WHAT WE SAW AT THE PINNACLE INTERNATIONAL DESIGN EVENT OF THE YEAR.
Each April, close to 400,000 designers, architects and design lovers converge in Italy for Milan Design Week. While the jewel in the crown is the Salone del Mobile, the behemoth of a trade show that happens on the city’s outskirts, it’s the offsite design installations in neighbourhoods across Milan that never fail to inspire and hit all the trends. Style at Home columnist and designer Arren Williams was one of the pilgrims who made their way to the shrine of design. Here, he shares what turned his head at this year’s event.
5 TRENDS SPOTTED IN MILAN THAT POSITIVELY SIZZLED.
• Happy colour
• Modern animal prints
• Faux fur
• Layered luxury
• Eclectic individuality
A COLOURFUL HISTORY
This year, IKEA celebrated their 80th anniversary with an event in the city’s buzzy Tortona district. Housed in a warehouse borrowed from Milan’s La Scala opera company, the space showed a retrospective of past IKEA faves and also debuted their latest collection,
Nytillverkad (shown above). “Loud, colourful and fun” is how IKEA’s Karin Gustavsson described the project, which dips deep into the company’s archives to reintroduce design classics. These pieces aren’t just carbon copies; they’ve been reengineered in line with the Swedish retailer’s commitments to sustainability, with an extra burst of colour. Hitting stores now, the growing collection includes must-have elements like the chic, simple Domsten stool in pine with bright metal legs. Embracing the internet’s love of IKEA hacks, Gustavsson suggests picking up a pair of the stools in different colours and switching the legs for a playful two-tone effect. This trend to colour was seen in full spectrum everywhere at the show.
The design-forward Alcova event is always a must-see. Popping up in different spots around the city, this year it landed in an abandoned abattoir to present creative young design against a dystopic industrial backdrop (shown opposite page). Trends included colourful lighting, handmade finishes and a shaggy faux fur floor lamp by Viennese designer Xaver Kuster, which became quite the Instagram hit.
PHOTOGRAPHY, KINGSTON LAFFERTY FOR ARTEMEST
Luxury was the thing at Artemest’s L’Appartemento exhibit in a 1930s apartment near Milan’s Duomo. The Italian online design retailer engaged six interior design firms to each reimagine a different room in the elegant suite. The design cognoscenti waited in line to be wowed by the gobsmackingly gorgeous spaces, including a sumptuous jewel box of a living room by Dublin’s Kingston Lafferty Design (shown left) and a standout dining room tricked out in stripes from Regina-born, Houston-based designer Nina Magon.