News and Trends, News and Trends

Inside the Homes of 2016


The German furniture trade association researched mega trends and surveyed exhibitors ahead of The International Interiors Show, imm, taking place in Cologne, Germany, between 18 and 24 January 2016. Smaller, healthier living spaces and more comfortable bathrooms are among interior and design trends setting the course for 2016.

Researchers found that our living space will become smaller. More and more people continue to move to cities and high rents are forcing people into smaller apartments. The study also showed that homes will become 'healthier'. Many people today prefer ecological materials and awareness of the environment is growing. Heating and lighting are expected to continue to become more energy-efficient. Furniture trends reveal optimised ergonomics, such as height-adjustable kitchen tops, desk and beds. Fitness apps that motivate people to exercise at home are increasingly in demand, making the home a space for working out.

The open-floor plan in which the kitchen, eating area and living room merge into one is growing in popularity. Furniture, for its part, is taking on a nostalgic look this year, with designs that are functional. In all categories of furniture, long-known designs are making a comeback, in particular, mid-century design (1940-1960). In the current season, furniture is getting smaller than in previous years.

Outdoor home-making is also on the rise. The living area of garden, balcony and terrace is in focus this season and outdoor furniture is looking more and more like indoor furniture.

Bathrooms and kitchens are becoming more alike. Bathrooms are no longer simply spaces for personal hygiene but are being optimised for comfort. Kitchens too are no longer limited to the functional and there is a move towards comfort.

What's more, there is a growing movement towards more comfortable chairs. Researchers have found that more people tend to stay seated at the dining table after a meal than in the past. The furniture industry is bringing out a wide variety of individually combinable models. 2016's dining chairs have a lounge feeling to them and recall diminutive designs from the 1960s.

Finally, the study found that design is becoming even more international than in the past. It's now far easier to recognise which era a piece of furniture is from than which country. In urban areas in particular, furniture has a 'global' look.