Two of Europe’s largest international design fairs Maison & Object, Paris and IMM Cologne in Germany wrapped up last month revealing the latest trends in interiors in the way of design, decoration, furnishings, accessories and textiles. After winning the title of KBDi‘s Certified Designer of the Year 2014, I was fortunate enough to win a trip to Europe to attend as a part of the KBDi’s International Designers Tour.
The overall theme this year centered around nature made, hand made, and comfort. It was all about stripping objects and materials back to their origin. We saw natural elements and finishes used in their most raw and simplest form allowing their true authentic beauty to shine through.
I believe this trend is a direct reflection of a society that wants to take a step back, slow things down. The more hi tech we become, the more we want to surround ourselves with textures and objects that ground us and connect us with nature. And in times of uncertainty and mistrust we continue to seek out things that are authentic and real.
The KBDi tour kicked off in Colonge at IMM, the first interiors show of the year that presents the latest in furnishing trends for the interior sector. IMM also hosts LivingKitchen which has established itself in Cologne as the central meeting point of the kitchen world. Over 215 well know kitchen suppliers from over 22 countries presented their latest ideas and innovations.
The tour then headed for Maison Object in Paris, which is probably Europe’s most popular fair on the design and decoration calendar. The show sets the benchmark for what we can expect to see in the world of interiors and furnishing for the year ahead. It’s absolutely massive and I must admit a little overwhelming initially. But boy is it worth it!
So folks, here’s a taste of what we saw…
This trend is a direct reflection of a society that wants to take a step back, slow things down. The more hi tech we become, the more we want to surround ourselves with textures and objects that connect us with nature. And in times of uncertainty and mistrust we are seeking things that are authentic and real. Materials are seen to be used in there most natural form and further enhancing the look of nature is the use of greenery indoors – moss, plants, herbs, even grass.
Timber was certainly the hero in this natural movement. Most popular were walnut tones and blonde oaks. Timber in its rawest form creates a sense of ‘realness’ and authenticity to the product.
Textures derived from nature have an edgy rawness, stone polished surfaces are now honed or flamed as opposed to polished, timber surfaces are waxed or oiled as opposed to high gloss lacquer we have seen in the past. Concrete is raw and undulated resembling a leathery finish, and overall we are seeing a greater mix and layering of different types of woods, stones and other textural finishes in interiors.
Neutrals and muted colours
Neutrals are back in full force. Grey is still in but it’s a lot warmer creating an amazing pallet of muted grey taupe’s. The browns are getting cooler and the once cool greys much warmer. White continues to look crisp was still popular with the introduction of white appliances. Most colours are soft, blushed and muted. Petrol / Peacock blue was popular colour seen throughout the show
Metallics are strong. Copper, bronze, pewter and patina accents seemed to replace previous years preference for stainless steel and chrome. This year we saw bathroom and kitchen suppliers re-introduce gold tapware creating a real sense of sophistication in the higher end kitchen and bathroom projects.
The focus around handmade and sustainably sourced is far from a micro trend. It’s now become a way of life. In particular, the focus on beautifully hand crafted objects that celebrate the natural material.
We often look to past for a sense of comfort and we are seeing this trend reflected in interiors. seeing a combination of very modern and contemporary design elements with a slight vintage flavour. In kitchen design we are seeing a resurgence of a kitchen that is timeless, functional and reflects true ‘home’ culture.
This year kitchen furniture and seating was all about comfort. Soft organic shapes and cozy fabrics such as wool linens and organic cottons were the focus. Pillows and cushions were in abundance.
The Thinner the better. Technology and product has developed allowing for even thinner benchtops (3mm and 6mm) and we saw these as an overwhelming trend this year as we see kitchen design move toward more refined detail allowing the texture of the products themselves to tell the story.