How we dress and how we live is determined to a large extent by styles and trends. There are short-lived fashions that take up space in our wardrobes for just a single season – and there are also things that we never want to lose. Vintage items, souvenirs, sentimental kitsch … whatever you want to call them, they are things that make our everyday life more pleasant and arouse in us one of our strongest feelings: yearning.
The much-loved armchair that’s a bit scuffed but oh-so comfy, the old dinner set of Grandma with its memories of her home-made apple pies, the kitschy vase from that Italian holiday, the favourite teddy that does not really want to fit the expensive bedroom colour scheme but helps you sleep safe and sound. Memories shape our lives and the various worlds in which we live. They make us what we are. They make the difference between living and just existing.The creators of the “Lindenberg” hotel and boarding house in Frankfurt are aware of the importance of feeling at home. Instead of a functional lobby and traditional elevator, on entering this 19th century building near the new European Central Bank visitors are welcomed with colourful flowers, pictures and carpets, a cosy living-room-cum-kitchen and individually furnished rooms. In the “fireplace lounge” guests can relax on comfy sofas under colourful lamps created from umbrellas. There is an eclectic smorgasbord of favourite pieces rather than clean chic or themed rooms. The Lindenberg is a perfect example of how ‘yearning design’ works.
“Our guests are part of a community of guests – each one is a ‘Lindenberger’”, explains manager Eva Kösling. “Undoubtedly, the most frequented area is the kitchen. In the morning everyone starts their day between coffee machine and toaster and in the evening they often end up cooking and enjoying a glass or two of something together. ‘Lindenbergers’ are seeking a home, whether just for one night or a whole year.”Feeling good surrounded by unique objects and weird and wonderful decorations is also what it’s all about in the “Old Fritz” bar in the hip Bornheim area of Frankfurt. Owner Yuka sees life as a great big fairy tale for people “who want to keep the imagination of a child into their old age.” The style of the Old Fritz, which at first glance appears confused, is special not “simply because random vintage things are standing around, but because each individual element was bought somewhere on our travels and therefore carries the energy of the universal spirit.”Yearning is therefore not simply just a feeling, but a feeling that has become a style … and this is something familiar not just to restaurateurs, hoteliers and interior designers who are seeking that special something with patina and history. The creative minds behind contemporary collections – from household goods to decor trends – are also informed by icons of product design. Toasters, fridges and blenders that look as though they’re on loan from a Doris Day film set, tableware with flower patterns, the return of patterned wallpaper and colourful carpets – all these things clearly show that yearning is a trend, which the experts at Ambiente have incorporated in their 2015 Trend Show as the leitmotif for next season. Basically, yearning is simply a feeling. An individual feeling. Once you let it inform your own lifestyle, it defines what we are and who we are. We show what our yearning awakens and use it to design our quite personal lifestyle worlds. Style is not just a question of taste, it’s also a question of feeling.