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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
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.
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
The importance of layers
It is essential to start thinking about your lighting in terms of layers, starting at the ceiling, descending towards the floor. But first, you must have a thorough understanding of how you use the room before deciding on how to best illuminate it. For example, in a relaxation or reception room, avoid relying on ceiling downlights to provide the entire light source. Downlights should be used to highlight key features such as artwork or joinery, not to create a blanket wash of light as you see in so many developments builds of the early and mid 2000’s.
How would you suggest using layers?
Depending on the space, consider installing some downlights towards the perimeters of the room to highlight any artwork and curtain fabric. This will bring warmth to the room. A feature pendant light allows you to bring a touch of personality to the room and is only complemented by wall lights chosen from the same family.
A 5A circuit will then provide a ‘living light’ which softens the space. This is ideal for reading and relaxing as it provides warmth to the lower section of the room and takes away the feeling that the ceiling is metres above your head as it so often can be in period properties in London.
Don’t forget about uplights either; personally we really love the effect they bring to the overall scheme. Use them to highlight doorways, fireplaces or to emphasise any special features.
If your ceiling allows for it, you could also consider extra touches such as a coffered ceiling of spotlights to hide curtain tracks. This will make the space feel taller and more luxurious.
What about tips to control the lighting?
Today, lighting controls are widely available. Even if only used in a single room, it will revolutionise the way you use the space, allowing you to set scenes rather than switching between individual circuits and setting them to different levels.
Scene control also enables you to access all of the circuits at the push of one button, enabling different scenes for different times of the day.
Once you have installed lighting control you will wonder how you ever lived without it!
Any other advice?
Our last top tip for lighting your home would be to consider installing feature pendants on stairways, in entrance halls, anywhere that would suit one really. Also, offering light to different levels and creating interesting textures can be a much more interesting way of lighting a space than conventional stair lights or down lights.
One final thing to keep in mind when designing your dream space is that in lighting symmetry does not matter. With downlights, consider what the light will illuminate rather than whether or not it aligns with the fitting across the room. The light fittings are not what your eyes are drawn to, instead it’s the light cast which is the important factor to illuminate that special piece of art or feature to its best.
For more tips on luxury interior design, contact our dedicated team of London’s top interior designers.