Milan Furniture Fair – Trends & Forecasts

By on 01-05-2012 in Inspired By, Interior Design, Obsessed With, Went Here

So this blog post is solely dedicated to providing a round up of the trends we spotted that will be making their way to Australian shores soon.  Overall, the tone was relaxed living, with lots of colour thrown in and comfortable, workable solutions for the home.  There was a definite 50’s vibe, reworked into the new modern style & the Danes certainly made their presence felt with plenty of Danish exhibitors; it would also seem that the Danes and the Italians have been cross breeding, the result – designs that feature the best of both influences.  The furniture was enticing, there was a focus on comfort with soft cushions, grand proportions and layers and layers of mixed textures, colours and materials, resulting in an overall look that translates well into the laid back Australian market & Australian homes.

Here I will provide a run down of the specific trends we noticed:


– Grey: all shades, mixed together grey formed the base of the colour palette for most rooms with colours and textures layered on to it.

– Grey + Mustard Yellow: A winning combination that we have already been seeing, this colour combo was prominent so expect it to stick around.

– Mustard Yellow + White: We’ve been seeing the mustard with grey for a little while, the mustard with white combo was bold and fresh, stick to just the two colours for a statement bookcase or sofa

– Grey + White + Mustard Yellow + Timber + Metal + Brown: Yep, mix them all together in one setting, we saw this everywhere, and it worked amazingly well, choose the tones in various materials, such as timber, matt poly, gloss poly, glass, fabrics, leathers & paints, the overall tone is still muted and earthy so its surprisingly easy to work with, use a rug to tie the elements together.

Colour Trends: Mustard Yellow

(Colour’s Cont’d)

– Burnt Orange: Coming in second to mustard yellow, burnt orange was prominent, teamed with grey for a contemporary spin, or with timbers & brown tones for a nostalgic take, we also saw it worked into living room spaces featuring the mustard yellow, expect to see a lot more orange soon

– Teal Blue/Green: A close third in the colour pop stakes, the teal green was popular for rugs, prints, side tables & accessories, a lovely accent colour for warm interiors and it works well with the mustard yellow and burnt orange

Colour Trends: Burnt Orange

 Materials & Finishes:

– Matt Finishes: we saw a lot of matt poly finishes, it worked well as a base for mixing materials, it was most often paired with coloured glass, or timber

– Metal & Stone Veneer: Whilst not the most stand out trend, we definitely spotted metal cladding & stone cladding on furniture, including dining tables, coffee tables & bedside tables

– Luscious Leather: Thick, raw leather was the choice this year, luxuriously soft to the touch (like suede) & used in abundance on soft, oversized sofa’s, this type of leather is pure luxury, its expensive and hard to care for, so we don’t think we’ll see too many in homes, though I think the generous proportions, inviting ‘plumpness’ and exposed/piped seams will translate through

– Fabric Sofas & Beds: the ‘loose cover’ linen fabric sofas & beds were seen everywhere, which gives the furniture a lovely casual elegance, we also saw lots of unusual textural fabrics featuring on beds (fabric beds were everywhere, in all shapes and sizes), on fabric finished furniture expect to see revealed seams, contrasting stitching, piped seams etc.

Materials & Finishes: Fabric Beds & Stone Bedsides

Design & Display:

– Wall Units: This year, everything was wall mounted, everywhere you turned was a different interpretation of the wall unit, we know one thing for sure, wall units are here to stay, and there is a wall unit solution for every need, including media needs in the living room as well as the study, the bedroom, the dining room, the kids room, and just about anywhere else you have a spare wall.  The modern interpretation is less structured, ‘stick them where you want them’ for this latest trend & mix colours and materials as you please.  The great thing about these units is that with just a few modular pieces you can create an endless variety of solutions that solve media, storage and display issues, perfect for the modern home as you can customise to suit – so clear your walls and get ready to get hanging.

– Modular Bookcases: When their wasn’t a wall unit there was a modular bookcase, full height, double height, running the length of a showroom & turning corners, choose your height, choose your width then fill as you wish.

Design & Display: Wall Units & Bookcases

– Coffee Tables: With the walls taken care of, what was happening in the middle of the room? Well, one of two things, either 4 large square tables were placed together to make one ‘mega’ coffee table, great for those with cavernous living rooms, or clusters of side tables and ottomans were used, mixing different colours, heights and materials together for volume and interest, this look is highly functional as well as the tables & ottomans can be moved around as needed & adapted to what you’re doing.

Design & Display: Coffee Table Trends

Layered Rugs: This was a hot look, (as seen in the coffee table image above), multiple rugs overlaid for a modern bohemian feel, look for thin woven style rugs with a similar base colour tone, then choose one feature colour.  This is great for warming up large open plan rooms and helping to visually organise the space into smaller more intimate areas.

And the best of the rest:

A selection of images that show off the general Milan 2012 ‘look’

Milan Fair 2012 – The Look


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