Predicting the future is an art form, but it’s slightly easier when you have some 1,400 exhibitors showcasing some of the best home furnishings design from 51 countries in one spot. At IMM 2018, visitors kicked off each morning with a 90-minute trend tour by Anton Van Der Lande. Here are four hot trends which will be big topics this year, according to this industry insider.
1. New Classics
Second time’s a charm. The trend of taking product success stories from the 50s and 60s and re-releasing them continues in 2018. A perfect example, two limited-edition releases of the classic Verner Panton chair for Vitra. Van Der Lande explained:
It was created 50 years ago, so they have a jubilee now.
Pushing this trend—and adding a fresh face to these retro designs—is 21st century technology. For the decision-makers at Vitra, that means dramatic new finishes for the cantilevered Panton classic. Kill the lights and the limited-edition Panton Glow glows blue in the dark, thanks to five layers of phosphorescent varnish and a high-gloss protective coating. Its sister chair, the Panton Chrome, mirrors its surroundings with metal particles embedded in multiple layers of varnish.
2. Outside In
More and more, the natural world is coming inside in innovative ways. “You’ll see a lot of floral designs, a lot of flowers, a lot of plants,” explains Van Der Lande.
Last year for the first time, animals were introduced, but, well…they are gone. Now it is all floral.
This trend extends to materials. With an ecological binder, Organoid Technologies presses natural materials into surfaces. Think flooring and acoustical paneling made of raked Alpine hay and Swiss pine wood chips you can smell. Lean in for an earthy hint of the outdoors. Daisies, leaves and rose petals are all mixed in for a study in nostalgia, evoking memories of long-ago summer days.
3. Goodbye Chrome
With a few exceptions—the Chrome Panton chair—shiny days are over. IMM 2018 offered very little in the form of chrome. “Chrome is gone, because you don’t sell it,” says Van Der Lande.
Sure it is still there, but brushed or painted. Not shiny chrome.
This anti-chrome trend is in part due to LEDs now dominating the lighting market. “LED is too cold,” Van Der Lande continues. “With LEDs, tomato soup looks brown. You just don’t want that over your tomato soup. You must have an element of warmth to combine it with, like copper, gold, ceramics or wood.”
The Bund collection by designers Neri&Hu, founders of Asian brand Stellar Works, consists of bar stools, dining and lounge chairs, and an ottoman with Art Deco curves inspired by a historic district in Shanghai. The legs of varying height are only offered in natural or stained wood—no chrome in sight.
“Far Eastern motifs are also strong,” adds Van Der Lande. “Neri&Hu did experimental home Das Haus at IMM in 2015, and their brand gives you the feeling that you are in China.”
4. Lighting, Lighting and More Lighting
Lighting had a very strong presence at IMM 2018. “It’s everywhere. It’s even big enough for IMM to start a hall of only lighting next year,” Van Der Lande notes. This lighting is also predominantly warm—a feat that requires special attention with LEDs. For the third edition of Enlightened Design, a gathering of lights displayed between halls at the fair, wood was the material of choice by two Dutch designers.
To create the precise geometry of Angles, Beams and Ovals pendant lights, Alex Groot Jebbink placed LEDs between geometric shapes formed from laser-cut thin sheets of MDF. Meanwhile, copper applied to the interior adds a hint of glamour to the octagonal geometry of Francoise Oostwegel’s oak veneer Zuid lamp.
However, the spotlight on lighting was most apparent in Das Haus 2018, an exploration of light by 34-year-old Czech designer Lucie Koldova. To create a dream house she called Light Levels, Koldova designed new lighting products for Bokis. Vines, a tumble of glowing orbs,is prominently displayed in the bedroom and the bathroom. Jack’o lantern welcomes with a cheerful glow at the front door.