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The 3 Key Trend Messages from the International Trade Fairs 2019-2020


In this article, we discuss the key messages from the 2019 Trade Shows across the world. We take the highlights, the notable items, the colours, textures and materials relevant to the home and lifestyle product industry to save you both time and money. Discover the highlights here.

In February, March and April at MC&Co corporate headquarters, our team is entrenched in reviewing, analyzing, curating and selecting the design and trend high points of the recent international shows. These include the world famous Ambiente, Heimtexil, Christmasworld, Paperworld, Maison et Objet, IMM Cologne, High Point Market, Las Vegas Market and Milan’s Salone Del Mobile. It’s a tough job looking at all those beautiful designs for hours and hours each day, but someone has to do it!

We take the best bits, the tableware, homewares, furniture and colour and pattern highlights and curate them into an extensive report. It is essential reading for buyers, product developers, designers and business leaders who need to understand exactly what is going on in the world of design. It is also handy reading for those whose budgets may have restricted their international travel this year.

The international trade shows help inform important elements of furniture and homeware product design including:

  • Texture
  • Materials
  • Shape
  • Colour
  • Pattern

After many, many hours of research and curation by our team of industry experts, we found three key messages intertwined throughout the themes, moods and design highlights of the shows.

The S 533 F Chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe 1927 (Thonet, IMM Colone)

The 100 Year Anniversary of the Bauhaus Movement.

Bauhaus was a modernist art school that opened in Germany in 1919 that closed in 1933. It has had a huge influence on architecture, art and industrial design. It had a unique approach to teaching and a philosophy that embraced the relationship between art, society and technology. The Bauhaus Movement was the original “minimalism” and we certainly saw it celebrated at IMM Cologne in 2019.

Bauhaus is a style where form follows function. It makes use of true materials such as steel pipe frames. It features design elements such as cubed wall coverings and iconic shapes. In Bauhaus we see minimalist style unite art and technology.

The colour palettes of Bauhaus are both primary and neutral colours.

Modular Living

We saw a definitive shift to modular design particularly at IMM Cologne, Milan Design Fair and Paperworld’s Office trends.

Modular living reflects the way society lives today. We upsize into McMansions, we downsize into apartments. We have growing families and then empty nests and our furniture and home design needs to adapt around these changing requirements. Modular pieces are perfect for that.

A designer no longer has to create different ranges for large or small homes. They just create a range that can have pieces added to it or removed.  This way their furniture and homeware ranges cater to broad demographics and are smart, considered furnishings. In Modular Living we see flexible, unfussy and sensible living for smaller living spaces. These pieces can be downsized or upsized by adding or removing one element at a time. We also see occasional pieces that can be used both indoors and outside.

Piero Lissoni Dock Sofa (BB Italia Dock Sofa)

A great example of Modular Living is B&B Italia’s “Dock” lounge system. It is a lounge that can be downsized or upsized by adding or removing one element at a time. Other examples and notable pieced include bookcases with removable joinery elements.

The designers who have embraced Modular living gave us adaptable privacy screens, open shelves, and wardrobes that scale. We also saw seating that worked for both in and outdoors. We saw materials being used for these such as tubular metal, and simple wood platforms. They are all generally minimalistic by design.

Multi-functionality is a key feature of Modular pieces, as they evolve to fit different spaces as their owners circumstances change. They make a sensible, practical and stylish design choice in our changing world.

The Rise of New Euro

New Euro is a playful trend with distinct forms and colour palettes that is currently the toast of the continent. It has been given many names by those that us that live and breathe such things.

Some have called it New Deco as the geometrical shapes are reminiscent of the Golden era. Having said that the colour palettes of pink, sage and gold are distinctly playful, as are the sculptural shapes.

At MC&Co we have coined the phrase New Euro – because we see this as the new European Aesthetic.  This trend is being driven by iconic and emerging designers in Spain, Portugal and Italy. It has been embraced by design stars such as Urquiola, Hayon and Mahdavi.

In New Euro we see Arches, semi-circles, circles, crescent moons and capsule shapes. These curves meet perfect lines and structures.

We loves seeing New Euro featured by these early adopters including the notable Calile Hotel in Brisbane and the Fritz Hansen showroom in Xi’an China designed by Jaime Hayon.

The Calile Hotel – Brisbane
Jaime Hayon + Frirz Hansen, Xi’an China

The international trade shows highlight the best of the best across the world in the areas of home and lifestyle product and design. With so many to view it can be hard to get to them all even virtually. Our Trend Show compilation informs our own trend opinions and forecasts but also can deliver key trend messages to your business.

New Euro is among one of the 24 global trends MC&Co have identified in our annual trend opinion for 2020-2021. With so many trends around the world and so much noise about which one is sure thing, how do you know which one is right for you?

For a look at our 2019-20 Trend Show Compilation or a tailored workshop to help your brand determine which trend is authentic and profitable for your organisation, get in touch. If you want your brand to own a trend and deliver on sales and profits, then the time to speak to us is now!

To find out more about our workshop availability or request a presentation of our 2019-20 Trend Show compilation contact us here.

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