Trend alert: styles, themes & product mixes

Everything is in flux: in times of immense environmental problems, the consumer goods industry is facing the challenge of developing high-quality products that are also sustainable. Designers and manufacturers are focusing on circular flow models making use of ecologically responsible material and processing alternatives.

What are the new styles, materials, themes and product mixes for the coming year?

“Trends are the outcome of aspirations and needs that arise from changes in our environment,” says Nicolette Naumann, vice president of Ambiente.

“These aspirations express themselves in new or rediscovered shapes, patterns and functions.

“Ambiente trends are identified for us each year by the design studio Stilbüro bora.herke.palmisano. They help our visitors at Ambiente to prepare thoroughly for the coming business year.”

There are three thematic trends according to design studio Stilbüro bora.herke.palmisano, including shaped+softened, precise+architectural and artistical+diverse.


Functional furniture achieves a sculptural quality by adding soft shapes and emphatic contours. This powerful effect is enhanced by a neutral palette of reduced colours with white and shades of grey, sometimes warm and sometimes cool. The surfaces are smooth, soft or textured.

Glass, either satin or transparent, impeccable porcelain and rough ceramics inspire enthusiasm, both visually and with their tactile qualities.

Textiles are natural and suitable for daily use, often bearing images that are full of movement and irregularities. Particularly effective materials are translucent fibres and pleats, light wood, and wallpapers featuring a tone-in-tone painting technique.


A touch of industrialism is added to high-quality materials in this architecturally inspired range of colours, with tones of brick and cement as well as rusty burnished nuances and float glass green. They create a captivating ambience, enhanced by dusky dimness and the blue of the evening sky, set within otherwise starkly designed spaces that focus on essentials.

These innovative combinations conjure up cosy clubs and a strong emphasis on material aesthetics. Terrazzo, polished or blackened wood, glass, steel, bronze and surfaces with a matte finish or a subdued gloss effect harmonise with leather, heavy textiles such as cord, tweed, bouclé and velour as well as with geometric designs and mottled patterns.


This style turns a living space into a personal collage. With its artistic character, unusual colours and diverse combinations, it has a stimulating effect. The pallet displays a refreshing mixture of bright orange, fruity raspberry, milky colours, strong honey and lively sky-blue.

In this multidisciplinary and multi-local interaction between art, craft and digital technology, ‘controlled chance’ plays a central role. Each object has its own unique character, thanks to the creative use of a variety of new materials, unusual manufacturing processes, unconventional themes and special shapes.

Ambiente 2020 will be held from 7 to 11 February 2020.