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5 Key Takeaways From The Imm Cologne 2020

I’m back from my Trend Lecture and instead of sharing the trends I’ve spotted this year at the fair, I prefer summing-up this time 5 key takeaways from the imm Cologne 2020. Not always you identify new patterns and aesthetics that lead directly to conclusions of new trends.


1//Our Color Of The Year 2020

There is a lot of warm brown shades. Do you remember our personal take on the Color Of The Year 2020? Well, I am happy to see that forecast on trade shows and soon retail floors being translated so soon. A more premium take on wood such as walnut comes strong in warm colors and soft patterns, but textiles in unicolor or combined showed to be very present too.

Caramel, coffee, tobacco, cognac are a few shades that are around.

Ligne Roset

5 Key Takeaways IMM Cologne 2020 Eclectic Trends


Team 7

2//New Job Titles

Within our Micro Trend Knowmadism 2020/21, we cover the fact that silence has become the new luxury in many cities. That’s why you can see noise-reduction pods/booths for offices soon to be implemented in public space, too (that’s my guess).

At Belgium carpet company Casalis, the team informed during a casual talk that acoustics is a new and significant pillar in their business, leading to a new job position of an Acoustics Manager.

3D textile woven fabrics absorb and reflect sound waves much better than flat textiles contributing to a more muted environment.

They have to date five acoustic collections and work with clients such as Amazon installing soundproof panels int heir headquarters in Milan, Italy.

This product line is just another example of how much technology we encounter already in our homes and offices.

5 Key Takeaways IMM Cologne 2020 Eclectic Trends

5 trend conclusions imm Cologne 2020 Casalis


3//Tipping Point Indoor and Outdoor Have Blurred

We know how much outdoor furniture look great indoors; Kettal is the best example of it. The textile industry, however, shows now more than ever the idea of using softer materials en both areas, too. 

Flexibility is my magic word when I am on stage now. Flexibility, versatility, multifunctional – these three concepts are fully lived by the Urban Nomad today, and interior design brands know they have to offer modular or robotic furniture solutions. 

Modular solutions are thought for everchanging scenarios in your home and office due to micro spaces and co-living, whereas robotic furniture adapts to you and not vice-versa.

When it comes to flexibility talking textiles, these need to adapt to the environment.

Limited Editions, again, a Belgium based brand showed several textile samples of PET rugs that were so similar in their appearance to wool and jute, you couldn’t tell the difference. I was told that they’re used in the living area because cleaning is reduced to neutral soap and

wiping the floor with a mop soaked and well wrung. It can’t get easier and more comfortable.

The booth slogan Nani Marquina goes Outdoor was an unmistakable message, too. Her new collab with Jaime Hayon looks great. 

Indoor and Outdoor have blurred; for me, this fair was the tipping point of borderless areas in our homes in any sense. 

We have home offices integrated into any corner of our home, kitchen and living rooms are the same space, and indoor and outdoor do not have separate aesthetics, design, or materials.

Das Haus by Spanish design studio MUT showcased a house evolving around an open patio, but this will be a different post.

5 trend conclusions imm Cologne 2020 Casalis

5 trend conclusions imm Cologne 2020 Casalis

Limited Edition 

 4// Printed surface design becomes broader

I’m interested in this topic because I work with several clients in this area. What we’ve been observing already during 2019 is confirmed. The furniture and flooring industry includes much more surface design that looks like real stone, marble, or textile but comes actually printed.

Hybrid designs combine printed concrete with textiles or wood with stone.

All the big players used to have wooden surfaces on their fair stand; now, you can see stone designs, terrazzo, and even textile patterns, all printed.

The reason is 

  • the interest in new surfaces 

  • improving technology that prints more realistic

  • the concern for less wood and more alternatives by a conscious consumer



trend conclusions imm Cologne 2020 Casalis


The following images are a great example of waste material by Really Copenhagen. Solid Textile Board is a high-density material made from end-of-life textiles and cut-offs from Kvadrat.

5 Conclusions IMM Cologne 2020 Eclectic Trends

Sorry for the image quality of this section, I didn’t mean to publish them when taking the pictures, they were meant to be for my own library:)

5// Less products more lifestyle

The bathroom industry is changing. The Me-Space is gaining focus, moving towards a more lifestyle-oriented zone. Former somewhat functional, nowadays, self-care kicks into our bathrooms, asking for more comfort, beauty, relaxing colors, and materials. 

Care and mindfulness establish the new look&feel in our bathroom.

The lighting around the mirror gets better, textiles such as towels find beautiful towel hangers that provide heat, small furniture such as stools and chairs take their place, carpets stay and don’t get replaced by a shower mat. Bathtubs come translucid. And, oh, the sinks! I’ve seen the most beautiful ones to date at Antonio Lupi’s stand.

5 Key Takeaways IMM Cologne 2020 Eclectic Trends

5 Conclusions IMM Cologne 2020 Eclectic Trends

5 Conclusions IMM Cologne 2020 Eclectic Trends

5 Conclusions IMM Cologne 2020 Eclectic Trends

Antonio Lupi

These five key takeaways do not come from the imm visit itself. They confirm what we’ve been observing for a while. However, sometimes it takes a fair to restate conclusions and publish these. Please note not all images are taken at the imm directly but come from the company’s portfolio (due to bad lighting in the halls).


PD: Oh, and maybe the most important takeaway: Trends are much slower now and most of the companies are launching line extensions rather than totally new products.



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