Milan – the Trends

We’re just back from our annual trip to Salone del Mobile – the largest furniture show in the world! It’s based about 20 minutes outside of Milan in an exhibition hall (or to be precise 24 halls!) covering around 700,000 square feet. And sore feet of the human kind are what we usually return with! But far overriding that is a tremendous sense of what an incredibly creative industry we work in. It’s humbling to be amongst such a hugely talented number of people – from the designers to the manufacturers – who each year come up with even more inspiring products and ideas. It’s also the place where, as a retailer, you get a sense of the trends – what’s coming next in interiors. So ‘Milan- the Trends’ is what we can then share with you, along with some amazing new designs.

Milan -the Trends

Having said all of that, we’re not great ones for following ‘trends’.  It has a slight ‘here today gone tomorrow’ feel to it.  And that is definitely not what Go Modern is about. Although ‘modern’ and ‘contemporary’ run through our DNA, high quality, longevity and value for money are equally important.

However, it’s hard not to see recurring patterns or trends while you are taking in the visual feast that is Salone.  So, the following is a brief round up of what caught our eye.

Milan – the Trends. Velvet.

Yes.  Velvet.  It’s been around forever and began to make a big comeback a few years ago.  And again, it was everywhere at the show. Luxurious, comforting and stylish.  We love it (we also saw it on a fair few Milanese – and who can disagree with the residents of what is after all the fashion capital of the world!).

Saba Italia – Rendez – Vous

The beautiful new gently curved sofa, Rendez-Vous, above was designed for Saba Italia by Sergio Bicego.  For the show it was covered in the most sumptuous pale blue velvet.  We’re ashamed to say that we spent a lot of time admiring and stroking this particular version.  The new Rendez-Vous is also a  modular design with various elements that can be fixed/moved according to taste – which was another great Milan trend from a number of suppliers (although we have championed modular design for many years).

Quilted velvet

And here is more velvet, seen above on a new Bonaldo sofa, this time with some creative quilting in beautifully organic shapes, rather than the traditional diamond shape we usually associate with this style. We saw a great deal of quilted fabrics around and it definitely ticked all the right boxes for us.

Milan – the Trends. Colour.

As far as colour goes – there was a lot of it.  Many brands paid tribute to ‘Living Coral’, Pantone’s colour of the year.  Stands were bathed in shades of terracotta, mustard, orange, deep pinks and all the many vibrant, associated colours.  We love shades of grey, usually run a mile from taupe, but totally embrace this new move to a more colourful world.  We definitely need more colour in our lives at the moment and designers are obviously responding to this universal feeling.  One colour that did jump out at us, and which was used by many of the exhibitors we visited, was bottle green.  It’s a colour some of us associate with school uniforms (OK – just us then) but this time we completely fell in love with it.  And it wasn’t  just fabrics – it also appeared in lots of marble finishes too.

Bonaldo Big Table

Seen above is Alain Gilles’ Big Table, which is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary this year.  And to mark the occasion, Bonaldo showed it in Milan with the most stunning green table top, St Denis, a marble that is quarried in Italy.  There was also lots of creative use of foliage, either in wallpapers, fabrics, or the real things.  So continuing the trend for keeping in touch with the natural environment and decorating with plants.

Tonelli Eastside sideboard

More green marble (above) spotted on the Tonelli stand (which by the way was designed by Uto Balmoral this year – and very striking it was too!).  Here it is on their new Eastside sideboard, with the top in a beautiful and very striking green Guatemala marble.  It also comes in a red Arabesque marble.  See what we mean about colour everywhere this year.

Milan – the Trends. Metallics.

Another recurring theme and of which none of us appear to have tired is metallic. There were some fantastic finishes on display using leads and bronzes on tables, beds, chairs and mirrors.  A metallic finish adds a real sense of drama to a piece and can lift a routine design to another level, adding style and a touch of luxury.

Metallic finishes

It also doesn’t need to be all over a design. The old adage ‘more is less’ or ‘don’t gild the lily’, literally, works well here.  The coffee/side tables above have legs and table top rims in various metallic finishes which look superb.

Milan – the Trends.  Wardrobes.

We love them.  Go Modern specialises in wardrobes.  If you are looking for the perfect wardrobe to fit a difficult space, or simply the latest, most innovative ideas for making the most of your storage space talk to us.

But if the thought of ‘wardrobe talk’ makes you glaze over, think again. We spent time with wardrobe specialists Jesse and Novamobili talking through their latest innovations.  There are now so many clever ideas out there that even the most sartorially challenged of us will be amazed and impressed.

Innovative wardrobe ideas

And there really are some big new developments in this area. If you’re in the middle of choosing a wardrobe you’ll know how important it is to get it right from the earliest planning stages.

Amongst the latest innovations are illuminated shelves that can be re-positioned without the need for rewiring, all using eco-friendly, low power.  Also discreet humidifiers with scented fragrances (the new equivalent of lavender bags), alongside pleasingly soft-close doors (hinged or sliding)  guaranteed to enhance marital harmony (well… we cant guarantee that one but it all helps!).

Illuminated, low-power shelves

Milan – the Trends. Children.

Well not children exactly.  But designs for children.  Along with clothes, Italians are well known for adoring little ones.  Which might explain why one of the best companies around producing furniture for children is Italian.  Nidi is an extraordinary brand that has cornered the market in clever, imaginative and stylish ideas for children’s bedrooms or playrooms.

This year the look was very much more Scandi.  More pastels and neutrals and a great sense of order and calm – kids, in our experience, will never be short on adding their own sense of drama. We were seriously impressed with the styled room sets and the impressive quality of the materials, plus the company’s impeccable attention to detail.  Nidi’s social media tag for the show was #NidiWow.  And we’d so agree with that.

Nidi bed – fab storage ideas

From storage beds to wall units, writing desks with pin boards and adjustable shelving, to corner seating with storage (have you spotted the recurring ‘S’ word here?) Nidi has it all.  The name means ‘nest’ in Italian, a cosy, protected place for rearing youngsters.  The beauty, ergonomics, safety and functionality of all their design is incredibly impressive. They simply produce the best possible furniture for playing, sleeping, learning and growing.  #NidiWow – just WOW!

#NidiWow

So there you have it.  Milan – the Trends.  Even though we don’t entirely approve of trends.  Hopefully that has given you a  small taste of this year’s Milan highlights.  Look out for all the new additions being added to the Go Modern website very soon.

 

Garden furniture trends – spring/summer 2019

The first day of spring has sprung and the nights are getting lighter… at last. If your garden is anything like ours it’s definitively in need of some big TLC. On the list are tidying flower beds, sowing seeds for later in the year,  mowing/rescuing the lawn and… sorting out the garden furniture.  With summer 2019 promising to be another scorcher, we have some fabulous new outdoor designs to help you make the most of it.

RECLINE IN STYLE

The traditional seaside deck chair has come along way and is making a big comeback. Forget knotted hankies and rolled up trousers.  The latest designs ooze contemporary style. They can also stay outdoors for longer, won’t collapse on you and are luxuriously comfortable as well as easy on the eye. Many have metal frames which are a lot lighter than the old wood variety, and both the fabric and the frames are specially treated for resistance to UV light, stains (here’s looking at you ice-cream) and humidity.

EMU Snooze deckchairs

Amongst our favourite are these EMU Snooze deckchairs. They’re designed by Chiaramonte & Marin for Italian brand EMU, and are just a joy to look at.  If your garden flowers aren’t supplying enough colour these certainly will.  There are eight different colourways – with juicy combinations including orange/peach, mint green/lemongrass and Indian brown/beige.  The fabric is Emu Tex, made to withstand the harshest outdoor elements.

THE LONG SNOOZE

The literal translation of chaise longue is ‘long chair’.  And that’s exactly what part of the brand new Tribu Senja range is – a beautiful long and elegant day bed for the garden.  Designed for those lazy afternoons where all you want to do is lie back with a good book and a glass of something cold.

Tribu Senja chaise longue

Tribu is one of the world’s leading specialists in outdoor furniture. It was also one of the early pioneers in making the garden and terrace an extension of the living area, and the company is highly regarded for its extensive research and development into the best materials for outdoor use. Along with the highest quality materials is also their excellent ability to translate indoor design to outdoor furniture.  The Senja range is a great example of this. Its minimalist good looks, deep comfortable cushions and slimline silhouette hit exactly the current design sweet spot.

ILLUMINATING DESIGN

Looking for some truly distinctive garden lighting?  It’s here! The new Monsieur Tricot lamps from Tribu, designed by Ilia Eckardt, are not only unique but also highly practical and stylish.

The Monsieur Tricot collection is a tribute to the designer’s mother, Hilde Frunt.  Eckardt grew up in their family-owned knitting studio where knitting and creativity was the day to day business.

Monsieur Tricot are the world’s first knitted, weatherproof outdoor lights. To achieve the finished result Eckardt used authentic crochet and knitting, including polypropylene cord. This yarn is both weather and extreme temperature resistant. The inner globe part of the lamp is a transparent, weather-resistant thermoplastic, which manufacturers often use as a glass substitute.

Tribu Monsieur Tricot lamps

The pretty shadows and patterns cast by the yarn are sublime and the design is another great example of something that would work equally well inside or out.

MEDITERRANEAN SUMMERS    

Spanish manufacturer Point wanted to capture summers by the Adriatic Sea with their latest garden collection.  Which is fine by us! The elegant new Dalmatia collection, by Nika Zupanc, was inspired by “the whiteness of beach stones and the dark purple shadows of pine trees”.  Again, it strikes the perfect balance between innovation, technology and design.  We can almost hear the lapping of the waves on the pebbles…

Point Dalmatia collection

Zupanc’s other collaborations include distinguished companies such as Moooi, Se and Dior. Since emerging at Milan Design Week she has been closely watched by the industry.  Her work has been described as everything from “punk elegance” (Elle USA) and “techno chic” (BusinessWeek) to “larger than life” (Clear magazine). We’ll go along with all of that.

DINING OUT

The phrase al fresco is borrowed from Italian for “in the cool (air)” (although apparently Italians don’t use that phrase for dining out – in Italian it means “spending time in jail” (who knew?!). Whatever you call it and whether it’s an impromptu picnic or a formal dinner on the terrace on a gloriously warm evening there’s nothing better.

Finding the right dining table is key to making it work. Look for designs specially created for outdoor use. Those featuring hard-wearing porcelain tops are some of our best sellers.  They’re waterproof, resistant to spills, scratches and abrasions, chemicals and fires.  They’re also fade proof as well as extremely strong – in fact practically bomb proof. The Manutti Torsa table (below) is a great example and one of the best designs around.

Manutti Torsa dining table

PATIO PERFECT

After last year’s glorious summer we’ve seen a big demand in furniture for small patios and roof terraces. Designs suitable for these areas include light, hand-woven materials, which are ‘airy’ in appearance, helping to create a greater sense of space. Large, lumpy furniture simply doesn’t work on a small patio.  Colour seems to be important too, maybe because room for growing plants in these areas can be limited.

Another great introduction and proving popular are ‘space dividers’ or ‘concealers’ which are fantastic for hiding a less than perfect view, providing privacy, or separating a barbecue area from a seating area, which is useful if you’re transitioning from afternoon lunch to early evening drinks.

Saba Italia – Shades of Venice space divider/concealer & New York Soleil furniture

The Saba Italia range above is ideal for smaller spaces.  Designer Marco Zito’s Shades of Venice  include bright horizontal and vertical graphic lines to create a peek-a-boo effect, subtly revealing or hiding the spaces beyond.

The innovative design features colours from some of the Venetian islands: Murano has the blues and greens of the world famous Murano glass, Burano the colourful oranges and blues of the houses, Giudecca’s white stone, and Sant’Erasmo its abundance of dusty greens, purples and brown vegetables.

The pretty New York Soleil furniture by Sergio Bicego is made entirely by hand in inter-woven polyurethane.  There are 13 different tones, blends or solid colours for the fabric, which also scores extremely highly on the international  Martindale test (guaranteeing excellent abrasion resistance).

So, are you ‘garden ready’? We are…. and it’s all there waiting for you.  Hop over to our site and take a look at whats new for this season (sun cream not included).