News analysis – IMM Cologne set to showcase international furniture pieces

International furniture show IMM Cologne launches on Monday with a centrepiece artificial home designed by London-based studio Doshi Levein.

Das Haus plan by Doshi Levein

Das Haus – Interiors on Stage, brings together domestic architectural, interior and outdoor spaces across a 180m2 space.

‘We want the house to capture a feeling. It’s located in the context of the fair, so we didn’t want a house that feels as if it’s standing by itself in the countryside. Instead, we imagine it as part of the socio-economic neighbourhood, as part of a community,’ says Doshi Levein co-founder Nipa Doshi.

‘We’re not thinking of a place with houses and beautiful gardens, but a place with shops and workshops, a house full of life. The house isn’t in a residential area, it’s located in an urban context,’ Doshi adds.

Formstelle by Zeitraum
Formstelle by Zeitraum

At a press conference held in Cologne, yesterday Gerald Bose chief executive officer of Koelnmesse GmbH, gave an address offsetting ‘difficult political and business conditions’ with cause for optimism – a healthy furniture buying market, in Germany at least.

IMM Cologne claims that spend on furniture has increased with Germans spending 373 per head a year, a trend that has increased across the decade despite a shrinking population.

More single person households means smaller living spaces and more demand for multi-functional designs with added value. 

Sofa Avec Plaisir by Bruhl
Sofa Avec Plaisir Bruhl

The address also hinted at trends which will inform this year’s show, particularly the changing function of domestic spaces, with open plan kitchens becoming ‘communication centres’ and more bedrooms containing bathtubs.

Minutrisation of furniture is to follow the minturisation of technology, according to IMM Cologne, meaning desks with a small worktop space, and also narrow display cabinets as LED lights are used more readily. 

Kya by Frei Frau
Kya by Frei Frau

The use of natural materials is being marked as a ‘megatrend’ with organisers saying that although people are ‘living with high-tech in miniturised formats… they are increasingly buying natural products.’

The use of untreated wood, furniture made from ship planks, felt-covered seating, moss as wall decoration, cork flooring, wooden bathtubs, pressed grasses in the glass walls of shower stalls, and animal skins are noted as all being on the rise.

A broad palette of natural colours including sky blue, meadow green, sunset red and lavender will be prevalent, as will the saturated colours blue and purple, while white furniture continues to gain popularity.   

Bordbar, silver edition
Bordbar, silver edition


More than 1,150 companies from 54 countries will exhibit next week, including ten UK manufacturers, and there will be some high profile international launches.

The everpresent textile company Kvadrat has worked with the designers Perrine Vigneron and Studio Linse  on new designs to be unveiled in an exhibition titled ‘Horses’.

PRO chair collection for Flototto by Konstantin Grcic

Meanwhile chair collection PRO, designed by Konstantin Grcic, for German manufacturer Flototto is set to launch. Designed to stimulate mobility, the chairs encourage different seating positions.

IMM Cologne runs from 16-22 January, Koelnmesse, GmbH, Messeplatz 1, 50679 Cologne, Germany. 

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