As announced last year, we continue our search for the latest interior trends, inspirations and new products. We kicked off 2019 with a visit to the imm cologne in Cologne – the world’s largest furnishing fair for the international furnishing market. With almost 1,200 exhibitors on more than 240,000 sqm, visitors were able to experience the modern furniture, design and visions from January 14th to 20th. We brought many ideas and inspirations with us to share with you.


Deceleration as a countermovement to rapid digitization – In 2019 relaxed living will likely be THE theme of the furnishing industry. To match this, smart homes have increased the personal comfort and simplify everyday life. Soothing living environments in subdued colors, predominantly in simple shades of gray combined with red, yellow or green, contribute to greater objectivity. Floral wallpaper is on the decline, to be replaced by large, patterned rugs.

Storing your parents or grandparents furniture is finally paying off, because in 2019 styles of the 70s are in again for apartment living. Retro is back in fashion and we’ll see a lot of tables with rounded corners, armchairs and sofas with grooves or buttons in the backrests, as well as padded seats combined with wood or metal.

On the whole, wood seems to be the material of the hour and fits into the concept of modern living together with covers made of wool felt, velvet or natural leather. Whether rustic or with an artful filigree, this natural material can be found at the imm cologne around every turn. Storage space will be dominated by open, modular shelves to accomodate a rather tight living space. Green plants and minimal design elements round off the look while providing an individual touch. Modern living is practical and comfortable, but also provides space to express personal style.


According to the Association of the German Furniture Industry, ‘Made in Germany’ is gaining in popularity worldwide. Reasons for this include the high quality standards, excellent design and the sustainable production conditions, said President Axel Schramm¹. Birkenstock in particular won us over with an eye-catching presentation of their new products. Almost two years ago, the German shoe manufacturer expanded its original concept to high-quality, sophisticated sleep systems manufactured by one of the leading bedding and upholstery manufacturers, ADA. Again, Birkenstock focuses on a point-elastic adaptation to the body, which ensures the best possible relief and recovery while sleeping. High-quality wood materials guarantee a simple and at the same time modern presentation.

© koelnmesse



LivingKitchen has evolved into the central event for the international kitchen industry, which filled two of the 14 exhibition halls with the current kitchen trends parallel to the imm cologne. Through the conceptual realignment, the exhibition promised an innovative and exciting glimpse into the future of the kitchen industry. In 2019, top-quality materials, clear shapes and innovative features will be in focus: Thanks to the latest technology, natural stone has become more customisable than ever. Integrated drawers and variously flat additional levels for the sink and stove give natural stone blocks functionality and exclusivity. However, nature not only provides inspiration for form and material: Leicht Kitchens, for example, presents how modern indoor farming can work and brings nature directly into the home through an integrated raised bed. In addition, the cooker hood also undergoes a makeover. Previously known mainly as a functional element, the extractor hood is developing more and more into an independent design object in the kitchen. Whether retractable in the stove, and therefore only visible when in use, or designed as an iconic illuminant, the actual function of the extractor hood is elegantly integrated into the modern kitchen design. Modular underfloor lights provide additional comfort in the kitchen area, the work surface is optimally illuminated by functional light sources.

© LEICHT Kitchen

© Nolte Kitchen


As an effective platform for the next generation of the design industry, the imm cologne shows numerous newcomers like Rolf Benz, Vitra, Artek or Ferm Living alongside some of the industry’s big names. In addition, the Pure Talents Contest is aimed at international designers who are still studying or have just graduated from university. In October 2018, the jury of the Pure Talents Contest 2019 came together in Cologne to see 926 product submissions from 69 nations. Only 26 made it to the competition exhibition, which was shown in the context of the imm cologne in hall 3.1.

The goal of Pure Talents is to find new perspectives on everyday objects. That’s why we were impressed by the physical sketchbook ’21 Ways to Sit ‘by Mu Hau Kao based on the exploratory research on the typology of sitting. Out of the attempt to find out what constitutes good posture in different contexts, 21 prototypes were created, which were put together into a special collection of seating options.

The poetry of the Chair 2018 by Zohair Zouirech (see left) arose from the lack of definition of the volume: So the seating area of the chair is created by the knot in a simple textile cover.

One more of our favorites was ‘Wire’ – a shelf for the creative storage of magazines, which the Swede Anna-Maria Nilsson developed as part of a study project. As the most important trend in 2019’s interior design, the young woman sees the focus on a deliberate interior design with minimalist forms, materials and colors.

© Pure Talents / koelnmesse

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