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The art of being at home and a chance to win some amazing German furniture design pieces.

At the beginning of this year, I attended imm Cologne, one of Europe’s largest furniture fairs, and it was there, that I was introduced to the concept of #zuhausesein or being at home.

Being at home or #zuhausesein for me means being able to relax, recharge by being creative and to spend quality time with my family.

At the fair, I sought out pieces of furniture that would help me feel that way at home.

I was drawn to Thonet’s classic woven cane seating.

In fact, I’m now the proud owner of one of their classic 210R chair, as seen styled in my bedroom workspace. German furniture The Thonet 210R chair was designed by German designer, Gebrüder Thonet in 1900, and was described by Le Corbusier as a chair with nobility.

It is indeed a piece of beauty, with a frame bent from one solid piece of Beech wood to form the back and armrest. In addition, the cane in the seating and backrest have been woven with such mastery. Thonet is amongst one of an amazing group of German furniture makers.  In collaboration with the Association of German furniture industry, you too now can have an opportunity to own your very own German furniture design classic in a photo competition that I will be co-hosting.

The theme for this competition is “what does #zuhausesein or being at home mean to you?”

Here are the 10 categories

  1. Outdoor living
  2. Tiny Spaces
  3. The Hallway- the ticket to your home
  4. Kitchen lover
  5. Relaxed sleeping
  6. The living room – my private retreat.
  7. The bathroom- the private wellness temple
  8. Living with children
  9. Working at home.
  10. Other forms of living (e.g caravans).

You can submit one photo per category and pick as many categories as you like. In other words, you can submit up to a maximum of 10 photos.

Below is the list of prizes per category:

German furniture 1.Outdoor Living: prize from Janua, bowl “SK 07 Ritual”

2.Tiny Spaces: prize from Bordbar, lighting “Super Light”, colour black.

schonbuch german furniture design

3.The hallway – the ticket to your home: prize from Schönbuch, coat hanger “Line”. The winner can pick from one of the colours shown in the photo.

4.Kitchen Lover: prize from Caussa, lighting “Fabella”, colour white

5.Relaxed sleeping: prize from Vitamin Design, nightstand “Pfeife”

German furniture 6.The living room – my private retreat: prize from Rolf Benz, footstool “Rolf Benz 953”, colour anthracite.

German furniture zuhausesein 7.The bathroom – the private wellness temple: prize from Duravit, wall shelf “L-Cube”

8.Living with children: prize from Hülsta, footstool “Birdy”, colour blue

German furniture 9.Working at Home: prize from Tojo, cantilever chair, colour white/green 10.Other forms of housing: prize from Thonet, side table “S18”

The photo competition is opened to all globally, from the 5th to 18th August 18 2019, and the winner per category will be announced on 27th August 2019.

Participants must be over 18 years of age.

The instructions to enter are:

1.To post your photo on your Instagram channel, follow and tag @zuhausesein_vdm

2.Use the hashtag #zuhausesein and #beingathome

3.Tell us which category you are entering the photo for and what being at home means to you.

4.Then, separately also send your competition photos ( must be 300dpi) to zuhausesein@real-communications.com.

The email should include:

1.Name of the category in which you wish to participate

2. Your Name

3. Date of Birth

4. Country

5. Telephone and email

6. Name on social media

The winner retains copyright of their own image but agrees to VDM ( Association of German furniture industry) using it on their social channels, website or publications for an unlimited period for the purpose of the Zuhausesein campaign. You will be acknowledged for any of your photos used.

Each winner in each of the categories will win a stunning piece of furniture from a German furniture manufacturer associated to that category (as stated previously).

If you win, your photo will be exhibited at imm cologne 2020. You will also get to attend the fair with two complimentary tickets and a travel allowance for hotel and flights of up to 500 euros. You will be responsible for your own booking.

Finally, the winning photo will be incorporated into the “German Design Book 2020”.

Doesn’t that all sound so exciting?

I can’t wait to see all the photo submissions.

I hope you will all enter. The prizes are amazing.

( This is post featuring German furniture is a paid collaboration with the Association of German Furniture Industry)

Top 10 Interior trends 2019 from imm Cologne.

If you have been following me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I was in Cologne earlier this week.

I was attending imm Cologne, one of Europe’s largest interiors and furniture fair.

Whilst there, I decided to explore the the fair using the concept of #zuhausesein, looking for the pieces that would make being at home meaningful for me.

Here are some of my favourite finds and interior trends for the upcoming seasons.

1. PASTEL HUES

Since Spring and Summer are now round the corner, we will be thinking of brightening up our homes with candy coloured hues, such as dusky pinks, light blues and lots of sunshine yellow.

Don’t you love that lemon yellow wall? In fact, yellow is a trend of its own this year.

This is one of the ‘Trend atmosphere’ spaces called New Nordic, designed by Floor Knaapen and Dick Spierenburg.

For those of you who know my aesthetic well, will surely agree that everything in this New Nordic room would fit perfectly in my home.

Here is a list of where everything is from.

Seam 1 table light designed by Mark Holmes for E15.

Grace trolley designed by Sebastian Herkner for Schonbuch.

Ceramic dolls on trolley by Normann Copenhagen.

Line coat hanger from Schonbuch.

Cabinet by Kettnaker.

Chair 562 by Rolf Benz.

Blue FortyForty side table by E15.

Pastel porcelain by 1616 Arita Japan.

Textiles Tonga and Romano by Jab Anstoetz

Font table in mint by Sebastian Herkner for Pulpo

Dita and Olivia mirrors by Davide Monopoli for Pulpo

2. BRIGHT CONTRASTING COLOURS From pastel hues to bolder solid colours. This is Schoenbuch’s booth at the fair.

This is giving me that 1980s Memphis vibe.

I love the interplay of colours, with boldly contrasting hues accentuating furniture pieces or similar tones camouflaging them into the walls.

Have you noticed yellow playing a huge role here?

3. PINK FURNITURE

I know I keep going on about yellow being big, but I would never abandon my favourite colour pink.

For the new season, I have noticed that pink has moved from soft furnishings to solid pieces of furniture.

This Bureau and Mala bench by Earnest studio for Schoenbuch definitely caught my eye.

In fact, I would love to have this as a small dining table in my kitchen, part of my aim of bringing pops of colour into that very white space. interior trends Here’s another beauty, the AHM chair from PLEASE WAIT to be SEATED.

Did you notice the YELLOW floor? Everywhere I look seem to exude this happy hue.

4. WOVEN CANE IN FURNITURE I think woven cane is going to be big in the upcoming seasons.

Thonet has been using it for years, and I absolutely adore their special edition Two tone Coffee House Chair 214 here.  Showing you the AHM chair again to illustrate CANE’s popularity.

I don’t think cane will be confined to just chair, I think we will start to see it used on larger pieces of furniture too. So I would like the Thonet and AHM chairs for my dining room. Maybe I should go eclectic with one of each and maybe add a Zanotta Noli chair as seen above too ?

5. CURVES – ARCHES, CIRCLES, OVALS and PLEATS / RIDGES. Curved or three dimensional shapes on furniture and decor were prominent at the show.

Arched shapes, ovals, circles and pleats / ridges are big news this season.

The Arc tray by De Intuitiefabriek and Olifant the elephant by Andreas Kowalewski are by Caussa.

The deep blue pleated wooden sideboard is by RSW These Palais Royal series tables designed by Anya Sebton and Eva Lilja Löwenhielm for Asplund feature lacquered oak panels and oak veneered tops.

Again we see ovals, circles and pleats. These coffee tables are called Echino. Their cylindrical legs are made of hand blown glass and the table tops are mirror or steel.

They were designed by Sebastian Herkner for Zanotta. Again, as you can see, circles and pleat like patterns feature here. This adorable Podia table is by Ferm Living. No surprise! Oval and ridges again. This Poise oval mirror is also by Ferm Living.

Last year, there was an explosion of round mirrors on Instagram. Everyone seem to have one.

Although, circular ones will still popular, I think oval mirrors will be overtaking them in the upcoming seasons. I’m certainly on the look out for some oval mirrors for my bathroom refurbishment. These are Pli side tables by Victoria Wilmotte for ClassiCon. Aren’t they so pretty?

The kinks and folds on its stainless steel foot makes it look like a gemstone.

6. MODULAR SOFAS. There were modular sofas everywhere I turned. I love this set at Rolf Benz, styled with circular elements. Here’s another modular sofa at Rolf Benz, styled with oval shapes.

7. SPICED HONEY and 8. LIVING CORAL. Pantone and Dulux are particularly influential when it comes to their Colour of The Year, which often influence interior trends.

Here String have gone for shelving with a tone between those two popular colours, and I’m loving it. interior trends Here’s how some of those pinky brown colours can be used in a space, as spotted in the interior trends display at imm Cologne.

9. CAN’T FORGET YELLOW As if I haven’t emphasised the power of yellow enough, it is a huge trend contender to the Spiced Honey and Living Coral camps.

This yellow kitchen space is part of a simulated house ‘Das Haus’ by Studio Truly Truly.  Check out Walter Knoll’s yellow Onsa chair. Even Fritz Hansen has gone for yellow as one of their new colours for their Drop chair in 2019. This yellow sofa is by and tradition

10. BAUHAUS imm Cologne was celebrating 100 years of Bauhaus at the fair this year. I don’t think Bauhaus, such a design and style icon would ever grow out of fashion, hence I’ve added it as one of my interior trends.

Here you can see some of the classic pieces revived by Tecta, the German manufacturer of authentic Bauhaus furniture. I totally adore this Marcel Brauer Wassily chair using Japanese patchwork technique and recycled material. Here’s more Bauhaus elegance. I wouldn’t mind having this dining set. I’m currently on the look out for a new dining set, and this is pretty similar to the one I’m currently considering for my home.

Hope you have enjoyed my interior trends from the fair. I would certainly be happy to be at home( #zuhausesein) with my selections.

Wishing you a wonderful week.

( All photography are by Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell. I was a guest of imm Cologne, but all words and opinions are my own).

imm cologne

imm cologne 2019 a roundup of what to see.

We are fast approaching the start of 2019, so a new year calls for new inspiration.

As an interiors blogger, I’m always on the look out for the next new trend, in the world of home and interiors.

I’m so excited to be attending imm cologne in January.

If you are new to imm cologne, let me give you a quick rundown.

It is one of the largest interior show for the international furnishing market.

Over 1200 exhibitors from more than 50 countries will be exhibiting from January 14th to 20th 2019, at the Koelnmesse Fairgrounds, in Cologne, Germany.

I’ve attended imm cologne once, but only briefly.

I recalled being in awe of the Kitchen section, with all its new technology and design.

LivingKitchen will be taking centre stage this year, and there you will find endless inspiration from product or lifestyle innovations in kitchen design and food production. With my kitchen due for refurbishment, I would be keen to explore the Future Design part of LivingKitchen in Hall 4.2.

I hear it will be an experiential space, that will showcase a vision of kitchens of the future.

Embracing the theme of Future Design, LivingKitchen will be presenting the work of renowned designer Alfredo Häberli.

The preliminary kitchen plan above is the start of a space that he will be designing. I can’t wait to experience the architectural possibilities of that space.

I’m keen to see how the space will enhance social interaction and stimulate our senses through materials.

It’ll also be interesting to see how design will work alongside new technological innovations.

Surrounding Alfredo Häberli’s holistic vision, will be numerous other exhibitors showcasing their kitchen designs and concepts.

I think I could easily spend a whole day at LivingKitchen. (Photo Tanita Klein; Koelnmesse)

Another area that I am keen to explore is the Pure Talents section.

imm cologne has been host to the Pure Talents Contest for the past 16 years, each time with up to 926 products from all over the world being entered into the competition.

This year’s finalists will be presented at imm cologne 2019.

The Pure Talents Contest is aimed at designers who are still pursuing, or have just completed their studies. This is a brilliant launchpad for their careers.

This year, there is a separate talent prize for the LivingKitchen selection too.

I can’t wait to see what’s on offer, and so far two kitchen innovations have caught my eye.

Tanita Klein’s kitchen above is called the TSL kitchen, and her concept is to have the kitchen as a centrepiece, with the units away from the walls.

Her hope is to create a kitchen that is both interactive and flexible.  (Photo  Maxime Augay; Koelnmesse).

The above Portable Kitchen Hood by Maxime Augay also caught my eye.

It is a small handy extractor fan that intercepts cooking fumes and vapours directly above the frying pan or saucepan.

How cool is that? Absolutely adore its retro looking design too. imm cologne is not all just about kitchens, there are halls packed full of furniture and furnishings too.

The furniture and interiors section have been divided into 6 areas based on their character and product offering. This will help customers navigate their way through the fair.

The 6 sections are Pure, Comfort, Prime, Smart, Sleep and Global lifestyles. You can find the definitions for these sections here.

The image above is of the Muuto stand at imm from last year. I love that Muuto Mimic mirror.

In fact, I’ve already bought one in Midnight blue for my daughter’s bedroom. So, as you can see, imm cologne is not just for design inspiration and stocking, it’s for future shopping potentials too. ( Photo Koelnmesse)

I’m totally feeling the flutter of excitement now as I write. I can’t wait to see all the new trends in sofas, chairs, beds and more.

Check out those wonderful chairs from last year’s fair. What type of fabrics, textures, patterns and colours do you think will be big in the upcoming seasons?

I can’t wait to find out, and report them live via my instagram and other social media channels in January. ( Photo Anna Maria-Nilsson; Koelnmesse)

Going back to the Pure Talents Contest, I have picked two interior pieces that have caught my attention.

The magazine storage rack above is by Anna-Maria Nilsson.

I can see this doing well in mainstream shops. I love the fact you can do a double spread display of your favourite magazine for inspiration.

( Photo : Julian Ribler; Koelnmesse)

This is Cleo, a table and chair ensemble by Julian Ribler. It represents a new type of school furniture for alternative living spaces. It challenges traditional school furniture typologies that generally force children to adopt an upright, static position.

Isn’t it beautiful? I love how he has boldly combined powder blue with red.

There is so much to see and explore that this post has barely scratched the surface.

One noteworthy mention is ‘Das Haus’ which is the ‘Interiors on Stage’ installation of a simulated  house, in the theme of “Living by Moods” by Studio Truly Truly.

This conceptual house is a space that is not dictated by walls or conventional room functions, instead it has zones that reflect every mood.

The above image is an artistic concept of what we will see at the fair.

This concept of Home, space and mood brings me to the subject of #zuhausesein or #beingathome. During this press trip, we will get the opportunity to explore what being at home means to us.

It could be a quiet space at home, or for others it may be the noise of family. It could be a scent, colour or texture. I’m looking forward to reporting back on this.

Finally, do have a scroll through imm cologne’s site to see what’s on offer. Travelling there would be a lovely way to kickstart the design and interiors season in 2019 don’t you think? Will you join me there?

Hope you’ve enjoyed the post. I will be back in the next day or two with more festive offerings. Meanwhile, I hope your holiday preparations are going well?

( All photography are provided by Koelnmesse. This is a paid partnership post with imm cologne but all views are my own.)

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