Alexa Boschini

On trend at Ambiente

February 19, 2014
Last week, I was lucky enough to attend the Ambiente consumer goods fair in Frankfurt, Germany. It was my first international trade show, and it did not disappoint.

When I first arrived at Messe Frankfurt, I was blown away by the scale of the show - more than two dozen exhibit halls encompassing 329,300 square meters filled with everything from home accessories and outdoor décor to tabletop and culinary tools. According to show organizers, 144,000 buyers from 161 countries attended the show while 4,724 exhibitors from 89 countries showcased their products. So, no small endeavor.

I attended the show on behalf of Home Accents Today sister publication Casual Living, scouring the fairgrounds for the latest in international outdoor style, while my colleague Susan Dickenson represented HAT. But of course, I couldn't help but admire the home accents too.

One of the first exhibits I frequented was Trends 2014, a display featuring four key trends shaping interiors this year. (If you haven't noticed from some of my previous posts, I'm fascinated by trends and what they say about our culture and society.)

Here are a few highlights:

Striking Mind

This trend juxtaposes electric blue, yellow and chrome with black, white and gray for an arresting use of contrast. Linear and angular patterns and forms create sharp silhouettes bursting with thoroughly modern energy.

 Krosno (Poland)Krosno (Poland)Deknudt Mirrors (Belgium)
Deknudt Mirrors (Belgium)
 Alessi (Italy)Alessi (Italy)Rosenthal (Germany)
Rosenthal (Germany)

Serene Nature

Natural materials such as wood, cork, stone and cotton are the building blocks of a trend that celebrates stunning simplicity. Light, airy shades like peach, taupe and violet lend to the soothing, serene aesthetic.

 Fairforward, glassware (Netherlands); DPI, botanicals (Germany); Orskov, twine (Denmark).Fairforward, glassware (Netherlands); DPI, botanicals (Germany); Orskov, twine (Denmark).Sparq Home (United States)
Sparq Home (United States)
 ASA (Germany)ASA (Germany)Norman Copenhagen (Denmark)
Norman Copenhagen (Denmark)

Stunning Temper

This bold, playful trend presents a cheerful color palette - think mandarin, lime and raspberry - that appeals to "nonconformists with an abundance of vitality." Mixed materials, eye-catching embellishments and patterns that command attention define designs in which "unconventionality is the watchword."

 Mai Handicrafts (Vietnam)Mai Handicrafts (Vietnam)Royal Crown Derby (United Kingdom)
Royal Crown Derby (United Kingdom)
 Fairforward (Netherlands)Fairforward (Netherlands)LSA International (United Kingdom)
LSA International (United Kingdom)

Subtle Spirit

Understated elegance embodies the next trend, in which deep, rich colors like midnight blue, jade and aubergine highlight refined forms. Asian-inspired themes are interpreted using materials such as porcelain, wood, leather and silk for exquisite looks that meld traditional and contemporary influences.

 Uccellino (Germany)Uccellino (Germany)Decor Walther (Germany)
Decor Walther (Germany)
 Kihara (Japan)Kihara (Japan)Wonderable (Netherlands)
Wonderable (Netherlands)

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