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 final series of five trends that we gleaned from the exhibition in Milan held in April.
The bi-annual lighting extravaganza returned to the fairgrounds this year, with pieces that continue to push innovation yet sustain tradition with the use of craftsmanship. This is best exemplified in Artemide’s Glass Tech collection and Foscarini’s Caiigo light. Both fuse LED technologies with ancient glass-blowing techniques.
Czech company Lasvit and Vancouver-based Bocci are also giving Italian glassmakers a run for their money, with captivating designs that experiment with the form and characteristics of glass. While Zaha Hadid’s Avia design for Slamp may not exhibit the fragile beauty of glass, it proves that even polycarbonate can be elevated to utmost elegance too.
Italian lighting powerhouse Flos brings a new dimension to mass-produced items with the Ether range, which has a “naked” base that can be customised by “dressing” it in different hats and shades.
01 Bocci’s 73 has a unique shape, due to glass being blown into heat-resistant ceramic fabric. Hang them in a cluster to create a whimsical ambience at home. Available at Space Furniture.
02 Inspired by caigo, the Venetian mist that hovers above the waters at dawn, the Caiigo lamp by Foscarini mimics the atmospheric effect, with a Murano blown glass diffuser that transitions from transparency at the top to an opaque white towards the bottom. Available at Xtra.
03 Designed by Philippe Starck for Flos, the Unplugged table lamp of the Ether family is a wireless design that can shine for a continuous six hours, thanks to a USB rechargeable battery. Available at Space Furniture.
04 Designer Carlotta de Bevilacqua interprets ancient decorative techniques of blowing glass in a contemporary way, with the Invero pendant light for Artemide. Available at Million Lighting.