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Homes are smart and green at Cologne Furniture Fair

Homes are smart and green at Cologne Furniture Fair
By Euronews

The IMM furniture fair in Cologne is one of the world’s leading platforms for new ideas, innovations and trends when it comes to interior design. This year, more then 1,200 companies from 50 different countries are attending.

The week-long event runs alongside with the biennial LivingInteriors exhibition, which offers innovative and intelligent interior design solutions.

“Customers want to try things out – they want to sit, lie down, feel and experience the fabrics, they want to be able touch the surfaces. And you can’t do any of that online,” says Dirk-Uwe Klaas, CEO of the German Furniture Industry Association.

One major trend is the smart house, whether it’s internet-controlled electrical appliances, heated pictures or floors that raise the alarm in case of an emergency – everything in this home is connected with the aim of making life easier for its inhabitants.

But while interiors have to be comfortable, customers also want them to be stylish and individual. While younger customers are drawn to complete packages, the older generation wants specific functions.

And now more than ever, people want natural products: “The demand for authentic sustainability is clearly growing, and with it, the demand for products that can bring this natural touch to interiors,” says Martin Jehart, CEO of Organoid Technologies.

Another clear trend is a return to the simplicity in design of the Fifties and Sixties. And there is also increasing demand for smaller sofas and furniture in general – a result of people living in smaller flats due to the high price of rent in big cities.

The good news for manufacturers is that people are buying furniture, with a 5% increase in turnover in 2015 and 2016 expected to be another good year

More than 120.000 visitors are expected at the Furniture and Interiors Fair in Cologne which ends on Sunday.