milan design week report :: part one

Milan design week is the ultimate in experiencing both the city of Milan, and the essence of interiors and design. It is a week in which almost 400,ooo visitors attend the Rho Fiera exhibition building for I Saloni – made up of Salone del mobile (furniture fair), Salone del bagno (bathroom fair) and Eurocucina (kitchen fair). The fair exceeds expectations and is a visual and tactile playground of new design elements, surfaces and interior products. On our third visit to Milan for design week we spent almost four full days at the fair grounds, and below we take you on a journey through some of our favourite displays and products that we experienced…….

2014milandesignweekbathroomscavolini The pared back colours of the timber, pastel green and white give this bathroom display by Scavolini Blu a relaxed, serene feel. One of my favourite elements within this display were the white fittings – the basins, storage containers, lights and even decorative elements all match beautifully and contribute to a perfectly simple colour scheme.

2014milandesignweekkitchendoimo Quirky yet cool, this kitchen display by Doimo Cucine incorporated pale timbers and whites with bold colours and patterns. The retro look of this kitchen was not unique. Multiple displays in both kitchen and bathroom areas of the fair included all types of retro elements, from merchandising, to lighting, even inbuilt design details.

2014milandesignweekbudriJust beautiful….. This is the only way that I can describe the collection of Budri, including the owner! (pictured). With a new collection designed by Patricia Urquiola, this Italian marble has been crafted into stunning tiles, furniture and decorative pieces. Can’t wait to share more photos of these beautiful products on my website v. soon.

2014milandesignweekalessandroEach and every Salone del bagno, I look forward to viewing the Alessandro Lasferza display. The basins have  a natural tactile touch, and the colours this year again were spot on. The vanity units also have a natural organic feel with textural timber that blends with steel structure to carry the heavy look of the basins.

2014milandesignweeklivingteam7 Another great example of the retro look I mentioned earlier. This display by Team 7 successfully blended both ultra modern elements with retro styling to create intimate spaces in both their kitchen and living zones that made you feel immediately at home (or would have if there weren’t so many other people around!)

2014milandesignweeklightingpoliformJust loved this pendant lighting over a low slung storage unit within the Poliform display. Such beautiful blues!

2014milandesignweekkitchenmarchineI have to say, that this kitchen design was very similar to one of the designs that Minacciolo showed two years ago. BUT I did love so many elements from this stand; the loose brick flooring, the combination of steel and timber structure on the walls, stainless steel, the bold black steel of the cabinets against splashes of red on the fittings, and last but not least the display of the outdoor kitchen with ‘rain’ falling on it as the centre piece of the display. Just wow.

2014milandesignweeksatelliteOne of the other areas within the fair that I didn’t mention earlier is Salone Satellite. This is where specially selected young interior product designers get the chance to showcase their new designs (in some cases still prototypes) and hope to get noticed. The above design by kasch kasch would be perfect for my coffee table – what a beautiful way to hide all those little bits and pieces that seem to accumulate there!

2014milandesignweekbathroom The surfaces and colours in this image are so simple, yet beautiful. The stand outs for me on this display were the satin smooth pale blue/grey bath, the simple stool and the use of timber in their accessories (see our instagram for the timber used as towel hanging rail). Gorgeous.

2014milandesignweeklaufenbasin New basin designs from Laufen featured new shapes with textural spaces created within the basin surface for soap etc. The geometric imprint mixed with the curved shape of the basin just works, and was something a little different when it came to bathroom fittings this year.

2014milandesignweekkitchenlightingbinovaThroughout their stand, Binova displayed simple and stylish kitchen designs with some fantastic benchtops and storage details. I especially loved the slightly quirky way they used feature lighting over this kitchen wall bench. The thin stainless steel bench and decorative items complement the feature lighting perfectly.

2014milandesignweekkitchendoimo2The basis of this kitchen design is really quite simple, but has a few key elements that stand out. The rich timber of the attached dining area really pops from the main kitchen finish, and the use of colour interior and timber internal pull outs make it feel very high end. I love the use of brass and greenery in the decorative items – they give the kitchen a real lift.

2014milandesignweekappliancessmegThis year the stand out appliance display for me was franke – with a soft feminine feel and beautiful greenery throughout the stand, it felt like a little sanctuary from the rest of the busy fair. I especially loved the elegant lighting above the custom cabinetry design that housed their appliances.

2014milandesignweekideagroupThis bedroom/ensuite area was part of the Idea Group bathrooms display. It had a beautiful warm feel created with dark timbers and rich bedding, while the bright mustard-yellow accents really gave it a lift and added a point of interest. The transition from bedroom to ensuite works beautifully. Love it!

2014milandesignweekdesignersAbsolutely one of my highlights from the whole milan design week was getting the chance to meet Patricia Urquiola! After a brief chat with her, myself and Erika of White Door Design (based in Sydney) were lucky enough to score a photo with our design hero. Such a great moment!

Well, that’s a wrap up of the I Saloni for Milan Design Week! Stay tuned for part two of our report, which will cover off on just some of the many other events held in Milan for design week. Many of the industry showrooms open their doors and have special events for the week, and design districts within Milan are set up with special events showcasing new and exciting interior products from around the world. We look forward to sending more inspiration your way very soon with more from Milan!

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