The world’s biggest furniture fair, Salone del Mobile, returned to Milan in June 2022. This brand showcase extends beyond the fairgrounds and takes over the city with a plethora of independent events. The historic downtown’s summer vibes transformed into a glamorous, vibrant playground for brands and artists.
Eco-friendliness, climate crisis, playfulness, digital consciousness, and the impact of design were omnipresent themes. Across design districts, global companies became storytellers and advocates. We scouted out some touching, nonconformist, and hypersensory spaces and installations that will inform future design processes. Check out the highlights.
French luxury label Hermes collaborated with interior design studio Dimoregallery for the Hermes Maison collection. The classic geometrics of the Bauhaus-like structures, made from ash wood and paper, glowed in modernist mood colors of yellow, ochre, red, brilliant blue, and light cyan.
The semisurreal giant paper lanterns housed the mix and match home decor textiles. Apart from pop art and Memphis-style references, also seen in the cashmere throws and blankets, an ode to craftsmanship in visible patches, stitches, and embroidery techniques was prevalent. Elemental graphic patterns shone in primary and mid-tones and pair well with light and dark wood, neutrals, and browns. Like a challenge to gravity, the home objects convince with simplicity.
Taking inspiration from Hermes, upbeat and energizing yellow and integral blue hues of cobalt, navy, and sky blues work wonders in bathrooms. They create a quiet, energy-laden atmosphere associated with fluidity and lightness.
The Objets Nomades series, an exhibition of travel-inspired furniture and objects designed in collaboration with well-known designers, gave homage to the joy of traveling. The exhibition transported visitors to shiny modernity with a touch of psychedelic influence.
Celebrating ten years, the soft, comfortable yet cosmopolitan furniture pieces centered around wellbeing. Terraced fields and rock formations inspired the multicolored chairs, screens, and poufs persuaded with organic structures and sophisticated lines. The latest addition was designed for outdoor spaces.
While the bold, block colors and maximalist aesthetics perfectly fit in the immersive space, they should not be discounted for the privacy of a bathroom. They add a personal touch to a home spa.
British designer Lee Broom’s Divine Inspiration displayed six ethereal lighting collections. The impressive, brutalist, temple-style shrine with coffered walls in cream and caramel colors and soothing soundtracks conjured up a seductive atmosphere that played on the mood spectrum.
The minimalist yet powerful rooms and configurable products reminded of spirituality and monumental sculptures. Blown glass, hand-cast Jesmonite, carved oak, hand-cast and sandblasted Pantheum lighting, and refined detailing was neither overbearing nor perplexing. They took visitors to a place of reflection and self-care.
Using mood influences when designing a bathroom elicits calmness and serenity
British creative Tom Dixon celebrated his 20 years in the industry and reflected on nostalgic glitz and bringing the 70s back. In the neoclassical Palazzo Serbelloni, he presented modified and upgraded innovations and, at Manzoni, best-sellers, new ranges, and materials.
Modern moments are best explained through light-catching, translucent materials to create glam. An unexpected softness manifested in the sustainable Mirror Ball chandelier from 100% recycled polycarbonate to the minimalist, aluminum vapor-covered Globe lamp of luminous optical illusions and the unusual-shaped Melt lamp filtering light with a dichroic screen for space-age aesthetics.
This approach and modifying existing bathrooms and kitchens with sustainable materials can reduce carbon footprints.
Porsche’s Cars and Roses installation in the Palazzo Clerici courtyard showcased dreamy, surreal flower scapes with thousands of roses, sounds, mist, and drone performances. The brand collaborated with flower artists Ruby Barber.
Combining 21st-century technology with the delicateness of flowers uplifted the car, driving into an art form, and pulled visitors into the relationship between nature and technology. The surrounding Brutalist architecture intensified the immersive experience.
Porsche won hearts with the unexpected floriculture and olfactory approach. Translating this into bathroom and kitchen designs often dominated by metals and lack of emotion, greenery, flowers, and organic matters can add softer dimensions to the spatial experience.
The interactive exhibition The Culture of Design in the Senato garden took visitors on a journey of the most celebrated Cartier product designs: Santos de Cartier, Tank, Trinity, Love, Juste un Clou, Panthère de Cartier, and Ballon Bleu de Cartier.
An immersive path unveiled the jewelry and watch brand’s eternal creations and charm. The pure lines and precise shapes that withstand the passing of time could be observed in different lights and dimensions. It revealed new facets of the brand’s essential forms.
Masterfully shown by Cartier, interactive design elements allow users to bond with spaces and products. Technology such as intelligent toilets, shower steam, or temperature setting sensors brings a new connection level to any space.
Fashion brand Missoni’s scenography Welcome Back Dreams proved to be a popular installation. The oversized friendly animals were made of soft fabrics, with black and white, zigzag, or polychrome cottony patterns, let visitors daydream and left them spellbound.
The femininity of pastels is a growing trend in the design world that takes audiences to another world and gives them a chance to come together and stay a while. The palettes are playful and soothing like a hug—a sentiment that people seek after the period of unpredictability.
The invitation to depart from seriousness and step into playful gamification is a strong tendency. Applicable to spaces in one’s own house, applying a soft color or harmonious shapes elicits soothing and warm feelings.
Fuorisalone’s award-winning Divided Layers by New York-based artist Daniel Arsham was made possible by Kohler. The layered white tunnel and a shallow pond acted as a mirrored surface to double and reflect the opening of the cavernous volume and gave the illusion of floating on water. The fictional archeology and architectural echo of the palazzo’s columns invited everyone to stay and take IG-worthy pictures.
Kohler and Arsham smartly connected the installation to the innovative 3D- printed Rock.01 sink. This manufacturing process creates a form to explore, and the walkable tunnel gave the illusion of the sink’s surface.
Divided Layers was built with more than 30 Cosentino slabs in Dekton, Leya, Kreta, and Opera colors often seen on kitchen and bathroom surfaces. The art experience was a potent reminder to splurge on innovative approaches and not be afraid to try something new.