5 design trends from Milan Design Week

Earthy colours, simple shapes and craftsmanship are bound to be dominant trends in 2018.

Milan Design Week is one of the most important design events in the world: combining the Milan Furniture Show alongside Fuorisalone events throughout the city, it offers a great variety of new ideas and products. This edition of the show registered over 400,000 visitors and 1,841 exhibitors that showcased their products among the stands of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the International Furnishing Accessories ExhibitionEuroCucina and the International Bathroom Exhibition. During this week-long event we had the opportunity to observe some of the most interesting interior design trends that we predict will be dominating in our homes, based on the top design brands exhibiting their most recent collections.

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This year more than ever, Milan’s spring designs were an explosion of colours, utilising strong shades more and more. Pink made its loud presence felt everywhere throughout the many events that animated the week-long exposition, especially “millennial pink“. We also saw a lots of natural warm colours such as marsala and burgundy red, turmeric, mustard yellow and papaya orange. Among the green hues the trend is to go from dark, desaturated shades to more natural tints. There was no Greenery (which was Pantone of the year in 2017), but shades of sage, avocado and celery.  Distinctions between rooms and materials tend to be less relevant:  all-round colour palettes give personality and character to every room, from kitchens to bathrooms, creating a dialogue between walls and floors (resins are a notable trend), decorations, appliances and furniture elements.

Embracing Craftsmanship

Craftsmanship is more than a trend: it is a central element of real quality, which - combined with the finest materials and ingenious designs -  creates design products that stand the test of time. During 2018 Milan Design Week some of the most prominent design brands honoured  craftsmanship and all those who create soulful pieces with their own hands.  For kitchens in particular, the thoughtful touch of artisans creates a synergy  between pleasure and craft that passionate “home chefs” find in their culinary creations.   In its stand at the Eurocucina show, KitchenAid celebrated this link: a large cooking area with a chef creating delicious dishes from high-quality ingredients, was matched by an “artisan” station: a woodworker creating reproductions of the made-to-measure stainless steel worktops, crafted with artisanal attention to detail and shaped according to the preferences of each individual to guarantee the finest quality.

Retro-Modern design

It’s not unusual for furniture designers and brands to reference the past in their collections, but 2018 looks set to be the year that retro designs take centre stage. This trend should not be considered as a sign of the lack of new ideas: retro style is always part of the conversation, revisited and revived thanks to new materials, new technology, or simply with the combination of different style in an original manner. “Today, 95 per cent of people in Milano will think they are buying modern furniture, and they will buy retro furniture,” designer Philippe Starck told The Associated Press in an interview in 2017. Many brands decided to give a new life to vintage designs, especially from the 1950s and 1960s, along with new products designed specifically to complement them.

A new lightness

 Lightness floats among the pavilions of the Salone del Mobile 2018. A lightness that is the result of simplification of forms, especially visible in the lines of tables, chairs and furnishing accessories, which focus on the variety of modern materials and vivid colours to create more dynamic and less austere rooms. The perfect expression of this is the Fiberglass Chair created by Charles and Ray Eames in 1948 and  revisited at the Salone del Mobile 2018 by Vitra, which focuses on the colour of the chair and on a variety of different bases. For the tables stone and briar material tops have been chosen, magically suspended using metal structures or innovative designs such as Bold Table by Lago. The sofas are also refined to make them appear less bulky, thanks in particular to the presence of feet that make them more slender.

Luxury in the bathroom

While interior design is looking for new expressions inspired by the past and that reinterpret it by focusing on liveliness, lightness, which is sometimes pure minimalism, and on research into materials, bathrooms aim for luxury. This is a luxury that is not purely for performance, but is expressed in attention to materials and quality and the importance given to the concept of comfort. The real innovation, exhibited with great style, is the introduction of fabric to the bathroom. With this addition, the bathroom becomes almost an environment to be dressed, with coatings and inserts that can be coordinated with tiles, but also with printed decorations and wallpapers.

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