A sea of industry professionals from around the world flocked to Interzum 2023 in Cologne, Germany to view the latest in hardware and interior design trends. A chance for friends, old and new, to meet once again after a four year hiatus. For the Marathon Hardware team, Interzum was an opportunity to strengthen ties with long term partners. Additionally, we were able to form new alliances and peek into the future of building and design.
Among the hundreds of booths were both flourishing and emerging trends in several categories. Decorative hardware manufacturers displayed exactly why it is considered the jewelry of the home. Functional hardware manufacturers showed not only the quality and reliability of their products, but the many tried and true uses as well as some innovative new ways to incorporate products. Kitchen accessories, with an emphasis on waste solutions, worked hand-in-hand with the overarching theme of the show; a push on environmentally friendly products, procedures, and solutions while making the lives of everyone easier.
Functional Hardware Trends
In the Functional Hardware category many new interior design trends were introduced. Hardware manufacturers showed how their products can improve the aesthetics of the home and the lives of homeowners.
Hinges & Doors
Glass doors are now a staple in interior design due to their functionality and beauty. Specialty hinges for aluminum frames and clamp style hinges for straight glass panels assisted this gorgeous new trend. Sliding glass doors of all sizes were also a key feature.
Our friends at Salice showed off some stunning new interior design trends with a large focus on the Excedra 2.0, a state of the art pocket door system that outperforms so many others. They also debuted Connecta, a hinge that is embedded directly into the cabinet door and gable. It followed suit with a popular trend of further concealing door hinges in order to have a prominent focus on the millwork itself.
Another “low-profile” trend was the integration of lift systems directly into gables. This trend offers up the entire cabinet’s storage potential while streamlining the overall appeal of the cabinet interior.
Slides & Drawers
Synchronized slide technology is now a mainstay among nearly all manufacturers. The added support to drawers allows for a smoother running action and increased reliability throughout the home. Ultimately, this new staple in drawer technology will save headaches among homeowners and cabinet makers alike.
Thin is in. Slim wall drawer systems flooded every booth, while stunning, ultra thin drawer sides experienced a warm reception. Vibo and DTC both proudly displayed their versions of the slim wall and ultra slim drawer box side wall. Maximizing storage space and beautiful aesthetics permeated the entire expo, but nothing highlighted this more than this drawer side interior design trend. The sleek and elegant design established these beautiful and trendy systems as the future of drawers.
A recurring theme from many of the functional hardware manufacturers was minimizing labour through easy installation. Guide clips, new tools, and increased support via resources were just a few of the ways to simplify installation. However, it was the general sentiment of trying to make your life easier that rang true throughout the entire show.
Decorative Hardware Trends
Among the many new innovations in decorative hardware, a few stood out most noticeably.
Long handles for tall pantries and appliances were an impressive option for homeowners looking to add real character to their kitchen. Models from 256 mm up to and exceeding 1000 mm in length were showcased in many on-trend and trend-setting designs and finishes.
Textured handles including knurled and fluted designs have been slowly gaining popularity in Canada. At Interzum, the abundance of specialty textures were apparent among almost all decorative hardware manufacturers. While many standard designs were on display, textured handles were the real showstoppers.
In decorative cabinet hardware, the most highly featured trend was that of unique finishes. Matte finishes in both pastel and vibrant colours were visible throughout the show. Decorative hardware suppliers understand that the choice of a cabinet handle is as individual as homeowners themselves. Their selection of finishes proves their commitment to inspiring those individuals.
Real wood handles played on the environmental and organic themes that have been growing in popularity over the past few years. Warm to the touch and to the eye, these beautiful new pieces of decorative hardware create a feeling of being in touch with nature.
Many European manufacturers must adhere to stringent material and manufacturing laws. While these laws could seem inhibiting, companies like Citterio Giulio use them to their advantage. It allows them to unleash their creativity in both designs and finishes. As well, their customers can rest assured that the hardware they create adheres to what many find important today; eco-friendly products and practices.
Kitchen Accessory Interior Design Trends
The kitchen accessories category employed a focus on pullout systems and waste solutions. The emphasis was on high-quality products that utilize the entire cabinet interior, providing the most storage space possible. To complete the look, various grey shades were used throughout, ranging from white through to black.
Dozens of booths including Eureka featured aluminum channels and shelves providing modular storage systems that were as eye-catching as they were functional. These modular systems provide designers and homeowners with the ability to customize their living space.
Aside from the staple of interior design trends for kitchens was a heavy emphasis on closet spaces. Pull down upper closet rods and customized storage baskets were just some of the individual products available. However, full closet systems from Salice and Vibo with a customizable modular design were on the leading edge of the entire closet category.
Our friends at Vibo featured an eye-catching product that they fondly refer to as Jino. A pullout bar cart / serving trolley that stows away neatly in a dedicated cabinet. Working double duty, Jino is good for regular base cabinet storage or effortlessly removed to act as a serving companion when entertaining guests.
General Interior Design Trends
The overarching focus of Interzum was not solely interior design trends. Instead, most of the products and brands focused on sustainability and environmentally friendly materials and practices.
Staying in line with the theme of sustainability, many companies boasted their lines of products made from recycled material. Throughout the show, eco-friendly materials & processes were featured in all categories as well as natural and natural-looking materials.
LED lighting was all the rage at Interzum with dozens of manufacturers dedicated to this growing trend. Fixed strips, diffused lighting, and flexible LED strips were available everywhere, inside cabinets, drawers, and embedded in closet shelves. The breadth of LED products allows interior designers to place custom lighting in nearly any area of the home.
Which interior design show would be complete without touching on surfaces for walls, flooring, and cabinets. Natural looking materials (veneers), real wood, artificial stone with a honed texture, and colours from across the spectrum graced every booth. Never short of inspiring, the variety of surfaces at Interzum 2023 would satisfy even the most particular homeowners, designers, and cabinet makers as there was something for everyone.
Overall, Interzum 2023 was 11 halls, occupied by some 1600 booths of pure design inspiration.