Cover The Sancal installation designed by Tekla Evelina Severin

Planning ahead for a home makeover? From the hottest hues to the designers to watch, let these home design trends help you get started on your interior renovation

In the realm of interior design, Italy’s Milan Design Week is oft heralded as the biggest and most anticipated event of the year that brings together the most notable furniture manufacturers as well as creative luminaries from around the world. Held from June 7 to 12 this year, the tentpole Salone del Mobile Milano trade fair celebrated its 60th anniversary in style, with over 262,000 guests in attendance, showcasing the diversity and the strength of cross-cultural collaborations.  
 
Various installations around the city heightened the festive mood, showcasing the shared desire for human connection and a heartfelt appreciation for nature with collections in verdant hues as well as thoughtfully made pieces crafted with organic materials and eco-conscious methods. Here, we pick out some of the most eye-catching pieces, innovative materials, trending hues and styles to watch for the year ahead. 

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1. Colour: Terracotta hues

Accent pieces in clay-like hues inspired by terracotta and brickwork were seen at several stands by brands including Acerbis, Arper and Flexform at Salone del Mobile. Think rosy, autumnal shades that range from rich tones that range from burnt umber and brick red to softer shades in hues like camel brown and cream beige.

Various furnishings spotted at the fair featured upholstery fabrics and finishes that sported these warm hues, alongside earthy tones that represented an ode to nature.

2. Form: New functions

It’s always interesting to see the evolution of an existing collection; and for Living Divani, its Extrasoft sofa by Piero Lissoni becomes even more versatile with the new Extrasoft Contenitori storage units. Designed to complement the Extrasoft sofa, these wooden modular units are available in two heights and three dimensions allowing them to perform an array of functions ranging from serving as armrests, small tables, and shelves for books and accessories. 

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3. Style: Classic appeal

Among the most immersive experiences during Milan Design was Ralph’s Milan a week-long installation by American fashion house Ralph Lauren held at its Milanese headquarters, Palazzo Ralph Lauren. Imagined as an elegant abode furnished with the Ralph Lauren fall 2022 home collection, the installation also extended into the interior courtyard, which functioned as an appointment-only destination for lunch and aperitifs.

4. Style: Feeling sunkissed

A diverse array of outdoor collections were present at many booths in the Salone del Mobile Milano fair, including new weatherproof pieces in colourful shades from Arflex. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of its Marenco collection by Mario Marenco, the Italian brand presented the outdoor version of these seats that combined its original comfort factor with an array of light and bright upholstery fabrics.

5. Style: Sartorial sense

The fashion houses are known for their spellbinding installations at Milan Design Week, and this year was no exception. Hermès presented monumental paper towers to house its homeware items, while Louis Vuitton showcased furnishings from its Objets Nomade home line against a striking royal blue backdrop. Another unmissable event was the Versace Home presentation at Palazzo della Permanente, which featured vignettes in a graphic mix of black and red shades.

Loro Piana Interiors also presented its new Palm collection by Raphael Navot in an evocative, desert-like setting. The installation featured furnishings upholstered in the finest cashmere, wool and other beautiful textiles from the Italian Luxury brand.

6. Colour: Green with envy

From emerald tones to sage and pine green hues, a wide variety of verdant shades were spotted throughout the fair. Luxury Living Group’s debut of its new brand, Luxence, showed collections in a moss green scheme, Minotti presented a new sofa collection by Rodolfo Dordoni with fabric options in deep green tones, while Danish upholstery brand Kvadrat launched textiles in nature-inspired hues, including a textured forest-green shade.  

7. Style: Sketch it up

The influence of art on design has always been strongly felt. And in these recent collections, artistic leanings convey a playful twist, with details on furniture and decorative items that are inspired by line drawings and fluid brushstrokes.  
 
From the Glas Italia Scribble mirrors by Toronto and New York-based studio Yabu Pushelberg to UK designer Bethan Gray’s cobalt blue-and-white striped lamps with Baroncelli Atelier and the fun rugs from CC-Tapis, these eye-catching accent pieces will add texture and visual interest to your home, whichever room you choose to place them in.  

8. Material: Mineral Mix

Venice-based firm Cimento made a striking debut at the international furniture fair, featuring collections by Patricia Urquiola, Studio 63 and other international designers and architects. Its namesake product, Cimento, is a composite compound made with over 90 per cent mineral aggregates that are combined with a cement binder, with lively hues inspired by Venice. Standout pieces included Urquiola’s Frari tables, Zattere stools and Fondamenta side tables, and an innovative series of finishes that features glass and quartz fragments mixed with ,arble or cork to create a tactile effect like no other.

9. Lighting: Architectural Influences

While the Euroluce lighting fair did not take place this year, there were plenty of bright ideas shown by lighting brands during Milan Design Week. Rotterdam-based architectural practice MVRDV showcased the firm’s expressive use of colour for Belgian company Delta Light with its High Profile lamps making visible all the parts that go into the making of each piece. Also, British designer Lee Broom’s Vesper Duo pendant lamps are as noteworthy for their architectural influences — they draw inspiration from modernist cathedral lighting and brutalist sculptures.

Minimalists can also look to Takku by British practice Foster + Partners, an understated table lamp designed for Artemide that’s available in a sprightly mix of shades. Another notable lighting collection is the Artemide Stellar Nebula by Denmark-headquartered Bjarke Ingel Group (BIG). The iridescent sheen on each lamp makes it appear like a soap bubble, with every piece meticulously hand-crafted by experienced glass blowers. 

10. Style: Bright future

While rich, retro-infused shades are among the key tones of the moment, at the other colour spectrum were pieces and design schemes in light and bright hues. As seen at the fair stands of brands such as Sancal and Tacchini, these cheerful pieces embrace that joie de vivre with an energising use of pastels, proving that a good dose of colour can indeed help boost your mood.  
 
Spanish furniture brand Sancal also notably roped in Swedish photographer and interior stylist Tekla Evelina Severin to create a memorable installation dubbed An Apartment of One’s Own, which showcased novelties from the brand. These included the playful Sancal Faces side tables, which are the brainchild of Singaporean designer Nathan Yong. 

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