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February 11, 2020 4 min read


It’s been a busy start to 2020 in the home interiors and furniture world! January sees many furniture and interior design fairs and trade shows – from London to Paris to Cologne to Birmingham, with many more shows throughout the year – both in the UK and abroad.

After doing a big European loop that saw us fly and train it between IMM in Cologne, Maison & Objet in Paris and The January Furniture Show in Birmingham, we’ve come back bursting with information and ideas.

For those that haven’t been to any of these fairs, we want to share some insights of both getting the most out of attending these fairs and what the highlights were for us.

As you'll hopefully see, for 2020 (and beyond) there is bags of inspiration for not only contemporary home interiors but also sustainable and classic designs, that bring timeless appeal. Please get in touch if you would like any further information or if you are interested in any of the items showcased, you can reach us at care@hemmingandwills.co.uk or on 0330 133 1233.

Getting the most out of the fairs

  • Prioritise and plan – if you were like us and only had limited time, you will want to hit the ground running when you get to the fairs. Visit the fairs’ websites to get familiar with the floor plans of the fairs and shortlist those areas you think you will get the most benefit from, either by category of area/products or suppliers you already know of. Select your top 3 in order of priority, set up appointments if possible with key suppliers or prioritise these suppliers to visit first.
  • Photos and notes – using a suitable notes application on your phone, as you’re walking around the fairs, take photos and store these against notes on your phone. It may not be possible to stop and visit every stand, so this is a great way to capture what’s of interest to follow-up with later. Remember to bring a power pack to charge your phone on the go!
  • Get comfy and take breaks – hopefully by planning as suggested above, the fairs won’t be so daunting as you’ll know where you’re heading when you get there. You’ll be covering a fair few miles in the exhibition halls when you’re there so wear comfy shoes, take a bag to keep brochures in, have water with you and, importantly, take a break here and there to rest up your feet – they’ll thank you for it!

IMM Cologne

IMM in Cologne is pretty much a furniture fest from many Scandi, Eastern European and Far East suppliers.

From contemporary to classic, budget friendly to high end styles, there was a lot of ground to cover.

Velvet and velour furniture/fabrics are still very much on trend as is mid-century styling.

mustard sofa imm cologne
range of sofas imm cologne

Albeit the view of one large supplier is these will begin to trend down with more textured and tufted materials becoming more popular.

white armchair imm cologne

Sustainable materials were also taking centre stage with really interesting and creative wood designs really standing out. Sustainable design is very much set to grow in presence and rightly so.

wooden bed imm cologne

Maison & Objet Paris

M&O in Paris is widely regarded as one of the most popular trade shows and it’s obvious why. It has pretty much everything you can think of in one place – from furniture, furnishings, lighting, accessories, art, homewares, smart gadgets and so much more! It’s a fantastic, creative event where you can immerse yourself, get inspired, learn about new trends and if you have time soak up some of Paris too!

Like in Cologne, there were styles and ranges to suit all tastes and budgets and here are just a few highlights…


We came across some fabulous and distinctive lighting which would create a stunning, contemporary look in many homes. There were also some great sustainable options too.

mason and objet paris lighting
maison and objet wall lights
modern lighting maison and objet paris

Sustainable design

This trend is here to stay and we’ve seen some lovely examples of high quality and distinctive craftmanship using natural, environmentally friendly materials and sustainable working practices.

sustainable designs maison and objet paris
sustainable chairs maison and objet paris
sustainable accessories maison and objet paris
folding wooden chairs maison and objet paris


Classic design has always been about simple, beautiful, clean design. It’s timeless. There were some excellent examples on display at M&O both Scandi and further afield.

neutral tones maison and objet paris
sustainable furniture maison and objet paris
contemporary furniture maison and objet paris


As with Cologne, the trend of furniture pieces with textured fabric design was very evident and looks set to be growing in popularity.

textured sofas maison and objet paris
grey textured high back sofa
mustard textured high back armchair
checked textured armchair
armless chair textured

The January Furniture Show – Birmingham

Maybe not quite so glamorous as Paris or Cologne, the January Furniture Show is a staple of furniture fairs in the UK.

It showcases leading styles and trends and we again saw velvets, textured designs and Scandi influences in the mix. Here are some of the highlights.

yellow sofa
birmingham furniture show sofas
navy simple sofa
birmingham furniture show
mustard corner sofa birmingham furniture show
navy armchair

We hope we've managed to inspire you with these highlights, the fairs had many delights - far more than we can do justice here! Please get in touch if you would like any further information or if you are interested in any of the items showcased, you can reach us at care@hemmingandwills.co.uk or on 0330 133 1233.

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