A tour around the Salone with Design Diffusion | Milan Design week 2018

Just like last year I had the pleasure to team up with Design Diffusion and join their tour around the Salone del Mobile. Although I love the fuorisalone of which I will make some more reports for the blog, visiting the actual Salone del Mobile is something totally different. This year visitors could also have a look at Eurocucina, focused on kitchen design and technology, and the international bathroom section which are organized every other year next to the actual Salone del mobile.

Milan based publishing group Design Diffusion organized the tour especially for a group of bloggers, most are friends of mine and we actually did a trend presentation together earlier this year at Domotex led by Holly Becker and as she said after visiting Milan Design week, our predictions were spot on! Together with the DDN crew we visited the stands of a selected group of brands where we got to see their new collections and learned more about their dna.

I was really happy to find some of my favourite brands in the line up for the day and we had a fantastic tour, enough time at every stand to make some quick pictures and a beautiful lunch in the Salones Red room! If you are on Instagram, you can still see some stories I made during the day. On the blog my selection of favourite pieces, new collections and brands we visited in this recap of the Salone. The 2018 Salone and Fuorisalone showed a record of visitors and I am glad I spent a day at the actual Salone, thank you Design Diffusion for the invite!

Brompton Shelving unit by Boffi – 1956! Rea chair by P. Tilche – Salone del Mobile

Boffi – De Padova
One of my all time favourite brands, and with their joined presence of Boffi, De Padova and MA / U Studio – both at the fair and in the two Milanese showrooms they were as good as I hoped for when leaving for Milan! When thinking of Boffi the first thing that comes to mind are the outstanding materials. Every design by Boffi has a huge visual impact through the use of natural materials in especially dark shades. Stones, granites and marbles, I saw a lot of dark marble all around Milan this year, metal and oak, every detail is studied for a matchless result.

The dark kitchens, the brown soft leather couches by De Padova and the outstanding R.I.G modules by MA/U Studio are my personal favourites, but there is a lot more. The all white monoblock kitchen ‘Cove‘ designed by Zaha Hadid Design characterized by it simple forms and made out of Corian and wood for example, it has been awarded with the EDIDA 2018 in the Kitchen category!

R.I.G modules by MA/U Studio – Salone del Mobile

The stand was literally packed with visitors walking around, admiring everything and hanging on the comfortable couches, making pictures was hard and I only managed to snap a few.  Luckily I also visited the Boffi and De Padova store in town where I had the change to make some pictures, including of the all new space, and third entry of Boffi Solferino that is filled with amazing furniture, to give you a better impression of the brand. Check back later to see more of the stores downtown.

Étiquette Sofa by Gamfratesi 2018 – De Padova store
Cabinet by Natuzzi

Natuzzi has it roots in Puglia and invited Dutch Marcel Wanders to get a taste of their roots and design a new collection for them. Inspired by the colours and shapes of Puglia’s landscape the studio created ‘Agronomist’ a collection with an almost nautical theme. The picture below shows a tabletop inspired by a fishermen boat with vases in the shape of sea urchins, rugs were inspired by the sea and a chair with a metal fishnet like frame.

Table and accessories by Marcel Wanders for Natuzzi

Colosseo modular sofa and  Fil Rouge side table – Natuzzi

Natuzzi’s stand was spacious with lots of greens, most of the Italian brands we visited used a large amount of greens and Natuzzi was no exception, in addition the stand was designed in beautiful sophisticated colours. I was simply impressed by the Smart Living project by Mauro Lipparini. A complete family of minimalist furniture items with the Modular sofa ‘Colosseo as a center piece, upholstered on every side it allows you to create the format which is most suitable for your home.

What really caught my eye though was the Fil Rouge serie! Side tables and bookcases in metal structures with wood and marble tops and shelves, beautiful materials were used such as dark marble again, here in combination with dark wood. The desk below really has my name written all over it don’t you think!

Fil Rouge desk by Natuzzi

Walter Knoll

Walter Knoll
Walter Knoll finds its inspiration in nature, dreamy floral art and baskets filled with plants form the backdrop for the collection at this years Salone. Last year Walter Knoll presented its first carpet collection inspired by the colours of Africa, and hand-crafted in Nepalese workshops. We see the colours of nature also back in the Badawi Pillows, ideal for creating cozy lounge areas. Position the roll of saddle leather under the pillow and you’ll have an inviting daybed for relaxing naps or leisurely reading sessions.

Naturally polished pebbles inspired the designer to create the Ishino table, another reference to the beauty of nature. The pebble-like bodies look as if they were immersed in liquid metal. Whether it is copper, bronze or brass, the special craftsmanship makes each table unique.

Walter Knoll
Ishino table – Walter Knoll

Flou celebrates its 40th anniversary with a limited edition of bed ‘Nathalie‘ the iconic bed designed by Vico Magistretti. The bed accompanied social transformation and major cultural changes in the 70s and the company now reproduced one of the 1978 versions in which the headboard and cushion covers match the duvet cover. This limited edition is reproduced with input from the staff who were working in the company in the seventies, fabrics were selected from the ‘Antique Gold’ range.
Walking through the stand a lot of my attention went to the beds, but looking through the press kit sent to me I discovered a world of beautiful pieces of furniture. Flou presented a new and very different collection, new pieces were presented alongside iconic items to tell their style and exclusivity.

Wood, marble and exclusive fabrics could be found in every singular piece of the collection. Many not only suitable for the bedroom but also in the living area, a great example is the C system, a modular system of horizontal modular wall units with a finish of fossil wood or coffee-brown oak, allows the creation of different compositions. 


Flou C-System

Scavolini – Delinea kitchen
A great tour along the different kitchens in the Scavaloni stand… from a sturdy kitchen made in collaboration with Diesel, along an all white and concrete kitchen with open shelving and the Delinea kitchen, which was my favourite. Delinea had black marble countertops, and open shelving with a marble back wall all beautiful styled with glass and copper items.

The tour ended with the so called Box life kitchen, a complete furbished space consisting of a long wall in which all functions within a household are hidden. Think of the washing machine and tumble dryer, a complete wardrobe, a fully equipped kitchen and even a folding bed, all behind closed doors, ideal for small spaces and ideal for homes with minimal space and smaller city studio’s.

Boxlife kitchen -Scavolini

Boxlife kitchen – Scavolini


Modular kitchens also at Poliform, where we got to see some of the new prototypes, kitchens in beautiful brown stone in combination with dark wood, build inn herb gardens and lots of storage options, I loved to see how dark and natural materials were seen everywhere at the Salone.
Dark stone and marble also in the Poliform home stand we visited, where I spotted the work of Dutch designer Floris Wubbe, previously seen on the blog here and here.

This year brands have been paying more attention to the styling, the days of one dull plant in the corner are over. Imperfection and the raw, the work of (unknown) ceramists and rare objects are seen everywhere. Poliform home showed us a combination of black, brown, terracotta and mustard colours. versatile bedside-coffee tables in walnut and black elm, couches in soft colours and a stylish wardrobe.


The always colourful Kartell surprised me this year with their Smart design for smart people exhibition. A selection of themes highlighted in different sections with an overall Andy Warhol feeling, remember the time every blogger, including myself had a quote poster at their wall, see mine here.

The new Woody collection answers a desire and also a need for wood within the Kartell collection, more sustainability in the new Bio collection. Kartell explores new ways of living and sharing spaces, with solutions combining innovative furnishings and conviviality and presented the smart table idea, which maintains its function as a support, study and conviviality surface, but can be transformed into a small cooktop, if necessary.


I hope you enjoyed seeing a bit of the actual Salone in this post, I had a great day with a team of lovely people, be sure to also visit their blogs for their reports. From left to right me, Stefan  of Trendstefan,  Mary Middelton, Agata of Passionshake, Niki of My Scandinavian home, Holly of Decor8 Ula and the fantastic Francesca and Chiara of the Design Diffusion Team  

More pictures made at the Salone and Fuorisalone can be found in my Milan design week album on Pinterest in the next few days.