Fresh from the Milan Fairgrounds, The Conran Shop reveal the hottest furniture brands, coolest collaborations and interior trends on show
Salone del Mobile at Milan Design Week is the biggest event on The Conran Shop calendar as it continually serves up the very best that interior and industrial design has to offer. Check out our top picks from the Salone Satellites – showcasing young designers and students from around the world – and the next big trends in interior design.
Our pick of the best interior trends
1. 1970s plush
Part of the allure of TV series Mad Men has always been the style. The popularity of the show has created a renaissance for this desirable look as typified by Knoll. One of our highlights and back in the show for the first time in many years, Knoll has been pushing new developments – think lacquered surfaces and subtle smoked colours. Giving a nod to early 1970s style was the Bastiano sofa by Tobia Scrapa, a re-edition of a design first born in 1962. A soft lacquer finish to the wooden frame worked well with its deep cushions.
Paying homage to the great masters of design was clearly evident. We loved how designers respected the past but bought iconic designs bang up to date. Fritz Hansen had one of the best new launches again based around classic designs. The iconic drop chair first conceived in the 1950s by Arne Jacobsen for the SAS hotel in Copenhagen, and now available for the first time in plastic and upholstery. Plus, the re-launch of the Grand Prix chair with wooden legs was another favourite.
The never say die metallic trend keeps shimmering back into the limelight. While there was a huge gold rush in interior decorating and home furnishings: copper, rose gold and brass also added lustre across all finishes. Kartell’s eye-catching display of glitter supported their launch of tableware, with plenty of gold and metallic finishes. The metallic trend appears to be going nowhere in a hurry, as we spotted it again at Knoll and a few independent brands.
4. Embroidered tapestry
With a focus on quality craftsmanship, furniture continued to look at how everything is made and constructed and even deconstructed. There were fewer fat rounded legs and more emphasis on graceful proportions. Vitra had several new key products, and great to see more work by Barber & Jay Osgerby including a gorgeous new bookcase and a sofa very reminiscent of the British classic Knole.
6. Reinventing materials
Designers reworked traditional materials and gave them a contemporary twist. A prime example was the Terrazzo Project by Stéphane Halmaï-Voisard and Philippe-Albert Lefebvre, whose speckled TP panels were made of resin cement and stone aggregates cast onto corrugated aluminium sheets.
7. Pastel palettes
Muted primary colours gave a nod to the swinging sixties, a pastel pastiche full of nostalgia and playful appeal.
Our top picks from the Salone Satellites
1. Maarten Bass
What a mad, super-fun festival of a funfair! Congratulations for being innovative and exciting, for us this carnival-esque spectacle was the best event at the show.
2. Wallpaper* Handmade
A well curated collection featuring some great one-off designer collaborations. Truly inspiring stuff.
3. Tokyo Imagine Via Tortona
A wonderland of creativity where Tokyo is the place where both the contemporary city and fragments of Edo culture co-exist.
4. Ventura Lambrate
Over the last few years this has been a highlight thanks to its amazing mix of creativity and brilliant new designers.
Bright and bold, the eye-catching installations at Milan University were created by some of the world’s greatest architects.
Taking a different perspective on design, we couldn’t resist the witty collaboration with the Rijksmuseum.
Looking for more design inspiration? Check out our latest A Season in France spring/summer 2014 collection. Plus, visit our A Season in France launch event photos and our incredible before and after photos from our A Season in France Chelsea store windows.