Manhattan meets Mainhattan.

Guest blog by Lynn Byrne, Editor of Décor Arts Now

Staggering! All the inspirations and trends that hit our New York based interior expert over the head. And why the bold-colored 80’s had a special impact on that, she reports in her following guest blog.

I have been to plenty of trade shows, so I thought I was prepared. Not!! Nothing compares to the vastness that is Ambiente. Truly the scope of products presented here covers absolutely anything that the consumer may need to buy in his or her lifetime. I saw all manner of household goods, toys, jewelry, clothes, Christmas decorations, and of course, what I expected, home furnishings and tabletop. I need time to digest it all, so there will be more on Ambiente to come. Next up will be a post on my favorite discoveries.

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Today, however, straight from the Ambiente press office, I want to share with you the top three trends that literally hit me over the head during my visit here:

  • Rainbow Color Palette: Greige Is Gone!
  • Memphis Group Revival: Back To the 80’s!
  • Eco-friendly, Sustainable Products: Preserve Our World, Beautifully!

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Rainbow Color Palette: Greige is Gone!
Greige is officially over at Ambiente. Throughout the show, products  where offered in bold, bright colors, literally in every hue of the rainbow. Clearly the Europeans are not afraid of color! The easiest way to explain this trend is to show you.  Have a look.

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Memphis Group Revival: Back To the 80’s!
The 1980’s are getting their day in the sun. Don’t know the Memphis Group?  You need too. I have recently blogged about the Italian designers from the 1980’s who comprised the Memphis Group and their highly graphic, playful work. The designs of the Memphis Group  feature geometric shapes, plenty of graphic black and white, including dots and dashes, primary colors and minty and pink hues. Here in Frankfurt, the Museum Angewandte Kunst (Museum of Applied Arts), the partner museum to the Ambiente Trade Show, presented Memphis leader Ettore Sottsass’ iconic bookcase which aptly sums up the design style: Over at Ambiente, the influence of the Memphis Group on the design of  a wide variety of products was clear. Even one of the cafes located inside the trade show was designed entirely in the Memphis style. What explains this trend? Perhaps it is Memphis’ Italian roots. Each year, Ambiente partners with another country, and this year it is Italy. Still, since there are many other aspects of Italian design that were not so prominently featured, plus many countries other than Italy who showed products that bore the Memphis stamp, I think it is fair to say we are seeing a 1980’s  Memphis revival.

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Eco-Friendly, Sustainable Products; Preserve Our World, Beautifully
The time for beautiful and “green” design has come! Ambiente’s decision to highlight makers of eco-friendly, sustainable products couldn’t be more timely, as the world contemplates the impact of our lifestyle on the environment. Dubbed “Ethical Style” by Ambiente, the surprising element to this trend was the range of makers.  Yes, there were the expected crafts from rural third world regions (and they were fantastic) , but you also saw the celebration of products  long made ethically by European manufacturers, some since the 17th century.  I will be sharing more products with “Ethical Style” in my next post on Ambiente.  They were surely some of the best at the show.

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Attending Ambiente was eye opener. I feel that walking the countless aisles of this trade show gave me a wide window into the culture of many countries other than the USA. There is no better way to learn about other people than by seeing what they want to bring into the refuge that is their home. Thank you so much to Ambiente for sending me to Frankfurt to experience it all as one of Modenus’ #designhounds.