[dropcap size=small]M[/dropcap]overs and shakers in the luxury home furnishings world are ardent about celebrating diversity, as seen in their showcase of products at the trendsetting Salone del Mobile in Milan this year. The fair saw the best creative and manufacturing minds collaborating with talents from a wide range of backgrounds, embracing myriad styles, and experimenting with new materials and production techniques. Dive into their cutting edge results in the following pages.

Fashionably Domestic

In recent years, fashion and jewellery powerhouses have made waves within the design scene by collaborating with renowned product designers, and initiating side projects that further explore the use of traditional craftsmanship in contemporary ways.

The recent home collections by these household brands are also no longer just simple extensions of their main product lines, but are able to stand on their own as desirable pieces that fashion and design lovers would be proud to own.

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Japanese Lines

The rising fame of Oki Sato, founder of progressive design studio Nendo, is hard to ignore. His thoughtful and refined designs have garnered plenty of traction in the Western market, thanks to previous work with Moroso, Glas Italia and Flos. This year, Nendo achieves yet another milestone: a debut collaboration with Fritz Hansen.

Japanese designers are now also making more frequent appearances in brands that have been historically dominated by European designers. With that comes new classics that employ a distinct Japanese design language to explore the unique heritage and strengths of the collaborating brand.

Punch of Colour

Rich, sensual hues are set to find their way into homes soon, as jewel tones were the accent palette of choice at the Salone del Mobile fairgrounds. From statement pieces to everyday objects bathed in bold shades, eminent luxury furniture manufacturers served up a whole host of designs that hypnotise. Here’s how to add a dash of visual drama at home.

Inside Out

Outdoor furniture trends are evolving to look more like its indoor counterparts, enabling balconies and backyards to be transformed into second living rooms. And with each season bringing even more diversity in styles, outdoor spaces should no longer be decorated as an afterthought.

It’s no mean feat to produce furniture that can withstand tropical weather and look good while doing it. But engineers, manufacturers and designers have taken this challenge head on with continuous R&D, so as to conjure up designs that bring practicality, durability and aesthetics to a whole new level.

Experiments Gone Right

The advancement of furniture-making technologies brings new possibilities, enabling manufacturers to fulfil the ideas of creative geniuses that were once just figments of their imagination.

Kartell’s Woody chairs, for example, was recently made possible with its new patented machine moulding technology that extends the limit of wood’s curvature. Only with such an innovation could it arrive at a design that truly expresses the nuanced beauty of a wooden frame.

We now see designers pushing boundaries with slimmer silhouettes, sleeker finishes and precise craftsmanship, with new decor pieces that capture the essence of lightness and simplicity.

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Among the hundreds of designers showcased throughout the Italian city were several Singaporeans who presented captivating projects, giving us a peek into the minds of oft-overlooked talents that bloom on our shores.

No stranger to having their works presented at the Milan design week, the Italian-Singaporean duo behind studio Lanzavecchia + Wai continue to charm with the new Pebble writing-cum-vanity desk for Living Divani, and Pinch mirrors for Fiam. Their designs are often playful in nature, inviting and igniting the curiosity of users with imaginative storytelling.

Living Divani and Fiam available at Dream and Space respectively.

The Wallpaper* Handmade exhibition, always one of the top highlights during the design week, housed the works of seven local designers, all made around the theme of Wellness + Wonder. This includes Olivia Lee’s Elixir cabinet which references Chinese folklore about immortality, and Edmund Zhang’s Squeezy lamp which glows brighter the harder its knob is squeezed.

www.olivia-lee.com; www.edmundzhang.work

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