Milan’s relationship with design is a long-standing love affair. For the past 50 years, the “Salone” is the place where the world’s greats in home design gather to premiere their collections. EuroCucina – the International Kitchen Furniture Exhibition – runs concurrently with the International Bathroom Exhibition in the broader context of the Salone during the even-numbered years in Milan. The show brings together thousands of design manufacturers from all over the world. 300,000-visitors attend the show displaying and gathering information and ideas for kitchen spaces.
The city is a cavalcade of events just waiting to be discovered, and although the fairgrounds are where the goods are displayed, it’s the Fuorisalone’s off-site events that get the crowd’s blood pumping. Almost all of Milan’s districts participate in design week via pop-up museums, showrooms, performances and celebrations.
While touring the city and the Salone with our friends at Cosentino, we found reoccurring trends throughout showrooms, displays and kitchen and bath collections.
Integrated Elements: Whether considering a television in the kitchen or a vanity that incorporates every element of the bath, the Salone proved to provide one-stop shopping. Televisions can easily be incorporated to coordinate with your kitchen appliances via Electrolux and a sawhorse vanity includes a sink, faucet, towel hook, storage and mirror, too.
Industrial Chic: The design industry has become a hot-bed for reusing and repurposing items and found objects. With the return and appreciation of hand forged items and celebration of pairing vintage ephemera with modern functionality, rust and patina has gone from being a con to a pro in the kitchen and bath arena.
Customized Pieces: From monogrammed islands to refrigerators that accept wall coverings, homeowners can easily make a space that is all their own. Whirlpool now offers refrigerators that accept three different stylish patterns that can bring some zing to the kitchen while others are offering faucet finishes in a variety of splashy colors.
Mixed Materials: From reclaimed wood with sleek solid surfaces to aged metals with high polished finishes, mixing and matching materials has never been more accepted. Warm modern looks are both sleek and inviting in kitchen and bath spaces.
Statement Lighting: While this look has been trending for a while, it only seems to be gaining more steam at EuroCucina. Overhead in a variety of spaces large and repeated versions of lighting were spotted again and again.
Moveable + Convertible: Upper sliding cabinets and moveable island tops were a show-stopper of EuroCucina. With living spaces that blend into kitchen areas, the functional “hub of the home” can easily transition into a multifunctional living retreat. Armoire fronts simply slide in front or camouflage appliances while faucets collapse and remote island tops slide over a sink of dishes to create a new surface for entertaining.
Bold Contrast in the Bath: Black and white proved to be the height of chic in bathroom spaces. Matte white or black faucets and floors paired with high polished tops and cabinetry provide an ultra-glam look for large and small scale spaces.
Warm Neutrals in the Kitchen: Taking cues from natural stones and earth tones, floating glass appliances have replaced the typically expected stainless steel versions. Coordinating elements in soothing hues were also found in solid surfaces as well as cabinetry finishes.
So it’s up to you, create an intensive itinerary or simply wander around the streets of Milan—either way, you’ll find yourself design inspired come 2016.