View of Daniel Nikolovski’s booth at Salone del Mobile 2022. Courtesy Daniel Nikolovski

The Future of Home Interiors is Hyper-flexible, Circular, and Joyful

At this year’s Salone del Mobile, the first full edition since the pandemic, the furniture trends reflect how home interiors have changed.

The 60th edition of the Salone del Mobile opened this year to a (literal) storm, followed by blistering sunshine. Taking place at Fiera Milano Rho, a huge exhibition complex on the outskirts of Milan, the famed furniture fair this year runs through June 12 with an unprecedented summer edition (rather than its typical April slot) due to years of pandemic disruption.

Although a light-touch “Supersalone” happened in 2021, this is the first fully-fledged version of the fair since 2019, and since the world was transformed by the pandemic. We’ve spent a lot more time in our homes since then, and our conception of home has morphed as a result. The furniture on show at Salone—from more than 2,000 exhibitors, including over 600 young designers—reflects that. Our homes now need to work harder for us, adapting to shifting needs—but we also want them to express our identities and values. Here are some of the trends emerging from the fair.

an image of a vase with a flower in it on a beige background
Newblue by Disharee Mathur
Image of a modular pink kitchen
Courtesy Dedaleo


The meteoric rise of home working, and the pressures on interior space, demand multi-functional, flexible furniture—and Salone is full of it. A combined kitchen, work desk and dining table piece from Linea Quattro shows the possibilities of hybrid designs. Campeggi—a company known for its convertible designs, including the coolest sofa beds you’ve ever seen­—shows an orange bench that transforms into a minimal desk (designed by Sakura Adachi) and a bed that turns into two high-backed chairs (by Matali Crasset.)

Embracing flexibility also means modularity, which is also widespread at the show. In the special SaloneSatellite exhibition—dedicated to emerging designers under 35, and this year under the theme “Designing for our future selves” —Daniel Nikolovski presents his delightfully simple yet effective modular furniture range, comprising rounded vertical segments that can adjoin to create chairs or sofas of various lengths. Also at SaloneSatellite, Ntaiana Charalampous’ modular kitchen design for Dedàleo takes an all-in-one, flexible kit-of-parts approach to suit different needs and spaces. Finally, mobile furniture is also on the rise— from tables on wheels (Alpes Inox) to portable, rechargeable battery-powered lamps (Foster and Partners for Artemide.)

Newblue by Disharee Mathur

Waste-full, not wasteful

Although design with waste is not new, this year Salone champions it with even greater gusto. There’s a sense we’re inching closer to a future in which circular-economy interiors are more commonplace, reflecting Salone president Maria Porro’s statement: “We have a duty to move even faster in the direction of design, production, and distribution solutions that are as sustainable as possible.” Italian architect Mario Cucinella has put together a major installation, Design with Nature, which takes visitors through sustainable material innovations already in production while calling for a “revolution” in which design no longer depends on oil and other extractivism. Cucinella showcases textiles and interior surfaces made from waste plastic, recycled paper, food scraps, and upcycled fabrics, as well as byproducts from industrial processes.

It’s an approach seen elsewhere at the show, with one highlight being Newblue, a project by Jaipur-based young designer Disharee Mathur. Harnessing recycled sanitary ware, Mathur has partnered with local researchers and artisans to create a new ceramic material, crafted into sculptural white interior pieces. Meanwhile, Nani Marquina’s Re-Rug project—brought to life with an installation of multicolored mounds of discarded wool—creates new rugs from suppliers’ leftovers.

Patricia Urquiola for cc-tapis. Courtesy cc-tapis


There’s no shortage of somber tones and minimalist designs on display at Salone—the mid-century Scandi aesthetic certainly endures—but more notable is the embrace of fun. Why shouldn’t our refrigerator, or our desk, bring us joy? The intensely patterned, colorful kitchen appliances from the Smeg x Dolce & Gabbana collaboration are on show, celebrating Sicilian style (it gives a taste of what’s to come from the fashion brand’s new homeware arm, bringing maximalism in all its glory to living spaces.)

Elsewhere, there are plenty of playful deployments of color and form, including Patricia Urquiola’s cartoon cloud-like rugs for cc-tapis, Tekla Evelina Severin’s faux-apartment installation for Sancal (think a fully orange dining room, and electric blue chairs on oversized terrazzo), and India Mahdavi’s new block-color Loop furniture range for Gebrüder Thonet Vienna. With a world in perpetual crisis, we need to create our own pockets of joy—and home interiors are a good place to start. 

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