With interest in home decor and design on the rise globally, many brands have joined the fray to take advantage of commercial opportunities. This means only one thing: It’s a buyer’s market out there. Judging by this year’s Salone del Mobile, the world’s most prestigious furniture fair, designers have clearly kept the end user in mind, with many offering straightforward, approachable pieces for broader appeal.
Both established and emerging brands showcased new collections that kept to time-honoured maxims, preferring to surprise with subtle elements, such as unusual colours, instead. Loud, statement pieces were few and far between. Rather, those with cleaner aesthetics that look set to be future classics dominated the fair floors.
Here’s the third of five trends that we gleaned from the exhibition in Milan held in April.
To Put It Simply
The deluge of new home-furnishing products can be overwhelming, what with the high speed and volume at which they are created. As a counter-reaction to our overstimulated era, understated designs and classic pieces have gained much popularity.
Finnish brand Artek has been championing functional, modern designs since it started producing Alvar Aalto’s Stool 60 in 1933, and continues to introduce evergreen pieces such as the simple yet striking Kaari Collection by the Bouroullec brothers. Established British labels such as Ercol and E15 also embody a similar ideology, with uncomplicated pieces that showcase the beauty of wood. Glas Italia, however, chose to challenge the often hard and sharp appearance of glass with the Soft tables, which have a gentle “blurriness” instead.
On the other hand, Kartell and Porro utilised more experimental materials to achieve sleeker aesthetics for the Piuma chair and Ellipse table respectively, creating designs that have a lightness to them without sacrificing durability.
01 Artek’s new Kaari Collection, which includes tables, shelves and desks, stands out, thanks to its simple yet distinct bent steel which also provides strong structural support. Available at Space Furniture.
02 The solid wood Fayland table by E15 is part of a straightforward, sturdy collection designed by British architect David Chipperfield that looks set to outlast fads. Available at P5.
03 By using frosted glass and having a gradation of colours printed on the edges where the panels are joined, Japanese design studio Nendo created a beautiful series of Soft low tables for Glas Italia. Available at Space Furniture.
04 Designed by Piero Lissoni for Kartell, the Piuma chair is only 2mm at its thickest and utilises a thermoplastic polymer compounded with other fibres to achieve its slender silhouette. Available at Space Furniture.
05 Produced by Porro and conceptualised by the female trio who form design collective Front, the sculptural Ellipse table is made out of an extra-light solid surface plastic called Dulver, which makes it suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Available at Dream Interiors.