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Highlights at i Saloni

The Salone del Mobile is where the madness once started and is the main reason for many visitors to flock to Milan each year during April. went to see what it could find.

By Cassandra Pizzey /asdf 19-04-2012

The Salone held at Rho Fiera on the outskirts of Milan is a lot like Disneyland, not only will you find the biggest and brightest new furniture products, but it would take you about a week to see everything. Although somewhat overwhelming, this main fair is absolutely worth a visit.

Over twenty halls filled with everything from bathrooms to kitchens, furniture and all manner of lighting is what you’ll find upon entering the Salone del Mobile in Milan, now in its 51st year. It’s humble beginnings in 1961 – when the fair was dedicated to promoting Italian design – are far behind and now the fair boasts to be the biggest in Europe.

The fair is the opportunity for big-name brands to present their latest products and do so in a grand manner. Take Vitra which created a number of impeccably-styled interiors within its huge stand, from vintage Eames chairs to brand new designs by Hella Jongerius, and G-star RAW, everything seemed to fit together just so. The overall themes of the spaces were reminiscent of jungle tours, Mexican holidays and 1950s safaris, a bit of escapism in our current uncertain climate.  

Over at Arco it was an altogether more sober affair, with all the attention going to the products on show. New products included Deskbox by Raw Edges, a wooden box which is hung from the wall to look like a shelf, then ingeniously folded out to become a writing table. Further focus was skinny tables and chairs using steel or wood (or a combination of the two) such as Bertjan Pot’s Slim + and Jorre van Ast’s Steeltable.

Staying with the furniture brands it was time to venture over to Offect whose stand was filled with sound-absorbing walls such as those by Richard Hutten, and sound absorbing seating courtesy of Ineke Hans. Thanks to the placement of these high-backed chairs and sofa’s a feeling of a chique hotel lounge was recreated, only enforced by an abundance of greenery.

A feast for the eyes awaited at the Arflex stand which employed Scholten & Baijings to design a lounge chair, sofa and side table each executed in the most luscious of materials and colours. The ‘greenhouse’ or ‘pavilion’ of Arflex provided another little fantasy moment.

Textile design was next on the menu over at Casalis where smart fabrics emulated a knitted pattern – devised by Aleksandra Gaca – hanging from the walls and adorning rugs and poufs. A more graphic approach was taken by Liset van der Schreer whose black-and-white creations added an almost oriental flavour to the mix.

Of course, this is just a smidgen of what can be seen in the way of (Dutch) design at the Salone del Mobile, for those interested, the fair will be on until 22 April, 2012.

Main image: Arflex
Other images: 1.-2. Vitra 3.-4. Arco 5.-6. Offect 7.-8. Casalis

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