My favourite moment of the international furniture fairs in Cologne and Paris is my wander around in search of upcoming trends. As soon as things calm down a little at the Zuiver stand, I sneak off, armed with my camera and notebook. “OK, I’m going to wander around for a little while now”, I always say, although I already know it’s going to take much longer than ‘a little while’. These exhibition centres are so huge that a walk around can take up to a few days if you’re not careful!

With most brands you can read the current home trends between the lines, not just in the products they present but also in the way their stands are styled. Some stands seem to come straight from the pages of luxury home magazines: gorgeously laid out spaces with a little photo opportunity in every corner.

However, not all the big names find it necessary to embrace today’s trends in their collection. Quite a number of brands do their own thing, sticking to their unique and distinctive style. Take Seletti for example; for many years now they’ve remained successfully faithful to their own Pop Art inspired style, with accompanying popular products. Bretz is a similarly idiosyncratic brand. Their style is always challenging, although this time they do seem to be incorporating the colour trend of the future… You can find out which colour I mean further down this blog! Seletti and Bretz, in any case, are not taking much notice of the bird trend that I see many other brands latch on to.

"Some brands are not taking much notice of the bird trend that I see other brands latch on to"

Spotted in Paris: Pop Art inspired design by Seletti

Bird trend
Following leopard prints, zebra stripes and insects in bell jars, I now see lots of feathers. Not feathers of just any bird, mind you, because this bird party is for exotic species only! Parrots, cockatoos, parakeets and peacocks are present in a range of colours and designs, each one more beautiful than the other. Some are made in ceramic, some in metal and yet others are of the stuffed variety! All these gorgeous, boldly-coloured feathered friends look like they’ve flown in straight from the rainforest.. One stand draws my particular attention. I’m attracted by the total effect of the wallpaper, the lamp and the parrot. British design label A Modern Grand Tour sells antique, enchanting lamps and curiosities. Their collection includes stuffed birds as well as a stunning palm tree shaped lamp with ostrich feathers.

Another striking stand is that of AP Collection, a fairytale-like story of a predilection for design classics, soft toys and the unexpected… Just look at the photo and you’ll get an idea.

Pink Flamingo chair by AP Collection – Wallpaper and fabric by Zimmer + Rohde – The Ostrich Feather Lamp Dusk by A Modern Grand Tour

The latest wallpaper trends
I must say the volume of wallpaper being displayed is remarkable, with one brand showcasing even more stunning wallpaper than the next. Today’s wallpaper is tactile, features faded pastel-coloured aerial photos, colourful and graphic Art Deco-achtige patternsbusy and cheerful bird prints (here they are again!or art photos depicting clothes hangersfor example.

I can’t really discover one dominant colour or style; it seems anything goes in wallpaper land, so long as you like it! My personal favourite was the collection by Londonartan Italian wallpaper brand with a design team made up of artists, designers, tattoo artists and architects who join forces to create beautiful wall coverings.

Wallpaper trends 2017. Photo credits left to right: Witch & Watchman – Jupiter 10 – Londonart

Walnut makes a comeback
After already making an appearance in chair frames, walnut is now also returning in larger accessories such as side tables and sofa frames. Take the Grid armchair by the French brand Petite Friture or the valet stands and 1950s dressing tables… Oak definitely seems to have a new rival to contend with. Its sweet little brother walnut is tactile, finely planed and features rounded edges.

Green vs orange, which will triumph?
Let’s turn to orange. I’m seeing lots of it, on sofas, cushions and chair seats. Colour authority Pantone, however, has declared green as the colour for 2017. Not the dark bottle green we’re currently seeing so much of in velvet chairs and cushions, but a brighter shade that it calls Greenery, after the colour of the Granny Smith apple.

It’s not surprising that Pantone is choosing green at this precise moment in time. Green symbolises parks in busy cities and plants in our homes that form a haven of tranquillity amid the hustle and bustle of daily life. We noticed this Tune Out trend appearing in Milan 2016 and it shows little sign of abating just yet.

Fresh apple green it is then… So does that mean no orange, or just not yet? Some brands are braving it and presenting classic style sofas and ‘granny armchairs’ in orange velvet. I adore each and every one of these pieces. And the great thing about orange is that it pairs beautifully with black and gold. I’m going for orange! I’ve made a note of it in my little book and have informed my design team. Orange is on the way, maybe even as soon as this autumn!

"I’m going for orange; I’ve made a note of it and informed my design team!"

Pantone Greenery vs. Pantone Orange Popsicle, which colour do you think will win? Photo right: Bretz