On Tuesday I went to the opening day of the Salone Del Mobile which takes place every year during Milano design Week. It is a huge exhibition now in its 55th edition, an international benchmark showcase for all things furnishing & design. This year there are more than 2,400 exhibitors on a display area of more than 270,000 square meters under the slogan ‘creativity, innovation and technology’. If you are planning to go it can be a bit overwhelming, so I thought I would first share a couple of tips to make your day(s) more productive;
1 Get your ticket online & print it in advance! This is very handy and will keep you from waiting in a very long line before entering the exhibition space. If you already have your ticket printed you can go straight to the Fast Lane entrance, scanning your ticket and you are in!
2 Plan your day! Entering the space for the first time can be very daunting, everyone seems to be rushing around and you might feel like the only one not knowing where to go. But if you have already done a bit of research and planning at home this will make your experience much better. If you are going for only one day I would suggest putting down a short list of designers or brands you most want to see. As I was there focusing on Scandinavian designers it made the planning a lot easier as I could search up the different brands and already write down the location in a notebook. Tip; most of the designers showcasing will be posting their location on their social media channels, so checking their Instagram or Facebook page can be very helpful.
3 Have fun! Don’t take it too serious and be sure to make time to just browse and fill up your creative tank.
This year I saw a lot of great Scandinavian design so this post might be quite a long one, grab a coffee and get comfy! And for anyone going and interested in any of the brands I have put the location of their stand so you can easily find them too.
MENU (Hall 10, stand C06 & C08)
Menu’s philosophy is simple; “We want to make the world better, less complicated, a little bit nicer to wake up to. Collaborating with super-talented designers, we make objects to be treasured now… and forever.” This year their stand is showing the updated version of Modernism Reimagined, with updated colours and sharpened corners. I especially enjoyed the Greenery showing you how to invite nature into your home by creating your own peaceful oasis.
The Synnes Chair has a beautiful and minimal Scandinavian touch and was created by young Norwegian designer Falke Svartun. It came to life in 2013, and the latest edition showcased comes with upholstery by Danish textile designers Kvadrat. It comes in three different styles, Regular, Silk and Basel.
The Godot sofa is a beauty. It has simple and clean lines, but is also so comfortable to sit in. It comes as a one, two and three seat sofa and was designed by Iskos-Berlin.
STRING (Hall 6, stand E32)
The String shelf is a Swedish design classic and a great flexible shelving system that dates back to 1949. New this year, over 67 years later, is that the birch has become ash and the black is replaced with black stained ash. Also new this year is a beautiful magazine shelf in light wood. The String pocket is also updated with oak and white panels as well as black stained ash.
Their stand was very dark and elegant, showcasing the new products beautifully. It was a nice contrast to the many colourful stands around it and maybe not what you would expect.
MUUTO (Hall 16, stand C40)
Did you know that the name Muuto comes from muutos which means new perspective in Finnish? And according to Muuto you will know their design because it has muutos. At their stand you can find a great selection of furniture, lighting and home accessories by leading Scandinavian designers in a friendly and cool environment.
They are celebrating 10 years of new perspectives on Scandinavian design by launching quite a few new designs, like for instance the CONTROL light designed by Mattias Ståhlbom and the LEAN wall lamp by Claesson Koivisto Rune seen below. The E27 PENDANT lamp by Mattias Ståhlbom has also been added in a new mustard colour.
In the far right corner in the image below you can spot a preview of the new storage racks, COMPILE shelving system by Cecilie Manz.
The STACKED storage system designed by Julien De Smedt is another favourite, a beautiful and playful shelf with endless possibilities. The design can be easily changed by playing around with the space between the modules or mounting them directly onto the wall. The design has been updated slightly for 2016; STACKED ELEMENTS with added doors.
The FRAMED mirror is also one of the new designs launched, a series of beautiful tinted mirrors. They are designed by Anderssen & Voll and is not just a mirror, but an object – which with its depth of both form and colour lends the wall a sculptural value. Soon available in two sizes and in grey, taupe and pink.
Here you can see the AMBIT lamp designed by TAF Architects in its right environment. The timeless design has a strong character, and gives for an attractive and simplistic lamp. The lamp shade is made from old brazier traditions, press spun by hand, polished and finally hand-painted and it comes in five different colours. New for this season is the PLY rug by Margrethe Odgaard in a range of lovely colours like this pink one.
Below you can spot the new TILE cushion in the sofa also by Anderssen & Voll. It comes in four colours and a pattern that gives the impression of a three dimensional structure, an eye catching piece in any living room!
SWEDESE (Hall 16, stand E26)
This Swedish brand’s ideals are the same today as they have been for the last sixty years. Namely to create beautiful furniture for the future, which build on the foundations of Scandinavian modern traditions. Their news for 2016 are footstools and tables, corner sections and shelves and they are showcasing a mix of new products and updated classics.
I love the simplicity of the Log Bench. It is made by laminated oak veneer and has support feet in black stained solid wood, designed by influential Japanese designer of our time Naoto Fukasawa for Swedese.
In 2016 two collections of footstools has been created to fit well with the rest of the Swedese products. The botanic was designed by Roger Persson to encourage those brief, casual meetings that can happen anywhere, anytime in the workplace. They come in either plain as pictured here or with a stylised leaf on the seat.
&TRADITION (Hall 6, stand E25)
This Danish design company was established in 2010 with the founding principle being tradition tied to innovation. The connect with the old design masters while giving space to new and future classics. Their space is monochrome and harmonious with burgundy walls showcasing their new product launches. Here its all about the details. The first thing you are greeted by is this massive Light Forest wall, a lighting system adapted for ceilings and walls designed by Tineke Beun-ders and Nathan Wierink of Ontwerpduo.
The iconic Flowerpot lamps by Danish designer Verner Panton is launched in these contemporary new colours. “Payton was always on the cutting edge of design. He fearlessly experimented with new shapes, colours and materials in design concepts that looked futuristic then – and now. To honour this design visionary, we are introducing a series og high gloss hues. New colours to keep the lamps one step ahead. Like Panton himself.” – Martin Kornbek Hansen (&tradition)
The stunning Mayor Sofa AJ5 by Arne Jacobsen / Flemming Lassen shows a modern and unique regional adaptation, with the frame made of solid oak and the tight upholstery with three loose cushions. A sofa with a simple yet stylish look.
BLÅ STATION (Hall 16, stand C41)
This was a brand I stumbled upon on and really liked. The Swedish brand is actually celebrating its 30th birthday this year and creates products based on usability, function and quality with the words ‘peace, love & good design’. Their colourful sound absorbers Ginko creates the perfect backdrop for their stand, simple and eye-catching.
The cute Oppo pouffes and footstools are great, very light and easy to move with a ring that can be used as a practical handle. The welcoming round shape and colours makes them the perfect accessory in your home.
If you need a individual little work station or place to relax the Honken Workstation is the perfect furniture. It has a nice side table, work surface, storage, electrical outlet and a couch for resting your feet – the ultimate temporary workplace! I think I might need one of these..
BOLON (Hall 16, stand B27)
This is the 7th year that this Swedish brand brings their design flair to the fair. This year they got help by London designers Doshi Levien who has created a visually striking stand to walk through. This is part of ‘Material Interventions’ a global creative campaign that supports their new collection called Bolon By You. This collection is a interactive flooring concept, it lets you create whatever flooring that suits your space with six patterns, four warp colours and twelve weft colours.
Their stand is so beautiful and something that just has to be experienced as it is quite hard to portray in still images.
KARL ANDERSSON & SONER (Hall 16, stand E40)
When I walked into this stand I was so impressed by their wall items like the cabinets, magazine racks and various display systems. This Swedish brand has been making “well-made furniture designed to last” for 118 years. What especially attracted me was the new Svall magazine shelf with its convex shape and simplistic feel. It can be hung horizontally or vertically, the horizontal model comes in six different lengths and the vertical one comes in three different lengths.
The 1KM DISPLAY is a beautiful flexible shelf that can be used as a magazine holder, pigeonhole or bedside table. It has been created so that it is easy to build to great lengths – up to 1km if required. Available in solid oak, ash, standard stains on ash & standard colors on MDF with a drawer as an added accessory, this display unit looks great on any wall. Neat, attractive and practical!
ARCHITECTMADE (Hall 16, stand F56)
Modern home accessories by famous Danish architects, Architectmade is a glimpse into a few rare design objects that some of Denmark’s leading architects created along their way to fame many years ago. Their little but bright stand is vert inviting, and the products are beautifully displayed on clean, white shelves. I love the timeless FJ Clock designed as a part of the interior of the New York United Nation Trusteeship Council Chamber in 1950 by Finn Juhl. Its clever minimalistic look along with the natural qualities of the teak wood and the numberless aluminum dial works so well together.
Another of their products I really like (except from the birds by Kristian Vedel of course) are the copper, brass and stainless steel tea light holders Trepas designed by Peter Karpf in 1966.
As well as these brands above there are also three separate sections for Swedish, Danish and Norwegian design. As there are quite a lot of designers represented in one space I have only focused on a couple in each area, but I have also included full lists of each of the exhibitors.
SWEEDISH DESIGN GOES MILAN (Hall 10, stand E23)
Sweden’s furniture, architecture and design is influenced by immense forests and a sustainable mind set. Because of this the the curators of the space Tengbom found inspiration in the Swedish nature along with playfulness to celebrate that joyful Nordic approach. Swedish Design Goes Milan is an initiative by Business Sweden in collaboration with the Swedish Embassy, Svensk Form, Swedish Association of Architects and VisitSweden. The exhibitors include A2 Designers, Ateljé Lyktan, Bsweden, By Rydéns, David Design, Fibers & Friends, Fogia, House of Dagmar, JI Jonas Ihreborn, Johanson Design, Nola, No-Sir, NTK EUROPE, Ogeborg, Pholc and TreCe. You can find them all here if you are interested.
In collaboration with selected Scandinavian designers Fogia has for the last thirty years created well thought-out furniture for private homes and public spaces around the world. A selection of the Fogia collection is presented, such as the neat little shelf Archetto designed by Note Design Studio. It is shown for first time to the public and is a stunning wall mounted shelf that offers a great surface to display any precious items. Note Design Studio also created the Arch bookshelf and together they work perfectly.
Other items that caught my eye from Fogia was these super soft and lovely blankets called Koster. They are named after a rainy island on Sweden’s west coast, and the colour take tones from those moments when the sun breaks its way through sheets of rain along with the deep colour of the sea.
Fogia is also showcasing the new and popular Ceramics by Carina Seth Andersson, the Bollo armchair and Tiki 3 seater sofa in leather by Andreas Engesvik, Arch shelves and Tabula table by Note Design Studio and armchair Tondo by Stefan Borselius.
All of Nola’s output is based on three simple rules: ‘always start from scratch, get to the heart of the issue and dare to be different’. They have created a range of outdoor furnitures for more than four decades. At this exhibition they were displaying their new Pots Planters designed by Broberg & Ridderstråle, a stunning set of freestanding container towers made from powder-coated in green, beige and blue.
They also showed off the Plymå circular bench crafted from smooth limestone, with waxed ash, which have been sculpted into cushion-like shapes. It is made so that it can surround posts or encircle ornamental trees, but is only for indoor use.
The space itself was beautiful and my absolute favourite of the three countries, it was so open and airy with so much green to create the perfect Nordic atmosphere. The sound design by Radja Sound Design Agency added that extra little touch to make it even more special, and as I happened to step when the opening event was happening I got to try the amazing Swedish food by Björk Swedish Brasserie and the prosecco! Below I have added a couple of more images from the space and the event to show you just how beautiful it was.
How cute are these yellow cast ceramic candlesticks with hand painted decor by No Sir?
DANISH LIVING ROOM (Hall 10, stand B03)
A conceptual exhibition showcasing the best of Danish Design in a rare blend of leading and upcoming brands. The Danes sure know how to create the perfect living room, and the space includes Abc Reoler Aulum, BoConcept, Erik Jørgensen Møbelfabrik, Genito, Kähler Design and Pandul amongst others.
The one thing that stood out for me at the Danish area was the beautifully designed lamps by Pandul. The collection of Danish classic, modern lamps consists of some of the best lamp designs by recognised architects and designers. The VIP lamps by professor & architect Joergen Gammelgaard are stunning. The basic idea is the unique multi-adjustable shade that gives the same lamp several identities and increases the way it can be used. Just turn it up, down or flat and it will light the room up in a different way – so smart! I also loved the Tip Top lamp, a perfect example of cool Scandinavian minimalism.
And of course the yellow Kähler Unico Orcher vase made its appearance!
INSIDE NORWAY (Hall 10, A05)
An exhibition project owned by Federation of Norwegian Industries – Furniture+Interior and Norwegian Rooms, to promote Norwegian design and products abroad. The stand is supported by Innovation Norway and the Norwegian Embassy and includes Varier, SBS/HÅG, Wonderland, Brunstad, Vestre, Aksel Hansson, GU, L.K Hjelle, Hardanger Bestikk, Fjordfiesta, maskott Høie, VAD, Jøtul and Northern Lighting.
Hjalmar Brunstad began making furniture in 1941, an ambitious craftsman with a good eye for fabric and design. Today the Brunstad brand creates beautiful furnitures with comfort and appealing design. The Everest sofa is a new and exciting module with tall legs, which comes in different sizes and variations.
The DELTA Comfort chair in classic is a relaxed chair perfect for anyone looking for comfort in their home.
At the entrance of the Norwegian area you are greeted by the full scale wall–mounted Norwegian moose head light Moo. The inspiration behind the Moo lamp was found in northern Norway where both designers from Northern Lighting have summer houses and moose is frequently seen passing by..
Dokka is a ceiling lamp designed in 1954, and re-launched in 2007 by Northern Lighting. It is crafted in durable painted steel and made to last. An icon of its time that remains popular.
You might have also spotted the cutlery on the wall. It is Hardanger Bestikk and creates a cool vibe in the quite simplistic space.
The Salone del Mobile exhibition is reserved for trade members every day from 9.30 to 18.30 this week, but its open to the public on Saturday and Sunday with an entrance ticket. Get your ticket here and have fun!
// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad