Sep 09, 2018 | By Sarah Housley
Experience Lifestyle & Interiors on WGSN.
Apr 19, 2017
In times of uncertainty and turmoil, there are two ways we react: often we seek respite in austere, soothing and muted environments where visual, sound and tech noise are reduced to a minimum. At times though, a break from mindfulness is needed and a visual feast of pattern, colour and texture is exactly what we need to get lost in.
We seek a fantastical bounty of references mixing everything and everywhere, epochs and inspirations, materials and colours. Because a sensory overload is also there to remind us of how refreshing mixing and matching can be, playing outside the box, and colouring outside the lines. Plus, in an ever-tech-connected life we react by placing more importance on feelings – and interiors which appeal to that, such as designs that speak to the senses, that entice the eye but also the hand and make different intriguing.
And Milan Design Week did just that this year: as brands increasingly opted for displays and installations which focused on being memorable (and photogenic, of course). The result? A visual outcome that was daring, colourful and vibrantly clashing, leaving a strong impression on the viewer (and perfect for Instagram). So after seeing this, we dare say, a fresh take on Maximalism is certainly welcome.
This interiors display feels perfect for our time, one look at our social media feeds and you can see the strong influence in this direction too: as all epochs and styles and glocalities mix into an infinite scroll, the eye gets used to a mix ‘n’ match of references and we start seeking the same approach in our surrounding environments. Therefore JJ Martin’s – aka LaDouble J – newly launched Housewives dinnerware collection, mixing patterns from a plethora of vintage sources, is right on point. Plus, its styling enriched by blooms and textiles and accessories makes us crave the whole set.
And beyond product design, this direction makes a statement also when cladding the whole space: quite eclectic and vibrant examples are the previously mentioned Corian Cabana Club, where rooms were styled by different designers celebrating various cultures, and also the Moooi space was a wonderland of pattern, decor, furniture and lights all composed into functional areas. “A Life Extraordinary” for sure!
Alongside these pattern-plenty interpretations, there was also a sleeker take that dressed interiors up with luxurious glints and bold colour and finish juxtapositions. Dimore Studio never disappoints, and the 1930s references mixed with the 1970s and glamorous, glistening details. While Studiopepe brought to life an apartment in the Brera district with The Visit – an installation taking over all rooms with “a continuous play of chromatic and patterned echoes”. Colours, lights, textures and decor were all styled to perfection yet appealed to the visitor with a seemingly spontaneous aesthetic that gave warmth to the space.
Not daring to go big and bold by redecorating the whole space? Not to worry – a range of product designs toyed with this direction and allowed for a smaller scale intervention. Rugs are a great start, as feature pieces are growing important to ensure a statement accent. Design darling Cristina Celestino brings this refined yet ornate approach to all her designs presented across the show: from cotto tiles to glass and metal tabletop, historical references are refreshed by plays of texture, scale and colour, all to be mixed and matched into fresh compositions.
Last but not least, for the pattern fans that already have it all? Gear up for the latest Dolce & Gabbana “Sicily Is My Love” collaboration with appliances manufacturer Smeg: in October, a range of kitchen robots will be launched and it is guaranteed to get you baking / cooking / juicing / toasting – and hosting parties, of course.
Our Milan Design Week reports are going live on site as we speak: Lifestyle & Interiors subscribers will find more on this and the other trends highlighted across Salone and Fuori, and head to our Experience Design section to discover how Maximalism can translate into immersive environments and innovative approaches.
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