear geometric designs, as described above. The Habitat in Valencia balances confidently between very modern concepts and opulent, nostalgic and luxurious interiors.
We’ll see how these living trends 2019 will influence the industry. It’s up to you now to choose the trade fair from which you and your customers could best benefit. In the next article we’ll look at how the trade fairs with their special areas and topics stood out from each other and which might be worth a closer look. Also check our new e-book about the interior trends 2019.