21 Aug 2018 • Warsaw
The new must-visit interior design fair is in Warsaw
It’s a golden moment for Poland. With an average annual growth of four percent and its per-capita income set to reach the IMF’s advanced-economy status, the country is emerging as one of the most promising markets in Central and Eastern Europe. But one of the most interesting indicators of how this change is directly impacting its inhabitants is in real estate: beyond the highly dynamic hospitality sector, the housing market broke records in 2017, with nearly 90,000 residential units delivered – a 15 percent increase from the previous year. And fittingly, locals are looking to furnish those homes with the best the region has to offer.
That’s where Warsaw Home comes in. This year might mark its third annual edition, but the design fair has already grown to astounding levels: exhibition space has expanded fivefold from 2016 to 2018, with 120,000 sq-m this year; from 150 exhibitors during its first run, it is now showcasing 800. To understand the strength in its speed, compare that to the most recent numbers from imm Cologne, a fair with nearly 70 years of history – 1,282 exhibitors in the last edition or even Salone del Mobile’s 1,841. What’s more: featuring a four-to-one ratio of Polish to foreign designers, it is definitely a must-visit event in order to feel the heartbeat of Central and Eastern Europe’s design scene.
Not everyone knows, especially outside our borders, that Poland is the fourth largest furniture manufacturer in Europe
‘Not everyone knows, especially outside our borders, that Poland is the fourth largest furniture manufacturer in Europe and the fourth largest furniture exporter in the world,’ explained Warsaw Home founder Kasia Ptak. Among those local producers are established brands like Vank and chair manufacturer Fameg. But also, Warsaw Home has a special section, called Poland Design Festival, to highlight the products and concepts of up-and-coming furniture and interior designers – that list includes the likes of residential purveyors Carpatic and designers Ferajna MOBO.
Following the tradition of having an international guest of honour share his or her knowledge about the industry – last year, Karim Rashid was the keynote lecturer – , Tom Dixon will give a lecture on this year’s theme, strength, while Stefano Giovannoni will join a debate and present his new brand, QeeBoo. Speaking of which, on the exhibitor side, names like Moroso, Kartell and B&B Italia have already secured their presence.
‘The most interesting part for foreign exhibitors and visitors is that this is a new market, and it’s the right moment to be here, as it’s very absorbent,’ stated Ptak. ‘This fair has a huge potential, and it can soon join the list of the largest and most effective interior design trade fairs in Europe.’
In other words, Warsaw Home is not necessarily the next big thing – it might just be the big thing now.