Thansau-based family-run schattdecor processes a total of more than two billion m2 of paper per year. Although it still focuses on rotogravure printing – as a result of new technologies and processing options – finish foil, melamine film and digital printing have become much more important in recent tears.

With more than 2,100 employees, the company generated more than €600m in revenue in the last fiscal year, across a total of 14 locations.

With its Decor Selection 2016, Schattdecor is presenting a selection of global decor highlights that have the potential to be the best sellers of tomorrow. The selection was preceded by a year-long analysis of trends and research work, during which head of design Claudia Küchens’ team distilled the essence of three current trends: Casual Black, Cultural Spirit and Freestyle Clarity. With Decor Selection, the surface specialist is offering its customers a valuable guide.

“Entirely different options presented themselves during our research,” explains Ms Küchen, emphasising that the selection is a basic package that is intended to serve as the basis for the subsequent consulting process with the customer.

“Of course, customers will also be able to find the perfect solution for their individual needs with us in the future.

That’s why we initiate a consulting process with them and tailor the decor selection to their needs.”

All 12 decors found in the Decor Selection are available in the three current trends and are considered highlight decors around the world. Freestyle Clarity is evidence of the increasing importance of the simple and authentic. It’s about reducing things to their essence – a building block for more quality of life, explains the company.

There is already a very clear recognition of this theme in Germany, Russia and Poland, says Schattdecor.

The trend fits in very well with the present, as the Scandinavian style of furniture, with its very light colours and woods, is very popular now. White frequently appears in combination with black in graphic elements, patterns and graphic furniture forms.

In China, the colour white symbolises purity, innocence and cleanliness and is frequently used in combination with natural-coloured wood, warm copper hues and surfaces with distinctive tactile qualities; and of course white makes rooms look bigger.

Lightness and variability define the Freestyle Clarity.

Casual Black sets the trend and is the most revolutionary and latest of the three trends and it is very popular in the German as well as in the US market, emphasises the company. Schattdecor’s Brazilian customers confirm that Casual Black is the biggest trend in South America, where it is attracting a lot of attention.

The trend has yet to make its way to Russia and Poland. In these countries, the colour white – as epitomised in the Freestyle Clarity decor – and lighter furniture are still more popular. Dark colours, says Schattdecor, are now mainly found in traditional furniture.

Casual Black, it says, stands for a timeless and relaxed style that offers a feeling of casual well-being.

The third and final trend offered by Schattdecor is Cultural Spirit, which is influenced by various cultures in the mix of material and patterns. Cultural Spirit is said to take furnishing ideas from all cultures around the world. It is particularly popular in Italy, Poland and Turkey, where its effect can be felt most – furniture is already being offered in this style and in warm colour tones.

Schattdecor’s customer response to this trend is also very positive in Brazil, as the natural-looking wood grains of the theme are similar to traditional Brazilian woods.

“In order to discern trends, we carefully analyse the factors that motivate and drive consumers around the world,” says Claudia Küchen in explaining the research process at Schattdecor. “In addition, we regularly meet as an international design team in workshops in order to ensure that we haven’t overlooked anything.

“We then attempt to translate our observations and the results of our analyses into colours and finishes. During the initial test phase we try out new ideas, combining elements and often discarding what we’ve come up with to try something else.

“This process results in a selection that allows us to make a clear statement and offer our customers a concrete range of decors and colours that can be used around the world.

The decor selection is the result of a year-long analysis of trends involving employees from Design, Decor Development and Sales.”

“Generally speaking,” says Ms Küchen, “it’s no longer necessary to adhere rigidly to trends nowadays. Customers can combine different styles to form their own decor ideas and absolutely everything is possible.

“Customers consciously choose pieces of furniture and arrange them the way they want to. Warm wood tones create an inviting environment and there’s great interest in different decorating concepts from cultures around the world,” she explains.

“In terms of colour, following a long white phase, black is the new white in decorating. Matte finishes give black a more pleasant appearance in residential spaces,” adds Ms Küchen.

“Focusing on high-quality furnishings allows for a more natural, relaxed look,” she says. “With respect to materials, marble in contrasting black and white is a big theme. Marble can also very easily be combined with different colours and other materials.

“In general,” explains Ms Küchen, “the trend is moving away from the rustic and toward a somewhat more refined and tranquil style.

“When I talk with customers about different types of wood, I’m often asked what’s next after the oak trend and my answer is…..oak.” Of course, other types of wood, such as walnut, elm, acacia, and pine may be popular as well. But oak will continue to have the greatest potential,” concludes the designer.