Fresh wind in the sails of the global floor coverings industry
After four action-packed days, DOMOTEX 2017 drew to a close, chalking up considerable growth in terms of its exhibitor lineup and the total amount of space booked, and with an even higher percentage of exhibitors and visitors from abroad.17 Jan 2017
A total of 1,409 exhibitors from more than 60 countries showcased their latest innovations to a global audience at the Hannover Exhibition Center, once again impressively highlighting the innovative spirit and high performance capability of the floor coverings industry.
"Thanks to its strong exhibitor lineup, myriad innovations and unparalleled international scope and reach, DOMOTEX has impressively underscored its reputation as the international floor covering industry's leading marketplace and showcase for innovations. Our exhibitors were particularly pleased with the high caliber of the international audience they encountered here, while the show's visitors, for their part, responded enthusiastically to the globally unrivalled array of offerings at DOMOTEX," remarked Dr. Andreas Gruchow, the Deutsche Messe Managing Board member in charge of DOMOTEX, on the last day of the show. "Innovations@DOMOTEX and the new Young Designer Trendtable, in particular, delivered a great deal of valuable inspiration and highlighted DOMOTEX as a place that puts innovations on center stage."
Professionals of even higher caliber in attendance
Another outstanding feature of the event was the high percentage of attending professionals and decision-makers (91 percent). Attendance by members of the skilled trades – especially layers of parquet and other flooring – was up by 15 to 20 percent, and the numbers for visiting wholesale professionals rose accordingly. Around 90 percent of the show's attendees were decision-makers who came to the show with firm purchasing intent. Not only that, but DOMOTEX also attracted more information-seeking interior designers, contract business professionals and decorators.
With a wide array of creative ideas, innovative materials and smart solutions on show in 2017, the industry once again demonstrated just how attractive floor coverings can be. The latest trends revealed a strong focus on sustainability and natural-looking designs. There is strong demand for eco-friendly designer products, as well as for laminate and designer flooring with surfaces of such deceptively natural appearance that they can hardly be discerned from real wood. In the case of wood flooring, "used" and grainy patterns and finishes are in, and the resulting products delight customers in an inexhaustible array of different colors, shapes and formats. Herringbone patterns are also back in vogue. Carpeting in the form of tiles and planks continues to gain in popularity. In terms of color, carpets in subdued sand and stone hues are trending, as are vibrant colors and sophisticated patterns. Innovative floor laying systems are creating opportunities for simple, flexible and environmentally friendly application techniques.
Innovations@DOMOTEX once again a crowd-puller
Among the highlights at this year's event were the popular Innovations@DOMOTEX areas in halls 6, 9 and 17, where center stage belonged to a host of outstanding new products and fresh approaches in textile and resilient floor coverings, parquet and laminate flooring as well as contemporary hand-made rugs. This special showcase gave visitors a valuable source of inspiration and orientation, and a concise way of discovering all the latest products and trends.
Participants in the DOMOTEX Guided Tours were taken by expert guides to see selected products and ideas as highlighted by exhibitors at their stands. The Innovations@DOMOTEX Talks featured international stars of the scene, including the renowned Alfredo Häberli and designers from Büro Caramel (Vienna), Sauerbruch Hutton (Berlin), Peter Haimerl. Architektur (Munich), and Plajer & Franz Studio (Berlin). In a rich series of discussions, lectures and special tours, the experts explored topics such as how to design "people-friendlier" living spaces, how to meet tomorrow's flooring needs, and what the best environments are for service providers, as well as how optimizing spaces can set new benchmarks in interior design.
Visions for the floor coverings of tomorrow
Apart from showcasing trends for the upcoming season, DOMOTEX also offered an exciting look at the future of floor design. The new Young Designer Trendtable gave up-and-coming designers from five European countries the chance to formulate and present their visions for the flooring of tomorrow. With individually designed spaces, these talented creators brought their visions to life in a brand-new kind of showcase. They showed how traditional skills can contribute to modern manufacturing processes, how materials such as marble and stone can be used in unusual ways, how hard and soft materials can be combined to great effect, and how temporarily used rooms can be approached from a fresh angle. This made the Young Designer Trendtable a major attraction, not only for visiting professionals, but also for exhibitors in search of inspiration. "Formats such as the Young Designer Trendtable open up new perspectives at DOMOTEX. I am amazed at the diversity on display here, ranging from handcrafted one-off pieces to products manufactured on an industrial scale," commented Alfredo Häberli during the show.
In Hall 17, innovative designers such as Creative Matters, Hossein Rezvani, Rug Art, Rug Star Wool & Silk Rugs and Zollanvari presented their sumptuous hand-made carpet creations, setting new standards and pointing the way to future trends. The Carpet Design Awards were presented for the world's finest designer carpets and rugs. Offered for the twelfth time at this year's DOMOTEX, this international award is considered the "Oscar" of avant-garde carpets.
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