Over time, our Austin homes need an upgrade. Sometimes it’s because something breaks, like a lamp, or the electrical wiring is old, or sometimes, the floor plan no longer works and you need another bathroom. Some of our plans for the future of our homes require some long term planning. Tha’’s where our contractors and interior designers are helpful. But, before we call the professionals, The Houzz editors let us have a sneak peek with eight design trends spotted at the recent Milan Furniture Fair.
8 Design Trends From the Milan Furniture Fair
Sustainability, bold color and lightness were among the trends seen in new products at the iconic design trade show
This year, the iconic Salone del Mobile furniture fair and its satellite event, the Fuorisalone design festival — which takes place at sites around Milan — were moved from their usual April date to September. Over a period of six days, this special edition, named Supersalone, saw 60,000 visitors, including 425 brands from Italy and abroad.
The eight biggest trends we spotted at the fair are truly part of the zeitgeist, providing colorful and practical ways to make the most of our homes for both work and relaxation.
- Sustainable Event, Sustainable Products
A focus on sustainability was evident in both the setup of the fair itself, and in the exhibited products, many of which had sustainable features. Some were made with a higher percentage of recyclable materials, or involved innovative supply chains aimed at reducing energy and resource use.
The Vitrum Mimesis kitchen by Valcucine was designed to offer the aesthetics of stone but is made out of stone-look glass, which is not reliant on quarries.
The products exhibited at the fair also incorporated sustainability in various ways. Particular attention was paid to recyclable, recycled and low-impact materials. Other projects addressed product and material lifecycles, to save on the consumption of resources overall.
We saw this across product ranges and categories: from photovoltaic pergolas and finishes, kitchens and bathrooms made of recyclable materials and eco-certified furniture.
Sustainability was also top of mind for industry groups. “We must focus on accompanying and supporting our companies as they convert to full sustainability,” says Claudio Feltrin, president of Federlegno, the Italian federation of the wood, cork, furniture and lighting industries.
Related to sustainability is the theme of biophilia, that is, integrating nature into our home surroundings.
An example of this is the new version of the USM Haller modular furniture system (pictured), which integrates plants and watering equipment into the modules. “Adding plants to a room significantly improves our well-being by helping to reduce stress and increase productivity,” USM says in its press release.
- Yes to Bold Colors
Supersalone was also the perfect place to get to know the color trends for the coming year. Although certain colors, like white or earth tones, have become a staple in recent years, many furnishings at the event were super colorful.
Primary colors were placed side by side or used on a single piece of furniture, and juxtapositions of bold, even contrasting tones were used to create lively environments and make an impact.
One example is the 265 Chromatica lamp by Flos which combines yellow, blue and red in an updated palette for the classic lamp.
We also saw this trend on wallpaper and other products.
- A Desire for Lightness
We also saw a distinct geometry trending among furniture at the fair, with thin and airy structures that feel light in the space.
Lights with super slim arms, bookcases with almost invisible structures and armchairs resting on tapered legs with thin seats ensure the home does not have a heavy feel.
Many chairs, including both new models and updated versions of classic designs, kept with this theme.
- Dividers for Multifunctional Space
We also saw products that were clearly the result of and responses to the big changes that have swept over the home over the last 18 months of pandemic.
The need for separate spaces has led us to search for ways to divide rooms. The open-plan layout is experiencing a moment of decline: instead of having a large room to share, sometimes it is better to have multiple spaces, where each member of the family can create their own protected microcosm.
Hence the arrival of movable walls, flexible buffers and large sliding glass doors that allow light into the room but divide it into smaller areas.
Doors and systems for walk-in closets saw expanded functionality. The door has become larger so as to resemble a wall, and some closets now come equipped with a workstation.
- Everything Is Orderly
It’s easier to relax at home if everything is in order and you don’t see piles of things with every glance. For this reason, as well as to integrate many functions in a limited space, we saw several ideas for furnishings that disappear.
Close the sliding doors and the kitchen is no longer visible, leaving a seemingly separate living area. Pull a curtain and a clever working area disappears. Close doors and the core of the kitchen with its appliances becomes an elegant and compact piece of furniture integrated into the living room furnishings.
- I Need a Desk!
As many have started working from home more often, or for the first time, over the past 18 months, there is a need for desks that can fit into living rooms or bedrooms.
Designers responded. New furniture for the bedroom is designed to transform from a computer table into an elegant dressing table (pictured). Some versions are more office-like, with acoustic protection, drawer units and shelves.
The range of desks for the home, particularly for children, has undoubtedly expanded.
These new desks also fit into the style trends mentioned above: they are light, thin and colorful.
- Technology for Organization (and Relaxation)
Technology is a growing trend, aiming to make daily life easier and help you relax. In the bathroom these include Starpool Wellness Coach (pictured), which includes guided meditations and mindfulness practices. Other companies offer chromotherapy or infusers that deliver salts directly into the hot tub.
In the kitchen, appliances are becoming increasingly programmable, to make life easier but also reduce energy consumption.
Technology hardware can now be hidden within the structure of the home, to come alive only when needed, controlled by your smartphone.
To see the complete article and product photographs visit Houzz.
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