12.–16.01.2025 #immcologne

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Past present perfection

Classic furniture reinterpreted

The interior design industry is pulsating with energy, fast-moving and innovative – and yet many trends come around again sooner or later, merging with different currents to create a new interior design style. The modern traditional style, too, is inspired by many different styles from years gone by. That’s what makes it so exciting.

Living room with brown leather sofa and two small side tables

The Coronado sofa from B&B Italia is a classic of design history and embodies pure relaxation. (Photo: B&B Italia)

A perfect interplay between past and future

The days of opulent interior design are over – for the moment at least. A glance at the interior design trends of recent years reveals muted colours, clear shapes and an uncluttered look. Like these trends, modern traditional is also somewhat restrained and calm. Despite its name, it has little in common with the classical interior design style. There are no rich colours, busy patterns, heavy fabrics or opulent accessories to be found here.

Traditional modern is still quite open in its definition. It combines the calm restraint of Scandi style with natural materials, similar to those used in the latest Chinese design , and the romance of cottage style. It is this wealth of variety that makes the trend so special. The modern traditional style strives for functional furniture that is comfortable and simple, but by no means boring.

Slowing down & minimalism come together in the home

Slowing down, sustainability and cocooning are all trends of our time. The traditional modern style is perfect for those who appreciate cosy, natural surroundings, but also feel drawn to clear lines and minimalist design.

“Less is more” is the motto of this interior trend. It’s all about creating something that is a treat for the eyes and drawing more attention to each individual piece of furniture. Inspired by the cottage style, a key feature of this trend is the colour white, in all its facets – from eggshell to off-white and ivory. Paired with natural, untreated wood, it exudes a rustic charm.

Old treasures from our grandparents’ day have a place in the modern traditional style, too. Whether they are new interpretations or retrieved from grandma’s cellar, display cabinets, dressers and solid-wood tables bring back particular memories for everyone. They give a feeling of warm cosiness and familiarity. And that is what the modern take on the traditional is all about: reflecting on the history of a piece of furniture and our connection with it, and cherishing our belongings.

Accessories are used unobtrusively – a vase on the kitchen table with a small flower, a single work of art on a large, white wall, or a clay bowl with fruit. Everyday objects, such as chairs and crockery, are given new significance in the modern traditional style.

Composite of two images showing two workstations in modern traditional style.

The contrast between pale colours and natural materials creates a friendly atmosphere with a rustic charm. (Photo: Maria Orlova and Charlotte May on Pexels)

Traditional, sustainable and forward-looking

Traditions shape our culture and our lives. They provide a sense of stability and dependability that extends beyond the moment. They are constant and enduring – just like modern traditional. It’s not only about the furniture’s appearance, but also the way it is produced and its provenance. Younger generations, the customers of tomorrow, are increasingly concerned with sustainable consumption. Designers are responding to this by reflecting on traditional production techniques and shifting their focus to long-lasting materials. Particularly in China, young, upcoming designers are reviving traditional handcrafts . But traditional raw materials such as wood, stone and leather are enjoying great popularity in the European design market, too. Not only are these materials long-lasting; they can also be recycled and reintroduced into the production cycle

Light wood chest of drawers

The designs by Donnerblitz Design are intricately handcrafted with a real love of detail and a particular focus on traditional manufacturing techniques. (Photo: Donnerblitz Design)

Young designers reinterpret the past

Many classic designs from past centuries are being given a fresh interpretation today. Young designers are taking their inspiration from iconic shapes and the “old masters” of design history, using them to create designs that breathe new life into the traditions of the past. Design classics are given a contemporary update through re-editions. In terms of production, too, modern traditional reflects on the roots of furniture design.

The young team at Donnerblitz Design , for example, designs furniture and entire interior concepts, combining modern design with traditional handcraft. In collaboration with regional skilled craft businesses, all its furniture is intricately handcrafted. The aim is to produce premium furniture that reflects the modern zeitgeist. The designs range from futuristic to traditional, always with a modern twist.

Möbelloft describe the essence of their work as designing the most important place in people’s lives: their own home. With a real love of detail, they are confronting a consumption-oriented, throwaway culture. They interpret old values and opt for conscious combinations of materials: solid wood paired with filigree acrylic or elegant concrete with robust steel. The Möbelloft Boutique features design curiosities from across Europe and unique handcrafted products from the Möbelloft workshop.

Relax with traditional modern

With simple designs and restrained colours, the interior trend of 2022 translates time-honoured styles for modern times. Traditional modern creates a cosy atmosphere with a rustic charm in the home, showing that our personal retreats are becoming increasingly important – particularly in unsettled times.

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