Floored by possibilities
Stepping into the kaleidoscope in Hall 9 of Domotex 2018 may well have provoked questions along the lines of “Who am I and if so, how many?” in some visitors. The space fitted out with square mirrors in line with the motto “Endless Uniqueness” prompted viewers to engage with the guiding theme “Unique Youniverse” – through one’s own mirror image and the (actively encouraged) interaction with rotating squares mounted on various floor coverings. These allowed viewers to perceive themselves in a kind of infinity – consequently seeing themselves confronted with a metaphor for our desire for uniqueness and personalized products in an increasingly globalized world.
The kaleidoscope was part of a new trend show compiled by Munich-based architecture studio Schmidhuber in cooperation with Peter Ippolito (Ippolito Fleitz Group), among others. Schmidhuber invited artists, architects, researchers and manufacturers to interpret the trend “individualization” in their own highly original ways.
The collaboration between Konstantin Landuris and Classen came about in this way, for example. The result was a marble-look design floor digitally printed with Landuris’ design and integrated into an installation looking at the future of home living. Regarding the contribution by “NuThinkers,” the Interior Design students of FH Mainz made a great impression. With their “Individual Motion Space” they developed a virtual reality application that allows users to individually design objects and even entire rooms in the virtual space. The result was likewise on view at the fair: a room-high box with a polygonal design.
Photorealist one-off prints
Yet it was not just the creative minds of “Framing Trends” who had a lot of diverse solutions to offer on the guiding theme and trend “Unique Youniverse” – so did the manufacturers at this year’s Domotex. New technological possibilities in digital printing motivated providers such as Amorim, Beaulieu International Group and Classen to portray deceptively real-looking photographic images on designer floors and laminates. Be it sand on the bathroom floor, a gigantic aquarium in the children’s room or a wall pattern full of coins – the possibilities for bringing photographic design features into the home have just expanded to a seemingly endless degree.
In the context of an holistic design approach that has featured ever more heavily in interior design in recent seasons, some manufacturers have also boldly taken the step up from the floor to the wall. Beaulieu International Group, Swiss manufacturer Tisca and Objectflor are among the firms now offering special systems, adhesives and primers that allow for their design coverings and carpets to be used on walls.
A natural look and playing with patterns
Wood effects continue to be top sellers and the industry’s favorite. Be it design flooring, laminate or even parquet – we can generally observe that the used look and rustic vibes are giving way to pure, natural simplicity. Ter Hürne showed parquet with a hand-planed surface that felt anything but smooth. Large planks, a trend in recent seasons, are now joined by delicate patterns such as herringbone, mosaics or the laying of differently stained wood reminiscent of a floor made of ship decks.
The new “rigid” design floorings also received a great deal of attention, one example being Unilin’s launch of an innovative “Rigid Board.” Although it has an installation height of only five millimeters, its four layers prevent imprinting of the substrate.
Modularity for flexible interiors
The increased demand for textiles in interiors has brought carpets back – especially into public spaces such as offices – most notably through modular systems such as tiles or floorboards. Here, carpet is not only sound-absorbing, but thanks to the modular systems may be precisely laid, as well as used in individual and creative ways. Geometric patterns in color schemes coordinated with the interior provide a bit of variety to the drab office work day. Feel, structure and depth are important aspects in current trends. With his latest collection of carpet tiles “Layers” for Fletco, designer Sebastian Wrong showcased exciting and tactile structures as well as a “faux uni”, which gives a plain-colored overall impression but on closer inspection turns out to have a rich range of colors.
Soft pastels with the handmade touch
The longing for Scandinavian “hygge” – the Danish word for coziness – in living rooms has not abated in 2018 either. This was especially clear at the stand of Austrian manufacturer Tisca, where Swedish star stylist Lotta Agaton had created an entire room scene in wool white, with furniture made from light-colored wood, soft upholstery and GOTS-certified, hand-woven carpets from Tisca’s “Olbia” line.
The fact that pastel colors continue to inspire the interior design world could not be overlooked at many of the manufacturer stands at Domotex. And this is for good reason: pastel colors lend ever smaller apartments a sense of lightness. Architect Jutta Werner, who works for Dedon, Vorwerk and Rolf Benz, implements this trend in hand-woven carpets for Nomad, her own label, by adding a recycled thread made from silver candy wrappers to the pastel-colored hues.