Take the tour of the Salone del Mobile with us.
Known for being one of the most influential and glamorous fashion capitals in the world, Milan also turns into a mecca for design aficionados during the annual Milan Design Week. The Salone del Mobile Milano, otherwise known as the Milan Furniture Fair, is the headline attraction during the event. While the Salone is an industry event where buyers decide what consumers all over the world will see in furniture showrooms, it also captures how the furniture industry is responding to global sentiment, and remains a harbinger of future interior trends. Here’s a look at the five top trends seen at the fair that will be rocking the interiors world in the months to come.
Production creates waste, and some of this year’s most admirable projects are all about closing the production loop to not just eliminate waste, but upcycle it into items of beauty.
Danish textile company Kvadrat showed off 12 benches designed by Max Lamb made of Solid Textile Board, a material developed by Really. This high-quality engineered board utilises end-of-life cotton and wool from fashion and textile industries, and households, in a manufacturing process that does not use water, dyes and toxic chemicals.
Instead of fabric, Spanish designer Jorge Penades upcycled leather scraps for his Structural Skin collection, which first debuted in 2015. This year, the leather leftovers came from French fashion house Hermes, and went into creating a mirror and table lamp. The leather is cut into strips, bonded and compressed, and then shaved at the edges to show off unique, almost marble-like, textural surfaces.
Ecopixel showed us a new way to recycle plastics and make them into furniture, specifically polyethylene, a “safer” plastic that melts at around 120 deg C with less harm to the environment.
Aluminium is another material that doesn’t degrade when melted and reused, and American company
Emeco is known for working almost exclusively with this material. Its new 1 Inch chair uses the same one-inch square extruded aluminium tube as the iconic Navy chair for its frame designed by British designer Jasper Morrison. The chair also has a precise strength-to-weight ratio, using the least amount of material to yield the maximum amount of strength.
“Many stands at the fair were dimly lit with spotlights to create cosy corners. Materials like brass and its various finishes were seen as the main feature or accents, and colours like dusty pink and deep green were seen everywhere. A sort of Tropical Luxe Art Deco.”
– Designer Hunn Wai of Lanzavecchia + Wai.
Emerald green, often paired with many variations of pink, from pretty pastels to almost salmon-like hues, dressed many pieces at the fair.
Patricia Urquiola’s Liquefy tables for Glas Italia mesmerised with their dynamic swirls of colour encased in tempered extralight glass, which resemble either luxurious folds of silk or dramatic marble veining.
The elegant deep-buttoned Chesterfield sofa made an appearance in dark military green, as seen in the Chester Line sofa by
Poltrona Frau. The popular Bubble Club outdoor seats by Philippe Starck for Kartell also appeared in new colours of pale pink and forest green.
Prolific designer Jaime Hayon showcased his new Arcolor sofa for
Arflex in a rose hue. Like so many pieces in pink this year, La Isla by Swedish design studio Note for Sancal is rotund and welcoming. The name signifies a place for refuge, designed for the hospitality market with weary travellers in mind.
From Lanzavecchia + Wai, Francesca Lanzavecchia’s Scribble coffee tables for metal specialist De Castelli manages to uncover the feminine essence of metal through its expressive and fluid forms cast in copper brass and iron. The facets of its stainless base tinted with pyrite bronze lends even more shine to the Pli table by French designer Victoria Wilmotte for Classicon, making it seem like an oversized jewel. The beloved Qeeboo Rabbit by Stefano Giovannoni, on the other hand, gets the full metallic treatment with a rosy copper finish.
Less showy, but no less attractive, are the Joco and Oki tables by EOOS for
Walter Knoll in hand-finished brass. When light hits the laser-cut gem-like pattern on the surface of the Joco, the shadows that fall present another dimension to its design.
“In terms of trends, I think we are steering away from minimalism and going for a more layered concept. For example, more textures like velvet, and a mix of richer hues, materials and finishes such as wood, bronze, copper and leather.”
– Eileen Tan, marketing manager of Space Furniture
Designers have always mined the past for inspiration and, this year, many pieces referenced the elegance and refinement of the Art Deco era, keeping shapes clean and injecting luxury into the tactility of materials, as well as some metallic bling. Gallotti & Radice presented a particularly sophisticated collection by 10 designers featuring plush velvet upholstery and pieces made with marble, and wood in darker hues, with gleaming metal highlights to add to that intimate feel.
In his first collaboration with Austrian heritage brand Wittmann, Jaime Hayon went back in time to the revolutionary Viennese Modernist period of the early 1900s for inspiration. Pieces in the Wittmann Hayon Workshop include living, dining and bedroom furniture, all of which display the fresh, playful and curvaceous forms the Spanish designer is known for, but clad in luxurious velvet.
“This year, I noticed pieces with clean and simple lines, and featuring nature as a theme.”
– Kwan Honmay, retail and merchandising director at Xtra
The boundaries between indoors and outdoors are now completely fluid. Foliage has invaded the indoors in a huge way, whether in the form of living plants or botanical prints.
Over at the Moroso stand was Tord Boontje’s Meadow upholstered seating collection, which sports images from the woodlands on island-like seats with legs of acrylic or wooden spheres. Edward Van
Vliet’s Ikebana sofa sported fabric he designed, printed with photos of nature that are bursting with life and detail, thanks to the blend of linen and viscose in the fabrics. The digital prints capture all the details of the photographic images perfectly.
Driade Lab offered up fresh spring blooms on its Ziqqurat cabinets and Zigazig irregular-shape coffee tables, courtesy of digital printing on bi-laminate surfaces.
One of the most Instagrammed images of design week must be Marc Ange’s Le Refuge daybed for design website The Invisible Collection, installed within the Mediateca di Santa Teresa in the heart of Milan. Available in both indoor and outdoor finishes (and in this year’s hottest hues of green and pink), Ange says the design is a projection of a childhood memory, that of an imaginary jungle growing indoors, which shelters and provides comfort and peace.
The Structural Skin table lamp, by Jorge Penades. www. jorgepenades.com
2&3 Two of the 12 3m-long benches, designed by Max Lamb for Kvadrat. www.kvadrat.dk
Emeco’s 1 Inch chair. Emeco is available at Space Furniture.
Divina armchairs, by Jacco Bregonje for Felice Rossi. www.ecopixel.eu
Arflex Arcolor sofa by Jaime Hayon, available from Space Furniture.
Kartell Bubble Club chairs by Philippe Starck, available from Space Furniture.
La Isla by Note for Sancal, available from Dream, Singapore.
Poltrona Frau’s Chester Line system. www. poltronafrau.com
Patricia Urquiola’s Liquefy tables, for Glas Italia. www.glasitalia.com 57
Qeeboo Rabbit chair by Stefano Giovannoni, available from Journey East, Singapore.
Francesca Lanzavecchia’s Scribble coffee tables for De Castelli. www.lanzavecchiawai.com
Joco and Oki coffee tables for Walter Knoll, available from Proof Living.
Classicon Pli table, available from Space Furniture.
Miniform Dalila sideboard, available from Xtra.
Sancal Magnum bar stools, available from Dream, Singapore.
Cookies coffee table, by Pietro Russo for Gallotti & Radice. www. gallottiradice.it
Jaime Hayon’s Wings bed and Vuelta lounge chair, for Wittmann. www. wittmann.at
Ziqqurat by Driade Lab is available as a single, double ble or triple stack of f boxes, from Platform mLiving, Living, Singapore
Marc Ange’ss Le Refuge installation,stallation, for The Invisible ble Collection. www.theinvisible ible collection.com m
The Meadow w family of upholstered olstered benches by Tordord Boontje for Moroso, available at Xtra. tra.
Edward Van n Vliet’s Ikebana sofa, available at Xtra. tra.