Open-plan designs shine at imm cologne’s “Das Haus” 2019

Photo By Koelnmesse GmbH

COLOGNE – Visitors to imm cologne, an international interiors show, held January 14-20, in Cologne, Germany, were able to see the latest trends in open-plan designs at the “Das Haus” exhibit, a simulated residential house installation, by Studio Truly Truly. Australian designers Kate and Joel Booy showed their open-plan living concept with strong colors, fine details and well-proportioned open spaces. 
“How and where people work, eat, and consume entertainment today is becoming more and more fluid, and the boundaries between these different activities continue to blur,” said Kate Booy. Her husband, Joel, addeed: “Our vision of the home is not about efficiently accomplishing a lot of tasks but rather breaking away from the demands of the outside world and finding your own rhythm. It’s about consciously taking time for mundane activities and giving them the value of something worthwhile.”
The designers did away with fixed partition walls, replacing them with zones carefully matched to each other in material, colors and dimensions. Soft furnishings for the walls, the floorings and bed, solid kitchen blocks and heavy furniture, new prototypes and old classics, lighting and accessories, design objects and art all came together to form a blueprint for interior design that represents a new generation of home living, the show organizers said.
“As trained graphic designers, we make a real point of ensuring that the things we design communicate. With this project we had the rare opportunity to work with everything that makes interior design and to see how the furniture, lighting and textiles interact,” said Joel Booy. “And as we personally see our home as a place of tranquility, that’s what we wanted to make ‘Das Haus’ as well.” And they succeeded. The kitchen was the starting point for their design, explains Joel Booy, because it has always been the focal point of social life. Fascinated by the kitchen’s colors, they juxtaposed the vivid yellowy-green of the tiles (Made a Mano) with brushed stainless steel (Alpes Inox) and the soft yellow shades of the heavy upholstery fabric (Kvadrat) enveloping the whole house. The coolness of the semi-transparent, half-mirrored glass room partition was absorbed by its warm plum red.
Active, the dominant zone, encompassed a kitchen broken down into several solid blocks, a kitchen counter that descended into a bench, a large, multifunctional table and a generous seating group gathered not around a television set but an imaginary panoramic window – represented in the trade fair version by a wide entrance. The colors and light in the Active zone had an invigorating brilliance. The tone in the living area was set by gleaming lime-colored tiles paired with the stone and metal of the smooth surfaces and rectangular lines, which led down to the softer materials and lower forms of the Reclining area. This zone was dominated by rounded shapes and slightly darker shades. On the other side of the model home, a wall of plants reaching several meters high formed the circular Reclusive area. It provided a kind of enclosed garden where the residents could retreat for a quiet moment’s reflection or come together for more intimate family gatherings. The sheltered, slightly dimly lit space gave rise to a very special mood, one that the sight of the natural, slow rhythm of the plants was designed to strengthen. To conclude there was Serene, formed of a gently illuminated bathing area and a space separated by rotating Viennese rattan screens – not much larger than the new solid-wood bed that filled it.
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Michaelle Bradford | Editor

Michaelle Bradford, CCI Media, is Editor of Closets & Organized Storage magazine and Woodworking Network editor. She has more than 20 years of experience covering the woodworking and design industry, including visits to custom cabinet shops, closet firms and design studios throughout North America. As Editor of Closets & Organized Storage magazine under the Woodworking Network brand, Michaelle’s responsibilities include writing, editing, and coordinating editorial content as well as managing annual design competitions like the Top Shelf Design Awards. She is also a contributor to FDMC and other Woodworking Network online and print media owned by CCI Media.