Lynn Byrne

Lynn Byrne

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Don't Buy Anything Until You Know These 4 Design Trends From Europe

The Ambiente Trade Show, held in February 2016, is the world’s largest consumer goods fair, covering just about everything you need to buy in your lifetime. New products for fashion, gifts, tabletop, kitchen and bath, furniture, and home accessories are presented.

When Ambiente talks trends, it pays to listen.

So what’s next? Here are the four trends that Ambiente says will dominate the market for all consumer goods.

1. Artisanal Gardening

Expect to see a blurring of the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living. Dubbed “Artisanal Gardening,” this trend is all about bringing nature home.

Floral and bohemian patterns are popular. So are natural fibers like linen and wool, as well as natural materials such as wood, clay and leather. Embroidery, braiding, quilting, carving, enameling and other traditional processes are celebrated here.

These floral pillows by Anke Dreschsel, finished with hand embroidery, express the trend in several respects.



Beautiful floral pillows by Anke Drechsel


Wood pendants by Morita Shikki, hollowed by hand from a single piece of ash, also are example of the natural materials and handcraft embodied by this trend.


Elegant wood pendants by Morita Shikki


2. Futuristic Couture


“Futuristic Couture” embraces products made with new technologies, like 3D printing and LED lighting.

For example, Studio Cheha presented an innovated desk lamp utilizing LED lighting that was only 1 centimeter thick.


Studio Cheha’s ultra thin lamp will fit most anywhere.


With new technology, comes new advances in materials, decoration and recyclability. It’s cutting edge technology that allows Le Labo Design to mass produce highly decorative metal shades.


Le Labo Design’s lamps showcase a finely cut metal shade.


“Futuristic Couture” also ushers in a new space age aesthetic with the use of scientific motifs, like Mika Barr’s pillows that depict a pattern reminiscent of Einstein’s diagrams.


Mika Barr’s pillows recall Einstein’s diagrams.


Eichholtz proves that the sci-fi aesthetic can be quite glamorous with its molecular style coffee table. 


Science fiction chic in Eichholtz ‘s Galileo coffee table.


3. Functional Simplicity

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful” This old saw by William Morris expresses the “Functional Simplicity” trend perfectly.

“Functional Simplicity” is all about clean lines, pragmatism, minimalism and high quality. The color palette is neutral white, black and grey tones. The idea here is to buy once and have forever. These are tomorrow’s classics.

Vendors in this sector presented products designed for ease of use, like these ergonomic kitchen tools by Koziol. The tools, made from a high grade plastic, don’t require sharpening and don’t interact from with the food they come in contact with.


Koziol’s kitchen tools are meant to last.


This beautiful teapot from Japan showcases the uncomplicated and elegant aesthetic seen with this trend.


The only teapot you will ever need.


4. Composing Freedom


What does “Composing Freedom” mean? This trend is all about whimsical and unconventional design. Patterns are bold and graphic. There is a predilection for faux animal prints and bold colors.

Fuzzy faux zebra stool, anyone? Or how about some sprinkles on your plates?


A selection of products that express the “Composing Freedom” trend.


Expect a quirky individualism that is difficult to pigeon hole, except for this constant: an original carefree approach.

Borowski’s eccentric art glass lamps are an excellent case in point. http://www.borowski-studio.com


Borowski’s art glass lamps are filled with quirky, one-of-a-kind personality.


Now that you have heard about “Artisanal Gardening,” “Futuristic Couture,” “Functional Simplicity” and “Composing Freedom, ” you will find it’s like the common experience of frequently hearing a newly learned word. Suddenly, you will see products that fit at least one of these trends everywhere.

You are ready to head out into the marketplace!

Photo credits: Morita Shikko pendants, Borowski lamp, teapot, Koziol’s kitchen tools and “Composing Freedom” stool and plates by Lynn Byrne. Other images from the vendors’ websites.