DOMOTEX 2020: Sustainability and well-being as main trend drivers

From January 10 to 13, 2020, DOMOTEX served as a popular meeting place for exhibitors and attendees from across the globe. They convened at the world’s leading tradeshow for carpets and floor coverings to network and share information on the latest products and industry trends. The current keynote theme of “ATMYSPHERE” was a nod to the new “healthy living” megatrend, focusing on flooring properties like acoustics, naturalness and sustainability, all of which contribute to a sense of wellbeing, not to mention a healthy interior atmosphere.

At the same time, the term “ATMYSPHERE” describes the experience of a specific, individual environment which allows floor designs to unfold. This keynote theme was divided into the areas of Sustainable Flooring, Well – bein g, Green Living, Floor & More, Outdoor and Acoustics .

Featuring imaginative stagings, presentations of innovative products and an inspiring supporting program, the Framing Trends special display in Hall 8 was the creative and communicative heart of the trade fair. Visitors with a particular focus on lifestyle issues found a wide range of networking opportunities and ideas there.

Unique stagings of “ATMYSPHERE” at Framing Trends

Developed by the Munich-based Schmidhuber agency, the “Contract Frames” area played a central role at the Framing Trends special display. This new-look event consisted of four pavilions, each of them serving as a source of inspiration for the lead theme, which was showcased in practical, applications-oriented settings. Acoustical ly Effective Solutions, involving materials and furniture, were integrated in all areas. The Sustainable Flooring frame demonstrated the sustainable use of materials, with a floor made of the rapidly renewable raw material cork, plus textiles from ecologically oriented production and durable solid wood furniture. The Well – being room emphasized health-promoting and environmentally friendly aspects intended to create a balance between body and soul, including a natural wooden floor. Floor & More demonstrated the versatility of flooring materials by expanding a Balta Group carpet into an upholstered, three-dimensional seating arrangement. The Green Living frame featured environmentally friendly floor coverings (resilient flooring from Windmöller, carpet from Tisca), rich green tones, plant and floral elements, as well as wall decorations. A central open space connected the four rooms and illustrated the benefits of typical Outdoor Floors, with a flowing transition from indoors to outdoors. The wooden outdoor floor was provided by Denderwood, while the artificial turf came from Lano Carpets.

Innovative presentations by exhibitors, artists and universities

The artist Serena Garcia Dalla Venezia from Chile used textile fibers to create a colorful landscape of abstract flowers and plants, resulting in a textile oasis that stretched from floor to wall. At a group stand uniting Aquafil with Sarawagi Rugs, a manufacturer of hand-knotted Nepalese carpets, visitors were able to see innovation and craftsmanship based on the use of Econyl fibers made from recycled fishing nets and carpets to create a carpet designed by British designer Isobel Morris. DryTiles are ceramic tiles which have a cork layer on the back, laid in an environmentally friendly way without glue and grouted with a special material. This sophisticated product system is particularly suitable for contract projects where time is a critical factor. DryTile is suitable for rooms that are designed for temporary use, as well as for floor renovations in the commercial and retail sector, which, for reasons of cost, need to be realized within a short period of time.

Stefany invited visitors into a kind of tunnel in which they were able to explore different kinds of natural beauty via interactive installations, while Tarkett, a manufacturer of floor and sporting surfaces and Uzin Utz, a specialist for floor laying products and machines, presented their sustainable products jointly under the motto “Let’s take care of our atmosphere!”

And the Belgian IVC Group showed its environmentally friendly luxury vinyl flooring from its Moduleo “LayRed” collection, made of recycled material with a particularly soft surface and a red, acoustically effective backing.

The “paprfloor” start-up has set itself the task of equipping floors in exhibition halls both sustainably and aesthetically. In cooperation with a paper manufacturer, the company founders developed the basic material for their paper floors, which can be individually designed and are now available worldwide. “Warm-up” is the name of a room-related concept developed by students at the Hannover University of Applied Sciences. The heating pipes of an underfloor heating system, which are normally hidden beneath the floor, are now visible as part of a mobile room divider. This novel heating system could be useful as a sculptural heat source, wherever required.

A fresh wind blows through Hall 3

With a new stand concept, a stage for presentations and a café, Hall 3 was turned into a special forum for handmade carpets. Nominees and winners of the Carpet Design Awards were also presented there.

These internationally renowned awards were presented in a festive setting on 11 January, the second day of the fair. As always, there was advance buzz about who would receive awards for their product or project, since the victorious entries typically combine quality, design and innovation to a particularly strong extent. The winners were as follows:

Jairpur Rugs received three Carpet Design Awards, for Best Modern Design Superieur (“Stairmaze”), Best Modern Design Deluxe (“Strati”) and for Best Collection (“Jaipur Wunderkammer”). The jury’s verdict: “Exciting design variety combined with a great, unmistakable look.”

Lila Valadan received an award for “Shahnameh” ( Best Classic Design ) and “6th Sense” ( Best Flatweave Design ). The jurors of the Carpet Design Awards judged the carpet and interior in the room installation “Home Dana” by Rug Star by Jürgen Dahlmanns to be “perfectly coordinated”, as they said. In the “ Best Studio Artistic Rug Design ” category, the jury chose Floor_Story for its “Giovanni” carpet. Knots Rugs received an award for its “Fresco”. Here, the jury was impressed by “a fascinating design with successful proportions and depth effect.”

An imaginative journey into the world of Persian knotting awaited visitors at Naziri / Lila Valadan. The carpet label reinterprets traditional designs, while at the same time referring to their roots. The artfully handmade collections of the “The Four Seasons” exhibition, “Minimalism”, “Geometry”, “Floral” and “Untitled” were presented in a series of interlocking rooms. Due to their high quality and design they contributed to a sense of individual well-being. Each of the room installations offered the viewer a fascinating interplay of light, textiles, sound elements and interior design – and at times even dance, influenced by Persian culture.

The keynote theme generates strong feedback among exhibitors

Among the exhibitors in the handmade carpets segment, the keynote theme “ATMYSPHERE”, which is all about health, sustainability and well-being, was wellreceived.

Handmade carpets, such as those on show at DOMOTEX, represent unique gems. Made from high-quality sheep’s wool or fine silk, they create a special atmosphere in interior settings. They also provide thermal insulation, have a pleasantly soft feel and radiate a luxurious aura. By being comfortable, absorbing dust and pollen from the air and improving the room acoustics, these unique “jewels” contribute to a sense of Well being . The use of renewable raw materials and their long service life make them sustainable components of home and property furnishings. In addition, their unique design makes them an eye-catcher in every room.

Organic designs, geometry and fair trade

DOMOTEX 2020 featured numerous carpets with floral and plant patterns, including Rica Basagoiti, Tissage, Tisca, Rug Star and the Floral collection from “The Four Seasons” exhibition by Lila Valadan. Creative Matters displayed its “Balthazar” innovation from the Halcyon collection made of Tibetan sheep wool combined with Chinese silk, with a motif graduated in eight shades of gray which reminded the viewer of gently curved stalks.

Another trend in handmade carpets consists of geometric patterns (Galleria Battilossi, Jaipur Rugs), several of which were inspired by motifs from the Bauhaus workshops, such as the “Ghashgha’i meets Bauhaus” collection by Zollanvari, which combines the traditional Ghashgha’i style with the formal language of Bauhaus master Josef Albers. The carpets are made of hand-combed and spun wool, dyed with natural plant dyes.

In addition to these qualities, committed manufacturers like Jaipur Rugs, Creative Matters, Paulig and Theo Keller ensure a clear conscience when buying carpets, because these manufacturers are socially committed to fair trade and the elimination of child labor.

Sustainable flooring, well-being and acoustic impact

Numerous aspects of the keynote theme also played a major role in the field of woven carpets. Verbatex presented “WalkSoft”, an innovative, regenerated recycled fiber made from cotton residues that were previously considered waste materials. With its “D-CO” series, the company presented ottomans and cushions in natural colors. Oriental Weavers from Egypt celebrated its 40th anniversary at DOMOTEX 2020. This company has succeeded in reducing its CO2 footprint considerably in recent years, which is why it received an award from GEFF (Green Economy Financing Facility). The new “Mar Rosso” collection, featuring colorful, naturally inspired motifs and underwater and beach scenes, was also showcased in Hannover. Ragolle Rugs also produces in an environmentally friendly fashion. With its “Argentum” line and a large selection of flower and leaf motifs, the Belgian company is committed to the Green Living trend. With “Re-Generation”, Balta Industries presented an innovative program featuring carpets made of recycled plastic bottles and PET fibers. Best Wool Carpets was represented with its “Monasch” collection, made of pure sheep’s wool. Its material has a positive effect in many ways: By regulating air humidity, it contributes to a healthy living climate, with an anti-allergic effect and dampened footfall sound. Girloon displayed its self-adhesive and low-emission “Style” carpet modules, with an acoustically effective comfort backing. Freudenberg Performing Materials promoted its sustainably produced and recyclable tufted carpet backing with a booth that became a popular photo motif: The floor of the stand showed the decor of a meadow orchard, on which boxes of red apples were placed.

Natural and sustainable wall and floor coverings

Cork is one of the rapidly renewable raw materials with positive properties that are used to design coverings for walls and floors. Cork has an insulating effect, reducing sound transmission and temperature variations, while at the same time improving the interior climate. With “Dekwall”, Wicanders presented a product line made of this natural material, corresponding to the current Floor & More trend for holistically designed rooms. This is a wall covering consisting of two layers of cork, which is matched to manufacturers’ floors. The surfaces come from fine to highly structured. The “3D Forms” wall elements by Granorte are also made of this environmentally friendly material in the trendy retro style, which are geometrically and threedimensionally shaped in line with the product name. They can be used to furnish a wall or to create individual accents.

The Swiss Krono Group presented a variety of new decors aimed at improving the quality of life and creating a room atmosphere that makes you feel good. The “Adaja Oak” floors from the Robusto series are particularly oriented towards the natural version. Windmöller showed its “Purline Organic Floor wineo 1500” in numerous color variations and patterns. This flooring is based on the composite material ecuran, which is predominantly made from renewable raw materials like rapeseed or castor oil and chalk. It is available as an individual print on request. “Purline Organic Flooring” is sustainable, resistant and aesthetic, as well as contributing to a feeling of well-being based on its ingredients.

Artful geometries, individualization and that “used look” for wood floors

In the area of wood floors, collections with artistically designed geometric patterns (Garbelotto, Vielaris Art Parquet, Design Parquet, Mazzonetto) are just as much in vogue as floors with a vintage or used look. T&G Wood showed “Cinzento Custom Made”, a customizable floor with a surface that comes alive with visible knotholes and cracks. Manufacturers Futura Floors and Gunreben also emphasize small irregularities in their solid lock floorboards, as is natural for a natural product.

This apparent flaw metamorphosizes into an authentic feature. Vielari’s Art Parquet specializes in the restoration of historical wooden floor coverings. Thanks to this special expertise, the Lithuanian company is able to combine new wooden floors with inlays or metal inlays in its “Art Déco” collection – with the highest level of craftsmanship and precision. “Dureco”, designed by ter Hürne, is a natural, sustainable and extremely robust floor made of 100 percent organic material. Its high resistance to water is achieved by the so-called Seal Technology – a combination of different components that together provide effective protection.

Outdoor flooring as an enhancement to the quality of life

The trend towards growing health awareness is accompanied by increasing demands on the appearance, quality and texture of floor coverings in the outdoor segment. At its own stand, Li&Co presented its outdoor flooring design “LICO Outex” in wood look. This is a non-slip, easy-care and weather-resistant designer floor covering which is laminated onto a heat-treated pine plank. The “Exterpark Magnet Wood Collection” by Yvyra is a noble teak deck with magnetic clip system.

The individual elements are designed in such a way that they can be installed on an aluminium substructure within a few seconds using a special tool – without visible gaps or screws. At the stand of Heinrich Krüger, bamboo terrace boards from sustainable cultivation were shown. They are extremely durable and resistant, shape-stable and weatherproof, thus offering a number of advantages over most tropical woods in terms of economy and the environment. Ravaioli Legnami showed its “Rhinowood Wax Pine” pine floorboards from sustainable forestry, which are as weather-resistant as exotic woods due to their treatment with wax. Outdoor carpets are also playing an increasing role, with Reinkemeier presenting its “andiamo” series, featuring various exotic leaf motifs.

Installation and application technology hook into lead theme

Saicos Colour presented its solvent-free Ecoline hardwax oil “Zero” for wood and cork floors as well as interior wood surfaces. Produced in an environmentally friendly way, this oil contributes to healthy indoor air quality. With its installation underlay “Selitpro XPO 2 mm” for parquet, laminate and vinyl flooring, Selit Dämmtechnik presented an acoustically effective solution in which both walking and impact sound are effectively damped, a quality which was clearly demonstrated at the exhibition stand. This is due to an optimum combination of density and strength, creating strong pressure stability.

At Pedross, visitors were able to experience the advantages of “Clipstar Fast” – a clip system with invisible fastening for clip-in skirtings without drill holes, in support of sleek architectural and design concepts. The system can be installed without using tools, fitting perfeclty, just like the customizable products from Neuhofer, into the theme of Floor & More . The latter company unveiled its “FN Smart Shop” at the show. Using its DIY store configurator, customers could view skirting boards, wall panels and floor profiles from the manufacturer’s range of products in a number of different decors and individual patterns in a three-dimensional display, then select and order them.

Innovative developments like these are already arousing curiosity as to next year’s DOMOTEX, which runs in Hannover from 15 to 18 January 2021.