Three Standout Themes Seen at Salone

There were three standout themes at this year’s furniture fair in Milan.

As the largest celebration of design in the world, the International Furniture Fair in Milan has never been more relevant. This year’s edition of the Salone closed on a high note, with 324,093 visitors from 160 different countries clamoring to check out the latest developments in design from more than 2,500 exhibitors. Due to the effects of the financial crisis of the last four years, the tendency for manufacturers is to propose fewer new pieces, more commercially relevant offerings, or new interpretations of classics. The bling, excess, and one-liner designs of 2008 have migrated from furniture manufacturers to the automotive, fashion, and technology companies exhibiting outside the fairground, hoping to attract some marketing buzz. Here is our selection of this year’s Salone standouts, grouped around three themes, reflecting a broad forecast of the look and feel of 2013 and beyond.

In these sophisticated, minimalist products, luxury is in the details.

Verpan Mirror Throw
Verner Panton’s famous mirror pattern was first released at the legendary Visiona II in Cologne in 1970. Now re-envisioned as a wool throw, it will be available in North America exclusively at Design Within Reach.

Poliform Ipanema Armchair
Inspired by the most famous beach in Rio de Janeiro, this chair, designed by Jean-Marie Massaud, is made of solid spessart oak with a natural oak finish and a hide cushion.

Clockwise from top: 
Flexform Clarke Table
This stately table, designed by Carlo Colombo, comes with a metal base and a top made of heartwood or marble.

Flos IC Lights
Michael Anastassiades was inspired by a juggler rolling balls from the palm of his hands up onto his arms to create this floor lamp with a glass sphere balancing on a stem of satin-finished brass. It’s available in wall-mounted, table, and hanging versions.

Living Divani Track Bench
The bench is composed of a steel frame and an aluminum base, with a black epoxy powder coating and a seat cushion upholstered in fabric or leather. It’s available in the U.S. from DZINE.

Kibisi Bulb Fiction Lamp
This pendant is a playful take on the classic incandescent bulb, and works equally well when hung as a single lamp or in a cluster. It is available in North America through Hightower.

Clockwise from top right: 
Boffi Domestici Accessories
These accessories for wooden drawers, by CRS Boffi, are used to stock all kinds of bathroom items. They include new pieces, such as a tissue holder and a frame with internal dividers for medicine.

Matiazzi Radice Chair
This three-legged chair, designed by Sam Hecht, has a small but sturdy backrest and comes in wood stained in the colors of autumn leaves.

Kartell by Laufen Bathroom Collection
Ludovica+Roberto Palomba combined Laufen’s new SaphirKeramik ceramics and Kartell’s durable plastic products to create a collection of washbasins, tubs, furniture, and bathroom accessories.

From 1980s graphics to African patterns, the spirit of the postmodern movement is back.

Clockwise from top right:
Cappellini Paravento Screen
This room divider, by Camilla Richter, acts as both a sculpture and a light fixture. Dichromatic glass segments refract light into shifting colors and shapes that reflect on the walls and floors.

Roos Gompert Ceramics for Plastics
Roos Gomperts brings together ceramic pedestals with everyday plastic objects, such as buckets, screw tops, and disposable cups, to create colorful, imaginative objects.

Moooi Labyrinth Chair
This chair by Studio Job, with a sturdy wood frame and upholstered in vivid Dacron fabric, is available in three patterns: Labyrinth Original, Labyrinth Grey, and Insect.

Kristen Morkel African Memphis Wallpaper
This wallpaper was included in “Totemism: Memphis meets Africa,” an exhibition on stacking and layering colors, patterns, and materials to achieve an aesthetic reminiscent of the 1980s.

Updated classics offer fresh possibilities; design is history.

Cole & Son Macchine Volanti Wallpaper
Piero Fornasetti’s wallpaper evokes the age of exploration. It comes in three colorways, and is available in the United States through Lee Jofa.

Cassina LC6 Table
This table, designed in 1929 by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, and Charlotte Perriand, is now available in two colors, each in a special edition of 100 pieces.

Artifort Junior Orange Slice Chair
Part of the Junior Collection, this chair is a scaled-down version of the original by Pierre Paulin. The playful shape and soft upholstery makes it ideal for kids.

Artek Lukki Chair
Ilmari Tapiovaara’s chair is made of pressed beech and birch plywood with a tubular steel frame, in three colors.

Grasshopper Table Lamp
Designed by Greta Grossman in 1948, this lamp has a rotating conical shade. It comes in four colors and is available at Design Within Reach.

Vitra Fauteuil Direction Chair
Suited for the home office or as a dining chair, this seat by Jean Prouvé is ergonomic and works well with the designer’s small desk, Compas Direction.

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