Find­ing favourites

Stu­dio Italia’s Va­le­ria Car­bonaro-Laws finds in­spi­ra­tion aplenty at the fair

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I love go­ing to Salone del Mo­bile. See­ing it, feel­ing it, smelling it, be­ing there among so many peo­ple. I’ve been go­ing to the fair for 22 years – my good­ness! – and ev­ery time I step onto a stand it’s ex­cit­ing to see what the de­sign­ers have come up with.

Ma­te­rial drama

I’ve been work­ing with Po­liform for 18 years and in the last few, I’ve no­ticed that they re­ally keep push­ing that bound­ary – they keep com­ing out with ma­te­ri­als we haven’t been seen be­fore, or used in new hand­crafted ways. They’ve started us­ing smoky glass, it’s not a new thing but I’ve never seen it on a side ta­ble or a din­ing ta­ble like this be­fore. The new mar­ble is ‘Sa­hara’. It’s very black and dra­matic and I ab­so­lutely love it.

Jean Marie Mas­saud

The star of Po­liform’s show­case, Mas­saud has cre­ated a num­ber of new de­signs, my favourite be­ing the ‘Creek’ din­ing ta­ble. It has a metal frame, to which you add ei­ther a mar­ble, wood or glass top. Just beau­ti­ful.


This year I went to see Po­liform’s fac­tory and saw that so much is still fin­ished by hand. Re­ally, ev­ery sin­gle piece is dif­fer­ent, with its own char­ac­ter. At their amaz­ing fac­tory, they have the ca­pac­ity to pro­duce to a cer­tain level, which is why good de­sign­ers tend to team up with them, in­clud­ing Mas­saud, Carlo Colombo and Em­manuel Gal­lina. The de­signs are both con­tem­po­rary and time­less, pieces that you love a lit­tle bit more ev­ery day.

New and old

In the last few years, there has been a boom of cre­ativ­ity and ex­cite­ment in how fur­ni­ture is dis­played. The show­room of Poltrona Frau in Mi­lan al­most made me cry. I was ex­pect­ing a nor­mal show­room, but in­stead it showed con­tem­po­rary fur­ni­ture in a build­ing with an­tique fres­coes on the walls and high ceil­ings – it was amaz­ing see­ing how an old house can take beau­ti­ful mod­ern fur­ni­ture.

Or­ganic and crafted

In the colour spec­trum, we no­ticed for­est green and bur­gundy com­ing through. We’re see­ing a move to smoother shapes – with arched cor­ners and curves, every­thing is softer. With the cel­e­bra­tion of crafts­man­ship, there’s also a lot more at­ten­tion to de­tail com­ing through.

Above ‘Park Uno’ bed by Carlo Colombo for Po­liform. At its side is the ‘Soori’ cof­fee ta­ble by Soo Chan and the ‘Ilda’ ta­bles by Jean-Marie Mas­saud for Po­liform.

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