Category Archives: Trade Shows

Bathroom Design Trends Spotted at Sleep+Eat 2018


It was a big year for the Sleep + Eat Event – not only was it the first time it had exhibited at Olympia, having previously been located at the Business Design Centre, but it was also the first time it had added the ‘+ Eat’ element to proceedings.

But while it’s now also about restaurant and bar spaces, the two-day show in November remains the go-to bathroom design destination for architects and designers from all over the globe – Trend-Monitor did a tour of the show to find out what’s trending in the bathroom sector.

Trend No.1 Wellness

Wellness has been at the forefront of bathroom design for some years, and is not going away any time soon. Dornbracht’s new Aquamoon ‘multisensory water experience’ was being shown for the first time in the UK and took centre stage on the company’s stand.

Dornbracht Aquamoon

Featuring three different flow modes, it also offers changing mood lighting, and marketing co-ordinator Alison Clarke explained that hotel designers are now incorporating spa elements in hotel suites, rather than reserving them just for the spa area of the hotel. She envisages this trend filtering through to the residential market and family bathrooms too.

Grohe, founder sponsor of the show, was highlighting its SmartControl shower systems. The Rainshower System SmartControl 360 DUO features a lozenge-shaped head shower that mirrors the width of the human body to deliver a shoulder massage, while the Bokoma Spray has two pulsating spray patterns to provide a head massage.

GROHE SmartControl Shower System



Hansgrohe was exhibiting its Intense PowderRain technology – a soft spray, which consists of dozens of micro-fine sprays, that is both completely drenching and extremely pleasant.

Hansgrohe Intense PowderRain
Wellness has been at the forefront of bathroom design for some years, and is not going away any time soon Click To Tweet


Trend No.2: Multigenerational

The trend for multi-generational products continued to be in evidence in the form of flush-to-floor shower trays, a wealth of new shower-toilet models that are making their way into the UK market, and products that could be adapted to suit different needs.

Also in evidence was the concept of the bathroom as a communal space. VitrA’s latest designer collaboration is the Plural collection by Terri Pecora, which envisages the bathroom as a social hub where people reconnect with themselves and those close to them. The organic-shaped elements can be used in multiple combinations, and angled to face each other, so several people can use the bathroom at the same time in a sociable way.

Plural 4 by Terri Pecora for VitrA

Trend No.3: Individualism

Consumer demand for products they can adapt and create a bathroom environment that is bespoke to them continues to grow. Grohe’s SmartControl shower system enables the user to preset the temperature and enjoy a tailored showering experience via the broad choice of spray options. It also offers EcoJoy – an eco-friendly/water-saving function.

Vado’s Sensori SmartTouch technology allows you to save your temperature, flow and operating time to create your ideal shower every time you use it.

Vado Sensori SmartTouch

The growing appetite for individualising interiors style was also evident at the show. The Axor MyEdition collection offers 15 special FinishPlus surfaces with which to adapt brassware. Crosswater was also trialling different marble handle options to customise its brassware, and shower manufacturers Merlyn and Roman were offering a broad selection of finishes to customise their hinges.

Crosswater Concept

Trend No.4: Soft Matt Surfaces

When it comes to colours, there was a tentative move into the grey and soft pastel end of the colour spectrum, with a particular emphasis on matt finishes.

Bette was showcasing its new Blue Satin effect on its BetteLux Oval Silhouette bath, which is also available in other colours and 22 matt options.

BetteLux Oval Silhouette bath by Bette

Kaldewei was exhibiting its Miena washbasins, which are available in a range of neutral matt shades, and it was also showing its Perfect Match bathroom solutions shown in Oyster Grey.

Kaldewei Perfect Match Oyster Grey Matt

Alape’s Terra group of delicate washbasins were being shown in four soft pastel shades with a matt finish. 

Alape Terra

Black – last year’s favourite finish – was still in evidence on the VitrA and Victoria + Albert Baths stands, and also in Crittall-effect shower enclosures in Roman’s and Novellini’s displays.

When it comes to colours in the bathroom, there is a tentative move into the grey and soft pastel end of the colour spectrum, with a particular emphasis on matt finishes. Click To Tweet

Trend No.5: Slim Shapes

As new materials and production techniques evolve, basins in particular are being produced with the slimmest rims that technology allows. On display on the Dornbracht stand were Alape’s Aqua range of washbasins, which are made from steel and then given a gloss glaze.

VitrA’s Plural washbasins also feature slim rims, and were on display accompanied by tall slender brassware to go with them. Meanwhile, Laufen was showcasing the capabilities of its SaphirKeramik in the new Sonar range designed by Patricia Urquiola. The material is extremely strong and is able to tolerate being shaped into thin but robust walls.

SaphirKeramik in the Sonar range by Patricia Urquiola for Laufen


Find out about the trends from all the UK and overseas Trade Shows here>


Interior Design Trends spotted at 100% Design 2018


100% Design is the cornerstone event of The London Design Festival. Held at the Olympia exhibition centre between 19th and 22nd September 2018, this trade event is a vast showcase for more than 400 architects, product designers and interiors specialists.

Dividing the exhibition centre into areas for the workplace, interiors, emerging brands and for those working in the construction and architectural industries, the fair hosts product launches for decorative lighting, furniture and fittings as well as providing a platform for newcomers.

Trend-Monitor went along to find out how the key trends in interiors are looking as we head towards 2019

Interior Design Trend #1. Plywood

The material of the moment at this year’s 100% Design was definitely Plywood.  It featured everywhere from kitchens to bathrooms, from furniture to screens, as the main feature or as detailing.

X-Ply Desk



Stacked Coffee Table by Studio Hemal Patel


Odd Dot


Interior Design Trend #2. Laser Cut Detailing

Another key trend which crosses the different areas of the home, laser cut detailing was seen at 100% Design this year in both interior and exterior applications.

‘Airflake’ deadens noise whilst letting in the light


Handcrafted lighting by Neb Abbot


Laser cut panels by Stark + Greensmith


Interior Design Trend #3. Curvy Concrete

Concrete is revealing another side to its nature; the softer, curvaceous and sometimes colourful side.  As the trend for concrete in interiors develops, the use of natural fibre concrete is moving this increasing popular material into thinner, more elegant shapes.  And the addition of colour extends its appeal to a wider interior audience.

Natural fibre concrete ‘Seater’ by Tina Rugelj at Concrete Garden


Waxed concrete based decorative surface by Design-Concrete

Interior Design Trend #4. Bamboo

As a beautiful, tactile and sustainable alternative to wood, bamboo is growing in popularity and at 100% Design the focus was on it’s suitability as a kitchen application.


Moso bamboo surfaces


Real Green is the UK’s first fully sustainable and accredited kitchen furniture range and it’s manufactured entirely from solid bamboo.  Real Green also carries globally recognised certifications for its use of sustainable materials and manufacturing processes.

Real Green’s bamboo kitchen


Interior Design Trend #5. Natural Embossing

Here we see two key interior design trends combined, the use of natural elements such as leaves and flowers to create detailing in the form of embossing.

Botanical Glass Casting by McGuire Glass


Lichen Carpet Collection by the Mohawk Group


‘Frozen Leaves’ metal finish by Metall-FX


And finally …

We couldn’t leave 100% Design without mentioning Pluck and Hug by guineapig.  These soft, tactile oversized bulbs are ‘huggable’ and the harder you hug the more they light up and glow.

And lets face it, who couldn’t do with a hug every now and again.


Pluck & Hug by guineapig


Pluck & Hug by guineapig



Bathroom Trends Spotted at Salone del Mobile 2018


The International Bathroom Exhibition at Salone del Mobile in Milan is where tomorrow’s bathroom ideas and concepts are conceived. This year’s edition saw 243 exhibitors set up stands in an area of 20,600 square metres, showcasing a huge array of products geared to rest and relaxation.

In it’s seventh year as a standalone exhibition, the innovative focus was on sustainability. Cutting edge products for modern bathrooms reflected today’s strong demand for efficiency and energy saving, with the accent on water efficiency, indoor pollution prevention and personal health.

Here are the top eight bathroom trends we spotted.


Bathroom Trend #1: More is more

Is less still more? The notion that good design is rooted in simplicity has been widely accepted since the 2000s. However, it’s all change now, because maximalism is powering into the bathroom with vivacious colours, graphic patterns and unapologetically luxurious pieces.

For her second collaboration with Bisazza, India Mahdavi has turned the traditional clinical white bathroom on its head with sanitaryware in three exuberant colours: pistachio, blueberry and strawberry (shown). To complement the bathroom collection, Bisazza and Mahdavi also plan to launch Pinstripe, a new mosaic pattern that takes its design cue from its namesake.

This overtly pop aesthetic – a recurring trait in Mahdavi’s projects – was also adopted by Glass Design for its radical Ettore Sottsass basin. It’s a fitting tribute to the man who inspired it.

The Mahdavi collection in strawberry by India Mahdavi for Bisazza is rewriting the rules.


Glass Design’s new Ettore Sottsass basin is fashioned from glass and features a bold pattern befitting of its inspiration.


Bathroom Trend #2: Unexpected forms

Most bathroom designs are content to play follow my leader, but a few step up to challenge design stereotypes. The reward for bravery is attention – sometimes positive, sometimes negative. But, as Oscar Wilde said, ‘The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.’

As we jostled to see the debut of Paolo Ulian’s Intreccio marble washbasin for Antoniolupi, the reaction around us was mixed. For our part, we fell in love at first sight, not least because in the course of investigating the relationship between an ancient material and new processing techniques, Ulian has successfully forged a fresh approach to basin design.

It was a similar story on the Oasis stand, where the launch of its Plissé freestanding basin caused quite a stir. Crafted from opaque white ceramic, Plissé takes a fashionable approach to interiors with its cinched-in waist to better accentuate its pleating. It’s not one for the minimalists, but haven’t they had their say already?

The shape of the Intreccio basin by Antoniolupi recalls that of a wicker basket. Designed by Paolo Ulian, it’s seen here in marble.


Fashioned from white ceramic, Plissé from Oasis features a pleated ‘body’ that’s cinched in at the waist with a gold or chrome metal ring.


Bathroom Trend #3 Going green

Nowadays, the influence of nature on design is less of a trend and more of a given. That said, the connection appears more pronounced now than previous years. Take green, the colour most synonymous with nature and the great outdoors. In 2017, greens were all light, bright and leafy. Since then, the colour has taken a darker turn, adopting a more masculine feel.

Bette’s BetteLux Shape bath is an excellent case in point, shown in a new Forest finish that changes shade depending on how the light falls. This gives the glazed titanium steel from which the bathroom specialist manufactures its designs an optical depth that makes it look almost alive.

A dark green bath isn’t for the faint-hearted. In light of this, Ritmonio has gone green (but on a much smaller scale), casting its Haptic showerhead in eight colours, including Amazzonia.

Forest lends a nature-inspired look to the BetteLux Shape bath from Bette.


Made of concrete, the Haptic showerhead from Ritmonio is featured in Amazzonia, one of eight colours from its ‘World’s colours’ collection.


Bathroom Trend #4: Ode to orange

What are your thoughts on burnt orange? Too bold? A bit brassy? If you’re cautious about colour, you might be tempted to give it a miss. However, used sparingly, a pop of burnt orange injects warmth into a restrained aesthetic.

Consider, for example, Kartell by Laufen’s accessory collection, now available in an expanded colour palette including burnt orange. Paired with white sanitaryware, it adds a palpable joie de vivre to a space without overpowering it.

For a more muted take on orange, look to matt finishes that absorb light rather than reflect it. The result is understated elegance. Once again, Ritmonio has nailed it with its new range of colours. Shown below is Sahara.

Kartell by Laufen has boosted its accessories range with burnt orange.


The Haptic tap by Ritminio features a concrete handle in Sahara, one of eight colours from its ‘World’s colours’ collection.


Bathroom Trend #5: The beauty of black

Orange is not yet the new black when it comes to bathrooms. In fact, black is still around in all its sleek and stylish glory. Pair it with metals to add a touch of glamour to your bathroom; offset it with white to work the classic monochrome look; contrast it with a bright colour to make your scheme pop.

A few of our favourite black designs from Salone del Bagno include:

The metal insert is not only a beautiful design feature of the Tao washbasin by Kreoo, but it also simplifies production. The sectioning of the washbasin allows Tao to be carved from multiple small blocks of marble, reducing the waste of material.


All elements of Devon & Devon’s Black Diamond collection are made of turned brass and black ceramic, and are distinguished by elegant diamond-edged black glass jewel ends. Available finishes in addition to chrome include light gold, polished bronze and nickel.


Bette dabbled in the dark side and showed BetteLux Shape in its new Midnight finish.

Bathroom Trend #6: A question of personal taste

There are no rights or wrongs when it comes to decorating a bathroom in 2018. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what you choose as long as you pick pieces that speak to you.

Perfectly timed to chime with this spirit of personalisation is MyEdition from AXOR, a new collection of taps created in collaboration with Stuttgart-based design studio Phoenix that’s designed for those who want to be different. The taps can be customised in a choice of materials including the usual suspects – metal and marble – as well as a couple of more unexpected options, wood and leather.

For its 25th anniversary, AXOR presented AXOR MyEdition, a new dimension of individualisation developed by Phoenix Design.

Bathroom Trend #7: Rest and relaxation

Customisation isn’t the only way for individualism to manifest itself in the bathroom. It takes place behind the scenes too. Take digital showers, which cut out the need for temperamental manual controls to achieve the perfect water temperature. Instead, you can set temperature at the touch of a button.

Digital showers are just the beginning. Glass1989 presented new additions to its SpaRituals collection, including the Mawi bathtub, which boasts SkinSublime, which fills the water with oxygen-rich micro bubbles. These are said to improve cellular regeneration, stimulate collagen production and combat free radicals that cause skin ageing.

Meanwhile, Kos debuted its Quadrant Pool Relax by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba. A mini infinity pool suitable for indoors and outdoor use, its features include the Milk system, which releases tiny oxygen particles into the water, turning it from clear to milky white. Kos claims that the system helps tone muscles, stimulate skin hydration and restore tired bodies.

New additions to Glass1989’s SpaRituals collection included the Mawi bathtub.


Ludovica + Roberto Palomba designed the Quadrant Pool Relax for Kos. It’s suitable for both indoors and outdoors.


Bathroom Trend #8: Living bathroom

Trends seen at trade exhibitions don’t become mainstream overnight. Some bubble under the surface for years before becoming mainstream. Take the living bathroom, the idea that the bathroom is another living space and should be treated as such. This thinking has been the subject of many a trends discussion (and has subsequently filtered into luxury homes) but it’s still a new concept for the majority.

What helps the cause is when big brands pick up the mantle. Cue VitrA, which unveiled Plural, its new living bathroom concept, at the exhibition. Created in collaboration with American designer Terri Pecora, Plural introduces the bathroom as a social hub where people meet and reconnect with themselves, their close friends and family. To signify the sense of warmth and domesticity, Pecora has conceived organic-shaped design elements in neutral colours and wood finishes that can be used in multiple combinations to form a personalised intimate setting.

“At VitrA, we wanted to create a new methodology that responds to the recent evolution of the bathroom ritual,” explains Erdem Akan, design director at VitrA.”We focused on the time spent in the bathroom and our interaction within the space rather than the products.”

Plural by American designer Terri Pechora for VitrA comprises organic-shaped elements in neutral colours and wood finishes.



Kitchen Trends Spotted at Eurocucina 2018


Eurocucina is the international showcase for all that’s coming next in kitchens. A key element of Milan’s Salone del Mobile fair, this year’s edition hosted more than 100 kitchen companies. And among the large number of exhibitors, there were some distinct trends on view.


Here’s a snapshot of these kitchen trends …


Kitchen Trend #1. Storage gets flexible

Manufacturers were taking a fresh approach to storage, making the best use of space, including turning the splashback – an otherwise underused area – into a flexible storage solution.

Rossana and Scavolini both combined open shelving, compartments and glass storage that ran the whole width of the prep and sink area, while Valcucine’s Genius Loci kitchen featured a dedicated area of illuminated storage that can be concealed when cooking’s finished.

This emphasis on flexibility shows how manufacturers recognise that the best cooking happens when people aren’t constrained by kitchen layout. Keeping some items on display and others hidden means we can tailor our kitchens to our own cooking preferences.

The HD23 kitchen from Rossana was shown with storage that made practical use of the splashback


Snaidero’s new Link kitchen features I-Wall, a functional storage system that sits between worktop and wall units.


Kitchen Trend #2. A new take on frosted glass

Open shelving has become a popular look, as it means we can put favourite pieces on display. However, when those pieces need almost daily cleaning, the look becomes less practical. The solution? Ribbed, embossed or patterned glass that keeps shelves feeling open but items dust free.

This look was everywhere at Eurocucina, including on the stands of TM Italia, Poliform and Ernestomeda. Designers have incorporated it into wall units to mid- and full-height units, and as everything from frosted to painted-on lines (Elam) and even backed with fabric (Cesar and Rossana).

Including lighting within the storage is another nod to practicality. Items can remain either in shadow or fully on view in a display that also brings mood lighting to the kitchen.


The Rua kitchen from TM Italia embraced industrial style, including ribbed glass doors reminiscent of those found in factories.


The bronze-look, aluminium framed ribbed glass doors in this larder unit are from Ernestomeda’s Inside System of storage units and walk-in cupboards.


Kitchen Trend #3. Dining room

Every island unit now seems to include space for a seating area, even if it’s just a small breakfast bar. But in Milan, kitchen designers had taken this to the other extreme by adding a full-size dining table. Some of these were level with the island but others were table height and designed to seat for an extended family gathering or dinner party.

Rather than having a separate formal dining table, why not keep the dining close to the action? Dada and Porcelanosa showcased two notable examples.


From the Emotions range of kitchens by Porcelanosa, this impressive solid wood table will comfortably sit 10 people.


Hi-Line6 from Dada contrasts a stainless steel island with a large wooden dining area that sits offset at the end of the worktop.


Kitchen Trend #4. The hidden kitchen

This one isn’t brand new for 2018 – but it’s worth mentioning because it was still very much a growing trend at this year’s show. In fact, the option to hide away the working areas of the kitchen isn’t just a good idea for small spaces but for all open-plan kitchens.

The Monolith kitchen from Comprex and Scavolini’s Box Life were two examples of the many that used full-height pocket doors. These completely conceal elements of the kitchen from the rest of the room and slide out of the way when the room’s in use. In a crossover with the frosted glass trend, Ernestomeda featured a kitchen partially hidden by full-height ribbed glass doors.


The Monolith kitchen from Comprox features tall units of eucalyptus veneer that conceal the appliances and storage behind pocket doors.


Designed for open-plan spaces, the Box Life kitchen from Scavolini keeps the kitchen concealed behind full-height bi-fold doors.


Kitchen Trend #5. Everything to hand

From Cesar and Ernestomeda came a new concept in keeping everything within easy reach. We’ve coined the term ‘hanging rail’ to describe it since that’s what it is – a structure that provides lighting over the hob and can be used to hang all your favourite utensils just where you need them. You could also see it as a pared-down version of a batterie de cuisine from a professional kitchen.

Some manufacturers have extended the trend by adding compartments and shelving to create open and suspended storage. For example, Dada’s VVD handleless kitchen featured a compact steel structure of shelving down the centre of the island to define the working area and provide handy storage but maintain a sense of openness.

With no storage underneath, the table-like Williamsburg island from Cesar needed alternative solutions on its worktop – hence the hanging rail.


The hanging rail in the K-Lab kitchen from Ernestomeda provides task lighting for the cooking and prep area of the island.


Kitchen Trend #6. Multi-functional extractors

Extractor hoods are subject to trends just as much as the rest of the kitchen. They tend to be either hidden away or decorative and meant to be seen, particularly when they’re sited above an island. But a third version was seen over and over again at Eurocucina – the large, multifunctional extractor that doubles as open storage.

Made from metal frames and glass to keep their looks light, these are also the perfect area for extra storage. Some were used for purely decorative items, but others held herbs and cooking utensils, creating another practical space. Nolte, Poliform, Ernestomeda and TM Italia all had examples of this trend.


Large, industrial-style island hoods with lighting and shelving were a feature of several Poliform kitchens.


The extractor in this TM Italia kitchen holds just a plant but could be used to keep pots and pans to hand.


Kitchen Trend #7. Real and faux metallics

Stainless steel has always been a popular material thanks to its hardwearing finish and professional look, and it was everywhere at the show – though in several guises. For example, Poliform fooled the eye with an ingenious worktop that looked and felt like embossed stainless steel, but was in fact porcelain. Warmer metallics in brass and bronze added glamour to the doors of Valcucine and TM Italia.

For the most beautiful and unexpected use of stainless steel, hats off to Xera. Its kitchens are made entirely from stainless steel, but this has been put through a process to bring out its natural nickel and chrome. The result is doors with copper and brass shades as well as more usual brushed silver tones.

Xera brings out the beauty of stainless steel in its hand-polished and moulded Lingotto island unit.


Valcucine’s Artematica kitchen is shown here in a new distressed brass finish that complements the Antalya grey stone used for the worktops.

Kitchen Trend #8. Drawers without fronts

This might sound like an unfinished kitchen, but drawers made from just of the drawer box created an interested storage solution on a few stands. The ‘no front’ drawers created a contrast between the natural wood and whatever doors were used in the rest of the kitchen.

Dada used this treatment to create a row of drawer trays along the non-working side of an island unit. Meanwhile, Schüller broke up the painted finish of an otherwise fairly traditional kitchen with this ‘unfinished’ drawer front.


Pull-out trays were not only a useful addition to the VVD design from Dada, they also broke up the grey stone of the island.


The Vienna kitchen from Schüller reinterpreted country style with the contrast between lava black paint and wooden tray drawers.


Tile Trends Spotted at Cevisama 2018

Once a year, the best-known names in the Spanish tile industry come together at the Cevisama fair in Valencia. It’s a chance not simply to showcase the latest tile trends but also to reveal the best of manufacturers’ innovation and quality.

This year’s event, held between 5 – 9 February, also highlighted a commitment to sustainability, a trend that’s increasingly important to consumers. Read on to discover some of the other trends on show, including the looks likely to emerge over the next 12 months.


Trend #1: Going for Gold

The allure of gold has long captivated designers, and it’s clear that it’s here to stay.

Take a look at the Scale collection by Equipe Ceramica for an example of how the age-old metallic look has been brought into the 21st century. It includes a sumptuous gold tile that’s available in five geometric formats. All-over shine can be brash, so Scale comes in a choice of other colours, although none dial up the drama more than the killer combination of black and gold (shown).


Scale range by Equipe Ceramica


The gold rush continued over at the Vives stand at Cevisama. Dashing examples included its Kokomo wall and floor tile, made all the more interesting with its use of contrasting textures on a 20cm x 20cm format.


Kokomo porcelain tile from the Nassau collection, Vives


Trend #2: Figures of Fun

We don’t tend to think of tiles as being fun, but the quirky Glimpse Bulldog range from Aparici proves us wrong. It’s created using a double-firing technique for deeper shine and sharper colours, and it’s sure to raise a smile.


Glimpse Bulldog range by Aparici


Elsewhere, Pamesa took a chance on love with Agatha Mille Cuori, a white-body ceramic wall tile bearing a heart motif and seen here in playful pistachio. Maximalists may gravitate towards all-over pattern, but if you prefer a more subtle look, go for a feature wall instead.


Agatha Mille Cuori from Pamesa


Trend #3: Modern Encaustic

There’s nothing new about encaustic tiles: they’ve been falling in and out of favour for centuries. (Think of the ornate Victorian era for a sense of the look.) With the pendulum currently swung in their favour, there isn’t a room onto which encaustic or encaustic-style tiles haven’t stamped their rich artisanal vibe.

The key to working with them is to make sure the pattern and colourway you choose suits the style of your home. The good news is that they work with spaces of all styles and ages.

For example, if you’re looking for a light-hearted touch, the soft pastel palette of Dune’s Stella porcelain tiles is a good choice; offered in 12 designs, the 20cm x 20cm format demonstrates how effective digital printing can be.


Dune’s Stella collection of porcelain tiles


Feeling bolder? Saloni’s new Pobles range could be for you. It’s available in a choice of five designs including Sitges (shown) in an 18.5cm x 18.5cm format.


Sitges from Saloni’s new Pobles collection


Trend #4: Imperfect Beauty

Move over polished elegance – imperfection is a far more manageable look. The key to mastering it is to look for beauty and character. Who cares if your wooden dining table is weathered or your leather armchair is well worn? It’s just a sign of a life well lived.

The fascination for faded elegance translates well to walls and floors. Take the A.mano collection of porcelain tiles by Apavisa: it’s faded for an aged look but maintains a note of elegance.


A.mano collection of porcelain tiles from Apavisa


The FS Briati range by furniture designer Francisco Segarra for Peronda has captured the trend well – look for the worn patterned décor tiles in a large format (45.2cm x 45.2cm).


S Briati range by furniture designer Francisco Segarra for Peronda.


Trend #5: Textured tiles

A plain white bathroom is always a popular look but it can easily start to feel clinical. Guard against this with textured wall tiles and, rather than sticking to one texture, why not throw a few into the mix for maximum visual interest?

To avoid a fight between patterns, copy Pamesa’s example and run with a restricted colour palette to create a cohesive look.  In the bathroom below, a stunning damask-effect tiled splashback steals the spotlight when paired with plainer tiles.

Vellore is available in a 40cm x 120cm format and four colourways.


Damask-effect Vellore tile by Pamesa.


Trend #6: So Retro

As decades go, the 1970s gets a bad rap. Sure, there were some questionable choices – think avocado bathrooms and lurid colour combinations – but that doesn’t mean the whole decade deserves to be written off. In fact, bold retro-inspired patterns are back in a big way, but as Regio Figaro by Aparici proves, they’re a lot easier on the eye.

Even so, this trend isn’t for the faint-hearted. Lima by Pamesa makes a strong 70s statement, but the Trend Monitor team remain divided on its swirly design.


Aparici’s Regio Figaro porcelain tiles


Lima ceramic wall tiles by Pamesa


TREND #7: The Pared-Back Look

Concrete, cement, chipboard: there’s a surprising amount of beauty in the bones of a building. The tile industry is celebrating these materials by replicating their look and feel on ceramic and porcelain. The result is a wealth of tiles with a rough-luxe aesthetic that recalls warehouse conversions with their exposed brickwork, original wooden floors and steel-framed windows.

Top picks include Concrete from Grespania’s Wabi Sabi collection, which features a subtle spatula-effect (available in 31.5cm x 100cm) and Strand by Vives, a porcelain floor and wall tile inspired by chipboard.


Grespania’s Wabi Sabi collection includes Concrete


Strand porcelain floor and wall tiles by Vives


The beauty of tiles is that you can get the effect without the hassle. Hankering after a distressed wall? Fake it with Harvy from the Industrial range in Saloni’s Street Art series.


Harvy from the Industrial range in Saloni’s Street Art series


Trend #8: Marvellous Marble

We tend to think of marble as part of a traditional look, but since making it big in contemporary and cutting-edge interiors, it’s shaken off its classic connotations.

Its appearance in the mainstream is also due to giant leaps in manufacturing technology. Marble-effect tiles look increasingly realistic, and they’re much easier to care for than the original.

Look for the richly veined replicas rather than their plainer counterparts and use them all over. Top picks include Medusa from Grespania’s Coverlam brand – available in a variety of formats with a natural or polished Antracita colour way – or Azalai by Inalco, making a bold statement here in Negro Natural.


Medusa from Grespania’s Coverlam brand


Azalai in Negro Natural from Inalco



Six Design Trends Spotted at Sleep 2017

Sleep, Europe’s hospitality design and development event, is the place to be if you have a passion for creating innovative hotels, restaurants and bars – or if you want to spot the trends and new collections that will be crossing over into domestic interiors.

The 2017 show was no exception, and Trend Monitor joined the record number of visitors at The Business Design Centre in London in November to get an insight into the key looks of 2018.

Design Trend #1. Tactile times

Taps have tended to be smooth for the simple reason that we need to keep them clean. But, if you read our report from ISH 2017 , you’ll already know that smooth is giving way to decorative patterns, creating tactile brassware that has the power to elevate even the plainest of bathrooms.

Geometric patterns have a timeless appeal, so it’s not surprising that we’re now seeing them in the bathroom. Leading the way at Sleep was interior designer Jo Love, who’s collaborated with British brassware manufacturer Vado to create the Omika collection of taps, showers and accessories. These flirt with texture to great effect – think strong clean lines, a slim minimalist silhouette and a delicate geometric pattern.

Omika collection by Jo Love - Vado
The Omika collection by Jo Love for Vado

Texture has also captured the imagination of Italian manufacturers. Stella 1882 has incorporated guilloche, a decorative engraving technique based on intricate patterns, into the surface of its taps. There’s a choice of 12 patterns, available in any Stella finish.

Stella 1882
Stella 1882

The guilloche finish by Stella 1882 is hand-engraved by craftsmen at its workshop in Milan.

Design Trend #2. Broad appeal

It was good to see luxury French bathroom brand THG Paris step outside its comfort zone with Collection Bain, its first sanitaryware collection since the brand was established in 1956.

THG’s small stand at Sleep could only accommodate a freestanding bath, but the full collection includes different styles of bath and a series of basins and shower trays, all created to complement its handcrafted tap fittings. THG’s material of choice is MineralStone, a composite material containing natural mineral fillers and reinforced resins that create strong, easy-to-clean pieces.

Selecting a look for your bathroom has become a question of taste now that so many sanitaryware producers have set up customised production departments. THG is among them, offering its Collection Bain as made-to measure to individuals as well as hotel chains.

Collection Bain by THG Paris
Collection Bain by THG Paris

Collection Bain is the debut sanitaryware collection by bathroom fittings specialist THG Paris.

Brassware manufacturer Grohe is also looking to broaden its appeal with the launch of Bau, its first-ever ceramics range. Developed following research that found customers struggle to match a washbasin with a mixer, Bau is designed to address the problem head-on by complementing Grohe’s Bau mixer collection.

Bau Sanitaryware Collection by Groh
Bau Sanitaryware Collection by Grohe

Grohe has dipped its toe into the ceramics market with Bau, its first sanitaryware collection.

Design Trend #3. The thinner the better

‘The thinner the better’ seems to be the mantra of modern sanitaryware – as seen in the use of cutting-edge materials that allow manufacturers to reduce rim width on basins and baths without compromising strength.

Previously, fine edges wouldn’t have survived the firing process, but materials such as Cerafine, seen in VitrA’s Outline collection of ultra-fine countertop basins, mean that manufacturers can now create slim, elegant shapes with defined edges.

The advantage of these slim rims is more than sleek good looks. It means that the modern basin can hold more water than its bulky predecessor, making it a practical addition to the bathroom.

Manufacturers continue to stress the relationship between their products and the primary function of the bathroom: hygiene. For example, VitrA basins are coated with VitrA Clean surface finish to keep them easy to clean with just a mild detergent and a damp cloth.

VitrA's Outline collection
VitrA’s Outline collection

These ultra-fine countertop basins from VitrA’s Outline collection are manufactured from Cerafine, a new material that’s both strong and elegant.

VitrA isn’t the only manufacturer looking to slim down. Since the launch of SaphirKeramik in 2013, Swiss manufacturer Laufen has worked with numerous designers on products for a variety of collections.

For those not in the know, SaphirKeramik is a hard and rigid ceramic material that can be sued to create super-thin but extremely robust ceramic walls. These can be as narrow as 2mm (traditional ceramic measures between 7 to 8mm).

Laufen’s third and latest collaboration is with Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola, who has used SaphirKeramik to create her Sonar range (launched at ISH 2017). Although Sonar was not on display at Sleep, SaphirKeramik was well represented by existing products from Konstantin Grcic’s Val collection.

Val by Konstantin Grcic for Laufen
Val Collection by Konstantin Grcic for Laufen

The internationally acclaimed German designer Konstantin Grcic worked with Laufen’s SaphirKeramik to produce Val.

Design Trend #4. Get smarter

You know when a trend has truly arrived when the world’s biggest sanitaryware brands sit up and take notice. Cue Japanese-style washlets, which have spent years lurking on the periphery of the UK bathroom, possibly because their spacecraft-style looks tend to intimidate the conservative-minded British consumer.

Realising the key to success was to redesign the washlet to look like a regular WC, Laufen set about developing Cleanet Riva, defined by a streamlined aesthetic but packed full of high-end engineering.

At the heart of Cleanet Riva is the shower function, which is operated using the button located on the side of the WC bowl or via a touchscreen remote control. This also provides additional settings and personal preferences, including a choice of various spray modes, based on pressure, temperature and timing.

Laufen’s Cleanet Riva
Laufen’s Cleanet Riva

Laufen’s Cleanet Riva boasts various spray modes that can be personalised by pressure, temperature and timing.

Design Trend #5. Ageless design

Our post-ISH report touched on the growing influence of multi-generational households on bathroom design, and how manufacturers are now creating products that are accessible to all the family.

Hansgrohe’s understated Unica Comfort shower bar is just one example. Doubling as a sturdy grab handle for those less steady on their feet, it can support up to 200kg in weight. The hand shower can be easily positioned at the desired height using just one hand, and an additional hand shower holder at the lower end of the bar is ideal for children, wheelchair users and those who like to shower sitting down. A detachable shower caddy provides the finishing flourish, creating essential space for toiletries.

Unica Comfort by Hansgrohe
Unica Comfort by Hansgrohe

A shower bar or a convenient grab handle with integrated shower caddy for toiletries, the Unica Comfort by Hansgrohe is ideal for multigenerational households.


Design Trend #6. Pretty and practical

You can’t fail to have noticed the wide range of brassware colour options now available, including bronze, brass, rose and brushed gold, copper and matt black. These aren’t exclusive to brassware either, with designers keen for other elements of the bathroom to match up in the style stakes.

VitrA has collaborated with product designer Sebastian Conran to create a new bathroom accessory collection aimed at both domestic and luxury hotel markets. The Eternity collection comprises 31 products that combine luxury with practicality, including a toothbrush holder that incorporates a removable strainer so that toothbrushes don’t languish in stale water, and robe hooks designed not to leave pinch marks in collars and necks. Within the range there are three finish options: white with chrome, black with chrome and black with gold. All have hardwearing teak wood accents.

Eternity by Sebastian Conran for VitrA
Eternity by Sebastian Conran for VitrA

VitrA has teamed up with product designer Sebastian Conran to create Eternity, a new bathroom accessory collection for domestic and hotel bathrooms.

Design Trends spotted at 100% Design 2017

100% Design 2017

100% Design is the showcase for leading contemporary design and is the largest and longest running design trade event for industry professionals in the UK

First staged in 1995, the show is now in its 23rd year and is widely considered to be the cornerstone event of the London Design Festival, as well as one of the most significant events on the global trade calendar

The show,  held between 20-23 September at Olympia London, featured over 400 exhibitors, from internationally recognised brands through to younger design studios and new design talent emerging on the market.

Trend-Monitor was there too, checking out the strongest design trends …

Design Trend #1. Indoor and Outdoor Brights

In a refreshing move away from whites and neutrals, 100% design was crammed with vibrant colour, pattern and texture.  Interiors, outdoor living, bathroom and kitchens were all showing their colourful sides at the show

Wilful Ink 'Gallinule' wallpaper
Wilful Ink ‘Gallinule’ wallpaper

The 2018 Sunbrella outdoor upholstery collection
The 2018 Sunbrella outdoor upholstery collection

More information at

Although Smeg launched their sleek new premium range of kitchen appliances at this year’s show, it is still their iconic retro range in eye-catching colours that draws the most attention.

The Multicoloured Smeg range


Design Trend #2. Modular Goes Home

Modular furniture has been fundamental to offices and work-spaces for many years, but we are now seeing the trend for modular applications growing in popularity in the home environment.  Driven by today’s transient lifestyles and the growth of the high-end rental market, there is a demand for functional, stylish furniture pieces that are also flexible in terms of assembly and arranging.

Leaf Seat from Design by Nico
Leaf Seat from Design by Nico

The Modulo cabinets by Ercol are available individually, or can be stacked up to three high, in any combination of the customer’s choosing.

Modulo by Dylan Freeth for Ercol
Modulo by Dylan Freeth for Ercol


Design Trend #3. Metallic finishes go commercial

Stainless steel and chrome has continued to dominate the commercial environment long after metals have warmed up in the more design-led interiors and homes.  Simple Human has changed this and launched their commercial bins in a range of warmer finishes such as rose-gold.

Simple Human commercial bin in rose gold
Simple Human commercial bin in rose gold


Design Trend #4. Tubular Steel

The use of folding tubular steel for furniture started in the 1920s and 1930s with the Bauhaus movement and their innovative use of steel tubing.  At 100% Design this trend was clearly enjoying a revival with the simple clean lines of tubular steel featuring in furniture and storage.

Vzor RM56 in wood
Vzor RM56 in wood

Olly bar stool by Junction Fifteen
Olly bar stool by Junction Fifteen

Anywhere Shelving by Korridor Design
Anywhere Shelving by Korridor Design


Design Trend #5. The Gin Revolution

Carried by a wave of craft distilleries and boutique bars, gin is fast becoming the nation’s most fashionable spirit, available in every conceivable flavour from citrus to seaweed to tea.  It’s not surprising therefore that the gin revolution is now hitting the homes and interiors.

(Ok, we admit it’s probably more of a fad than a true trend, but we spotted this fabulous gin trolley and wanted an excuse to feature it)

The Gin Trolley by Quench Home Bars
The Gin Trolley by Quench Home Bars




Four Smart Home Trends Spotted at IFA 2017


IFA, the international trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances, is well known for showcasing the latest innovations. This year’s show, held in Berlin from 1 – 6 September 2017, attracted 2,000 exhibitors and 253,000 visitors – and Trend Monitor was there to check out the latest smart home trends.

#1 Look whos talking

Only time will tell whether consumers really want to ‘talk’ to their appliances. All the same, Candy is getting a head start on the competition with Bianca, a washing machine that you can communicate with by talking to Candy’s simply-Fi app.

For example, you can ask Bianca to start a cycle or request help choosing the right washing settings. Bianca will also dispense tips and tell you if it needs maintenance.

Candy Bianca Washing Machine
Candy ‘Bianca’ Washing Machine

Samsung has also joined the voice-activated appliance war. Its Family Hub fridge, already on the market, has been upgraded with Samsung Connect, a cloud-based voice function that you can use to interact with it: ask for time and weather updates, search the internet, read news articles, play music and radio and add items to a shopping list.

Samsung Family Hub Fridge
Samsung Family Hub Fridge

Not to be outdone, Bosch presented Roxxter, the first robotic vacuum cleaner that can be controlled via Amazon’s Alexa. Just say, ‘Alexa, tell the Home Connect robot to clean the kitchen’ and your helper will be on its way.

Roxxter comes with RoomSelect, which lets you schedule cleaning for individual rooms. Plus, there’s an integrated streaming camera so you can keep an eye on your home via the app when you’re not there.

Bosch Roxxter vacuum cleaner
Bosch Roxxter vacuum cleaner

It’s not just appliance manufacturers that are taking a punt on voice control: Sony has launched the LF-S50G wireless speaker powered by Google Assistant, a virtual personal assistant that can engage in two-way conversations. Want to know what the traffic will be like on your route to work, set a wake-up alarm or retrieve the flight booking details for your next trip? Then bring the speaker to life by saying, “OK Google”.

The LG-S50G doesn’t work alone. Google Assistant can also voice control other smart devices from compatible platforms, including Chromecast built-in, Nest, Philips Hue and IFTTT, so you can adjust many aspects of your home environment with voice commands.

Sony LF-S50G Wireless Speaker powered by Google Assistant
Sony LF-S50G Wireless Speaker powered by Google Assistant

Elsewhere, Panasonic has partnered with Google to produce the first hi-fi speakers with Google Assistant built in. The idea is that you can treat the SC-GA10 like your virtual personal assistant: for example, you can request a favourite music track or ask questions.


Panasonic SC-GA10 with Google Assistant
Panasonic SC-GA10 with Google Assistant


#2 Winning the war on waste

If all this sounds – dare we say it  – gimmicky, then perhaps you’ll find the Smarter FridgeCam more useful. The first wireless camera to fit inside any fridge, the FridgeCam allows you to see the content from anywhere via the Smarter app. You can also track expiry dates and get recipe suggestions based on the food in your fridge.

The question is, why? Well, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, which amounts to approximately 1.3 billion tonnes per year. While a fridge camera isn’t the only solution, it may go some way to improving the situation.

Smarter FridgeCam
Smarter FridgeCam


#3. As safe as houses

Home security systems are hot right now. Armed with just a smartphone and an app, you can control door locks, monitor and control cameras and double-check door and window sensors wherever you are.

Solutions on show at IFA included the Fibaro Intercom, which allows for video calls between a smartphone and whoever is ringing the doorbell. A Full HD camera with a 180-degree recording angle provides a wide field of view, while IR (infrared) LEDs are automatically activated at night.


Fibaro Intercom
Fibaro Intercom

Smart locks are also enjoying a moment. Negating the need for a bunch of keys, a smart lock will lock and unlock a door when it receives instructions from an authorised smartphone.

And that’s not all. Models such as Nuki allow you to share access permissions and change them – ideal if yours is a rental property or if you care for relatives whose home you need to enter in emergencies.

The added bonus is that an elderly parent doesn’t even need a smartphone: he or she can keep using a key to lock and unlock the door from the outside and can turn the smart lock manually from the inside.

Nuki Smart Lock
Nuki Smart Lock


#4. Save energy

Just in time for the winter, tado° has launched Smart Climate Assistant, which adjusts the temperature of your home based on both environmental factors and your own needs.

Features include open-window detection, which automatically adjusts the heating if a window is opened, and weather detection, which turns the heating down when sunshine is predicted.

Geofencing is another feature. This ensures that the heating is automatically turned down when the last person leaves home and that it’s turned on again when the first person is returning. You can now manually adjust the geofencing radius when tado° switches to home mode. Plus, you’ll get a monthly energy savings report so you can see tado°’s impact.


Tado Smart Climate Assistant
Tado Smart Climate Assistant


Fitted on hot-water radiators, Netatmo Smart Valves allow you to control your heating on a room-by-room basis, whether you have individual or collective heating. The valves set a heating schedule for each room, and you can customise the temperature of each room via the app.

For example, you could heat the bathroom to 21°C in the morning and cool it while you’re out for the day, while keeping children’s rooms at 19°C from 5pm on weekdays when they come back from school.

Designed by French design studio Starck, the Smart Valves work with Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant.  Could Alexa support be next on the agenda? Watch this space.

Netatmo Smart Radiator Valves
Netatmo Smart Radiator Valves



The Latest Outdoor Living Trends from Glee 2017

Glee 2017

Trend-Monitor visited the Retail Lab @ Glee this month to find out about the latest outdoor living trends.

Glee is the UK’s garden and outdoor living trade show, showcasing brands, new products and garden retail insights.

Based at the Birmingham NEC and spread across 8 different show sectors; landscaping and garden decoration, garden care, outdoor entertaining, plants, pet products, home, gift and clothing, retailer experiences and services, food and catering, the exhibition attracts over 550 exhibitors and over 7,000 visitors and buyers.

The focal point of the 2017 show was the Retail Lab @ Glee, built in collaboration with the Horticultural Trades Association (the HTA).  Designed as a future-facing, interactive hub of inspiration, the display provided visiting retailers with the latest trend information and a long-term vision for their retail environments.

The Retail Lab focused on four key themes:-

#1. Rewilding

Glee 2017 Rewilding

Working with nature to create unique shopping environments.

85% of people live in an urban environment and this number is growing

However there is a latent attraction to wildlife and as the urban environment becomes greener there is a different market emerging. One where space is limited and gardens are not conventional. There is an opportunity to capture this market by providing inspiration, a can do philosophy and by providing knowledge on the benefit of growing in small areas.

#2. Community

Glee 2017 Community

Bringing people together through gardening projects

With the increasing urban population, community gardening, shared gardens and public spaces are becoming the new meeting places and the centre of community life. Garden centres can harness this trend and help people enjoy the ‘working together’ experience.


#3. Well-being

Glee 2017 Wellbeing

Creating outdoor retreats to regain balance

There is a growing understanding of the importance that outdoor activities play in our psychological and physiological well-being. The benefits of healthy eating, exercise and mental de-stressing (mindfulness) are well know.

However there is a growing understanding of the positive aspect plants can play in our lives as well. Smell, sound,air circulation and re charging all help us study and perform better.

#4. Family

Glee 2017 Family

Combining quality together time with skill development

Gardens are no longer places to work in and look at. They now form part of everyday living. Patios, play areas, outdoor seating, entertaining in the garden all form part of our everyday lives.

Gardens need to be user friendly for the whole family, accommodating the needs of children, pets as well as adults.


Source:  Glee Birmingham 2017 


Furniture trends spotted at Salone del Mobile 2017

Furniture trends from Salone del Mobile 2017

As must-do events for designers and trend-spotters go, Milan’s Salone del Mobile is top of the list. Now 56 years old, it continues to attract big names and huge crowds, welcoming 2,000 exhibitors to its 200,000m2 of exhibition space this year, along with 340,000 visitors from 165 countries.

Trend-Monitor was there too, and we scoured the stands to bring you the key trends from the 2017 show.


Furniture Trend #1: Design for Decadent Times

Pantone’s colour of the year for 2017 is Greenery, so we were surprised to see little evidence of it among the wares on display. There was plenty of green on offer though: Greenery’s zesty tones were eclipsed by a deeper, richer shade that serves as a luxurious antidote to the austere climate in which we find ourselves.

Mastering the opulent spirit was Lili Castilla’s asymmetrical Illusion sofa for Roche Bobois. It’s a sophisticated green velvet piece with an integrated smoked oak table – perfect for resting a glass of fizz.

Illusion sofa Roche Bobois
Asymmetrical Illusion sofa by Roche Bobois

Spanish artist-cum-designer Jaime Hayón adopted a similar shade of dark green for his Milà table for Magis, inspired by the façade of Gaudí’s modernist Casa Battlò in Barcelona. With its angular steel frame and die-cast detailing, Milà is a smart but versatile choice as it’s available with a choice of tops and in various sizes.

Mila table for Magis
Mila Table for Magis by Jaime Hayon

Furniture Trend #2: All that Glitters

At first glance, Salone del Mobile’s metallic offerings seemed rather dated. After all, the use of gold, brass, bronze and copper is nothing new. But a second look revealed that the new crop of designs dare to be different. For example, take German brand e15, which explored the interplay of solid wood and metal with Trunk II, a 4100mm-long European walnut table top that supports a sculptural base manufactured from solid polished brass.

Trunk II by e15
Trunk II by e15

Other manufacturers used metallic finishes to bring classic designs up to date. Piergiorgio Cazzaniga’s Sign chair for MDF Italia has adopted a new attitude to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Still made from 45 metres of steel wire in four different diameters to create its distinctive structure, Sign Filo is available in a glossy galvanic finish in black chrome, gold and pink gold.

Sign chair for MDF Italia
Sign chair for MDF Italia


Furniture Trend #3:  Pretty in Pink

The next trend on the agenda is one we predicted.  Pantone calls it Pale Dogwood, others call it Millennial Pink; either way, it was hard to miss at Salone del Mobile where this soft and friendly colour – somewhere between beige and blush – was as popular as we thought it would be.

A striking example was the Isla sofa for Spanish brand Sancal from Stockholm-based Note Design Studio.

Isla sofa by Sancal
Isla sofa by Sancal

Equally eye-catching was Normann Copenhagen with Britt Bonnesen’s Pavilion, which is made from soft bamboo silk and features broad stripes in bold colour combinations such as blush and dark green.

Britt Bonnesen's Pavillion
Britt Bonnesen’s Pavilion

Fashion brand Diesel Living continued its successful collaboration with Moroso to create the Assembly sofa, which is available as a love seat or occasional chair. Pink has long shed its reputation for being girly, but just to make sure, the designers used prominent steel bolts as a counterpoint to the pink velvet.

The Assembly sofa by Moroso
The Assembly sofa by Moroso


Furniture Trend #4: Seek to Socialise

The latest sofas are designed for socialising rather than sitting in a straight line watching the box. This translates to sectional elements that can be moved to create a more convivial setup.

Top picks at Salone del Mobile included Maurizio Manzoni’s super-sized Octet sofa for Roche Bobois, and Piero Lissoni’s equally expansive Mosaïque sofa for de Padova.

Ocetet sofa for Roche Bobois
Octet sofa for Roche Bobois

Mosaique sofa for De Padova
Mosaique sofa for De Padova

Poltrona Frau used Salone del Mobile as an opportunity to update its iconic Chester sofa for more casual social settings. Chester Line maintains the elegance of its deep-buttoned, leather-clad predecessor but acknowledges contemporary ways of living. Thus, it’s broken down into a series of five elements that allow you create different configurations.

Chester Line by Poltrona Frau
Chester Line by Poltrona Frau

Similarly, Piero Lissoni responded to users’ wishes for convenience and sociability when designing his Avio sofa for Knoll. A large irregular end or corner element has been introduced that alters Avio’s pure line, suggesting a more relaxed atmosphere.

Avio sofa for Knoll
Avio sofa for Knoll


Furniture Trend #5: Getting Grounded

Those who prefer muted colours to bold ones will welcome the news that terracotta is back in the spotlight. Both warming and calming, terracotta is versatile and can be used for small and large pieces.

It proved popular with exhibitors at Salone del Mobile.  Arper, for example, embraced its terracotta side in its Arcos easy chair, which it describes as “a restrained interpretation of Art Deco’s geometric glamour.” The signature cast aluminium armrests that form twin curves also evoke the elegant archways of classical architecture.

Arcos easy chair by Arper
Arcos easy chair by Arper

Minotti also featured terracotta via a refresh of the sculptural base of Rodolfo Dordoni’s popular Van Dyck table. This is now available as an outdoor version and can be teamed with the Aston Cord outdoor chair, the painted metal frame of which is specially treated for exterior use, as are the padded waterproof cushions.

Rodolfo Dordoni's Van Dyke table for Minotti
Rodolfo Dordoni’s Van Dyke table for Minotti

Even fledgling brands are getting in on the terracotta act.  At SaloneSatellite – the emerging design section of Salone del Mobile – Jonathan Sabine and Jessica Nakanishi (the duo behind Canadian label MSDS Studio) used it as the base for their minimalist office furniture collection.

MSDS Studio
MSDS Studio

Furniture Trend #6: Earth-friendly Design

Design used to come at a price but times are changing: manufacturers are starting to use innovative materials to lower the environmental impact of furniture and furnishings. Leading the way at Salone del Mobile was Finnish furniture company Woodnotes, which launched its San Francisco carpet collection. The carpets are made from yarn that’s been spun from durable heavyweight paper and can be recycled or burned to produce energy.

San Francisco is also biodegradable: its white paper is produced without the use of chlorine gas, and the dyes used to colour the yarn contain no halogen-organic compounds or heavy metals.

San Francisco carpet collection by Woodnotes
San Francisco carpet collection by Woodnotes

Emerging in response to the urgent global issue of waste, Kvadrat has teamed up with British designer Max Lamb and start-up Really to upcycle end-of-life textiles into new materials for design and architecture. The first collection, Solid Textile Board, is an engineered board made from end-of-life cotton and wool textiles sourced from fashion, industry, households and Kvadrat cut offs.

Solid Texture Board benches by Max Lamb
Solid Texture Board benches by Max Lamb

Kvadrat CEO Anders Byriel explains: “We see Really as a first step on a circular journey that will help us fast track to a time when industrially manufactured products will be made – and remade – from old versions of themselves; to a time when, hopefully only years away, we look back at this as the moment when we realised we can’t afford to waste waste.