The first major design fair of 2016 hinted at an exuberant and decadent year of design ahead, says Marcia Adair
After a day of wandering around the IMM furniture fair in Cologne, Icon can report that texture is back: on the walls, in coarsely-woven upholstery and in super-tactile rattan. And, to the horror of any card-carrying minimalist, the coolness of stainless steel has given way to gaudy brass glam and marble. Here are some of the trends we spotted while out and about at the first major design fair of the year.
On the wall
Wallpaper has been queen of the accent wall for a few years now, but advances in printing and adhesive technology are allowing you to cover your surfaces with even bolder patterns and textures, without committing to hours of steaming and scraping when your love for hot pink baroque flocking fades.
Most noticeable this year, were the many designers showing brass. Sigurd Larsen reimagined New Tendency’s classic Click shelf in a delightfully lurid mirrored brass and British designer Tom Dixon, best known for his copper work and dramatic glass pendant lamps, released the Bell table lamp and the Plane short chandelier in brass for 2016.
Filipino designer Kenneth Cobonpue’s playful, candy-coloured Noodle collection was joined by offerings from Prospect Indonesia, a rattan craftsmen’s collective. More traditional forms from Indonesia are full of handwoven curves – a sensuous exoticism miles away from that bedraggled throne left over from your student digs.
Heavily-grained ash and elm wood with a natural or clear finish fashioned into sofas and chairs with shapes reminiscent of shaker or arts and crafts pieces were featured in many collections this year. Among these were &tradition’s Fly series designed by Space Copenhagen, the Kalota lounge chair by the Slovenian maker Mitja and Paola Navone’s Nest series for Ercol.
Bits of marble appeared in several collections, perhaps hinting at a more decadent style to come. &tradition’s Palette range by Spanish designer Jaime Hayon with its Joan Miró-esque colours and shapes is the most impish of the bunch. For 2016, Hayon added a desk (JH9) to a series of three occasional tables (JH6, JH7 & JH8) from previous years. Tom Dixon also dabbled, extending the Stone range to include table pendant and wall lamps made of marble and brass.
In lighting, LED technology has led to designs that need not choose if they are hanging or wall-mounted. &tradition’s Passepartout is location-flexible and German lampmaker Lasfera’s SLIDE series can function as a standing light or low-level ambient as the situation requires. Lasfera’s most innovative design for 2016 is the powder-coated steel version of the adorable SOPHIE range.
IMM Cologne took place from 18 to 24 January 2016