Gifts Today magazine

Ambiente 2017 Trend Report revealed

Strong contrasts in materials, geometric patterns, and warm natural tones lead the way in Dining and Living

Although individually very different, the various trends – from cooking, via furnishing, to giving – all have a common denominator: the essentials of life, such as more time for the family, friends and oneself, continue to grow in importance. Specifically, this means people make themselves ‘hygge’ – Danish for cosy – and create an atmosphere of wellbeing in their homes. Associated with this is an appreciation for original, hand-crafted and homely things.

This year, manufacturers are opting for natural materials such as wicker, bare wood, cork and ceramics. Untreated surfaces are combined with glazed, relief-like textures. Strong contrasts in the materials mix make for surprising tactile effects. When it comes to motifs, geometric patterns, fine lines and ethnic decoration are increasingly in evidence. In the spring, floral motifs, together with birds, butterflies and beetles, are added. Fish, sea urchins and crabs, either as patterning or as decorative objects in themselves, create a Mediterranean feel for the summer. Alongside these, pineapples, parakeets and, above all, cacti are all motifs that belong, indisputably, to the latest trend.

When it comes to colours, the up-coming season confronts us with a palette of discreet nude, beige and sand shades, which leave plenty of freedom for individual accents. As far as ‘Living’ is concerned, for instance, they set the stage for the ‘greenery’ trend (a fresh apple green), for ‘niagara’ (denim blue) and ‘pale dogwood’ (a version of dusky pink). Appropriate complements are provided by deep black, copper and gold. In terms of cooking and good food, things get really lively: spring is celebrated with lustrous, powerful primary colours alternating with fresh pastels.

Dining: trends for the kitchen, the table and household
In the Dining section, the spotlight is on functionality, especially when it comes to dining and a healthy way of life. Thus, numerous materials aim at preserving aromas and nutrients longer, as well as at preparing food gently to retain all the goodness.

Enamel is playing a more important role when it comes to pots and pans – especially with a vintage look that recalls days gone by and exerts a calming influence. The same applies to powder-coated steel sheet, especially when used for cans, bread bins and other containers.

In the kitchen, glass continues to be indispensable for both practical and aesthetic reasons. It is gaining ground in double-walled form for cups, glasses and coffee filters, i.e., everywhere that liquids are to be kept hot or cold.

Moreover, the combination of wood and cast iron, cutting boards in extraordinary dimensions, vintage-look wooden spoons and leather details are adding a rustic touch to the kitchen and transforming functional products into decorative accessories.

Living: home and furnishing trends
Sculptural and geometric forms determine to a greater or lesser extent the atmosphere in the Living section. Thus, rounded armchairs with extra-large backrests and vases that look like folded paper are setting prominent accents in the home. However, multi-faceted luminaires, many of them as sculptures in wire, are reminiscent of diamonds. This trend is buoyed up by geometric patterns. The predominant colours are black and white, with copper, gold, silver and midnight blue also being used.

Transparent and delicate: enjoying the lightness of spring
To fit in with the clean, almost linear style – either as a contrast or in combination – there is a trend for delicacy, fine detail and lightness. There is, therefore, a recognisable trend for glass – often resulting from high-quality manufacture and a high degree of craftsmanship.

Accordingly, the traditional art of glass blowing is enjoying a renaissance: pots, vases and bowls with embedded cracks and inclusions, elaborately ground, sometimes coloured, sometimes carefully painted by hand, reflect the desire for value and quality.

Decoration: individual and unique
The pleasure taken in details is visible on pots, tableware, napkins and tea towels: 2017 is all about illustration. This also emphasises the desire for individual, hand-made products – with fine lines and often drawn naturalistically. Hence, rabbits, leaves, dogs, beetles and plant sprigs adorn Christmas baubles and lamps alike. Softness and gentleness are also emphasised through the use of furs and throws – knitted or woven in warm natural tones, dusky pink or light blue and grey, they lend the home an additional degree of cosiness.

Natural, multi-faceted and modern: wood
The need for cosiness, for ‘hygge’, is also reflected by the choice of material in the Living section: no longer is it just chairs, tables, cutting boards and spoons that are made of wood. Today, the material gives shape to modern loudspeakers, candleholders, toys and dishes – sometimes rough and rather rustic, sometimes modern, the surfaces planed smoothly with a reduced design in timeless Scandinavian design. Additionally, candles imitate woodgrain while ceramic vessels take their cues from nature and bring leaves and blossoms to mind.
Retro meets the natural look

Pastels are increasingly being used to embellish pots, baking moulds, and small electric appliances – particularly in situations where designers are deliberately alluding to a retro style. At the same time, nature is itself the model for designs.

Vases are designed in the image of hilly landscapes. Meadows and river valleys reflect regional peculiarities. The overall effect of other items is to give the impression that they have grown naturally – as though they were themselves part of nature – and skilfully hide their industrial origins.

Also borrowed from nature, decorative sea and water motifs are increasingly in evidence in the upcoming season. Often in a stylised version, structures that are reminiscent of wave patterns find their way onto the dining table and into the kitchen in the form of plates, cups and the like.

Where there is a stronger focus on the retro trend, there is little hesitation in harking back to floral decoration. Unique effects are created on porcelain and glass with marble graining and filigree structures that imitate nature. Equally popular are abstract colour compositions reminiscent of water-colour paintings.

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