Finishes and design at the Salone del Mobile 2022

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Lualdi stand, photo courtesy

The wrap: how the surfaces of furniture and accessories engage the senses and dialogues with the environment. A look at the latest collections

Metallic, extra glossy or painted finishes; innovative, achieved thanks to new, forward-looking methodologies, or which draw on traditional craftsmanship, re-evoking ancient manual skills. The outer surface of the design object communicates with our senses in unexpected and immediate ways, and connects inextricably with the space,  bonding with the furnishings and the architecture through colour, light and degree of materiality. The choice and the putting together of a vast abacus of finishes doesn’t just point to an intelligent reading of contemporary style trends, but also becomes the key to versatile and flexible design, appealing to different sensitivities and tastes. Thus, in all the domestic spaces, the proposals lend themselves to all sorts of different possibilities. Always reflecting the perfect choice, in terms of both looks and functionality.

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Tambour tables, design Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Magis, ph. Andrea Mariani

Magis showcased a design collection without compromise on its 500 m2 stand. Brand new products and revisitations made for a versatile collection, designed for both residential and contract spaces, in which not just plastic, metal and fabrics but also recyclable and recycled materials were testament to a multifaceted spirit, blending informal and fluid atmospheres. Novelties included the Officina bookcase by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, in iron forged in line with a very ancient technique, presented with an anthracite grey painted frame and coloured MDF shelves in black paste or in walnut, while Barber Osgerby’s Alpine chair became a new sustainable archetype thanks to its solid FSC ash frame and bio-based injection-moulded plastic backrest, derived from waste cooking oil. A new version of the Tambour side tables by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec was presented with coloured gres tops in four different colours, while Philippe Starck’s iconic Bill Will table took on three new finishes: gres with a shiny Calacatta marble finish, a shiny Marquinia marble  finish, or white wood.

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Eureka, design Steve Leung, Lema, photo courtesy

At the Salone del Mobile, Lema, a leading company in the field of modular systems for living and bedroom areas - and the first to develop a storage system with load-bearing side panels in a wide variety of finishes – showcased a space ranging over more than 1,300 m2, played out in slightly suspended pavilions, designed by Studio Lissoni&Partners in collaboration with vandersandestudio and Ufficio Stile Lema. Imbued with a sophisticated, light atmosphere, the spaces were able to dialogue with each other through the transparent partition walls, allowing for a 360-degree view from both inside and outside the stand. Shades such as concrete and dark grey complemented the dark wood and pale carpet flooring. Eureka, the new entirely customisable vanity unit designed by Steve Leung, was showcased in a light cognac dollar finished leather with contrast stitching. Federica Biasi’s Niveaux sofa boasted two different fabrics, one more textured and the other flatter, bestowing character on the project. The Groovy sofa was presented with a rigid, leather-covered outer frame and contrasting fabric cushions.  

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I Ching, Tubes, ph. Valentina Casalini

Bathrooms increasingly reflect contemporary fashions and styles, starring in their own right in interior design projects. This calls for a painstaking selection of finishes and sanitaryware, which also applies to accessories such as heated towel rails. The brand new I Ching heated towel rail from Tubes makes a functional object into an artwork, distinguished by its clean lines and dearth of visible joints. The selected finishes make their presences felt in the space in a distinctive and personal way. Polished stainless steel, satin-effect stainless steel, matte black brushed nickel, matte brushed tin, matte brushed copper, matte black, matte white, or painted in one of the 14 colours in the company palette. Myriad possibilities, therefore, for a more industrial, recherché or decorative style, harnessing colour combinations contrasting or dialoguing with the space and the walls.   

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Kristalia stand, ph. Luca Quagliato

Kristalia brought a residential proposal in the round to the Salone del Mobile.Milano 2022 along with MD House, for the first time. In a totally black exhibition space measuring almost 500 square metres, devised in tandem with the colour designer Giulio Ridolfo, bold fabrics and colours and textured surfaces prevailed, contrasting with the post-pandemic sterility. The new products included the Bodoni family of tables designed by Sam Hecht and Kim Colin, the contrast between the thick vertical and slender horizontal  lines inspired by the font of the same name. A modern collection, also in terms of finishes, with aluminium legs and joints, and tops in Fenix or marble. There were new additions to the Exclusive colour finishes, informed by research carried out by the Kristalia powder coating centre, for Kensaku Oshiro’s Holo Pillar Marble solid, sculptural table, now issued in a round version. The Avenue Library powder-coated metal bookcase, by ruga.perissinotto for MD House is available in a range of Exclusive and Embossed finishes, as well as in the Conchiglia colour, and is sustainable and 100% recyclable.

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Lualdi stand, photo courtesy

In architecture, every single element is considered and thought-out in a continuous dialogue with the space. Right down to internal doors. Lualdi’s space, designed by the brand’s art director Piero Lissoni, was conceived as a series of sequential spaces constituting a sort of labyrinth. A solution that not only allowed individual products to be displayed according to their different functions, but also enabled the company to experiment with new finishes, styles and combinations. The new products included the Skye system of fixed panels and sliding doors designed by Piero Lissoni in 2021, presented in an all-wood version, including the profiles and the doors in Rovere Thermowood/Thermowood Oak and Rovere Moka/Mocha Oak paired with frosted glass. Also designed by Piero Lissoni, the iconic L7 family now includes a version with folding doors, presented with grey aluminium profiles and see-through grey glass. All new for 2022 was Teatro – La Bella, by Andrea Boschetti: an ideal partition system designed to meet the demands of a contract and residential market on the look-out for highly versatile and modular spaces. It was showcased in Rovere Grigio/Grey Oak on the stand.

4 July 2022