Trendbulletin 14 Milan

Pink onyz was also used on stunning side tables at Baxter, an Italian brand renown for its less conventional approach to design. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

Revealed: the future of design!

 

The Milan furniture fair, now in its 56th year, is Europe’s biggest celebration of new design. It is here that major brands from all over the world gather to show and tell the stories of their new launches. That said, many of the pieces on show are barely past the prototype stage, with the reaction from buyers and press ultimately determining their fate. As such, many designs live and die on the Salone stands alone. And even those that do make the cut, won’t hit our shores until September at the earliest. Nevertheless, it is still the place to examine and absorb new ideas, and to make informed predictions about forthcoming design themes and future trends. Herewith my top seven…

 

 

#EDUKmilan17 #EDtrends No.1 #50scolours

 

When colours were combined on new designs it was as if we’d collectively stepped back in time. The forms might have been contemporary but the colours were decidedly old-fashioned. Think fulsome burgandys, mustard yellows, olive greens, slate grey/blues and peachy putty pinks. These are proud, punchy colours and the overall effect was often heightened by their use as prints with bold geometrics and zany patterns. The point being, the colours may have belonged to a different era, but the designs looked bang up to date.

 

Dimore Studio have rightfully earned a reputation for forward-thinking design, and their Milan 2017 display did not disappoint as they clad an entire room in these incredible hand-painted tiles. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

Dimore Studio have rightfully earned a reputation for forward-thinking design, and their Milan 2017 display did not disappoint as they clad an entire room in these incredible hand-painted tiles. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

 

Society Limonata create bedlinen of the very highest quality, so when they nail their colours to the mast, tou step up and take notice. Here a bedset shows their unique way of combinig those statement 50s colours. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

Society Limonata create bedlinen of the very highest quality, so when they nail their colours to the mast, you tend to take notice. Here a bedset shows their unique way of combinig those statement 50s colours. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

 

 

#EDUKmilan17 #EDtrends No.2 #greenery

 

I’ve written already, in Trendbulletin 4, about the pleasures and power of green, but in Milan the love affair with all things verdant was taken to another level. Not only was physical greenery in abundance in the form of whole trees to plentiful planting as absolutely the look du jour on show stands, but green was present in many other forms too, from the luxurious velvet we’re perhaps already familiar with on sofas, to lustrous new marbles in a range of hues from pale mint to bright leafy tones. Ceramics and glass also took a turn in the green spotlight. Basically, the trends memo must have read, work some greenery into each and every set, whether faux or real, and whatever the material or finish, just do it.

 

Revelling in bpth colour and texture, these ceramic tiles from Bosa are intended to be hung in groups as a sort of wall art. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

Revelling in both colour and texture, these striking ceramic tiles from Bosa are intended to be hung in groups as a sort of wall art. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

 

Indoor plant beds are officially a thing! Here they were inset into the floor, but versions in upstands, with pots bedded into wood chips or hazelnut shells(!) were also seen. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

Indoor plant beds are officially a thing! Here they were semi inset into the floor, but versions in upstands, with pots bedded into wood chips or hazelnut shells(!) were also seen. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

 

The green upholstered sofa is fast becoming a new classic, especially when done in velvet, and by Italian maestros Molteni & Co. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

The green upholstered sofa is fast becoming a new classic, especially when done in velvet, and by Italian maestros Molteni & Co. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

 

 

#EDUKmilan17 #EDtrends No.3 #amberumberpeachtones

 

The only other set of shades to be seen in abundance were a family of colours that seemed to reflect the very environment in which we were seeking inspiration; Italy itself. Think painterly hues with names like burnt umber and raw sienna. These are timeless colours that emanate from the surrounding earth (see Trendbulletin 8 on Terracotta!), but they were given a new spin in 2017 by being worked in combination with each other. And the peach end of the spectrum is the point at which this look coalesces with Trend No.1, 50s colours, making for a very coherent look.

 

At Minotti, expertly crafted amber-hued glass was used to make stunning dining tables. Lit from above, they cast glowing rings of colour onto the floor. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

At Minotti, expertly crafted amber-hued glass was used to make stunning dining tables. Lit from above, they cast glowing rings of colour onto the floor. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

 

At Missoni Home, the amber to peach spectrum was predominantly used to create prints that reflect Chinese horoscopes. These were used on side tables and on fabric for cushions. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

At Missoni Home, the amber to peach spectrum was predominantly used to create prints that reflect Chinese horoscopes. These were used on side tables and on fabric for cushions. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

 

 

#EDUKmilan17 #EDtrends No.4 #japonisme

 

My last Trendbulletin, number 13, was devoted to the eternal appeal of Japanese design so it was exciting to see the larger design world concur. Japanese touches were everywhere, from the country’s native technique of charring wood to give it a deep black finish, to stylistic influences with the artful use of cherry blossom to decorate many a stand. Other Eastern accoutrements were also seen, from classic cast iron teapots to Shoji screens and Tatami mats. Japanese design has in my opinion a certain inherently timeless beauty, so it was refreshing to see this at large rather than more shouty, fashionable moves designed only to grab headlines.

 

The 'Legend' bookcase designed by Christophe Delcourt for Roche Bobois was originally crafted in naturally finished wood. Reflecting design's current love affair with all things Japanese, 2017 saw a new 'Carbon' version in a black charred wood; a finish originating from Japan. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

The ‘Legend’ bookcase designed by Christophe Delcourt for Roche Bobois was originally crafted in naturally finished wood. Reflecting design’s current love affair with all things Japanese, 2017 saw a new ‘Carbon’ version in a black charred wood; a finish originating from Japan. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

 

Giorgio Armani is well known for his admiration for Japan and its style; no surprise then that his Armani Casa collection is rich in references. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

Giorgio Armani is well known for his admiration for Japan and its style; no surprise then that his Armani Casa collection is rich in references. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

 

 

#EDUKmilan17 #EDtrends No.5 #newmodernblack

 

If new launches were not shown in a colour, then they were black. But never boring. A multitude of finishes reigned, from the charred wood referenced above, to glossy glazes and matt metallics. It looked strong, sophisticated and very chic. It also spoke to me of great confidence. No matter that the little black dress in fashion can be a quiet default choice, in furniture, black is a statement. Black says look at me and marvel.

 

At Riva1920, a brand renown for its love of natural wood, it was a surprise to see this new finish. But then the charring technique is centuries old and originating from Japan. Combined with broad planks of such glorious timber, the effect is supremely striking. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

At Riva1920, a brand renown for its love of natural wood, it was a surprise to see this new finish. But then the charring technique is centuries old and originating from Japan. Combined with broad planks of such glorious timber, the effect is supremely striking. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

 

The fashion house Louis Vuitton have made a annual event out of the reveal of their Objets Nomades collection, a series of limited-edition pieces hand-crafted in leather by big name designers. This 'Blossom' stool was designed by Japanese supremo Tokujin Yoshioka. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

The fashion house Louis Vuitton has made an annual event out of the reveal of their Objets Nomades collection, a series of limited-edition pieces hand-crafted in leather by big name designers. This ‘Blossom’ stool was designed by Japanese supremo Tokujin Yoshioka. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

 

As mentioned in Trend 7, the use of marble was a key look at the fair in 2017. Here at Molten & Co. a striking black marble was used to create a striking and sculptural base for an otherwise simple glass-topped table. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

As referred to in Trend 7, the use of marble was a key look at the fair in 2017. Here at Molteni & Co. a striking black marble was used to create a sculptural base for an otherwise simple glass-topped table. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

 

 

#EDUKmilan17 #EDtrends No.6 #mixedmaterials

 

This trend hints at a gloriously celebratory palette that mixes with cheerful abandon colour, pattern, finish and material. Wood is worked alongside metal; ceramic with marble, prints with plains. This spoke to me, following Trend No.5, of an equally capricious attitude. It is an equally confident stance, but from a different point of view: a wonderful sense of joie de vivre and a deep pleasure in the material possibility of design.

 

In an apartment designed, decorated and styled by Studiopepe, the aesthetic of the 'Mixed Materials' trend was shown off to perfection. Distinctive wall finishes and colours were played off against custom-designed pieces in marble, brass, copper and stone. The mix was the thing, and the effect was uplifting. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

In an apartment designed, decorated and styled by Studiopepe, the Italian design agency founded by Arianna Lelli Mami and Chiara Di Pinto, the aesthetic of the ‘Mixed Materials’ trend is shown off to perfection. Distinctive wall finishes and colours were played off against custom-designed pieces in marble, brass, copper and stone. The mix was the thing, and the  effect was profoundly uplifting. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

 

Hermes are renown for their stunning show sets, and Milan 2017 was no exception. And the bold combining of their prints and patterns was perfectly pitched. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

Hermes are renown for their stunning show sets, and Milan 2017 was no exception: the bold combining of their prints and patterns was perfectly pitched. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

 

Marble-topped 'Nabucco' table. Leather 'Diva' chairs. Fir green leather-clad 'Fidelio' armoires behind. All by Roberto Lazzeroni. And displayed inside a Shoji-screen set with blossom on the table, reflecting the #japonsime trend too! Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

Marble-topped ‘Nabucco’ table. Leather ‘Diva’ chairs. Fir green leather-clad ‘Fidelio’ armoires behind. All by Roberto Lazzeroni for Poltrona Frau. And displayed inside a Shoji-screen set with blossom on the table, reflecting the #japonsime trend too! Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

 

 

#EDUKmilan17 #EDtrends No.7 #statementstones

 

Marble has always been a favoured material of many designers, no doubt for its utterly unique patterns and colours. This year though it seemd like the competition was on to find the most lustrous or most unusual new stone. I marvelled at inky blacks traced through with veins of amber and gold. Green marbles as mentioned in Trend 2. Delicious burgandy reds and amber to terracotta variants, and Emperador, the rich brown stone with it’s creamy veins. But the stand out stone? Pink onyz. Managing to look both demure and arresting in one, this was a stone you instantly fell in love with, and began to imagine the perfect home for that delicious little sidetable that you would buy, and keep forever.

 

Pink onyz was the show-stopping material of the 2017 Milan furniture fair. And at deluxe bathroom brand Boffi, it was used for decadent brass-topped wash stands. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

Pink onyz was the show-stopping material of the 2017 Milan furniture fair. And at deluxe bathroom brand Boffi, it was used for decadent brass-topped wash stands. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

 

A glorious green marble was also on show at bathroom brand Boffi, reflecting the wider trend for an abundant use of green in many different materials. This lush marble was quite spectacular though. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

A glorious green marble on show at bathroom brand Boffi, reflecting a wider trend for an abundant use of green in many different materials. This lush marble was quite spectacular though. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

 

Pink onyz was also used on stunning side tables at Baxter, an Italian brand renown for its less conventional approach to design. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

Pink onyz was also used on stunning side tables at Baxter, an Italian brand renown for its less conventional approach to design. Photograph: Michelle Ogundehin

 

Conclusion

This was a confident fair with clearly defined new directions, each of which rather wonderfully related to, and intertwined with, the other. It made for a very coherent picture and yet it was one that was also full of suprise and delight. The big brands experimented enough to offer new stories, but stayed away from obviously ‘fun’ moves. I took the prevalence of a Japanese influence to be very heartening as it reflected to me another side of confidence, one that is more about strength in simplicity, and the power of pure materials. The preponderance of Asian influences also reflected the receptivity of these markets to contemporary design. For example, Lazy Susans, a commonplace feature in Chinese homes, were everywhere! Although no-one I spoke to could recall how they got that ridiculous moniker.

 

Text by Michelle Ogundehin, Editor in Chief ELLE Decoration

#EDtrendbulletin

Twitter @ELLEDecoMO   Instagram @michelleogundehin

See also michelleogundehin.com

Ends

 



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