Thursday, May 24, 2012

Salone Luxe: Missoni Home

The Missoni Home booth (take the word booth with a grain of salt) was certainly a stand out and immediately caught out attention.  The lighting was elegant, soft, and inviting.  Every surface begged to be touched, and touch we did.

We particularly enjoyed their decorative lighting concepts, which highlight the use of open weave craft and their ubiquitous patterns originating from their fashion house.

Missoni is never afraid of color, and we like it that way!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Salone Trend: Stainless Steel

By Jenny Guggenheim

Our first day at the Rho Fairgrounds was exhilarating, overwhelming, hunger-inducing, and more inspirational than we could have ever imagined.  I loved checking out the fashion just as much as the exhibitors' booths-  Italian men certainly know how to wear their suits properly.

The kitchen cucina exhibition hall proved to be quite groundbreaking compared to American standards and gave us a plethora of detailing ideas and material inspiration.  One trend we couldn't help but notice was the use of Stainless Steel in sophisticated high-end kitchens.  These were certainly not industrially inspired- they were razor sharp with precise detailing.  Who's in?  We're dying to apply some of these concepts.

Boffi (shown above) is of course a stand-out and we managed to discover their showroom while escaping a downpour.  While rubbing elbows with several other soggy designers, we noticed that each room highlighted the use of Stainless.  What is different that what we'd traditionally see in the US is the use of a think-gauge steel with no wrapped edge.  The material is applied in it's purest form and it's natural strength creates the edge detail.  We loved the super clean look of these countertops.

This Stainless Steel application could easily be applied to a US kitchen and is durable enough to withstand the most agressive of long as you don't mind a little patina.

These images (taken at the Salone exhibition hall-  low light) demonstrate the use of modular shelving and a SS waterfall edge detail.

What do you think?  Would you give Stainless Steel a try in your kitchen?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Hunt and Gather: Moroso

Well, we've been back from Milan for quite some time, but between fun client projects and moving the office, Fig's been swamped.  In better late than never fashion, here's the beginning of a series of posts with  our Milan discoveries.

The Moroso showroom, one of our first stops in the Zona Tortona and specially transformed for design week, hosted "Way of the Water Dragon" (fitting due to torrential downpours all week!) and created a sensory-based experience for waterlogged visitors.  Let's just say that hour I spent on my hair was ill-conceived.  The saturated crimson entry vestibule was dotted with lightweight steel stools (product name unknown) and columns of clean, white light highlighting material transformation.

From the installation designer:
"From ancient Chinese tales, the physical form of the dragon is all-elusive and ever-changing. Therefore the way of the water dragon is hidden. What is visible for us would only be the metamorphosis of the movement of the water dragon. Hence the dragon here is not seen as a physical and explicit image but as a conceptualization of the idea of movement.This idea of movement is marked by Zhang Ke's rhythmic and abstract ink-water calligraphy work, which derives into multiple forms such as the "Dots" stole and the "Hidden Dragon" sofa. The ink-water work is further projected onto foldable screens that redefine the space of the main room, a moment of the movement captured in a sinuous shape in the center of the scene.What hits the eyes of the spectator is the intriguing interrelationship between the strong dynamism represented by the ink-water traces and the floating form of the furniture piece "Hidden Dragon"." Zhang Ke

One standout theme we discovered during our Milan adventure was the strong desire to veg-out on these beautifully upholstered seating clusters found throughout the city.  We were not alone.  We saw people actually napping in the middle of showrooms.  This may be high-style, fast-paced Milan, but it appears some designers checked their dignity at the door.  The Hidden Dragon sofa was certainly nap-worthy with it's steep-angle back and morphous silhouette.  I found the soft wool upholstery to be similar to Maharam's Divina.

Once through the installation section of the event, Moroso offered a more standard showroom experience highlighting new pieces and treatments on familiar offerings.  I finally had the chance to test drive Patricia Urguiola's Fjord lounge (in a new super floral) and can attest that is sit's beautifully.  It's much softer in person and would do well paired with more traditional lines.  We saw a lot of deconstruction and bohemian texture here, and appreciated the heavy layering and play with transparency here.

Ombre is still a hot trend with high-end manufacturers (as it is with the DIY set) and Moroso's application was certainly eye-catching.  Paired with sam-fabric pillows this sofa would do well in a hospitality or creative office environment.

Overall, the Moroso showroom offered a plethora of highly usable products and trademark edgy material quality.  I could see these used as statement pieces in the Portland market-  definitely not out of reach.