Though this fall’s gathering at Salone in Italy was an abbreviated version of the annual event, visitors were wowed by what they saw and got a taste of what is to come. According to Maria Porro, the new president of Salone del Mobile.Milano, supersalone was not to be viewed as a smaller event, but rather as a special edition of the massive event – “the trade show reimagined.”
Held in September at the Rho Fairgrounds in Milan, the whole show – which was planned over the course of three months – had a different vibe than its predecessors. Held in just four exhibit halls, booths were scaled down and encouraged to follow an “art gallery” theme, allowing visitors to view displays from a comfortable distance if preferred. All surrounding rest and eating areas were fabricated from raw wood, a commitment to sustainability that allowed all of the materials to be disassembled and used again.
More than 60,000 attendees walked the floor, 30 percent of them from 113 countries other than Italy. All attendees adhered to a strict COVID-19 protocol, which included a check of vaccination cards or COVID testing at the gate and masks worn within the halls. Exhibitors included 425 brands, 18 percent of which were from countries other than Italy.
The new Salone del Mobile.Milano digital platform also played a decisive role during the event, used by an unprecedented number of visitors both at the fair and remote, noted show organizers.
“It was important to take that first but decisive step, to make our presence felt and send a signal to the country as a whole,” stated Porro. “Deciding to go ahead with this ‘supersalone’ took a good dose of courage and meant taking on a lot of responsibility – for the system as a whole and for the entire supply chain, which needed a physical and concrete occasion, not just symbolic and digital, to press the accelerator for a restart.” She added that the show organizers will use what they learned from this event to discover what works and what doesn’t, as well as what is missing. The result will be reflected in the full-sized 60th edition of Salone del Mobile.Milano, planned for April 5-10, 2022.
Photos: Cammi Shaw
TREND: Metallic Finishes, Textured Finishes, Bold Colors
Cabinets got new life, with textured finishes, bright colors and matte surfaces among the displays. Metallic looks drew significant attention for cabinets, with copper tones and patinated metal looks interpreted on doors and drawers. Bright colored surfaces made bold statements in a number of other product categories.
Products Inspired by Nature
Booths and products embraced the great outdoors, with bold prints and natural settings acting as backdrops to earthy colors and nature-inspired products. Weathered woods, rugged stones and all things green were front and center, including a tree that acts as the focal point of the kitchen.
The juxtaposition of open display and hidden spaces was a key theme on the show floor. Beautifully lit shelving and glass-front cabinets with modern trim were prevalent, providing opulent opportunities to show off prized possessions. Just as captivating was the clever and discreet storage, or the kitchens that disappeared completely behind elegant doors and sliding countertops.
In an atmosphere of safety, wellness continued to be top of mind, and products on the show floor did not disappoint. Whether the interest was in totally decked-out pampering with custom designs or a more whimsical take on taking care, a range of products were examined and noted by show attendees.
Lighting it Up
Accessories and lighting delivered a modern vibe, with LEDs expanding the scope of what is possible in design. The finishing touches to any space, on display were products that can add significant impact or just the right element to complete a room.
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