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Reflecting on Salone del Mobile 2016 in Milan

The biggest names in furniture design descended upon Milan for the 54th Salone Internazionale del Mobile. The annual Milan Furniture Fair showcases the latest innovations in international furniture and design from the very best luxury interior designers. The event took place on 12th-17th April 2016 and encompassed everything from lighting to specialist home furnishings. This year, Salone del Mobile celebrated the biennial Eurocucina exhibition with 120 international brands who displayed their quality kitchen products spread out over 23,000 square metres. It also dedicated time to emerging talent under the age of 35-years-old who exhibited their work at the 19th edition of Satellite, a popular secondary exhibit.

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The week-long event is really the place to be for interior architects and design enthusiasts. From offsite events and installations to product presentations and launches, Salone del Mobile does not disappoint. We’ve selected a few of our favorite pieces that were exhibited at the 2016 trade fair.

1.The Shoe Tree – Beatrix Ong and Samuel Chan

Wallpaper* magazine’s ‘Handmade’ exhibition is always one of the fair’s highlights. This year, British shoe designer Beatrix Ong MBE and Samuel Chan, founder of the artisan collective Joined and Jointed, collaborated to bring the ‘Shoe Tree’ to Milan. It’s a moveable and flexible tower of American black walnut shoeboxes which tackles the problem of shoe storage in an aesthetically pleasing way. The Shoe Tree comprise 15 shoe boxes that rise upwards with each box containing a small window so you can glimpse the shoes inside. Samuel Chan commented that “Boxes are intriguing; they hold surprises and invite discovery. They are also useful…Beatrix wanted to express this combination of intrigue and utility.”

2. “Reality or Illusion?” – Foscarini

Lighting brand Foscarini are always innovative and stylish and this year they brought more food for thought to the Salone del Mobile. Enlisting designer/architect Ferruccio Laviani to experiment with size and scale in a graphic world, the team created colourful illusions aided by oversized Foscarini lamps. It was a real ‘Alice in Wonderland’ experience.

3. The Butler – David Chipperfield

Another interesting design from the Wallpaper* Handmade section was David Chipperfield Architects contribution to this year’s theme of ‘Travel’. It was designed to deal with the reality of unpacking in hotels. David Chipperfield described his inspiration: “Most hotels have badly designed wardrobes and cupboards. They are not well organised and unpacking your suitcase is not enjoyable. The idea of Butler was to design a ‘dressing table’ that makes unpacking in a hotel room a joy.” His team collaborated with furniture-makers e15 and the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) to use American willow in creating the bespoke piece of furniture that makes unpacking enjoyable and convenient.

4. Run Tables – Emeco

In these space-deprived and community-oriented times, people often share the same surfaces for different activities. With this in mind, London studio Industrial Facility created an aluminium and ash table, bench and shelf system for American brand Emeco. The design was based on communal space, and Industrial Facility’s co-founder Sam Hecht described his inspiration,  “The way we use tables is changing; we could be having a conversation or a meal and someone could be sat next to us working on their laptop, and we wouldn’t feel it’s weird.” The collection comprises a shelving unit, a table and a bench, which feature plank-like surfaces available in either anodised aluminium or three types of wood.

Salone del Mobile Milan

This year’s Salone del Mobile was one of the most successful yet and there was plenty of inspiration available to interior architects and designers. Contact Callender Howorth to discuss your interior design requirements.

Images courtesy of Salone Milano.

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What Are The Top Five Lighting Trends for 2015?

Lighting design is fast becoming more and more creative. The possibilities are now endless and in 2015 it’s all about how lighting can be used as decoration as well as function. This has led to lighting designers being pushed to be more creative and adventurous which in turn has allowed interior design agencies and decorators to push the boundaries within their designs.

HIGH RES - INCANDESCENT interior lighting

Quite possibly the biggest trend in lighting this year has taken its inspiration from the past with the resurgence of the tradition Edison filament light bulb. Available in a variety of forms and at relatively little cost it has proven itself to be not only highly decorative but also extremely versatile, so much so that it can now be found being specified in both residential and commercial projects.

1. LED Lighting

Like it or not LEDs are here to stay and although the ban of halogen bulbs has been pushed back to 2018, stylish new sustainable and energy-efficient lighting has become increasingly important. This year the race has been on for light bulb manufacturers to provide an energy efficient replacement to the traditional incandescent filament bulb currently being widely used. The result is a number of manufacturers have risen to the challenge and many now offer dimmable LED versions of Edison’s original incandescent creation.


2. Pendant Lighting

Pendant lighting is the hot fixture for 2015 and this lighting trend is set to continue. Pendants have always been popular but the reintroduction of the filament light bulb has given the humble pendant a new lease of life. It seems that just about any style, material and design of pendant light can now be transformed with the simple addition of a filament light bulb. Drum pendants are great for creating silhouettes and reflective glass shades bring a totally new dimension and perspective to an interior design scheme. Individual pendants are now being used in clusters, incorporating several fixtures into a single design and are frequently being used to create inspiring lighting features.

One such installation of multiple pendants was carried out by Blackburn based design company Tyson Lighting. “We wanted to use the filament lamps in the scheme as we love the beautiful ambiance that they create. The warm glow that they give off really adds an edge to the surroundings and can be the difference between a good scheme and a great scheme” says Bunmi Fayomi the Commercial Manager at Tyson Lighting. “We love the quality of the Alchemist fittings and the combination with the Edison lamp really adds something different to the design”

interior lighting

3. Chandeliers

This year has also seen the rise of the chandelier and in particular the ‘mini’ chandelier. Chandeliers have gone through some pretty major changes over the years and the ‘mini’ chandelier is quickly becoming the centrepiece lighting of choice, particularly for limited size spaces such as studio apartments. That said, there still remains a healthy market for dramatic and extravagant chandeliers for those clients that are willing to spend more.

4. Intelligent Lighting

2015 has seen us move a step closer to a lighting revolution. It’s fair to say that LED technology is now in the mainstream and lighting controls look set to be the next big thing. The all too familiar dimmers and sensors that we use to control our lighting is about to get more sophisticated and it’s all down to what has become commonly known as ‘the internet of things’. Wireless appliances are no longer a thing of the future and it’s becoming common place for smart phones and tablets to be used to control amongst other things, lighting. Lighting as we know it however isn’t just about the light anymore. Li-Fi (a bit like Wi-Fi but using light instead) technology is about to transform our shops, homes and indoor spaces.

5. Garden Lighting

For a while now it’s fair to say the choice of garden lighting fixtures such as bollard, path light, step and wall lights has been pretty good. What has changed though is wide spread use of LED technology and the way we use it. These days the trend is more towards creating the right mood and atmosphere, creating a seamless transition between the indoors and the outdoors. Exterior lighting has now become an art form in itself which is driving interior designers to becoming increasingly involved in the exterior lighting scheme and garden design.

interior lighting

About The Light Yard

For Jeff Fuller, a move from London to the South of France in 2004 sparked a new found passion for lighting and photography, which was largely inspired by the dramatic effect of lighting on classical French architecture at night. Returning back to the UK in the summer of 2013 he founded The Light Yard with the sole aim of supplying a unique range of both indoor and outdoor modern, contemporary and urban lighting. Since then The Light Yard has been supplying interior designers, architects, contractors and end users from all over the world, always remaining focused on providing a creative collection of bespoke and hand crafted lighting made by independent designers and artisans.

In 2015 Jeff teamed up with UK lighting designer Gwyn Carless to create The Alchemist, a unique and inspiring collection of vintage filament lighting. The Light Yard has quickly gained a reputation for delivering an exceptional personal and attentive customer experience.

“Quite simply we aspire to hear that we have exceeded our customer expectations.”

Jeff Fuller Founder of The Light Yard

Tel: 0044 (0)330 223 3940

Author Jeff Fuller

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Decorative lighting


Lighting is one of the most important aspects of interior design. Just as soft candlelight is said to be the most flattering to a woman’s skin, so a great lighting scheme can hide a multitude of furnishing and flooring blemishes.

From the stunning overhead pendant that means no-one notices the wobbly Swedish storage system leaning slightly on one side, to the soft glow from a couple of well-positioned table lamps that make everyone feel instantly more relaxed. Or the concentrated beam of a perfectly angled task lamp for help with reading or sewing. There are lights for every job, lamps for every mood and bulbs for every occasion.

Good lighting is where twin aims of form and function should come together in one (actually not blinding) flash of brilliance. Here’s how to create some impact with your illuminations.

Let’s start with the most dramatic of them all. The chandelier. A thing of such beauty that it looks perfect in an empty room. Try one in the hall if you’ve got space. Let it announce to all who enter that this is a domain of serious decor. A statement of intent that the rest of the house means business when it comes to the interior design. Either that or it will cast a flattering light on all the cheap furniture in the rest of the house because you blew the budget on the lighting. What about this one from George Singer?


There’s often not enough humour in the home. You can afford to inject some wit while still keeping a practical element. There are some wonderful alphabet neon lights out there at the moment and they come at all sorts of prices so you can find one that works for you. Top of the budget will be these from Delightfull. Perfect for one signature letter – put it on the kitchen wall.

Or perhaps you can afford to spell a whole word with these from Seletti. Try putting them up the stairs to create an unexpected, and functional, display.

seletti-neon-lettersSticking with the dining room, or eating space, it’s a place where you don’t always need huge amounts of light. A room that tends to be kept for evenings and where there are often candles close by, what about some pop art for the walls? These from Double Merrick will give off a soft glow at night but in the day time they double up as art.


Moving into the sitting room, this is the one place where you need to layer different types of lighting as it’s probably used for the most different activities. It’s also possibly the one room where you don’t necessarily need an overhead light. Think about wall lights instead for an ambient background glow, such as these quirky squirrels from Atelier Randall. Then add table lights, a floor light and a task light by one of the chairs. This can go on either the wall or the floor depending on the space.


‘A well-considered lighting scheme allows for different scene setting,’ explains Mike Kazer from The Light Corporation. ‘We would always suggest the circuiting is designed so that you can mix the different lighting features to balance the space and offer different moods depending on the occasion. Using downlights to highlight features such as artwork, be it sculpture or prints, will give the room some interest. Only use downlights for feature highlighting. Then build the levels up.’

‘Try adding a pendant if you have the space or use a downlight to highlight the coffee table separating the sofas, this creates real drama, always on a separate circuit. This way when scene setting you can make the room appear larger by having a brighter middle and softer outer.’

We’ve been past the letters on the stairs (what did you spell out?) and move into the bedroom. An overhead light is practical for getting dressed on dark winter mornings, but it’s a bedroom. Make it pretty. Try the Lee Broom crystal.


‘The beauty of table and wall lights is that they offer warm light at a living level,’ adds Mike. ‘This can create a softness that can quite often be forgotten in contemporary schemes.’

Or do something different. Why not free up the bedside tables (they’re full enough with all those piles of books you’re never going to read) and hang a pendant light from either side of the bed. Just make sure you can turn them on by the door as well as when you’re under the duvet. It’s a dramatic and unusual look that is completely practical too.

And while we’re on the subject of being practical why not hang your book on one of these?