04 Oct Milan Furniture Fair 2013 Trends
Recently I attended an evening with a panel* of Australian design experts, led by Natasha Lobo from Habitus Magazine, and Fabio Fanuli, of Fanuli Furniture, on their interpretation of the Milan Furniture Fair, Milan’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2013.
The inaugural event, now in its 52nd year, is heralded as the interiors industry event and attended by designers, retailers, trend forecasters, journalists and industry experts. This year over 2,500 exhibitors showcased their designs across furniture, lighting and home furnishings to 324,000 global attendees. Milan literally stops in its tracks for the four-day event during which the city and its surrounds are transformed into a magical world of creativity. It’s unmissable – and for good reason.
Not only is the Salone a global forum for the launch of new products, by both established and new designers, but its where the industry turns to identify interior trends for the coming year, that influence new product design, colours and styling all over the world.
Here are the new and latest themes and trends that the panel* believe will be filtering through to our shores for 2013.
Timber continues its rise and rise, bringing warmth and comfort to our interiors. Oak was everywhere, in its natural form and also washed or dipped with pastel colours. There was also a lot of high gloss laminate on timber including tables. Cherry and walnut are coming through again, particularly in ‘smoked’ Oak (called “Terme”). Timber and metal were carved in organic, light, airy structures.
Burnished, anodized and matt metallics have replaced the more glitzy, shiny metals of past years. For example, black chrome has replaced silver chrome giving a restrained elegance to the material. Materials like copper, once considered ‘working’ materials, are now in the limelight and paired with colours like salmon by designers such as Tom Dixon.
In a trend that reflects our economic times, recycled and revived old-school materials gives pieces a sense of practicality, nostalgia and craftiness. Cane, cork and rope make their way into our spaces in a new fashion. There was also a big focus on re-worked classics from the 50’s & 60’s, with slightly new forms, new colours and new materials. Other designers chose to re-work their own classics, rather than designing new pieces from scratch.
Marble is back in a big, big way. Not focused in bathrooms or kitchens as we have known it for years, but now in more unique detailing methods, such as marble ‘socks’ on chairs, table tops, wall sculptures and accessories. The trend appears to be about using the material in more subtle, sculptural ways rather than ostentatious glamour. Seen in light and dark chocolate colours.
Brights are still adding playfulness and a ‘pop’ to spaces, however it was pastels that dominated the exhibition and gave an overall feeling of relaxed sophistication. The more muted colours along the lines of salmon pink, mint, duck egg blue, and pastel aubergines and oranges created a welcoming, feminine mood, used by designers on statement pieces rather than just in accessories.
An alternate look to pastels was light terracotta, coming through in lots of materials, giving a beautiful warmth and sophistication to spaces.
These muted colour trends were also apparent in floor coverings. Even Missoni, known for its bold colour combinations showed tonal and neutral versions in its rugs this year.
Scale & Form
Giant, over-scaled furniture has begun to move aside to make way for more streamlined, smaller pieces. Again this is reflected in the 50’s & 60’s silhouettes we saw. Geometry is softer, more rounded. Cabinets and sofas have a floating look to create a sense of space.
Having said that, Mooi, Edra and Flexform all showed large statement pieces, though the difference now is that these have a more personalized feel, such as the sectional sofas that can be manipulated according to space and mood requirements.
The simple, clean lines we are seeing coming through in furniture was combined with cute detailing perhaps taking cues from fashion – stitching, buttons.
A move to a more crafted look means that joints in joinery that used to be hidden are now becoming part of the aesthetic of the piece – creating a refined but honest aesthetic.
Japanese influences such as origami and kimonos can be found in the shapes of pieces, often with folding elements – a design that also nods to our growing desire for multi-functionary furniture.
Chrome legs have been banished to make way for powdercoat. Industrial features were highlighted such as the Calamo Desk by Zanotta. Many desks and tables are featuring ‘socks’ on the base of the legs in contrasting materials or colours.
A softer look in the bedroom continues using natural linens and leathers on upholstered beds. Leather stitching detailing was seen on headboards. Natural timber bedside tables complimented the soft look. Another interesting look was the use of natural oak, terme and soft satin lacquer.
The trend towards less bulky, more refined silhouettes continues to the garden space, where powdercoated aluminum furniture with soft curves and detailed cut-outs creates a much sleeker, lighter look and compliments the forms and shapes of the furniture within the home. Again new and renewable materials feature here.
Lighting is definitely no longer task-focussed as designers paraded their craftsmanship from rough, handmade looking, aluminum cast pendants at Tom Dixon to smooth, spun, laser cut metal and expanded mesh. Clustered pendants were everywhere, acting like modern chandeliers. Materials varied from metals to baskets, porcelain, glass, silk, ribbon and wood. Adjustable structures allowed for the light source to be raised and lowered. LED technology is advancing and making LED lighting more accessible and economical.
*The Fanuli Furniture Milan 2013 Trends Report panel consisted of
- Fabio Fanuli, Fanuli Furniture
- Natasha Lobo, Editor, Habitus Magazine
- Kate Hogan, Woods Bagot
- Chris Hardy, Industrial Designer, Chris Hardy Pty Ltd
- Alena Smith, Jackson Teece
About Linda Delaney and North Shore Interiors
Linda Delaney is the owner and manager of North Shore Interiors, a company that provides interior design, decorating, styling and project management services to Sydney’s lower north shore and greater Sydney metropolitan area.
Linda has been seen in Habitus, Inside Out, Grand Designs Australia and Money magazines. She is also a regular contributor for leading Australian interior design publications, Home Design and the annual Design & Decoration. Watch out for more of Linda’s work featured in the media.
Contact Linda at Linda@nsinteriors.com.au or on 0432 716 558.