Saturday, June 07, 2014


This is part 4 of a 4-post series. See the previous posts here: 1, 2, 3

    Daniel Libeskind's installation of his New York home stood out amongst the lot. Red walls, cut off spaces, recessed screens showing caricatures, images and videos of his memories and the cultural idioms that made him. Of his installation, he writes: “For me, to 'live' is living in the cross-section of thememory of places”. But what does home mean to him? "Home is more than just an abstraction, it's the streets, the neighbourhood, the people," he says. "Architecture contributes to making people feel happy or depressed... There is nothing banal in our lives, not even those gestures that seem unconscious."

When I walked into Mario Bellini's installation of his 19th century Milan house, I was accosted by impossible scale. Built within the little area was a massive shelving system that supported a staircase. Atop the stairs, you looked down onto images of the elements that made his world - from his books and music, to the surroundings and things Milanese. It said a lot in 30 seconds. Bellini's house is designed around a vertical staircase that is nine metres and crosses three floors. "My house is a huge, soaring bookshelf", he says. And "stairs are not something the leads you up or down, they are a central element to which other parts connect". He says that he has a desire to "inhabit a neutral, White cube" because he feels the need to scale down and focus attention on "what has now become the essence of things, the emotional crux of our living space".

The last installation was that of British-born David Chipperfield's Berlin home. "The Neues Museum sucked me back into this city", he admits in the video that plays on the deepest wall of the space, blocked off by a large wall of Green felt. On either side are images of disparate buildings that show the fractured, static nature of Berlin. Many visitors had finger-written their names on it. Listening to him speak, I realised that the felt wall stood for something profound. Each visitor to the installation was invited to leave their mark just as each day of each inhabitant leaves his/her mark on the city. "I think architecture is part of a dilemma; it both protects you and at the same time, it throws you back out again and re-presents the world to you... When we constructed the campus, we became our own clients, and this implied a useful change in perspective." 

Friday, June 06, 2014


This is part 3 of a -post series. See previous posts here: 1, 2

The space of Shigeru Ban, Pritzker Prize recipient, was a Zen-nature experience concealed in geometry and minimalism. I turned around a large wall and found myself in an open space with vivid metaphors. Ban lives in the quiet, wooded Hanegi Forest complex of Tokyo. Oval platforms, filled with moving images from his surroundings, the complex and life in the city, played seamlessly on them. Above each was a cutout in the same shape and size, reflecting the complex's oval centre - with trees and open-to-sky aspect. "Like all my architecture projects its origins lie in its location, and it's based on ad hoc solutions that couldn't be used elsewhere", he says. "The key issue was not to cut down trees".
At the end of the space is a curved room, with a video of his manifesto. Ban's style of architecture, which preserves rather than modifies or eliminates, is presented by his self-awarness and passion towards simplicity: "I do what makes me feel free, what comes naturally, nothing more".

I then strolled into Marcio Kogan's space. Kogan lives in Sao Paulo. His installation was all about the big city and the little things inside his home. Blue-sky balconies looking down onto the "ugly, violent, polluted" yet "mysterious, full of energy" city; wide windows with louvres that reveal a private link to the outside world; memorabilia from all over that reflect the tastes and affinities of a man who sees everyday contrasts as integral to his work.
This is part 3 of a 4-post series. See the next post here.

Thursday, June 05, 2014


This is part 2 of a 4-post series. See the previous post here.

Bijoy Jain's (or Studio Mumbai's) Mumbai was particularly important for me, understandably. Not often is an Indian architect put alongside such revered company. As I walked up the entrance stairs, I wondered what version of India we would see here. The familiar busy sounds of our 'maximum city' reached me first, and I could see two enclosures in the middle of a rectangular room.
One was swathed in White netting and the other ran videos reflecting the true nature of Mumbai. Stretched across the long parallel walls were images of trees, most notably a banyan tree, and slender pools of water ran alongside on the floor. This last element recurs in much of Jain's design work, and he says, "My relationship with water is absolute".
A video plays on one wall, capturing his connection to nature, his special association with a stonemason, and the essence of his surroundings - a mix of old buildings, new spaces and a tropical environment. "What matters (of a house)", he says, "is not ownership, but the ability to live with care, the ethics of living." The White central enclosure had two pairs of earphones. Calming, almost spiritual music shut me off from the sounds of the city.
This is post 2 of a 4-post series. See the next post here.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014


This was the most significant event at the Milan Furniture Fair this year. Called 'Where Architects Live', this   extraordinary exhibition, brought to life by Francesca Molteni and Davide Pizzigoni, provided an intriguing insight into the private sanctums of eight outstanding architects of this era. It reflected the sensations that envelope their daily lives at home, the immediate environment around them, the mental makeup of the city that they chose to live in and the nuances that make them who they really are. 
Walking through this exhibition was a privilege of sorts for me, after all, it isn't often that one gets to peek into the homes of such luminaries. Set in Hall 9, I found the eight enclosures arranged around an open courtyard. In the centre were scale models of the layouts. Many people, of various ages and nationalities - standing, sitting on chairs, some even sitting on the floor - absorbed the videos that played on hanging big screens. It was, quite simply, a shrine.
Given the different geographical and cultural backgrounds, and the eight diverse cities, I reasoned that each installation was obviously going to be as unique as the work they are each known for. Sound, video and light were all heavily used, so that the visitor did not just experience the space, but felt the architect’s world in a moment. 

Zaha Hadid's space simply had to be the one I walked into first. This acclaimed and critiqued architect, a disruptor of convention, lives in London. Her installation was built around spatial and visual fluidity. Light, motion and seamlessness. Long white walls had incessant streams of red and yellow light, that seemed to follow the sounds of the piano and Hadid's resonating voice. It came from the screen in the centre of the room, juxtaposed against a folded opening, the horizontal surface of which held images from her home, each flowing into the next. Hadid's
Middle Eastern roots and her professional western orientation are evident. She comments that while she is very fond of her house in Baghdad, she likes being in cosmopolitan London. "I have become a gypsy" she says. "I think the right time for an architect to design your own home is either at the beginning of your career - like a sort of manifesto for your ideas - or when you are about to retire. And I'm not ready to retire yet.”

Middle Eastern roots and her professional western orientation are evident. She comments that while she is very fond of her house in Baghdad, she likes being in cosmopolitan London. "I have become a gypsy" she says. "I think the right time for an architect to design your own home is either at the beginning of your career - like a sort of manifesto for your ideas - or when you are about to retire. And I'm not ready to retire yet.”
Across the aisle was the Parisian house of the irrepressible duo of Massimiliano & Doriana Fuksas. Six tall backlit boxes, of Dogon art sculptures from Mali, traditional guardians of homes, but also representing the comfortable marriage of the organic and the contemporary, met you at the entrance. Through the arch was a room with a long table, overlooking tall windows with a view of a beautiful part of this magical city, near the Place des Vosges. The sensation was of a simple country house, steeped in history and values, rooted within a global city.
This is part 1 in a 4-post series. See the next post here

Monday, April 14, 2014


As professionals, design is a subject of interest to architects and interior designers. So the Triennale Design Museum is an unmissable part of the itinerary at the Milan Fair. Located inside the Palace of Art building, the Triennale allows visitors to explore excellence in design through various points of view, and every year, the museum changes the topics covered, renewing and transforming itself.

At Simply Sofas, we're especially interested in how design combines the disciplines of science and art, because this is vital to any good piece of furniture. Comfort, ergonomics and quality demand years of scientific research and testing, while finesse, beauty and craftsmanship call for an artistic ability above the ordinary. And so, although often outside the realm of furniture, the displays at the Triennale have much from which to learn and draw inspiration.

One such exhibit that combined art and science was the 'Coffee Drop' installation by Italian coffee brand illy. The exhibit featured a single drop of pure coffee, suspended in mid-air. Created for Illy by UK artist Alistair McClymont, the work represents the perfect balance of fine coffee.

To achieve this feat of suspending a droplet of coffee in mid-air, McClymont engineered a vertical wind tunnel, based on an early 1970's design. Using wood, fibreglass, steel mesh, fan, and special aluminium honeycomb, the wind tunnel was perfected through a year long process of R&D, to finally arrive at a setup with a laminar airflow so smooth, that it could keep a droplet hovering.

All of this advanced engineering that created the beautiful sight of a coffee droplet suspended in mid-air, was then combined with a piece of music written for illy by world-renowned composer, Ludovico Einaudi. Made out of 9 tunes, the music represent the 9 aromas of coffee - caramel, chocolate, toasted bread, floral, fruit, smoked, sweet, bitter and sour. Each tune can be enjoyed individually, or they can be combined together in a symphony. Art, science and design, combined at their very best.

Here are some of the other interesting works of design from around Milan and the Triennale.

80,000 watch parts (above)! That's the number of "base-plates" (the structural device that supports all of a watch's components) that come together to transform space in Citizen's 'Light is Time' installation at the Triennale. Developed jointly by Tsuyoshi Tane and Citizen's in-house Design Team. Perhaps the most sensory experience at Milan Design Week - a visual spectacle like no other.

One theme explored at the Triennale's Design Week was the impact of the global economic slowdown on creativity and design. Interestingly, creators everywhere are of the opinion that the restrictions of the current economic climate have only served to strengthen imagination and creativity. A special exhibition at the museum brought into focus this dialogue between past and present, reflecting the concerns of the Italian design industry today. Product design, furniture and fashion were all part of this exciting and unique display.

Gio Ponti was among the most influential architects of the 20th century, renowned for his endeavours to combine art and architecture. Ponti designed many famous buildings around the world, including the Pirelli Tower and the Denver Art Museum. His brilliance was remembered at the Design Week through a display that showcased some of his interesting creations (above).

Another novel idea was Italian architectural firm, Studio Dodici's 'Barrel12' concept. Described as an amalgamation of ethical idea of recycling and the poetry of transformation, this concept transforms a barrel into a customised, multifunctional storage space. As Francesca Cutini and Pierangela Crosti explain, this is not just about reclamation, but also about craftsmanship that renders every object unique and original.

Friday, April 11, 2014


As promised in yesterday's report, here are more details from the SaloneSatellite event at this year's Milan Fair. The Satellite was first created in 1998, with the intention of promoting and fostering talented young designers from around the world. Now in its fifth edition, the event is today a real crowd puller, as visitors have come to recognize the amazing creativity and brilliance that gets displayed here.

In fact, a number of the creations presented here as prototypes, have gone on to see production, thanks to the recognition they earn at SaloneSatellite. The 2014 event sees 650 young designers from 5 continents and 32 countries, exhibiting along the theme of 'Design, Innovation + Craftsmanship,' expanded from last year.

As we mentioned in our previous report, there is a tendency this year for stark, minimalist design, and this is evident at SaloneSatellite too. Studio Aust & Amelung have an approach of reduction and simplicity that defines the form as well as the function of their objects. Their lamp (below, right) is based on the simple mechanism of a beam balance. A long beam cranes across the room and balances a lampshade on one side against a sandbag on the other.

This simplicity also characterized the 'Pi-no Pi-no' vase by Anna Palomaa and Maija Puoskari of Finland (above, left). Their design offers an elegant solution to the tricky problem of finding the right vase for the right flower: a modifiable vase. The height and colour can be adjusted through its stackable glass rings, so that one vase can work in different situations. The vase also serves as a container thanks to its wooden lid.

This focus on flora and greenery was seen across many other exhibits as well, such as 'Spiral' (below, right). This interesting wall mounted stand by Alessandro Bove of Italy, features wood and PC polymers, with a convenient provision for house-plants.

Some designs were clearly intended to break free of the "form follows function" dogma. 'Space Intensifiers' (below, left) by Alo of Italy is a beautiful approach to seating that blends art and furniture. Digitally fabricated in birch plywood, it interacts with people through light and sound effects, almost appearing as though it is alive.

The 'Avolare' chair (above, right) by Jason Mizrahi of USA, is intended to capture the movement and beauty of aviation. The design allows the material to express itself freely through continuous, elongated gestures, curves and voids.

There were also quite a few well-done displays of abstract and conceptual design - both, through the actual products, and the booths themselves (below, right)! A good example is Japanese designer Junpei Tamaki's collection of furniture (below, left), themed around words related to 'snow' - sleet, falling snow, thaw, and so on.

The 2013 SaloneSatellite saw quite a bit of explorative work on lights, and happily, this year's edition has plenty of exciting new work in this area. The 'Atmos' lamp (below, right) by Arturo Erbsman of France casts a captivating glow. Atmos is an atmospheric lamp that uses water's condensation to diffuse light.

ledwork of the Netherlands showcased their intriguing autonomous lights (above, center). These inter-connectible LED lights respond to touch and movement. Meanwhile, Andrea Marcruz of Brazil displayed a lampshade (above, left) that seemed to be a collection of continuous lines. Slightly fading out on the folds of surfaces, this blurs the boundaries between external and internal.

The only two entries from India were also light-focussed. Mumbai's Avni Studio featured 'Fin Cloud' (above, left) that makes alternative use of everyday materials such as tissue, to create beautiful lamps. Inspired by Origami, the ethereal light sculptures generated are reminiscent of scaly aquatic creatures.

Delhi's Unlike Design Co. had the 'Hometown' lamp (above, right) in wood and hammered metal. Inspired by the decorated cycle rickshaws from the old Indian city of Banaras, the lamp has aluminium that is hand-embossed to create interesting visual texture both inside and out.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


By now, some key trends in the areas of construction, materials and colours are becoming evident at Saloni 2014. While manufacturers have moved to more frugal and sustainable use of resources, quality continues to remain a key focus. Do more with less - this drive is reflective of political and market sentiments in economies across the world.
Minimalist design that does not compromise on comfort, aesthetics or quality is indeed a tall challenge, and perhaps nowhere is this as beautifully achieved and illustrated, as with Natuzzi's new Re-vive recliner. Dubbed the 'first performance recliner,' this is one of this year's biggest launches and is the result of years of research and studies on how the human body sits and moves. Designed by New Zealand designer Kent Parker, Re-vive is a collaborative project between Natuzzi and Formway Furniture.

Recliners -

The chair does away with all the levers and adjustment knobs typically employed on recliners to control posture and other settings. Instead, a uniquely engineered 'Responsive Recline' system allows the chair to intuitively move with movement of your body, delivering optimal support for every posture. Unlike any other recliner, the armrests move effortlessly along with you as you recline, and a light rocking motion creates a feeling of weightlessness, whether you're upright or reclined. The minimalist approach means the chair has only seven assemblies - leaving virtually nothing to fail or go wrong.

Recliners -

On the front of materials, exhibitors at Milan 2014 have shown real brilliance across a wide spectrum of materials. From unbelievable creations in glass, to surprising new forms in ceramic, little has been left unexplored. In fact, even cork and concrete were seen in some impressive displays of innovation at the Salone Satellite expo for young designers. (More on this in later posts!)
One particularly interesting project was iconic Italian maker Marsotto's work on marble "active tops" (below). Conceived by Studio Irvine's designers Jasper Morrison, Konstantin Grcic, Naoto Fukasawa, Ross Lovegrove and Philippe Nigro, this range of tables explores the manifestations of work in every day life. Work that involves the intellect, manual skills, the individual and the group - each served by work tops, thinking tops, recreation tops, tops for standing, tops for sitting, group tops...

Of the Chromatic trends at Milan this year, the strongest is light blue. Blues are consistent as a theme across the last few years, and as the colours moved from blue grey to aquamarine to sky blue, reflecting the shift in the tenor of the marketplace to a positive and pleasant future, new design trends embody many variants of the blue colour range.
Leather Sofas -

Coming up are more reports on noteworthy new releases by brands, and innovation by young designers. Stay tuned for more, LIVE from Milan!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014


Across the brands and exhibitors at Saloni 2014, one sees a renewed attention on upholstery. Rightly so, since even the most comfortable, perfectly crafted sofa frame and internal amounts to nought if poorly upholstered. One manufacturer that has this focus particularly strong is Editions - which is now NatuzziEditions!
New leathers and new qualities of leather add to this Italian maker's impressive upholstery portfolio. Much like skilled woodworking artisans who strive to bring out distinctive grain patterns in wood, NatuzziEditions' masterful tanneries have dyed leather in a process that brings out the beautiful natural features of fine leather - wrinkles, creases, and differences in tone and grain.

Leather Quality -

A major point of interest is the Omega Configurator (below) showcased by Koinor, the inventor of many benchmarks in furniture. This innovative system enables never-before flexibility and control, allowing you to set your sofa up perfectly to your satisfaction. Koinor offers L-seater, straight sofa, single, swivel and other variants with the Omega system, making for maximum play and coordination.

Sectional Sofas -

In another display of technological and design brilliance, Calligaris grabbed attention with an extensible table (below) that's bound to leave every single house guest impressed! With their latest creation featuring a ceramic top and a sophisticated yet effortless retraction mechanism, the 90+ year old Italian firm reinforced the notion that few can match the style of a Calligaris extensible table.

As booths go, Olivari has created one that stands out, with a simple simple contra design which proved to be a smart outlier amidst the strong play of colours at the Fair this year.

Milan Fair

And speaking of colours - yes, we have been keeping a keen eye on the palettes showcased across the numerous exhibitors. Stay tuned for our detailed report on the new colour trends that have emerged at Milan 2014!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014


From today, we bring you daily reports and analyses of the latest trends and developments in the world of interiors, furniture and design - as it happens, LIVE from Milan Design Week! Here's a brief look at some of the things that we found interesting so far on Day 1 (within, as well as beyond, the domain of furniture).

Milan Design -

The turnout on Day 1 was strong. If the visitor numbers are sustained through the entire week, it bodes well for the interior and furniture industries this year, indicating good interest from design professionals and business visitors around the world. Although, we'll have to wait till the end of the Fair for Saloni officials to announce the precise statistics. Time will tell.

A noteworthy development is the introduction of beds and linen by Natuzzi, the world's largest Italian furniture brand. This moves Natuzzi's offerings closer towards a 'total home' concept, making it simpler for designers and home owners to create coordinated, elegant spaces. As research has shown, the value of a well coordinated, beautiful home extends to far more than just aesthetic appeal. The state of the spaces we live in have an apparent effect on the state of our minds.

Leather Sofa -

Nicoletti Home's new creations in leather are indicative of the palette we can expect to see trending through 2014.
Recliner Chair -

German maker Koinor is well known for exceptionally crafted sofas for living, and of course, their distinctive 'dinner sofas'. Interestingly, Koinor is adding to their portfolio of reclining chairs. You can be sure these will have the same benchmark quality that their sofas have come to be known for.

Adriani and Rossi were as surprising and impressive as ever. If ever there was any doubt, this collection of glittering heels and handbags is proof that, global economic slowdown or not, the Italian passion for innovation in design, and the drive to create something new, is still alive and flourishing.

More detailed analyses and reporting follows from Day 2.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014


Natuzzi Editions Sofas -

The Milan Furniture Fair brings out the best in innovation in every furniture maker and brand. Some however, make an impact that goes far beyond trends, affecting, at a much larger scale, the way the industry evolves. Such is Natuzzi, which, this year too held its own and made an indelible mark on the Fair.
    The charming and effervescent Pasquale Natuzzi, certainly one of the most enduring personalities of Salone Milan, took the lead.
    Amongst the many introductions is a new color and a new upholstery leather. 3.2 mm thick and made from the finest North European hides, the new leather is processed in Natuzzi’s own factories. There are also new fabrics. Apart from a slew of new sofa and chair designs, the collection has also taken some of last year’s best ahead with new versions. Natuzzi’s approach of coordinating all the elements of a living room is amplified this year. The center tables, coffee tables, lamps, carpets and accessories are stylized with more character. There are also a number of dining tables & chairs to go with the rest.  
To call the Tempo just a sofa would be inadequate; it is a whole system of style and comfort. The already iconic sofa consists of modules that allow for the possibility of various arrangements. The design of the fabric-clad sectional sofa is such that one can break down and alter an arrangement at will, adding freshness to the space without affecting the harmony of the elements, or simply optimising floor area. To create the right mood, there’s a Bluetooth device that plays music on surround-sound speakers which, incidentally, are also used in the Maserati. The controls are cleverly concealed below the fabric. The flexible back cushions are filled with down feathers, and, with the movable headrests, provide truly yielding comfort. Marble top coffee tables of different sizes and chromed legs, a lamp and a rug make up the complement, defining a character that’s distinctive and par extraordinaire.
The famous Natuzzi Sound Chair now comes with Bluetooth, which means that you can feel and hear the music as you sink into the iconic shape. The Borghese is a new model designed for small spaces. The adjustable headrest has a mechanism that’s almost invisible, and the legs are wooden. Inverted piping running across the Respiro sofa makes it unlike any other. All in all, the collection embodied new details, greater attention to endurance and inspiring proportions, all packed into the familiar Natuzzi style.
Natuzzi’s collaboration with the world of art was conceived in 2007 under a concept called the ‘Open Art project’, with the aim to make art accessible, bringing together untenanted expression and technical innovation. The collaboration that has taken root this year is with the famous Fabrizio Plessi, one of the most ingenious artists of our time. Spanning 40 years, Plessi’s work includes projects for Luciano Pavarotti, Louis Vuitton, Robert Wilson and Philip Glass and he is the only living artist to have exhibited at the Scuderi Papali at the Quirinale in Rome.
Milan Furniture Fair

 While the Natuzzi booth at the fair reflected the theme currently envisaged in the collaboration, aptly named The Shape of Energy, the event that was held at the Natuzzi flagship store on Via Durini on the evening of April 10th brought it to life in grand style! Plessi is known for edgy combinations of video and various physical structures to create powerful art that inspires and excites, and such was the work at the Natuzzi store.
   On display at the ground floor was a unique assembly of low tables. Each table, with a multi-layered top composed of solidified volcanic lava, revealed, through an opening in the lava top, the incessant, fluid motion of molten lava beneath the surface, supplanted by the throbbing sounds of its passage. The theatrical effect of the installation is unlike any other. Plessi writes that lava means “lighting up our memories, passions or roots once more”, reflecting the dynamism, innovation and energy which have constantly inspired Pasquale Natuzzi and his company. Fabrizio Plessi will create, together with Natuzzi, an exclusive and exciting product collection - authentic pieces of art created for everyone, where the value of art merges with the value of design and materials.


Milan Design

The truly special highlight of Milan this year was the gigantic ‘Project: Office for Living’, set up in the SaloneUfficio space. Conceptualised by starchitect and Pritzker Prize laureate Jean Nouvel, the project represents his vision for the workspaces of the future. It reflects the tremendous changes that have altered working spaces over the past few years, and presents an alternative. It questions the state of current workspaces and embraces the idea of ‘office living’. “I want to instil the notion of taking pleasure in life... we spend more time in the office than at home” he says. Eight spaces are used to demonstrate Nouvel’s passion and thought. From various office scenarios, which include an apartment imagined as a comfortable workspace, an open warehouse office, and a series of offices divided by sliding walls, to innovative lighting systems and a priceless selection of historically important pieces by some of Nouvel’s favourite architects. Of note in the apartment office was that all lighting came from ground up. One room also features work by designers Michele De Lucchi, Marc Newson, Philippe Starck and Ron Arad. SS
Office Furniture Chairs

Friday, March 28, 2014


Modern Furniture, Leather Sofas & Recliners -
Since 2011, we’ve kept track of and postulated the shift in the trend colours for furniture. The fashion and furniture industries call the flavour of the times ‘trend colours’ simply because these are the tones that will harmonise the aesthetics for the year. Generally, trend colours emerge out of a study of the human condition at that point in time. Sentiment, the various things people buy, use and wear, the cycle of contrast, the influence of weather, and more. Manufacturers oft influence changes as well, and the case with furniture is a bit of both. Trend colours are more often temporal than culture changers, and they can affect furniture production as a whole, since adopting them calls for more varied inventory, sourcing and alterations in production routines.
The year saw a progression of the colours of the last 2 years. Last year, white was a base and the new colours existed merely to add life. The accent trend colours now have bceome much more. From accessories and smaller pieces of furniture, to larger interior elements such as walls and fixed furniture everything carries these tones. These are then, the 3 colours that made it big in Milan2013; we have no doubt that these will continue for another 2 years, with the addition of a darker tone to build the inevitable colour contrast cycle.
Contemporary & Luxury Dining Furniture -

BLUE is back, and was strongly evident at not just Salone and Design Week, but also in fashion. Last season, we saw the push for turquoise and aquamarine, and hence the advent today of clearer blues is but natural. As the primary trend colour, leather and fabric upholstery, accessories of all sizes and shapes, carpets and even new innovations sport various shades of blue. Sky blue and baby blue are the key tones. Blue is both warmth and positivity. Says the legendary Pasquale Natuzzi, “I personally believe that blue will come back as a lasting colour trend in interior design. Blue is very important for us as people - it means the blue sky, water and the soul.” Giusseppe Nicoletti believes that while light blue is the new boy in town, pastels will dominate. A closer look at the fair reveals that several manufacturers did indeed produce furniture and accessories with a range of pastel tones.
DEEP YELLOW-MUSTARD. The vibrant golden yellow tone and its darker cousin are the main relief colours of the year, as they were in 2012. Much upholstery, foil coverings and plastics today sport the tone in not small quantities. The tone is used to add life to not only new styles, but also to designs that are well established. Mirroring the sentiment prevailing in Europe, we beleive that while the colour brings brightness to a grey market, it also represents energy - to do new things with vigour.
Living room furniture accessories -
LIME GREEN or CHARTREUSE is the third critical tone for the year. While it has been in vogue for a while, the tone is still important today since it indicates an affinity towards the environment.
When it comes to textures and materials, colour tones find expression in terracotta finishes, natural marble, natural wood - especially ash, and copper. SS

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Calligaris Italian Design -

It is said that the sign of pure, restless delight is doing more with less. That’s Calligaris, as it has been for decades. For 90 years, the iconic Italian brand has invigorated the global furniture industry through products that have struck home with resounding frequency, creating enduring trends and business success that is oft spoken of and admired by many a furniture maker. And that was evident, in its own measure, at Milano this year as well.
Dining Tables & Chairs by Calligaris -
Calligaris Tables & Chairs 

 Calligaris produces dining tables, chairs, coffee tables, storage solutions like cabinets and shelving, lamps, a range of accents and accessories, and much more. Apart from new furniture concepts, there are also new designs and fabrics. Vintage style meets contemporary shapes and bold colours, engendering the sensations of familiarity and freshness simultaneously. The new collection is a combination of qualities that Calligaris was originally founded on, mixed with new ideas that work for the future. The long-standing core essence of the brand has been married to a contemporary style through a mix of materials - natural wood, leather and marble, and Calligaris’ stand-out palette of colours. This adds a new dimension to its high quality designs by tapping into current trends. The ability to mix and match these elements allows the customer to make choices, whether bold or subtle, and design their own unique look to create the atmosphere and space they want.

Calligaris -

 The Calligaris orientation to customers has always been to offer a choice in decorating a home, turning even the simplest of rooms into a fun, contemporary and colourful interior. Whilst Calligaris prides itself in offering modern, functional furniture, all of its products can be worked into existing schemes or combined to create new and avant-garde looks that reflect personal taste - the freedom Calligaris offers is unrivalled.

   Contemporary and elegant in equal measure, with the top taking a gentle curve, the Moving dining table is unique. The motion mechanism, which is conceptually akin to a telescoping system, is such that it offers three possible lengths from the same table, while the legs always stay at the ends. And reducing or expanding the length of the table happens in just one fluid motion.
Wooden Dining Table -
A reinterpretation of the already famous Calligaris chair, the New York presents a whole new idea in stylish, compact seating. There are five new colour concepts - five frame colours (including the colours of the year - sky blue and mustard yellow) coordinated with five upholstery fabrics. The fabric is a blend of leather and microfibre, and is teflon-treated, while the key design effect is the wire frame that runs exposed even around the backrest. Match is the name given to Calligaris’ new multi-piece coffee table design. The tops are made of a quartz conglomerate with a marble effect, the tone of which can be light or dark, with the legs in ash wood. What’s nice is that these can be stacked together to create striking shapes, adding functionality to its elegant style.

 Calligaris Chairs -

Yet another clever innovation is Factory, the cabinet system that’s designed out of clean lines and touches of colour. The legs and defining horizontal bar come in select colours while the body, top and fronts come in natural ash or smoke. These lead to combinations that break away from traditional furniture, in both muted settings and colourful ones. The back support legs are closer to the centre and hence unseen, making for a partial suspension visual effect. The Division modular shelving system has been cleverly designed to function either as a wall unit or as a free-standing unit, making a great library or multi-use cabinet. The system is made of a thin, white, lacquered frame in two shapes, and a set of colourful metal containers can be slipped into random shelves to make it (and the room) come alive.
Innovation is a constant at Calligaris. The effort to build a thinner, longer dining table led to the Heron - a dining table that goes up to 2.8 metres, supported by only 4 slender legs at the ends. The tabletop is a wood-metal-wood sandwich, which ensures that there is no bending, and comes in an ash finish. SS