Behind The Scenes

Form & Function: A buyers report from IMM in Cologne Germany

I just returned from the IMM Furniture Exhibition in Cologne Germany and one thing that always stands out from this trip is the notable difference between European design and Canadian practicality. This is not to say that what I saw over there was all fashion and what we tend to sell here is all function, but it does seem to lean that way. Then again, in an ever shrinking world these lines seem to get blurred more and more with Canadians embracing the latest trends in home fashion, and Europeans perhaps realizing that keeping up with trends these days can leave your home outdated quickly and your pocketbook empty even faster!

As buyers at Urban Barn we strive to be good at incorporating these fresh new designs into classic styles that our savvy customers feel comfortable investing in. I love to see what the European designers have come up with over the past year, and more importantly, how those new ideas can be incorporated into furniture that keeps a design aesthetic while being down-to-earth enough to stay in fashion for a while and be worth the price tag. I call this getting the right balance between style and practicality or form and function, something I think Urban Barn customers are experts in!

Getting this balance right takes a lot of consideration, drawing from past successes and failures, but most importantly, by listening to the opinions that really count—that’s you, our customers. You want a home that is comfortable, and one that stands out and impresses your guests; not one that makes a lasting impression of shock and dismay!

So here is my question to you: How do you determine the right balance between form and function in your home?


  1. You might be a bit late with that sofa .. Other furniture stores in Calgary have had some similar pieces in for a couple of years now..

  2. Great post! It’s cool to see what you discover on your travels. For me, when it comes to buying furniture, it has to be about storage! Although I must admit that I recently purchased a rather large (and useless) piece strictly based on looks. I don’t regret it.

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