Several large furniture shows take place in Europe over the course of a year. One of the most famous ones is the Salone del Mobile which is held in Milan, Italy in April. I’ve always wanted to attend the show and this year the stars aligned and I had an opportunity to go.
Visiting the show entails traveling about 45 minutes outside of Milan to an exhibition site containing 25-some airplane hangar size buildings which house all of the different vendors.
The site is tremendous and easily measures about a mile in length. This is not a exposition for the timid. The crowds of people from around the globe are huge and everyone seems to be wheeling around a suitcase full of the take-aways!
My husband was my willing companion on this adventure and I must admit he was quite the great sport about everything. It’s really best to have your destinations planned out ahead of time, as simply strolling around from building to building gets to be rather exhausting.
Is there plenty to see? Yes, most definitely. Sometimes almost too much for this NYC designer. However, the sense of being exposed to all of the best designs in the world is definitely there, even if there seems to be a lot of ‘copycatting’, i.e., lotsa companies sorta doing the same thing, if you get what I mean.
I did meet up with my dear friend, Daniel Lombardi from Roche Bobois and get to see their latest and greatest. They are one of my favs sources here in the city and we have worked together on numerous projects.
Plus, I finally connected with a French Company called Pouenat and their USA rep, Delbert Bruns and the President of the company, Jacques Payet. Pouenat has a very unique collection of furnishings, all designed by the most talented/ hot designers in Europe today. Needless to say, their things are simply stunning and quite coveted by this designer.
AND, I got to schmooze at Sicis with my BFF Amy Tanenbaum. Although known primarily for their artistic mosaic tile designs, Sicis has begun to design some out of this world new furniture, fabrics and door hardware that, I must say, are beyond gorgeous! Planning on going to see more of these goodies at the new showroom here the Big Apple when Amy and I hook up later this month.
There are also smaller exhibits associate with the Salone del Mobile located in the actual center of Milan. These are filled with furnishings that are far more edgy and and artsy. Here I had the great fortune to find one of my most favorite companies, Sé Collections, which originates out of London. Headed by the most talented Damien Langouis Meurine, all of their designs are superbly executed and beautiful. Sé furniture is carried by my good friend, Mario Elcid at Mondo Collection in New York City. Trust me, everything from them is trés chic!
Also got a private tour of one of the leading lighting concerns in Italy, Viabuzzano, thanks to my friend Noha Mohsen, who is the lighting designer-brains behind the international company, Enlighten Lighting Design. I loved everything I saw! Of course, I hooked up with Noha immediately upon my return NYC to discuss everything I wanted for an upcoming project. No grass grows under this designer’s feet!
As you can guess, a good time was had by one and all…even the hubby! Not sure I would do the deed again, but certainly greatly appreciated the Italian immersion into interior design for a few days. Now I can check the Salone del Mobili off my design bucket list!
Ciao, ciao ’til next time!