Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Milan 2008

We have just returned from the 2008 Milan Furniture Fair (Salone Internazionale del Mobile, probably the largest and busiest furniture fair there has ever been!) We spent 2 days meeting with most of our manufacturers who introduced us to new products, existing classic pieces and wild new prototypes.
Arriving on Thursday evening into a very wet Milan we decided that checking in to our Hotel and dinner and a large glass of wine would be the priority of the evening in preparation for the hectic few days that lay ahead.
Friday morning began with an early start to ensure we were at the fair for the doors opening to get to our first appointment of the day.
Cappellini and Poltrona Frau, followed by Amat who were launching the new Jamaica stool with a polypropylene seat now available in black and white. Arper had numerous new versions of the Catifa chair and stool. This collection now appears to have a design for any requirement. MDF Italia launched a new version of the Random shelving in ecotech without a back panel. Ecotech appears to be the new material of 2008 with many manufacturers showing designs created from this composite material.
Melody –a new shelving system was also launched, which is a development on the Random concept with an interesting new shelving layout.Montis - Julian and Joanne have recently been on a factory visit to Montis, so they had a Milan preview. For the rest of us we had the opportunity to see the new walnut Flint table, Impala on a wooden base and Lotus chair, all very exciting new pieces. At the end of the day we decided to make Walter Knoll our last stand of the day. With the launch of the Lox stool, Living Landscape and Ando easy chair this was without a doubt one of the most exciting and inspirational stands of the day.This flexible sofa system has a turning mechanism which allows you to rotate the end corner elements of the sofa to create a very versatile and interesting seating system.Day 2
Another early start was required as we had appointments with 22 of our manufactures to get through.
A false start as we boarded the wrong underground train!!
Tonelli was first on the list showing the Plinsky coffee table which we all liked and will have on display in the showroom.
After visiting Swedese, Bla Station where we saw the new Peek and Boo seating created from ecofriendly recycled material

We visited Artifort where you can see Joelle sitting on one of Artiforts new ecotech chairs.
Then onto Globe and Kasthall and Stua where we saw new Nube seating solution that has a fun two tone upholstery solution and the shape of the seat provides the opportunity to create many different arrangements. After visiting all of these stands and stopping for a quick lunch on the roof we headed into the cerntre of Milan to manufacturers showrooms. B&B Italia are one of our biggest manufacturers so its showroom was our priority. Being such a large company B&B had numerous new products for us to look at. These included the Little Tulip a reworked version of the original Tulip chair with a more compact footprint.The Lazy chair had also been reworked with a new medium back height which was more comfortable and visually pleasing that the original high and low back versions.The 7 table is new organic shaped table top with an interesting inset of colored lacquer. This table is designed to sit seven eople hence its name. Seven is also a lucky number in Italy so therefore a very significant piece.
Driade is a spectacular showroom. The combination of original Italian murals on the walls with the installation of cutting edge contemporary furniture created a very dramatic effect. The trip was a great success, hard work as you can see Sheila and Joanne taking a well earned break but a great inspiration.

Joelle, Shelia, Joanne and Julian