My name is Marie-Hélène Trottier and I am the Creative Director at Jump&Love, Mobilia’s communications agency. I’ve been working with Mobilia for six years now on a wide range of projects: small, medium, large and extra large! We have such a close working relationship that whenever people hear me talk about Mobilia they take it for granted that I work there! The reason I care so much about this account is the people: the members of the Mobilia team are brilliant and they are passionate about what they do.
For the last two years, I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to join my clients on their inspiring journeys across the globe. Last year I accompanied the Marketing Director to New York, Paris and Copenhagen, and this year the team of buyers came with us to Brussels, London and Milan. Right now, I’d like to tell you about Milan, since it was a truly remarkable experience. I’ll write about London in a future article.
The 57th edition of the Salone Internazionale Del Mobile, the world’s biggest furniture fair, took place in April, as always in Milan, one of the major centres of design in all its forms. Another major attraction in Milan is the Fuorisalone, a series of events organized in various neighbourhoods. The entire city was alive with design exhibitions and happenings – 1,367 according to the program – where the names of famous designers mingled with those of emerging young talents.
Here are six trends I spotted at the Salone and in the streets of Milan.
1 Playing with colour
One of the first trends that struck me was a kind of playfulness with decor that was especially evident in the use of colour. White walls have given way to bright and bold tones. Colour is playing a key role in the design of spaces and products, and not just as an “accent.” Now you can see a mix of two, three or even four colours in a single room, recalling motifs from the 1960s or evoking sunsets with sparks of yellow, orange, salmon and marsala. Pink and jade green remain popular colours and royal blue is the new black. There’s even a fashionable colour for leather: camel, which is very chic and warm. I think Mobilia’s Spontaneous World reflects this trend, as it has a playful tone and the pieces are very colourful.
2 Lush plant life
Already a visible trend last year, vegetation has become more abundant and is being given very poetic expression. In addition to the cacti and succulents seen all over Instagram and Pinterest, there are multicoloured floral arrangements and dried flowers. This retro tendency was predictable because for every trend there is a counter trend. So after all the minimalist and graphic plant illustrations, we’re moving to the other side of the coin with big busy and colourful floral arrangements. A very inspiring development!
3 Shining luminaires
Luminaires are shining this year! The very definition of a key accessory, the right lighting unit can bring an inspired corner of a room to life. Luminaries can be majestic and theatrical or delicate and multiple to great visual effect. Vintage-style neon lights are becoming ubiquitous in stylish stores, restaurants, bars and hotels. Whether in letter form, spelling out words or lines of poetry, or in the tubular shapes typical of the 1980s, it can be incorporated in furniture or treated as a stand-alone art object, although the latter trend, it must be said, lends itself better to commercial spaces than home décor!
4 Marvellous minerals
Minerals are all the rage! The many shades of marble were on display, from green to pink, blue, yellow and red. The contrast of colours, especially black and white, accentuates the veins of the marble. I was struck by the revival of traditional techniques and the return to raw materials and minerals like terra cotta, ceramic and enamelled iron. Imperfection and hand crafting were being showcased. Terrazzo is still huge, but it has a more fragmented look with big pieces, coloured pieces and even multicoloured pieces! Marble and terrazzo are available in smaller more accessible objects like platters, candlesticks, mirrors, coasters, and so on. I even saw marble champagne glasses!
The patchwork design trend involves bringing together disparate elements in a way that forms a pleasing whole. It’s like mixing and matching Mobilia’s four worlds of style in a single room! In Milan, I spied that trend in certain living room furniture pieces such as modular sofas which let you combine a variety of materials and colours. The patchwork effect could also be seen in deliberate arrangements of small objects, like a group of coffee tables of varying styles and materials placed in the middle of a living room or a number of mirrors of different shapes and sizes hung on a wall.
6 Mirror, mirror
In the world of fashion and interior design alike, metallic finishes and mirror effects are very much in favour these days. I like the theatrical dimension of oversized mirrors on the floor in the living room, dining room or bedroom. Furniture with a mirror finish looks ultra chic. Coloured mirrors are another trend I noticed in Milan. They add a youthful touch to any decor!