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Robust and elegant

New ceramic furniture inspires with colour and versatility

An ancient material is currently getting the furniture industry very excited: ceramic furniture is becoming a new trend with versatile and flexible designs. And this topic goes beyond the colourful ceramic dishes that have now been popular for a number of months. Tables, decorations and lamps made of ceramic are inspiring consumers with their shapes and colours.

Ceramic table Charles Deluvio

Ceramic is making its mark not only when it comes to dishware: tables, worktops and lamps are also becoming increasingly popular (photo: Charles Deluvio on Unsplash)

Focus on the trend material ceramic

The discovery of clay and ceramic around 9,000 years ago is without doubt one of the most important milestones in human history. The moulding and firing of various minerals resulted in objects of utility and decoration with previously unheard-of robustness. A variety of applications became possible, depending on the mixture, glaze and further processing. Today, it’s impossible to imagine our day-to-day lives without modern ceramics – be that in the form of decorative tableware or high-tech, heat-resistant tiles for space travel.

There is almost unlimited scope for creativity because almost any shape is possible. Depending on the temperature when firing, the result can be harder, softer, more porous or incredibly smooth. Worktops and wall panelling made of fibre-reinforced ceramic are incredibly robust. And mixing different types of earth can lead to extraordinary glazes and decorative pigmentations for all furnishing styles. Ceramic is also a very hygienic material and is easy to clean. The natural material is perfect for creative furniture designers as well as designers in other fields.

High-quality worktops and tabletops in ceramic

The hard, easy-to-clean surface of ceramic materials makes them the perfect choice for kitchens and dining tables. Ceramic is even enjoying a renaissance as a wall covering – above the stove, in the bathroom and as colourful tiles in the living room. The material’s hardiness and durability mean it can last an incredibly long time. Manufactured to a high standard and reinforced with materials such as fibreglass, these surfaces are extremely sturdy.

Design and style are also important. Fine marble or single colour? Dark elegance or with a playful glaze? Clear edges or harmonious curves? The number of possibilities grows depending on the chemical composition and processing method used. This results in unique products such as the stylishly marbled kitchen worktops by Jäschke , whose white base colour is infused with black streaks.

The Living series by SONORUS also stays true to a minimalist, modern look in a monochrome colour scheme. The ceramic tabletops, be they rectangular or round, also look very elegant in cool grey. The specialists from Turkey even have sideboards with ceramic surfaces and fronts in their range. The round Clay dining table by Desalto straddles the boundary between furniture and sculpture: a circular tabletop sits on an elliptical base. The piece is also available in other materials, but it received numerous design awards because of its exceptional ceramic looks.

Decorative ceramic lamps

Regardless of their function, lamps are often design objects, too. Many lamp designers make creative statements with extraordinary lampshades or extravagant geometries. Ceramic lamps are no exception here: They open up new, diverse ways to experiment. Lampshades in surprising shapes and unusual objects as holders can be given an elegant stage with ceramic.

Things get really exciting when the material is used as a surface: Matt natural shades or gleaming colour pigments reflect the light into the room in different ways, creating unexpected ambiences. In an interplay with natural light – very much in keeping with biophilic design , which takes nature as a source of inspiration for interiors and architecture – the Half & Half suspension lamp by Hind Rabii fosters different moods throughout the day thanks to its ceramic surface. The Balustre ceramic table lamp by Kähler Design produces a similarly stunning array of shades, but with a matt surface and soft, rounded shapes, while the Juuyo suspension lamp by Moooi playfully conceals Oriental motifs inside a white lampshade.

Ceramic lamp by Hind Rabii

A creative statement: The combination of ceramic and opal glass makes the lampshades by Hind Rabii an eye-catching dining room feature (photo: Hind Rabii)

Ceramic accessories: from playful to elegant

Besides decorative ceramic lamps, numerous home accessories made from the flexible material are wowing interior design fans. Ceramic tableware, vases and objects are becoming increasingly refined. Joining them are ceramic handles and knobs for all kinds of home furniture. But the latest highlight is proving to be the occasional furniture created by Sebastian Herkner, furniture designer and member of the jury for the imm cologne Pure Talents Contest .

His Imi series pays homage to Imi Knoebel, one of Germany’s most important minimalist artists. Knoebel’s use of ceramic as a sculptural material and his unique colour palette are reflected in the furniture designer’s cylindrical stools and side tables. The strong colours combined with smooth, shiny surfaces make the ceramic furniture closely resemble its artistic models – but it is still suitable for everyday use thanks to the robust material.

Pink ceramic vase by Alex Lvrs from Unsplash

Matt vases in pastel shades: Just one example of the many ceramic accessories making themselves at home in living and dining rooms (photo: Alex Lvrs on Unsplash)

Creative ceramic furniture as a future trend

The above examples present just a fraction of the market today. More and more furniture designers are adopting the flexible, natural material and using it to produce long-lasting, high-quality and creative furniture. The challenge lies in pairing the hard surfaces and elegant shapes with natural interior styles. But like natural materials such as slate or marble, ceramic can be combined with wood, cork or rattan to create a natural look. Pairing it with soft furnishings is another source of exciting interior design ideas. And finally, it works wonderfully as contrasting decorative objects or tableware with playful boho styles, fostering an unexpectedly inviting cosiness.

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