17.–23.01.2022 #immcologne

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Natural luxury

Premium-quality furniture with natural charm

Environmentally friendly manufacturing processes, natural materials and plants as home accessories – sustainability is playing a key role in the furnishing industry again in 2021. It is also, in conjunction with other trends, heading in a new direction: natural luxury combines environmental awareness, minimalism and exceptional quality. But what exactly is behind this trend?

Natural living with high quality furniture

Natural living with high quality furniture

Plain is the new luxury

Natural luxury stands for plain, natural elegance, uniqueness and environmental awareness. Traditional craftsmanship is experiencing a renaissance in the furnishing world. Solid-wood beds, high-quality sofas and custom-made shelving are back. The focus is on the essential, and the designs are correspondingly plain without ever being cold or sober .

Soft, matte surfaces are replacing glossy, polished looks. Real wood and natural stone boast unique grains and structures. Linen, wool, cork and leather exude a natural warmth and authenticity. Bright colours are making way for soft grey earth tones, sandy beige, delicate terracotta and olive green. In short, nature – including indoor plants – is being given more and more space in our homes. Nature is the new luxury because it represents high quality.

Premium-quality furniture, not mass-produced goods

From food and fashion to furniture, mass production has made consumer goods affordable and available at all times. Yet it’s impossible to ignore the flip side of that development: disposable goods with short life cycles, poor quality, uniformity and excess. That’s why more and more people are thinking about the origin of these products, and looking for honest craftsmanship, natural materials, simplicity, minimalism and short delivery channels. After all, as the great poet Goethe said, the “good lies so near”. And so domestic raw materials, small craft businesses, timeless designs and high-quality furniture are gaining in importance.

The coronavirus pandemic seems to have accelerated this trend . We are concentrating on the important things, cocooning ourselves in a cosy retreat – and that not just for the time being, we’re also looking ahead to the future. Sustainable furniture is an investment in our well-being and in the preservation of this earth. That’s what natural luxury is all about. This trend is sure to gain further traction in 2022.

The outbreak of the pandemic seems to have boosted demand for premium products with high design quality.

Claire Steinbrück
Director of imm cologne

From Nordic craftsmanship to soft-edge design

Trends seldom come alone. Natural luxury is closely connected to other design trends:

  • Sustainable quality: sustainability and quality are mutually dependent. After all, durability can only be achieved if both the raw materials and the production process meet very high standards. That’s why quality furniture brands such as the Austrian manufacturer ADA are guided by the principle of sustainable quality.
  • Soft-edge design: natural living with sharp corners and edges? That doesn’t sound right somehow. Soft, slightly rounded corners, delicate lines and flowing transitions are characteristic of soft-edge design and natural luxury. Be that in furniture or interior decoration, the design trend combines minimalism with vibrancy, as demonstrated by HAY’s seating furniture .
  • Nordic craftsmanship: Scandinavian furniture continues to be in vogue because of its simple design and use of spruce and pine. Rustic yet elegant, distilled to the essential, and organically shaped, this kind of furniture perfectly reflects the spirit of our time. Nordic craftsmanship blends cosy minimalism with true craftsmanship, as the Nordic Space Collection by Ellenberger impressively shows.

BIC-Haven imm cologne 2022
Carl Hansen Furniture
JAB Anstoetz-Belle Couture

A truly sustainable project: Econyl yarn made of recycled plastic waste from the ocean is the basic material used in this colourful patchwork quilt. “Haven” glistens like the waves of the ocean. (Photo: B.I.C.) Find out more about Haven by B.I.C .

Rethinking wall units: Preben Fabricius and Jørgen Kastholm have designed a customisable, modular bookshelf system for Karl Hansen. The warm wood tone and the high legs give the FK63 bookshelves a pleasant airiness. (Photo: Carl Hansen & Son) Find out more about FK63 by Karl Hansen .

A glamorous, lush green fabric, art deco elements and retro character: the premium-quality Belle Couture sofa by JAB Anstoetz could be from a royal palace, and also evokes the spirit of a thick jungle. (Photo: JAB ANSTOETZ) Find out more about Belle Couture by JAB Anstoetz .

The Pal bench by designer Sami Kallio for Northern is a prime example of natural luxury. The wooden frame, the round forms and the seat woven from reed fibres invite you to linger and admire. (Photo: Northern) Find out more about the Pal bench by Northern .

This modern classic by Design House Stockholm takes up the expressive colour worlds of the artist Karin Larsson (1859–1928), and also employs rattan. The high, slim legs of the Air Cabinet make the piece an eyecatcher wherever it’s placed. (Photo: Design House Stockholm) Find out more about the Air Cabinet by Design House Stockholm.

Well-being as an industry focus

The craving for a special experience within our own four walls is being felt particularly strongly at the moment. The trend of enhancing our homes with this particular goal in mind may well grow in the future. Of course, our perceptions of luxury vary, and it can mean something different to every individual, ranging from renovating a dream home to a targeted makeover of a bathroom. Sustainability also has an important role to play here and is already a guiding principle for many when it comes to home furnishings.

Now it’s up to the furniture industry to identify and cater to the wishes of its customers. There’s no shortage of creativity in the market, as demonstrated by the concept of the living-room sauna, which embraces the trend towards living-bathrooms and gives a whole new meaning to the term “home spa”.

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