We’re still buzzing from our trip to Milan’s Salone del Mobile and all the incredibly inspiring new designs … lot’s of striking exhibition sets and new products – including Italian furniture-maker supreme Bonaldo. And one of the things that we love about Bonaldo (we know, we know – we’ve mentioned ‘love/Bonaldo’ in the same sentence before) is that there’s always an interesting little back story to everything they do.
Their Octa table (Octa’s Greek for eight… but you knew that…) is also the number of legs supporting this fabulous new table, with a look, we’re told, inspired by the traditional game of Mikado or pick-up sticks! Definitely a major game player as far as we’re concerned.
Stand out gorgeous at the Milan furniture fair was Italian designer/manufacturer Tonelli, who make superb high quality glass furniture. World famous for their research and experimentation, Tonelli are way ahead of the field with innovative glass design.
These masterpieces in ‘glass art’ (they really are!) not only look stunning but feature perfectly mitred joins, seamless glass panels and shatterproof glass – and in the five years we’ve worked with them we have never had a breakage!
Among the Milan highlights for us were the eye-catching Bakkarat glass side tables designed by D’Urbino for Tonelli, with a thick central twisted glass post and mirrored base. And when you look at them from above you get the amazing illusion of looking down at a crystal. Pretty cool!
Did you know that many of the collections of contemporary furniture that are ‘Made in Italy’ by Italian brands are not even made in Italy? Without naming names one of the biggest manufacturers of Italian sofas actually make a lot of their sofas in China. And another huge contemporary furniture brand have furniture made in China, & parts made in Romania & Bulgaria. We don’t sell any of these ‘Faux Italian’ brands, & probably never will but it’s certainly food for thought.
There is a ‘100% Made in Italy’ certification, but it’s not widely used in furniture yet. At the moment the only way you can tell is price. Theres no such thing is inexpensive Italian furniture, just like theres no such thing as a free lunch!
We love the Milan Furniture Fair – its absolutely enormous, & right at the cutting edge of the market. If its going to happen, it will happen here. We visited all of our wonderful contemporary furniture suppliers, several of whom presented shiny new collections that are actually ready to buy now! First up is Manutti Outdoor Furniture. We sell an awful lot of Manutti furniture (we are their largest UK dealer) & have been working with them for a few years now. New for 2013 are several collections.
First up is Elements, a sleek white modular collection with option LED lighting. The top plate is quartz composite, the cushions are magnetically attached to the backrests, & the backrests can be adjusted.
Contemporary bedroom furniture in wood has been making a comeback for the last few years, as ever led by Italian brands like Bimax, Jesse Furniture & SMA Mobili. The trend we have noticed over the last two years or so is that bleached oaks & light oaks are out & white or coloured painted ash & oak are in. The colour of a lacquered ash/oak is a solid colour, but the texture of the wood grain is visible, which can seem a little softer than a normal lacquer, & can look slightly more interesting, especially with the current movement towards more organic, natural finishes. Bedside cabinets & chests of drawers in these finishes are versatile too – they look fantastic with upholstered beds, but could go with wood, lacquer & even metal too.
We are just finishing putting Bonaldo’s 2012 Saloni Mobili designs on the website at the moment, & these last three items are definitely worth a mention!
The Sunrise sideboard is ultra sleek with push to open doors & an angled frame with the doors set back slightly. AND you can have a light in the base, which looks just great. Available in anthracite or quartz grey, or white (my favourite). Also available in a larger size. See both at the top of our sideboards section, here.
Revitalising your home or office by introducing contemporary furniture can be a great way to lift your spirits and help you feel more positive. It’s a much cheaper option than moving house yet some well chosen pieces of designer furniture can have a massive impact on your overall wellbeing. Feeling comfortable and at ease in your surroundings is one of the key ingredients of a happy and well balanced attitude to life and simply introducing some fresh, modern furniture can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to boosting your mood. Continue reading “Tips for refurbishing in the contemporary style”