The Salone del Mobile Milano, that unmissable appointment for the design sector at international level is a showcase for creativity, innovation and quality par excellence. It took place in mid-April and a number of Habitat clients attended as SA agents for some of the very best high design product globally.

An extremely positive result for the 57th edition of the Salone del Mobile Milano reflected 434 509 attendees, in six days, from 188 different countries. This was a 17 percent increase compared to the 2016 fair – which last featured the biennial kitchen and bathroom exhibitions – and was an increase of 26 percent compared with the 2017 event.

1 841 exhibitors, 27 percent of them from 33 countries other than Italy, showcased their products at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the International Furnishing Accessories Exhibition, EuroCucina and the International Bathroom Exhibition. Additionally, there were 650 young designers (under 35) who featured at SaloneSatellite.

The result was a vast array of exhibits that synergised sensuality and creativity, thanks to commitment and investment in R&D from the top manufacturers within the sector.

The Salone Internazionale del Mobile was held concurrently with the International Furnishing Accessories Exhibition, split into two style categories. ‘Classic: Tradition in the Future’, draws on the values of tradition, craftsmanship and skill in the art of making furniture and objects in the classic style. ‘Design’, showcased products that speak of functionality, innovation and boast a great sense of style and luxe; a section devoted to timeless luxury reread in a contemporary key.

This manifested in many and varied style approaches, from organicism to a return to the classical, to a search for purity and fantasy.

A characteristic common in many of the leading trends was the retrieval of the narrative value of objects and of their ability to create an ambiance. An overarching look was for spaces conceived along the lines of cabinets de merveilles, interiors reflecting shades of pink / red and grey / petrol. Furniture, lamps and objects adapted to this mood, warming up overall storyboards with fine woods, precious finishes, enveloping fabrics and – most especially – a very particular kind of tactility.

So, furnishing in 2018 demands to be caressed by the eye as well as by the hand. There are few neutral presences, rather we are talking simulacra – a slight, unreal, or superficial likeness or semblance – capable of expressing ideas, passions and successfully narrating them.

Key examples are illustrated here and importantly, are available in South Africa via the sole agents listed.

cover image: Mood for Flexform; available from Il Lusso

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