5 Fun (and Actually Useful) Finds from Milan Design Week 2019

Considering that Salone del Mobile is the largest and most prestigious furniture show in the world, there is a lot to sift through. From the installations to the showrooms, the new trends to the big brands, it can be hard to decipher what it all means—even if you’re just following along via Instagram hashtag. What can you buy, or rather what can you possibly afford? Where can you find inspiration and what could recreate at home? We’ve done the hard work by obsessing over every wallpaper pattern and plush chair to find some of our favorite pieces and presentations. Here, we’ve got five things from Milan Design Week to get excited about—and translate to your own life.

A material kind of like terrazzo

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Not-terrazzo totems by Tarkett and Note Design Studio.

Photo: Courtesy of Note Design Studio x Tarkett

Note Design Studio teamed up with French manufacturer Tarkett on an installation of geometric totem poles that look like terrazzo sculptures but are really a new material called IQ Surface. The durable product can cover any manner of curves and angles, and it can be continuously recycled. The objects showcased come in a chic, moody color palette of rust, gray, cream, and navy. We can’t wait to see IQ Surface transformed into decor for our own spaces.

Old-school crafts made cool

Left: Kannitraki by Design Afrika. Right: Untitled H3 by Joe Hogan.

Photo by Adrian Samson

Maybe it’s time to make basket weavers the new ceramicists? Spanish fashion house Loewe gave the craft a contemporary spin with 11 artists’ interpretations of the classic basket in leather. The results, a combination of traditional techniques and new materials, are amazing and we’d like to own them all. From bags to decorative objects to accessories, this design constraint made us think about starting up a new hobby, or a least a new collecting obsession.

Flora and fauna galore

Totally wild . . . life.

Photo: Courtesy of Gucci

Everywhere we looked, it was floral this and animal that. Petals and leaves and woodland creatures—maximalist decor is alive and thriving. Gucci Décor’s pop-up storefront was decorated in dizzying silk wallpapers and rich blue armchairs embroidered with butterfly, owl, and floral motifs. Plus, every side table or stool was covered in flowers. Louis Vuitton’s Objets Nomades collection featured an anemone glass-topped dining table created by Atelier Biagetti, a tropical flower–inspired Bublo chair from the Campana Brothers, and giant rainbow leaf accents. If you want big and bold, this is proof flora and fauna are a pretty spectacular way to go.

Calico Wallpaper’s collaboration with Faye Toogood

Calico Wallpaper presents Muse with Faye Toogood.

Photo: Courtesy of Calico

This is Calico’s second collaboration with Faye Toogood, so clearly it knows it’s onto something great. Muse, the painterly collection of wallpaper, honors iconic women like Marie Curie and Coco Chanel with a combination of sweeping brushstrokes and expressive forms, plus Calico’s digital technologies. Pick a wallpaper (there are different background colors to create a series of six colorways) and the results are essentially custom murals. The collection will be available for purchase soon through Calico Wallpaper’s site.

Worthy waste

Colorful curtains by Rikako Nagashima for Kinnasand.

Photo: Courtesy of Rikako Nagashima for Kinnasand

Yes, you can be inspired by recycling and waste. Japanese graphic designer Rikako Nagashima has created a beautiful way to use test-print paper sheets for something worth keeping. Her curtain collection for Kinnasand Lab, Scrap_CMYK turns the ink stains on scrap paper into ethereal, patterned textiles. Rikako picked out her favorite colors and shapes then scanned them to create the motifs. She even took it a step further and used recycled polyester fabric produced from plastic bottles. Talk about happy accidents! We could see this as a new version of tie-dye.


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