Here in Milan, the excited buzz continues - we're all just so happy to be out and about, sipping rooibos sodas and dodging the thunderclouds to look at new designs.
But many of the powerhouse brands showcasing their latest products have realised that same energy is not what we want to fill our homes with in 2022 and beyond. That instead, modern interior design trends need to be vibing on a different frequency. That we're yearning for a sense of peace, stillness, a salve to sooth the frayed edges of our souls.
This is perhaps no surprise. A couple of months ago, color expert Cassandra Ellis told me that because we're all worn out from the last two years, we're turning to hues that make us feel like the room is hugging us (she was specifically talking about brown living rooms).
And throughout much of what we've seen so far, brands at Salone del Mobile 2022 have been turning to very smooth finishes, subtle wood grains and soft colors that feel almost monastic in the way they imbue a sense of peace.
Shapes play a big part in the way a room feels. 'A round table gives rise to a certain atmosphere and a sense of ‘being together’ – simply by virtue of its circular shape,' says Cecilie Manz, who designed the EN table and chair for Maruni. 'A table is such a vital piece of furniture: many situations in our everyday life unfold around a table: dining, playing, working, spending time with family and friends.' Choosing one that helps make a space feel peaceful is going to be next year's biggest mood.
Boffi isn't known for adding unnecessary adornments to its designs, but it has really doubled down on its sleek approach for the revamp of the K14 kitchen series.
Designed by Norbert Wangen, the new black shade over the hobs is made from 'a precise mix of minerals' (a brand spokesperson told me) and in reality has just enough texture to be fascinating. It catches the light, and the whirls and whorls are serene, dream-like.
With no other distractions in this minimalist modern kitchen, it can't help but fill you with a sense of peace.
While sofa trends have been veering towards plump pillows for a while, Doshi Levien's new Shaal sofa for Arper takes that look and adds in a quest for peace. The seat is so deep and low that it makes the sides feel high, wrapping you in a welcoming embrace.
Reclining in it - as I was desperate to do while at the fair - is about creating a cocooning sanctuary, a place to hunker down in and block out the rest of the world. More than ever at this year's Salone, the sofa has felt like an island, a haven, designed with comfort and pleasure as the forefront as much as it is for style.
Bonus extra micro trend: pair it with orbular round cushions, to really bounce the sound away.
There is an emphasis on the embrace in the design behind the “EN” series designed by Cecilie Manz for Maruni, above left. With its curved backrest and legs characterised by a loop frame, the pieces give a sense of continuity creating a balanced soft-sharp appearance. They are - quite simply - peaceful.
“Maple wood was chosen for its light tone and even structure,' Cecilie says, 'which works well with the subtle colors and natural tanned leather selected for the seat.'
The collection is quietly self-assured, and along with the Hiroshima armchair by Naoto Fukasawa, above right, crosses the bridge between mid-century modern and, well, modern. While Cecilie's works fits into a muted palette of calming neutrals, Naoto's has a sort of Tom-Ford-A-Single-Man-style sophistication.
More trends reported on from Salone del Mobile and around Milan as they happen.
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The editor of Livingetc, Pip Rich (formerly Pip McCormac) is a lifestyle journalist of almost 20 years experience working for some of the UK's biggest titles. As well as holding staff positions at Sunday Times Style, Red and Grazia he has written for the Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times and ES Magazine. The host of Livingetc's podcast Home Truths, Pip has also published three books - his most recent, A New Leaf, was released in December 2021 and is about the homes of architects who have filled their spaces with houseplants. He has recently moved out of London - and a home that ELLE Decoration called one of the ten best small spaces in the world - to start a new renovation project in Somerset.
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