One of our favourite events is just around the corner and, as usual, it unfolds in one of the world’s most beautiful and culturally enriched cities: Milan. Italy has had an ample and historical affair with the field of fine arts, and it has often poured into the design industry. It’s a country rich in high-quality raw materials, and one of its most valuable resources is still devoted to construction and interior decorating – Carrara has long been on the list of the most coveted natural marble suppliers across the globe alone, not to mention fine woods and the spectacular craftsmanship of luxury skins and fine leather. Let’s just face it, when you discuss style in interior design, you automatically revert back to Italy, so it’s no wonder that Il Salone del Mobile continues to draw thousands and thousands of visitors every year: homeowners ready to splurge on high-end furniture and fabrics, designers looking for the top stuff in order to serve up their best residential and commercial projects, artists and manufacturers looking to network and forge new alliances, and journalists and bloggers looking to show the rest of the world just how wonderful this exhibition really is. So, clearly, as providers of nothing but excellence in the interior decorative arts, and as a sturdy bridge between high-end Italian manufacturers and the British market, Masha Shapiro Agency will also be present in Milan. We won’t only be feasting our eyes with this year’s creative trends, though – we’ll also be supporting some of our valued clients.
Looking back at what went on last year, the overall tendency revolved around sleek lines, functionality, luxurious simplicity and intense, metallic accents. Raw slabs of marble became tables in sumptuous dining rooms while intricate handcrafted details adorned bespoke joinery, and lush greenery and floral elements bring any space to life. An ode to classic furniture made its way into the trend as well, with smooth velvet upholstery on Baroque-style seating, and gold and brushed brass lighting elements in living room displays. The Italians are most likely to never give up on their Renaissance heritage and classical backbone in architecture and interior design, and we’re very happy to see the many ways in which they reinvent and reinsert it into modern furnishings, every year. On our side, one of the highlights was Annibale Colombo’s stand, which conquered the hearts of anyone who stopped by – soft lines and chocolaty tones mingled with fine textiles and exuberant artistry in finishing touches. Bold and dark woods met with passionate red or gold accents, framed by straight architectural lines and pale coloured backdrops; it was truly a beautiful sight to behold.
This year, on the other hand, Masha Shapiro Agency will be proud to represent a few more showstoppers at Salone del Mobile. Signorini & Coco’s Daytona Collection will definitely be one of the stars, combining raw elegance with sleek designs in order to provide one of the most tasteful furniture options for high-end residences. Its focus is set on deep tones and velvety surfaces, wood and leather panelling and raw marble meant to exhilarate and submerge anyone into absolute comfort and a relaxed state of mind – we recommend that you keep an eye on their bedroom and living room suggestions, as they’re most likely to pop up as the best sellers of 2016.
Ulivi Salotti will be following suit with stunning browns and earthy modules that are meant to recalibrate any self-respecting lounge area. Their modular sofa structures and cinnamon-coloured panels go in perfect harmony with organic designs and real fur carpeting.
Their stylish ‘70’s vibe is present as always, and their statement piece sofas are bound to pinch a sigh out of you. Last, but certainly not least, Officina Luce will dazzle with 17 new products, focusing on style and elegance, clusters of unique elements combined in order to redesign the very fabric of style in lighting accessories. They’re well known for the magical simplicity behind their intricate displays, so expect nothing but further excellent out of the new collection. Overall, we are positive that this year’s Salone del Mobile will continue to set the standards worldwide and launch new and appealing trends for the interior design industry. Most importantly, we are incredibly excited to be able to showcase our clients’ marvellous creations for yet another year.
The best part of our voyage to Milan, however, doesn’t only encompass the actual exhibition. There are a few favourite spots that we’re most likely to spend some time in, especially when it comes to fashion, dinner and aperitifs – an absolute must-see is 10 Corso Como, which has become one of Italy’s most popular and trendy hubs, dedicated to food, culture, fashion and arts. It all started with an art gallery founded by Carla Sozzani, former fashion editor and publisher, followed by a bookshop and a lovely garden café, until 1991, when the official 10 Corso Como building opened up, boasting the quirky design of American artist Kris Ruhs and the monochrome logo that is now a world-renowned icon.
When it comes to unique and truly unforgettable dinners, we turn to Tartufi & Friends, a fine dining experience dedicated to truffle specialty dishes. But before we make it onto dinner, we always stop by Signor Vino when in Milan – it overflows with natural light and some of the best wines that Italy has to offer, and when the sun sets, it opens its doors to aperitivo aficionados across town, with a sumptuous buffet and a fine selection of both white and red labels, as well as prosecco and champagne. During the day, the splendid Musei Italiani is open for visitors, and it’s one of the city’s most beautiful museums, dedicated to the timeless art of design and décor.
And what better way to end a visit to one of the world’s cultural and artistic capitals, if not by setting foot in Dolce & Gabbana’s Bar Martini? As their slogan goes, this is where relaxation and glamour go hand in hand, and it’s perfect for coffee, a light lunch, aperitivo, dinner or even just one smooth and dirty Martini cocktail. After all, visiting one of the world’s most respected interior design exhibitions can only be topped with a visit to one of the world’s trendiest venues. We look forward to sharing our experience of Salone del Mobile as soon as we get back, so stay tuned for the upcoming photo journal!