Salone del Mobile 2016 – the Latest Trends in the World of Interior Design

Izabela Ninic, Architect

April 19, 2016

Products & Materials

Salone del Mobile, the most prestigious trade fair of furniture and accessories for interior decoration, was held this year once more in Milan from 12th to 17th of April.

This year they introduced novelties in furnishing living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, children’s rooms, but also kitchens and kitchen technology and bathrooms whose innovations we can see in Milan every other year, and also outside furniture. Salone Satellite has, as every year, showed the works of young, talented designers from around the world.


When we are talking about trends, the most important is to note that the nostalgia for past times is still pronounced. Retro design from the period of 1960s to 80s is still dominant. Industrial style in more or less refined forms and ethnic style are also present. They use the very rich materials, but finishing has been brought to perfection with the use of high technology.


Most prevalent colors are pink, blue, green, yellow and red, and are combined with basic colors like gray in all shades and dark brown, black or warm white. The colors of green grass or petroleum blue are common in retro combinations. Prevalent patterns are checkered, Pepito, striped and sprayed, but in retro versions. Copper, brass and aluminum are used in all possible combinations, creating a discreet pathway towards the retro or industrial style. Glass is present in all colors, including transparent, but the use of reinforced and embossed glass is becoming more frequent, from industrial to highly sophisticated elements. Matte is still trendy and high gloss is almost completely absent. Coverings that imitate concrete, cement or stone are still present, especially in kitchens and bathrooms. Wallpapers are very popular this year, but it is important to emphasize that they have macro asymmetrical details, so the classic feel of wallpaper on the wall is lost.


Wood as a material is required in all areas, whether as floor covering in rough, rustic versions or as a detail of furniture.


The living room is very pleasant, because the rounded retro lines in combination with wood give a warm atmosphere. Sofas are placed on thin legs that give them a vertical accent and elegance. Armchair of a different shape is still required, either as an integral part of the composition or as a detail in space. Coffee tables are a combination of forms and materials that form an aesthetic whole, and are associated with materials and colors in the room. They are of different geometric shapes and always have thin legs. TV stands are visually simple, with a strong horizontal emphasis, but the wealth of detail and combinations of materials is what gives them beauty. Carpets are with ethnic, geometric or abstract patterns, but the finishing touches are still faded and worn.


Shelves are still a required element, and are a combination of different materials, dimensions of openings, and open and closed areas with lighting.


Dining rooms are dominated by a table. The long, extremely thin slabs of stone, wood, glass or composite materials are enriched with legs that are very elegant and creative. In addition to chairs being of various colors, different designs of chairs can also be combined. The dimension of the table does not have to match the number of chairs; they are placed asymmetrically in relation to the table.


Bedrooms have become very casual, and what gives them that impression are the beds placed on thin legs and bedside tables that are visually different and dynamic in their appearance. Head of the bed is low, visually rounded, but often asymmetrical. Wardrobes are completely calm, almost invisible.


Children’s rooms can be retro, industrial or ethnic style, but are often thematic or creative in their own peculiar way. This is an area which allows maximum freedom.


Kitchens are always of great interest at the fair, but fully deserved. Designs, materials, the play of colors and overall impressions are excellent. Hanging elements are highly dynamic in composition. Open and closed elements with glass or half open are combined, and playing with heights is mandatory. Basic elements are simple, and the island is a required element in the kitchen. In the kitchens the industrial style is more prevalent than in other areas and it varies from rough to very sophisticated variants.


Kitchens are richly equipped with devices, which greatly facilitate the preparation of food. Induction plates can be integrated into worktops so that the cooking zone visually disappears, and ovens with cameras use applications that provide a pictures and baking stages. Elimination of smell is at the maximum. The most modern refrigerators keep food fresh up to 4x longer than standard ones. Everything is aimed at maximum energy savings.


Bathrooms are refined and elegant, often in retro style. Mirrors are becoming very diverse, as well as elements of furniture. They are of maximum sizes, rich in combined materials and workmanship. Lighting is an important element – hanging suspension lights are a must, as well as greenery and decorative details that give this area the atmosphere of a living room.


Outdoor furniture is casual and visually geometric. Combined are materials such as wood, metal, plastic or composite materials. Pronounced are woven and knitted textures and dominate colors are dark or pastels like pink, light blue, green.


The overall impression of this year’s furniture fair Salone del Mobile is excellent. Subtlety, warmth, but also the dynamics of each space delights, and beauty of the kitchen and technology advances take the breath away!

Photo: Salone del Mobile

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