While Germany shivered in the icy grip of winter, a vast range of products for the table, kitchen, home, furnishing and gift markets created a spring-like atmosphere at Ambiente 2010 last week. Over 4,500 exhibitors from 93 countries presented new products and presentations, which are setting trends for the coming year.
Sustainability, enduring design, and the use of long-lived or recycled raw materials across the consumer-goods spectrum continue to become more important. Nature was represented in product material-mix such as combinations of glass and stone or glass and wood or stainless steel and wood.
Manufacturers of porcelain and china introduced new shapes while keeping classic designs. White continued to be the trend color while soft shades of blue and green, as well as an intensive, dark blue, provide colored accents. Angular glassware created a masculine touch.
Cozy and comfortable were prerequisites for the home, and wood, cork, rattan and cotton remain the most popular materials. The cold look of stainless steel, chrome and glass was transformed into warmth through the use of wood and fabric adornments.
Large pieces of furniture tended to be unembellished and straight with no more than slightly curved edges and surfaces. African and Latin American exuberance design counteracted functional European and plain Asian styling.
Color in itself was en vogue. Shades of violet and warm, earthy tones continued to be very popular. Green and blue in all nuances, pastels, and the use of white, light beige and light silver grey as background shades was also widespread.
Traditional tastes were well provided for in the world of creative gifts. The spectrum ranged from key fobs in the shape of cow bells, magnets with edelweiss prints or bags with check patterns and ruffs. Pure white and pure black combined with silver and clear shapes showed a trend towards value and quality.