Touring Milan’s Furniture Market, the largest furniture trade show in the world
As a way of keeping track of the latest trends, ideas and inspirations, we recently ventured to the Salon Del Mobile in Milan, the world’s largest Home Furnishings trade show. Once a year designers, architects, and home furnishings manufacturers and dealers gather in the fashion capital of the world. The Salon Del Mobile occupies over 2.5 million square feet of displays and attracts 370,000 visitors from around the world.
The amount of creativity displayed is breathtaking. One can’t help but walk away energized and stimulated with new ideas and inspirations. We have identified some top trends found in Milan that you will find soon in our showroom.
Flora and Fauna
Animal and plant life are indispensable for the perfect function of nature. Designers have long embraced nature and its organic forms for inspiration. Fauna, the Roman goddess of Earth and Fertility; and Flora, the Goddess of Flowers, are the inspiration for many of the fabrics and finishes found today. This trend is represented by its essence and passion for nature, its fierceness, the power and will to survive, and to overcome any boundary. Animal prints, fish scale patterns, muscular shapes, and tropical leaf prints are used to connect furnishings with nature and serenity.
Raw materials represent a back-to-basics trend that enhances the value of traditional organic materials such as wood, glass and stone. Embellishments in texture whether polished, stained, chipped or honed, create a raw and timeless look—especially in accessories. These products serve as an antidote to modern life often devoid of any connection to nature.
Materials can be crude or processed and are converted by manufacturing and processing into new and useful products. A transformation occurs. The imperfections, grain patterns and textures found in these materials can be used to create organic masterpieces. These shapes and textures bring us closer to the earth and ground our spaces and sense of wonder in earth’s natural beauty.
Circles have no beginning or end. They can represent the sun, the earth, and the moon. They bring a sense of completeness. This sense of movement can be used to its full capacity to give a sense of femininity and warmth. Juxtapositioned against angular forms, rounded shapes soften and define. Groupings of round mirrors, cocktail tables of varying heights, curved arms, and sofa backs shelter us from the harsh edges of life and soften our environment.
The recent advances in LED lighting has allowed designers to create incredible low-voltage architectural lighting fixtures. This category has literally blossomed with natural floral influences, windswept sail shapes, and geologically inspired jeweled fragments. No longer restricted to white lighting, designers can use any color light and control the lighting movement by pulsing the power and even choreographing a chandelier to music or the movement of people in the room.
Color is back
After many years of neutrals, designers are beginning to use vivid colors again. We saw vibrant oranges and rich plum hues mixed with artisinal textured finishes. Blues and greens continue to be popular with this season’s latest nuance—a deep but less saturated teal we call “Lagoon.” Wanting to boost your level of happiness, look no further than the color yellow. This uplifting shade can energize a room while providing a good feeling for everyone. Look for an updated “mellow yellow,” a sunsoaked spring color with some earth-baked tones bringing a retro style to decorative accents.
The design industry has always been more about art and expression than commerce. Designers and artists at heart are inspired by each other’s work. Milan serves as a meeting point for the sharing of ideas in a non-competitive enviornment. While finances are important and success is usually measured in dollars (or Euros)—and by managers and accountants—the true artistic nature of the creative class is allowed to flourish in the centries-old Brera Design district of Milan. Maybe the most important trend are the seeds being planted for the next inspirational trend.