Here are some of the highlights we're looking forward at the design industry's biggest event
All eyes of the design world are firmly on Milan this week for the highly anticipated annual Salone del Mobile, the creative calendar’s most important event.
It is the largest trade fair of its kind; a five-day showcase of the latest and greatest in furniture design which attracts interior aficionados from across the globe.
Taking place from 17 to 22 April, this year’s event is set to be one of the biggest ever, with over 2,000 different exhibitors, all unveiling the latest innovations, trends and design.
From showers that cocoon you without getting your hair wet, to stylish washbasins with hidden drawers, to gorgeous sculpted modern furniture and of course COS’s annual installation, we’re loving every minute of this week-long design feast.
MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL
Fashion label COS is no stranger to wow-worthy installations. Every year since 2012, COS chooses a special artist, designer or architect to create an installation for Salone del Mobile in Milan.
This year they tapped Phillip K. Smith III, a Palm Springs-based artist who’s known for his light-based installations that challenge the viewer’s perception of their surroundings. Smith, a light-based artist best known for his reflective outdoor installations set against expanses of desert landscape, has used his signature approach to magnify the architectural beauty of the 16th-century Palazzo Isimbardi.
Tucked within the open-air courtyard of the 16th century Palazzo Isimbardi, Open Sky is a reflective mirror installation that uses the sky and Italian Renaissance architecture that surrounds it. Smith’s arresting sculpture consists of a 14 metre long concrete shell with 34 stainless steel, mirrored panels angled at a 43 degree upward slant, angled to reflect the sky and draw the sky down into the courtyard in fractured, reflected fragments, which visitors can appreciate at close range.
Open Sky transforms the overhead square of sky of Palazzo Isimbardi’s courtyard into a grounded, physical ring of reflected sky.
The installation marks COS’s seventh consecutive installation during Salone del Mobile and its first collaboration with Phillip K. Smith III.
Calligaris has just unveiled a series new designs and room sets as part of its 95th anniversary with its biggest stand ever this year at Salone del Mobile.
The collection features over one hundred pieces for the home, each one capturing the company’s contemporary style.
The new pieces allude to post-modernist Memphis style with striking asymmetrical shapes and pop-art shades. Including candle holders, vases and clocks, the contemporary and graphic collection is naturally exuberant and indicative of the design aesthetic that CODE represents.
The stackable Liberty chairs, below, have a contemporary edge and made from light and functional polypropylene. With softly curved lines and optional armrests, the available colours are a nod to the 1970s including teal and hemp.
In addition to the existing collection of Atollo tables, the new seating range is characterised by a sleek metal frame in polished brass or matt black finishes. Luxuriously upholstered with a padded seat of velvet or faux leather, the seat is finished with elegant piping.
There are clever magazine racks too; an elegant metal structure with an blog top and leather magazine pouch. Available with a matt black metal structure and matt black lacquered wood top, or polished brass frame and marble ceramic top
Devon&Devon have just unveiled two gorgeous new two new console and vanity designs at Salone del Mobile.
The Summertime Vanity Unit reminds us a bit of a Sixties cocktail bar, with a smooth and shiny curved form in lacquered wood with a contrasting black granite top. It also rather cleverly conceals three large drawers. It’s available in cream, warm grey, blue violet, red, fango or prune, with a variety of different marble tops also available, including white Carrara, black Marquina, Calacatta, white Afyon, absolute black granite, Botticino Fiorito, crema Marfil, graphite grey and Bardiglio grey.
Devon&Devon also introduced a classically inspired washbasin console. The Sound console has a compact design with tapered legs and turned brass elements, a light metal structure and a graphite grey marble top. It also features a practical, elegant shelf.
DOLCE & GABBANA IN THE KITCHEN
Fashion powerhouse Dolce&Gabbana has teamed up with Smeg to release the third instalment of their uniquely colourful partnership; ‘Divina Cucina’.
The new range, meaning ‘divine cuisine’, features fridges, range cookers and extractor hoods in two distinctly different styles.
The first variation is inspired by Italy’s celebrated maiolica ceramic pottery with a print in shades of ocean blue and pearl white.
Each kitchen appliance has been decorated with depictions of Mount Etna, the picturesque ruins of the Greek temple of Castor and Pollux in the Valley of the Temples, plus imagery steeped in mythology.
The second design tells the story of ‘Divina Cucina’ through vivid illustrations of golden yellow lemons, prickly pears, bright red cherries and classic Sicilian decorations that are framed by triangular geometric shapes known as Crocchi.
The delicate floral motifs are inspired by vegetation and landscapes of Southern Italy. Sicilian puppet theatre and traditional hand-painted carts have played heavily in the creation of this second print where the dominant tones are fiery red and orange.
Available from Smeg, all prices on request.
Another stunning installation, Kosmos by WonderGlass shows just how much you can do with glass. Their shimmering “universe” of glass features new collections from Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec and Fornasetti as well as WonderLab’s collaborations with Dan Yeffet and studiopluz.
Hosted at the iconic Istituto dei Ciechi, the Alcova collection by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec comprises handcrafted geometric objects that can sit alone or be grouped to create intimate landscapes.
“Through the Clouds” is designed by Fornasetti and takes inspiration from a daydream. Set within a custom designed brass faceted pavilion, obelisks protrude from delicate glass clouds, all floating above the viewer. “Through the Clouds” blends printed and lacquered metal with blown glass; the whimsical design and fine nature of the work awakening the love of glass that has been embedded within the Fornasetti DNA since the 1940s
Vitra has just unveiled a new bathroom furniture and sanitaryware collection, Plural, created in collaboration with American designer Terri Pecora.
The collection forms part of their new “Living Bathroom” concept which presents the bathroom as an informal living space.
Expect organic-shaped design elements in calming neutral colours and wood finishes that bring a homely feel to the bathroom.
Unveiled at Salone, Dornbracht have introduced an amazing new spa-style shower called Aquamoon. Water emerges from a concealed outlet within a sleek, lit-up dome in the ceiling.
But that’s not all. The shower has a choice of four different flow modes available, from a gentle funnel, to natural heavy rain drops, a waterfall sensation or the ‘embrace’ setting where water envelops the entire body but the user’s head remains dry.
This last setting, called “Embrace”, acts as a massage on your shoulders, while keeping your hair dry. Meanwhile, “Aqua Circle” acts like a funnel, with water falling out from the dome. The more the water flows, the smaller the funnel effect will be. When less water is applied, the funnel enlarges, staying clear of the head, and the water falls like a rain curtain onto shoulders.
With the “Tempest” setting, large droplets feel like heavy, thundery tropical rain.
“Queen’s Collar” is a semi-circular cascade of water that acts like a waterfall, massaging the head, shoulder and spinal area. The shower is available for delivery from August 2018
Quartz manufacturer Caesarstone unveils Altered States, the highlight of their 2018 designer collaboration programme with New York-based collaborative practice Snarkitecture.
This year’s collaboration explores the core theme of the kitchen island. Snarkitecture looked at water as the most important “ingredient” in the kitchen, drawing inspiration from its changing states in nature (glacier, river, geyser) and in the kitchen (ice, water, steam) to create Altered States.
Showcased at the faded grandeur of Palazzo dell’Ufficio Elettorale di Porta Romana, open to the public for the first time during Milan Design Week, the installation guides visitors through an immersive experience of a conceptual kitchen island.
At the centre of the space, a large circular kitchen island, made of Caesarstone White Attica, explores the changing states of water – ice, liquid and steam – stations. Caesarstone surfaces are used in layers, referencing natural topography as a metaphor for nature.
Bang & Olufsen unveiled their latest project at the Corso Garibaldi showroom at Salone del Mobile in Milan. Designed by Scandinavian designer Cecilie Manz, the new Beoplay P6 is a portable speaker with 360 degree sound.
The shape of the speaker makes it super stable, while its smooth aluminium surface means it can be easily gripped and carried around, while the double layered leather strap adds a warm contrast and provides a touch of exclusivity and reliability. Moreover, the splash and dust resistant means you could even use it in the kitchen and bathroom.
Beoplay P6 launches in two colours, Black and Natural. Both colours, priced at £349, will be available in Bang & Olufsen stores, on www.beoplay.com/p6 and in selected third-party retailers from April 23.
Designer’s guild have unveiled not one but two exciting collaborations at Salone Del Mobile this year.
The first partners with Guilio Cappelinni who uses some of his favourite designs from recent Designers Guild collections at his extraordinary space for Super Studio in Via Tortona. The Superloft is described as an international home decorated with iconic pieces from the most important design brands, specially selected by Cappelinni. Discover a totally new view of Designers Guild in the hands of one of the masters.
The second collaboration sees John Derian for Designers Guild at Raw&Co. This iconic shop in the Magenta will play host to a fabulous exhibition of the new collections by John Derian for Designers Guild.