A truly magical living space is one that engages multiple senses. The aesthetics must be on point, of course, but looks alone only get you so far. Selecting a scent, introducing the right music, adding a tactile element – these are the details that elevate a beautiful space into an environment that entices, invites and comforts.
Naturally, the world’s top furniture fair, Milan’s Salone del Mobile, has all bases covered, with more than 2000 exhibitors showing across a number of locations. With the event having just wrapped, here’s a brief snapshot of some of the best in show – a true feast for all the senses.
Sound: Hay X Sonos X WeWork
The little speakers that could, Sonos has taken the digital music world by storm with its compact devices, seen at Salone in a limited-edition range of colours, from blush pink to deep forest green. Housed in the gilded surrounds of the magnificent Palazzo Clerici, the exhibition saw Sonos team up with a pair of equally buzzy brands – Danish furniture company HAY and global coworking space WeWork – on a series of rooms that were “inspired by the ever-changing demands of today’s work environment”. If this is what the future of work looks like, we’re more than ready to roll up our sleeves.
Sight: Carl Hansen & Son
If the Sonos exhibition showcases the way we’d like to work, then Carl Hansen & Sons has pinpointed exactly the way we’d like to live. The Danish heritage brand assembled a full apartment for Salone, complete with living and dining rooms, a bathroom, kitchen and even a study. Each room was filled with a combination of classic designs – including the relaunch of Hans Wegner's CH23 chair – and contemporary pieces. Alongside the stunning furniture, the rugs by Naja Utzon-Popov were a highlight.
At Loewe, creative director Jonathan Anderson has shown a penchant for all things tactile in his fashion designs, and this looks set to continue if his homewares are any indication. The brand spent 12 months collaborating with expert textile artisans from around the globe, including ribbon embroiderers from India, Senegalese patchwork specialists and denim weavers from Japan. The fruits of their labour were crafted into beautiful decorative panels, blankets and some seriously covetable tote bags, all of which showcased skilled and often centuries-old techniques.
Taste: The Diner by David Rockwell X Surface
With thousands of exhibitors to see, visitors to Salone need serious fuel to keep them going. But while a quick plate of spaghetti or scoop of gelato might be anticipated, coming across four American-style diners is much less likely. This was the vision brought to life by American architect David Rockwell, in collaboration with Surface magazine and design agency 2x4, who created four environments: Roadside Diner, East Coast Luncheonette, Midwest Diner and West Coast Diner. The quirky installations not only had theme-appropriate menus, they were also fitted out with furniture by the likes of Design Within Reach.
Written by Michelle Bateman