Outdoor Design Trends – spoga+gafa 2019

Koelnmesse Press / Danica Maricic, Editor-in-Chief

September 12, 2019


From 1 to 3 September 2019, the world’s largest garden fair, spoga+gafa in Cologne, Germany, once again presented the new design trends and theme worlds of the green industry. International exhibitors presented innovative products from the world of garden design and offered a comprehensive overview of the new products for the outdoor spaces of all shapes and sizes. The diversity of offers ranges from trendy outdoor furniture and design for garden equipment to smart garden appliances, high-tech grills, and outdoor kitchens, through to decorative accessories for outdoor living. As an overriding trend, spoga+gafa showcased the forward-looking theme “City Gardening” this year and thus set new accents for designing and furnishing the green living room.

City Gardening: Open-Air Oases in the City

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Trendshow Outdoor Furniture & Decoration, © Koelnmesse GmbH / Hanne Engwald

A global megatrend that spoga+gafa and many exhibitors were addressing this year – the increasing urbanization. More and more people are moving into the city and they don’t want to do without their own green space and relaxation under the open-air there either. So, with City Gardening theme, the trade fair set a new main focus at this year’s edition. Because for city dwellers, green areas are becoming increasingly important as a place of refuge from hectic, everyday life. “Today, the garden takes on the task of being a place to wind down and relax more than ever,” explained Stefan Lohrberg, Director of spoga+gafa. “It gives people the feeling of security and homeliness and is thus gaining a totally new significance.” Living in the city center and at the same time surrounded by greenery is no longer a contradiction. It is blossoming and flourishing in small gardens and on more and more balconies and roof terraces. Numerous exhibitors presented new products for the usage of urban open spaces at this year’s spoga+gafa.

Living on “Balconies”: Design for Small Outdoor Areas

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Stand – Gardena, © Koelnmesse GmbH / Oliver Wachenfeld

Not only is the constant increase in turnover the green industry has made over the past years evidence that gardening without a garden is on-trend. Compact flower beds, vertical plant walls or mini-greenhouses transform balconies into small kitchen gardens. Irrigation systems are aligned especially to meet the needs of urban gardeners. There are even miniature versions of compost boxes today. Combinable and multi-functional furniture ensures the cozy furnishing of small outdoor areas, whilst decorative elements such as carpets, chimneys, vases or lanterns provide a homely atmosphere. There are also clever sunshade solutions for limited outdoor spaces such as balconies and roof terraces. Side tables or plant pots with integrated LEDs enable the “City Oasis” to be illuminated per smartphone. One doesn’t have to do without a barbecue on “balconies” either. In addition to compact gas grills, the market also offers small electric devices for smoky aromas without smoke. Portable models are also suitable for balconies or the city park. Furthermore, there are modular outdoor kitchens to enable exquisite cooking in the open air, the elements of which can be individually combined in limited space.

Small Escapes from Everyday Life: Flexible Relaxing Furniture

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Stand – Cane-line, © Koelnmesse GmbH / Harald Fleissner

Whether on the small balcony or in the big garden – relaxing still tops the ranks when it comes down to outdoor living. Modular lounge furniture that can be put together to suit one’s individual requirements, is still particularly popular for this purpose. In this way, current models are suitable for use in small areas as well as for creating luxurious seating ensembles – in many colors and color palettes. Very resistant and fast drying high-tech materials provide soft seating comfort, soft contours and an increasingly more living room-like appearance – which corresponds well among others with the ongoing trend towards woven textiles as well as ropes and straps for outdoor furniture. Expansive relaxing islands with a sunroof that protects against the heat and wind offer lots of space or built in the form of a nest invite people to chill out together. People, who prefer a lighter and more mobile alternative, can opt for beanbags or pouffées made of waterproof textiles as seating and lounging options.

Optimized Comfort: Design for the Silver Society

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Stand – de Vries, © Koelnmesse GmbH / Thomas Klerx

In addition to relaxing, the increased need for more comfort has another reason – the growing target group of the best agers demands well-being quality in the open-air living room. Ergonomic, comprehendible and easy-to-operate design is thus becoming even more important. Low and comfortable models such as the classic wing chair, rocking chairs or daybeds are experiencing a renaissance in outdoor design. Footrests or storage space for books and drinks also increase the comfort level in the fresh air. Sunshades equipped with sophisticated technologies can be moved at the gentle touch. On the gardening front, particularly user-friendly options such as raised flower beds and planting tables at back-friendly heights – ensure optimal user comfort. Even the latest grill models have been adapted to suit the working height of this target group.

Minimal Chic: Less is More

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Icons of Outdoor Furniture, © Koelnmesse GmbH / Hanne Engwald

In the anniversary year of Bauhaus, the same more and more frequently also applies for the terrace and the garden – less is more. Filigree forms and reduced materials are providing a new purism in outdoor design. The reduction down to the essentials is here at the same time an expression of the new lifestyle that has a penchant for simplicity. Clear contours and slim shapes characterize a new generation of discrete furniture for the outdoor area. Bright colors for the sitting surfaces and frames or colorful cushions set an accent here. Cantilever chairs or seating furniture with runners are also linear and material-saving. Particularly the latter is currently making many models leaner. New collections, which are lent their rugged charm by natural wood frames, are also in line with the minimalist trend.

Systematic Irrigation

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Stand – HEISSNER, © Koelnmesse GmbH / Harald Fleissner

Devices and automatic systems for irrigating the garden are particularly coming under focus. According to the IFH Cologne, in 2018, products from the garden irrigation segment achieved a rise in turnover of around eight percent compared to the previous year. Smart devices are trendy in this segment. Equipped with sensors, they recognize when is necessary to irrigate and when not and thus ensure the efficient usage of water. They make systematic irrigation plans possible and can be steered per smartphone and voice control. Further solutions control and optimize the irrigation cycles based on weather data. Premium systems that collect the data directly on-site can among others lay down and maintain the desired soil moisture.

Weatherproof Cooking Enjoyment: Outdoor Kitchens

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Stand – Glatz, © Koelnmesse GmbH / Harald Fleissner

With a growing offer of outdoor kitchens, cooking in the open air has long since developed into more than just the classic barbecue evening. Modern kitchen units for outdoors can be individually combined with elements like sinks, fridges or worktops following the modular construction principle and can also be safely installed on a balcony. Thanks to high-quality design and technical sophistication the new models are on a par with their indoor counterparts. Specially designed frame profiles or special supports create the homely look, are extremely weatherproof and can be coated with different decors. Furthermore, foldable side panels offer protection against the wind and rain.

A Mixture of Patterns and Colors: Accessories Set Accents

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Stand – Ter Steege, © Koelnmesse GmbH / Thomas Klerx

In times that are characterized by variety, one’s own garden is also becoming a diversified world of experience. Round, organic shapes and flowing structures for plant tops lend the outdoor area its own totally individual atmosphere. In contrast to the still prevailing grey shades, the trend color of the year “living coral” as well as bright hues are setting spring and summer accents on the terrace. The design of current outdoor accessories is dominated by a decorative mixture between patterns and ornaments and is lending plant pots or carpets and cushions an exotic touch. Different decors and styles are being combined with each other, which ultimately provides a cheerful overall look.

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Stand – videx, © Koelnmesse GmbH / Oliver Wachenfeld

Whether it comes down to new furniture or plant trends, the latest technology for the garden or up-to-date barbecue equipment: spoga+gafa trade fair covers the entire offer of the industry at a glance. Hereby, the clearly structured sections garden living, garden creation & care, garden bbq, and garden unique ensure a complete overview. spoga+gafa 2020 will be staged from 6 to 8 September. The key theme of spoga+gafa 2020 is Sustainable gardens.

Cover Photo – Trendshow Outdoor Furniture & Decoration, © Koelnmesse GmbH / Hanne Engwald


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