Report: IMM Cologne / LivingKitchen 2019

Mid-January 2019 I made the huge trip to IMM Cologne in Köln, DEU because ever since entering my professional design career this show was often venerated by my peers. LivingKitchen happens every 2 years and it was touted as the pinnacle of all kitchen design shows and I was super excited. So, I programmed my valuable vacation around getting in-and-out of Köln and traveled more than 10,000km.

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Stop the pink velvet bucket chairs

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In pink, light green, teal, and gold with the exposed nordic birch plywood moulded leg or a brushed brass leg. It was sickening how frequently this bucket chair appeared. These types of furniture products are so widely available and I really am at a loss to explain why they are even a trend or stylish anymore. Please stop this insanity.

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Colourful curves & swurves

Everything that is hard line and angular is rather basic - but stunning! Take the Schönbuch furniture line out of Germany, for example. A lot of furniture and style was based on the rounded, tufted, folded, and geometrical accents of a contemporary movement to take away harsh and strong lines. We are tired of the hardness off it all.

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Jewel tones

A lot of edgy vendors were showing off the jewel tones in their upholstery fabric options. Take Bretz, for example, a slightly more edgy Roche Bobois style but a lot of that folded upholstery that everyone is hot for right now.

Traveling 10,000 km to IMM Cologne was not valuable

I’m guessing by the tone that you may now realize that aside from 2-3 brands, IMM Cologne & LivingKitchen is a disappointment. I am grateful that one of my brand clients gave me a personal tour of their booth (and they even covered the bill for two show tickets at CAD$200 each) yet, on the whole, the 22 stadium-sized areas of show floor proved that IMM Cologne & LivingKitchen is a failing show. There were so many instances where staff at booths were too involved in their own smartphones or sales meetings during trade days. On one occasion we were simply told “I can’t help you.” I wonder if they realize that within 5 years that their jobs will be replaced by algorithms and interactive devices. The show was basic.