The design world is in Milan for the annual iSalone jamboree, the big Italian fair where designers show off the latest trends -- the stuff they want stores to sell us this year. It's the time when the design-savvy learn whether home furnishing goes "back to Baroque" or if the "impersonal industrial" will rule what we buy.
Because nobody invited me to Italy I'm relying on reports filtered through a haze of long dinners and all-night parties being enjoyed by others, to see what might be in our living rooms in the year to come.
A hint from home furnishings style bible Elle Decor:
Because the long dark night of our economic depression is over (or at least receding), designers are "looking to have a bit more fun." But as we're still shell-shocked by the recession and don't have as much cash -- or don't want to be conspicuous consumers -- there's a new focus on handmade, crafty, "more personal" objects. To make us feel better about all the grim tidings, one imagines.
Did you hear that, potential furniture buyer? Fun is back!
Furniture Trends for 2010
The Fun is Back in Furniture!
We don't know why, but the origami loook is back, big time (but hopefully not in men's trousers). Consider the bumpy pleated "Slash" sofa by Swiss designer Adrien Rovero, which flattens to a bed.
Can't get enough green - well this year is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day! While we doubt this crumpled metal chair ("Memory") by Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka is fun to sit in, it is made of recycled aluminum. lest we forget the Emeco chair made of recycled Coke bottles also debuting in Milan this year.
Anything hexagonal is hot, like the upholstery in this comfy grouping from the Quilt Collection by the French design brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec.
Etsy is having a moment. It's the year of embroidery, patchwork and all things woody, like this cupboard by Renzi Reale ("Armadiature") made of salvaged wood components and lots of dainty decoration.
We need a break from bleakness, so we are seeking illusion and deception. Enter Brick and Mortar Sofa - a brick patterned upholstery from Sebastian Wrong and Richard Woods. Looks like brick - but it isn't. Fooled ya!
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And while these particular pieces -- like any featured on the floor of the Milan Furniture Fair -- are in a higher price echelon, it's only a matter of time before affordable knockoffs are created. (It's a lot like the frenzy that occurs to create Oscar dress knockoffs). In the meantime we will continue to monitor what's happening on the showroom floor (via the Internet) with help from our friends at design site dezeen.com and with our Elle Decor guide in hand.
And you'll hear from us again when the affordable versions hit the streets.