Friday High Five: Trends from Milan


Salone Del Mobile, Milan’s annual furniture fair, is one of the most influential shows in the world when it comes to what’s next in furniture design. The show runs for a week in April, features nearly 2,500 exhibitors and attracts more than 300,000 visitors. To say it’s huge is an understatement. With a detailed map, two days and lots of espresso, a few of us from Room & Board took in as much as we could. Here are the top five modern furniture trends that caught our eye.

  1. Pastels. Everywhere we turned there was pink, blue and mint green. It felt right in step with Pantone’s colors of the year for 2016.
  2. Woven details. Caned chairs popped up in many places, and an artisan from Carl Hansen & Sons was even caning a chair right before our eyes. Many companies used woven elements to up the texture factor, and we loved it.
  3. Polished metals. Shiny coatings in a range of colors like rose gold, brass, silver and smoke all had a strong showing. Brushed nickel and oil-rubbed bronze, it would seem your moment has passed.
  4. Brown is back. What looks great with pastels? Brown. And lots of it. As much as we love grey, the warmer palette was refreshing.
  5. Small space fixes. The Europeans really know how to make the most of precious room. Hardworking wall storage, chairs with built-in laptop desks, coat racks with built-in trays for your keys and phones, and sofas with integrated end tables were a common theme.

Check out these photos from the fair and watch the official recap.

pastel furniture Carl Hansen milan furniture fair

Pastels on display at Carl Hansen & Sons.

pastel chairs Paged Collection Milan Furniture Fair

The Paged Collection booth was light and bright and showing more of the pastel, make-up palette.

Woven leather cord chairs from Flexform at Milan Furniture Fair

Woven leather cord added a textural element to these chairs at Flexform.

Gabriella B gold plated lighting and the Milan Furniture Fair

Reflective, high-shine sculptural pendants at Gabriella B.

Brown color scheme seating at Jori's display at the Milan Furniture Fair

Brown is back. Many companies showed a warm color scheme, like Jori.

Wall-mounted modern storage from Florence Watine at the Milan Furniture Fair

Smart wall-mounted storage by Florence Watine.

The Leolux graphic floral display at the Milan Furniture Fair

Over-the-top displays, like this one from Leolux, were all around.

Roche Bobois upholstered swimming pool at the Milan Furniture Fair

An upholstered “swimming pool” by Roche Bobois.

Photos by Room & Board

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