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Chair Trends At Cologne Fair

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Three pronounced trends can be seen in the chairs at the INTERNATIONAL FURNITURE FAIR in Cologne from 19th to 25th January 1998. Firstly, the solid, mainly wooden chairs with clear shapes and natural colors. Often they have a classical quality, taken for example from the high-backed chair which, in the olden days, used to be arranged in strict alignment at tables, from the typical kitchen chair, or from old garden or bistro chairs. In addition, forgotten materials are being rediscovered: weaves of rushes, cord and leather can be found for the first time in the international trend collections. The generous weave of broad straps, with which the Art Nouveau architect Josef Hoffmann ("Quadratl Hoffmann") created striking contrasts of black and white, can now be seen again in new two-color and single-color designs. The second important trend is once again reduction and purism -minimal art or possessable design. The essential factors here are a clear shape, an economical use of material, and "genuine qualities". Aluminum, steel tubes, plywood and laminated wood are to be seen either in their natural colors, that is to say in the color of the material, or with certain features emphasized in color, exactly as in the case of plastics, which have become very popular again. In total contrast to this are the new comfort chairs. Everyone knows where this trend has come from: Today people spend many hours and long nights celebrating around the table. Accordingly, a few leading upholstered-furniture manufacturers decided to give this subject their attention. The result was chairs and small armchairs with a level of comfort previously known only in sofas, which can now be enjoyed at the table. Incidentally, everyone can try out these chairs, on the final two days of the INTERNATIONAL FURNITURE FAIR. For information contact Cologne International Trade Fairs, 40 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019, Tel: (212)974-8835 Fax: (212)974-8838.

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