Ambiente, the world’s leading trade fair for consumer goods in Frankfurt, Germany is the global platform where emerging trends and innovative, new products are unveiled for year ahead.
Over a five day period in February, 4,451 exhibitors from 92 countriesunveiled their latest innovations and trends in such consumer goods as kitchen gadgets, home décor, and tabletop. The fair attracted 136,000 visitors from 166 countries. It is estimated that revenues in excess of one hundred billion euros are generated by the products that are bought and sold here each year.
“Here at Ambiente we can still feel the hustle and bustle of world trade,” says Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt GmbH, which hosts the trade fair. “Signals are set for the entire year of 2019, and beyond.”
From a pure silver frying pan to a porcelain speaker and a rug made of recycled plastic, here are a few of the highlights seen at Ambiente 2019.
Cook and Serve Like A Pro
Based in Mettlach, Germany and founded in 1748, Villeroy & Boch, takes its mantra “cook and serve like a professional at home” to another level. Its German-made Manufacture Rock collection provides amateur chefs with everything they need to present their own gourmet cuisine in a stylish and trendy way. At Ambiente, Villeroy & Boch showcased its Manufacture tabletop collection that features matte surfaces made of premium porcelain, including a slate look and a black and white color scheme.
The rimless flat and deep coupe plates are perfect for displaying food creations to their best advantage. While it looks like a slate surface, the plates are actually made of premium porcelain that is coated with a matte glaze—and the color is all the way through the plate, so if it gets scratched, it won’t be noticeable.
The Manufacture collection, which is dishwasher-safe, oven-to-table and microwave-safe, pairs perfectly with Villeroy & Boch’s Manufacture cutlery line, which is made of stainless steel and finished with a warm copper matte surface. The Manufacture collection can be purchased directly from Villeroy & Boch’s online store or from leading retailers.
Nude’s Iris Apfel Collection
Nude Glass, a contemporary glassware manufacturer from Istanbul, Turkey that specializes in lead-free crystal glass objects, showcased its Iris Apfel collection, inspired by the 97-year-old fashion industry icon who once stated “I don’t have any rules because I would only be breaking them and that would be a waste of time.”
With her thick-framed circular eyeglasses, colorful lipstick and adorned with heavy layers of necklaces and braces, Iris Apfel is instantly recognizable for her sense of sense and personal style.
Nude’s design team, led by Muge Guler, designed a paperweight in Apfel’s likeness that is offered three different versions—clear, gradient red/orange and gradient blue/purple. The paperweights have an abstracted appearance that incorporates her signature look.
The Iris Apfel collection also includes other glassware, including a vase, carafe and glasses featuring such designs as oversized polka dots of varying sizes or lines resembling graphical necklaces. “I like the quality and the design of the company’s pieces,” says Apfel. “They have a clean, contemporary feel even though many of them are traditional shapes. And they mix with everything.”
Nude’s products can be purchased from its online store.
Soy’s $4,457 Pure Silver Frying Pan
Soy, an Istanbul, Turkey-based company founded by Emir Ali Enç, a trained coppersmith, manufactures what may be the best, and one of the most expensive frying pans in the world. Do you dream of rice that never burns or sticks or egg whites that rise in a matter of seconds? Look no further than Soy’s custom-made pure silver frying pans. Individually made and hammered by hand, a process that takes two to three days, Soy’s pure silver frying pan offers perfect heat distribution without being stirred constantly, unlike stainless steel.
“Not only are they beautiful, but they are 157 times more conductive than stainless steel,” explains Enç, who sources the silver directly from the mines.
The process to create the pans is painstaking because the silver is hammered by hand so that dramatically increases the hardness of the metal by more than 370%, a process that cannot be duplicated by machines. These pans, which are so beautiful you will never want to put them away, are especially handy for cooking foods that tend to burn quickly, such as butter, finely chopped vegetables or rice dishes.
A 28 cm frying pan, for example, made of pure silver (and will never tarnish) retails for $4,457 (other sizes are also available) and can be ordered directly from Soy. The company also makes a more affordable version made of copper and lined with silver—the 28 cm frying pan retails for $620.
The company offers a lifetime warranty (that will pass down generations, as this cookware is bound to become family heirlooms) and each piece has an individual serial number on the bottom. The company also makes an incredible collection of silver and copper bar and service ware, from shakers and strainers to mules and shot glasses as well as Turkish coffee pots. Soy’s line of products can be purchased online from its online store.
Umage’s Feather Lamps and Convertible Sofas
At Ambiente, Umage, a Danish manufacturer of lighting and furniture solutions, featured its unique designs that are both functional and beautiful.
Umage is known for its Scandnavian designs that combine aesthetics, simplicity and functionality with craftsmanship and sustainability. At Ambiente, the company showcased its Lounge Around 3-Seater sofa, which is a flexible sofa with multi-functions. Made of solid oak, it can serve as a daybed or a sofa. Offered separately, are lean backs, side pillows, round tables, lamps and side pockets that hold magazines, all of which easily attach to the sofa.
Umage’s Eos lighting solutions are also unique. The lights are offered as a pendant or table lamp and made of goose feathers, paper and steel. They are offered in several different colors, including white, light brown and light grey.
Umage’s furniture and lighting solutions are found in more than 2,000 stores in 40 countries around the world. Its lighting products can be purchased directly at its online store at this link.
Contemporary Art Collectors Will Love This Speaker By Rosenthal and Teufel
The world’s first porcelain and Wi-Fi-enabled speaker was launched at Ambiente. Called Teufel x Rosenthal, the speaker is the result of a partnership between two German companies: Berlin-based Teufel Audioand Rosenthal, the world-renowned porcelain manufacturer that is is based in Bavaria. These two companies, which could not be more different and yet complement each other perfectly, together produced a speaker that offers perfect acoustics and is bound to be a collectible.
Handcrafted from white hard porcelain produced by Rosenthal and with technology created by Teufel, one of the most well-regarded acoustics manufactures in the world, the speaker is as beautiful as it is functional.
A bass reflex is intelligently integrated into the speaker which is supported by a solid steel tripod. Music is wirelessly streamed to the speakers via a high-end coaxial driver and the Teufel Raumfeld app with Bluetooth technology making it easy to stream music from Spotify, TuneIn, TIDAL and SoundCloud.
The Teufel x Rosenthal speaker can easily be played in conjunction with other Teufel Raumfeld speakers in a multi-room setup. The same or even different music can be streamed into several rooms without interference. The speaker can also be used in conjunction with a CD- or record-player.
Launched at Ambiente, the speaker retails for 3990 euros and is a limited edition of only 500. The speaker can be directly purchased online from Teufel, but currently it can’t be shipped to the U.S.
Authentic Models’ Polo Club Bar Trunk
At Ambiente, Zeewolde, Netherlands-based Authentic Models displayed a trunk-style portable home bar made in the finest tradition of luxury luggage from the Belle Epoque era. Constructed to withstand the rigors of world travel, it has a durable distressed black pine case, with varnished wooden slats and brass corners, which minimize damage from incidental jostling.
A wheeled base, brass carrying handles and locking latch helped porters and stewards along the way. Open the hinged doors to reveal a magnificent storage area that includes a built-in wine rack, glass rack and shelves which are handmade from distressed maple. There are also two convenient deep red serving trays that fit snuggly in place until needed.
The spacious and varied storage areas allow you to hold up to eight bottles of wine, multiple alcohol containers, glasses of all shapes, cocktail shakers and drink paraphernalia. The bar Features two red French finished serving trays, a built-in wine rack, varnished hardwood slats, and three racks for glasses. It is offered in a black or grey pine casing, it is hand-polished and has a slightly distressed French Finish with black, grey, red and brass and is made of maple, pine, canvas and brass. Set on wheels, the bar trunk can easily be moved from room to room.
Authentic Models offers a variety of Bar Trunks that can be seen at this link. Its Polo Club Bar, for example, retails for $1,627. Click here to find a local dealer.
BODI Interior’s All-In-One Cooking Island
Winner of the German Design Award Gold 2019, the SQR is a compact cooking and eat-at kitchen island that serves multi-purposes and is not only beautiful, but is an incredible space-saver as it has everything you need.
Manufactured by BODI Interiors of Oberzent, Germany, the SQR can accommodate up to eight people comfortably around the cooking island, to eat, work or make a meal. The SQR can be freely adjusted in height as there are electric controls that can raise or lower the island, providing for optimal ergonomics. The cooking island can be customized with different materials, such as wood or stone-based surfaces. As seen at Ambiente, it was covered in high quality Corian, which is easy to care for. “The kitchen tables that convert like this is a huge trend in furniture, right now,” says Nicolette Naumann, Vice President of Ambiente.
Seamlessly integrated into the SQR are drawers and a full-service induction stove manufactured by SCHOTT that ejects at the push of a button. The SQR is complete with USB ports and electrical outlets so it can also be used as a work space. The SQR can be customized with additional features. It is ideal for a modern apartment in an urban area or even an office environment. The SQR retails for approximately 20,000 euros and comes in other sizes.
For more information, contact Bodi Interiors at this link.
The Rug Republic’s Rug Made Of Recycled Plastic Bottles
At Ambiente, The Rug Republic unveiled its beautiful Dollis rug which is available in a variety of sizes. Made in India, the rugs are hand-woven, and have the look and feel of a high-quality wool rug, but are actually made of recycled plastic bottles. The rugs can be used indoors or outdoors.
The rug is made recycled plastic bottles that are converted into a micro-fiber that is turned into a yarn that has a textured wool feel. Each rug is unique in color, style and texture. The subtle geometric pattern of the design will work on a porch or indoors with living room furniture. The rugs can be easy to maintain and can be cleaned with water.
“These are high performance rugs that are ethical, green and price competitive,” says Aditya Gupta, chief executive and founder of The Rug Republic, which is based in Uttar Pradesh, India.
An 8 by 10 foot run has a suggested retail price of $1,089, while the 5 by 8 foot rug is priced at $538. Additional sizes, including a 190 by 290cm, 160 by 230cm and 120 by 180cm are also available and are priced at $799, $539, and $319, respectively.
The rugs, which are easily cleaned with water, can be ordered directly from the Rug Republic. Shipping worldwide is free, although there may be VAT or import duties, depending on the country where the item is shipped.
Meissen’s Hand-Painted Porcelain
At Ambiente, luxury items that are handcrafted by artisans were in demand. One of the top porcelain producers in the world, Meissen, wowed visitors with with its utterly bespoke wall of hand-painted tilesthat feature birds in flight, a first for the company. The 216 square meter tile wall, which is available for purchase for 500,000 euros, and took six months to create.
A monumental wall painting, it was created by 15 porcelain painters who painted it entirely by hand. It features 72 birds from all continents, from white doves to blue and yellow Macaws and Ibis. Each bird came from the Meissen archives and is a good example of how the company continues to be inspired by traditional designs, but reinterprets them in a modern way.
The birds are captured in dynamic flying poses, a novelty for Meissen which typically features designs of still birds. The dramatic composition employs a wide range of painting techniques that come together to create an extraordinary effect. A cloudy background is painted onto the base and brings out the vibrant colors of the intricately detailed birds.
Individual segments are available upon request and can be customized with the client requesting a specific bird. The tiles can cost as much 14,000 euros for one tile, depending on the bird selected.
Meissen is the oldest porcelain manufacturer in Europe, founded in 1710 by King Augustus the Strong. Meissen continues to be a trailblazer in the industry, producing a wide range of tableware, jewelry, figurines and home decor, from vases to candlesticks. Meissen continues to offer “Masterworks” in limited editions, which are museum-quality masterpieces entirely made by hand, such as the 38 cm tall Korbvase Kolibris basketweave vase that features hand-painted hummingbirds in flight and which retails for $24,000 (limited edition of only 25).
For more information, contact Meissen at this link.
Serax’s Concrete-Themed Dinnerware
Made of cement (or earthenware), the collection by Kontich, Belgium-based Serax works with a wide range of designers, includes plates, bowls and tea pots, with some in the natural color and others painted with bold colors. The company is on the cutting edge and is constantly introducing new products. “This is a company to watch,” says Nicolette Naumann, Vice President of Ambiente. At Ambiente, Serax showed more than 20 new product lines designed by 20 different up-and-coming designers.
One of the innovative collections Serax showed at Ambienteis dinnerware made of concrete. Designed by Frédérick Gautier, none of the plates are perfectly round and the surfaces are not completely smooth. “Ten years ago, people would have thought that it was a production error,” explains Naumann. “But nowadays it is made in such a way on purpose, ensuring that the warm, authentic appearance is not lost, not even when a product is manufactured industrially in large numbers.”
The collection can be mixed and matched, satisfying people who don’t want to be bound to one style with perfectly matching color schemes, according to Naumann. “The more sophisticated and experimental star restaurants want to use rough and dark dinner plates like these,” she adds. “This strong trend in fine dining also becomes a trend in private homes.”
Serax is unusual in the upscale tabletop sector in that it is constantly introducing new products and designs, rather than keep items in production long-term. “Most companies doing tabletop on an upscale level keep the products for several years, sometimes as long as 20 years,” says Ambiente’s Naumann. “Serax will not keep the same product for several years, which is a bigger investment in design, but it is working very well. I have never before seen a company do this in this market sector. Serax is avant garde and as edgy as it gets.”