Thursday, 30 April 2015

Milan Design Week 2015 - The Highlights


April saw the return of Milan Design Week - the largest industry event of its kind in the world. Over 350,000 visitors headed to the city for this year's event, exploring showcases of the latest in design and this year's new trends.

Milan was home to the biggest names in contemporary design and furniture manufacturing as part of Design Week this April - an international collaborative effort to display the truly exceptional work being undertaken throughout the industry - celebrating progress, design, manufacturing, and culture. 

Hundreds of thousands of people attended this year to make this the largest industry event of its kind in the world, with showcases from designers, manufacturers, and brands from all corners of the globe. 

Taking over the entire city for the duration of the fair, attendees had the opportunity to explore a massive number of events held in venues from vacant churches to entire districts of Milan.

If you weren't able to attend this year - don't panic - you'll find all of the most important trends you can expect to see over the next 12 months below, along with our highlights and favourites from 2015's fair. 

THE EVENTS

With so much on display each year it's impossible to see everything on display - we divided our time between the following three events, and have collected our favourite pieces, trends, and displays from each, as well as the themes that were displayed throughout.

SALONE DEL MOBILE

Over 350,000 people attended this year's furniture fair (Salone del mobile) held at Fiera Milano in Rho, a small town on the outskirts of the city. This exhibition focused on the latest furniture and manufacturing trends with emphasis on cutting-edge design and luxury. Product displays over two floors and a huge number of rooms, halls, and outside spaces featured showcases of lighting and accessories, home furniture, and as always, some more unorthodox pieces to provide inspiration.


DESIGN JUNCTION


Based in San Babila located in the heart of Milan’s city centre, Design Junction is one of the leading destinations for design and culture each year. With the primary show held within a theatre, the products on display solidified the Junction’s reputation for showcasing cutting-edge interior and product design within challenging, provocative spaces. 


BRERA DESIGN DISTRICT


Brera Design District is renowned for design promotion - providing a central point of reference for Milan’s creative and cultural development. Drawing from the area’s artistic resources the district promotes furnishing business and design leadership, with a selection of fantastic products on display year on year. 


THE TRENDS


While each designer, manufacturer, and visitor brought something unique to Milan, there were a number of running themes that resonated throughout this years show across all districts and venues. 

Continuing from trends seen in previous years and forecast by many, Nordic and mid century modern elements were ever-present, with earth tones and wooden finishes growing in popularity from last year’s trends. 


As always, the week is the perfect opportunity for designers to display the best in contemporary luxury, with opulent finishes and rich metals featuring prominently, providing an air of elegance.



COLOUR TRENDS


This year saw an increase in pastel shades throughout - menthol green and dusky coral were ubiquitous, with materials and upholstery featured in a number of collections, from eQ+'s Alumni collection at Brera Design District to Tom Dixon's wingback chairs at Design Junction.

Alumni Collection by eQ+ showcased at the Brera Design District.
Tom Dixon's wingback chairs upholstered in Salmon Pink and Corals.

Rolf Benz Sofa


Poltrona Frau's leather in pastel tones

UPHOLSTERY


This year brought a new selection of upholstery choices - some that we've seen before and been using in our schemes, and some that we can't wait to start using. In keeping with the contemporary luxury theme seen throughout, velvet and leather upholstery was abundant at this years show, with some of our favourite pieces photographed below. Nordic tones were reinforced with the use of rich colours and woven textiles, and each designer had their own unique spin on these two classic styles.

Poliform - Velvet Upholstered Chair
BB Italia - Husk Chairs


An Odyssey Cushions


An Odyssey - Knitted Ottomans


FINISHES & STYLES


With Nordic design and contemporary luxury being the key themes of this year's event, many designers took a similar approach when translating their vision into products, marrying different tones and textures together to create the desired aesthetic.

This year saw a number of designers fusing rich timbers with marble tops on dining and occasional tables to create an imposing and modern stylistic twist. 


Another theme seen throughout this year was a trend to "bring the outside in" with designers using woven detailing on table and chair legs - a trend we expect to see continued throughout, and especially present in Flexform and H collections.



H London's Loom collection


Flexform marble topped table
Pure Luxury marble top tables - Hermes showroom

Alivar marble top tables & Sideboard


BEAUTIFUL STORAGE SOLUTIONS



Along with the huge variety of dining sets and living room furniture on display were a number of fantastic storage solutions - what better way is there to present and store your clothing and handbag collection?

Lema's hanger system
Natuzzi chest
Poliform storage

LIGHTING


The lighting at this year's show was fantastic - with Buster & Punch surrounding their display at Salone del Mobile with black fabric to create a magically lit cove with a centralised cluster of their Hooked lights. Delightful brought a selection of dramatic light fixtures in a range of styles at Salone del Mobile, photographed below.

Tom Dixon transformed the entire theatre at Design Junction into a dramatic presentation - with "The Cinema", an interactive entertainment show highlighting the design brand's latest lighting and furniture through a series of interactive installations.



The Flos IC lights
Delightful - Salone del Mobile
Delightful - Salone del Mobile
Delightful - Salone del Mobile
Tom Dixon - Design Junction
Bocci - Salone del Mobile
Bocci - Salone del Mobile


Bocci - Salone del Mobile
Bocci - Salone del Mobile
Contardi - Design Junction
Henge - Salone del Mobile
Henge - Salone del Mobile
Tom Dixon's cog candlesticks
Buster & Punch lighting

ACCESSORIES


The small touches are as important as the centrepieces in any interior scheme, and this year saw a huge selection of new and exciting accessories presented by a number of brands and designers. Our favourites from this year were by Diesel Living, with a set of space-inspired dinnerware, Buster & Punch's industrial themed lighting and switches, and some gorgeous patterned rugs by Luke Irwin - each customised and unique.

Diesel Living - cosmic themes crockery
Buster & Punch - luxury industrial light switches & Bulbs



Luke Irwin - London based custom rugs

Luke Irwin - London based custom rugs


Luke Irwin - London based custom rugs


Luke Irwin - London based custom rugs


Luke Irwin - London based custom rugs

QUIRKY FIND


Not only known for the selection of designer furnishings, there's always a number of eccentric and quirky items on display at Design Week. Our favourite this year was by Studio Lav, a set of ingenious textile themed wooden food stamps, available in patterns including herringbone tweed and pied de poule. Fantastic idea!

Studio Lav - Designer Baking
Studio Lav - Designer Baking

MOST MEMORABLE DISPLAYS


For us, the most memorable displays at this years event were the Cassina Showroom with their rotating chair window display, the Diesel Living display at Salone del Mobile, Missoni Home, Tom Dixon's Wingback Chairs display, the Baxter showcase, and displays by Creazoni.

Creazoni Showroom
Creazoni Showroom 
Baxter Showroom 
Missoni Showroom
Missoni Showroom
Diesel Living Showroom
Diesel Living Showroom 
Diesel Living Showroom

We hope you've found the highlights of this year's event as inspirational as we have - we can't wait to start incorporating these trends and products into our new schemes.

You can find out more about the work that we do on our website. We look forward to seeing you next year!