Here we share our Milan Mood Board series featuring our material, colour and style highlights from the 2018 edition of Milan Design Week and Salone del Mobile.

Travertine reigned supreme as the material of choice across furniture, object and lighting releases, along with a continuing love affair for nude tones with layers of rust, terracotta, powder, amber and burgundy. We also so plenty of unique stone finishes like rare pink marble and bluestones. Treated glass was widely used, in all types of finish from fluted and wire to iridescent and smoked. Style wise, we loved the embrace of disco and club culture, the rise of the more-is-more philosophy, along with natural neutrals. 

TRAVERTINE // A form of limestone deposited by mineral springs, Travertine is often white or cream in colour, with a fibrous or pitted surface that can either be left for character or filled for durability. Applied across a wide range of furniture, lighting and objects at this year's design week, we expect to see a whole lot more of this natural material full of earthy character in the years to come. 


L-R: Travertine table (Fritz Hansen), Thoronet dish (Henry Wilson), Travertine bath and outdoor kitchen (Vaselli), Travertine table (Karakter) and Khatam vessel (Apparatus Studio). 

TEXTURED GLASS // The material of the moment for 2018 has to be textured glass, seen in a variety of applications and settings including fluted, smoked, wired, bricked and more. In particular, Karakter Copenhagen released a series of beautiful glass lamps in different textures, including the Tripod light with pinched glass that elegantly cradles the bulb, the Pearl collection with smoked glass domes and the Lari lamp with ribbed detailing inspired by Palladian architecture. 


L-R: Tripod lamp by Gijs Bakker (Karakter), Aurora collection (Lee Broom), Sherazade Slide (Glas Italia), Pearl collection by Nick Ross (Karakter), Piero Lissoni table (Glas Italia), Lari lamp by Angelo Mangiarotti (Karakter), Glass screening at the theatrical Club Unseen by Studiopepe and Glass table at the Norwegian Presence exhibition in Zona Tortona.

COLOURED GLASS // In an extension of textured glass, we also saw plenty of coloued glass, particularly tinted gradient hues. A highlight was Poltrona Frau's striking Xi lighting collection by Neri & Hu which features fluted glass detailing in amber, green or blue. 


L-R: Alcova by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec (Wonderglass), Xi pendant by Neri & Hu (Poltrona Frau), Glass shelving by Silo Studio (Pulpo), Borosilicate mugs (HAY), Screening by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec (Glas Italia).

NUDE TONES // The love affair for nude tones continued, with soft pinks and neutrals seen continually throughout the week, layered with rust, terracotta, powder, amber and burgundy tones. We especially loved the palette at the Magis stand - designed by Note Design Studio - which included corrugated rust panels and layers of perforated screens and platforms in earthy pink tones. 


L-R: Mood board by Note Design Studio for Magis' stand, Othello table by Roberto Lazzeroni (Poltrona Frau), Carl Hansen & Son retreat themed stand, Montana Free shelving by Jakob Wagner (Montana) and Indoor-Outdoor collection by Bodil Kjaer (Carl Hansen & Son).

DISCO FEVER // We loved the playful embrace of club culture, from 70s disco through to 90s techno. Some brands presented private club experiences - like Studiopepe with Club Unseen, Disco Gufram and Nilufar Gallery with Chez Nina. Others experimented with new designs using theatrical forms and loud materials with like acid candy glass, velvets and fluffy textures, such as Fritz Hansen's new iridescent mirror series by Studio Roso. 


L-R: Club Unseen by Studiopepe, Futuraforma collection by Marcante-Testa, Double Slinkie rug by Patricia Urquiola (CC-Tapis), Hanna Anonen light, Studio Roso mirror (Fritz Hansen), Guise by Odd Matter, Patricia Urquiola tables (Glas Italia), Disco Gufram installation and Chez Nina pop-up club by India Madhavi for Nina Yashar of Nilufar Gallery.

MORE IS MORE // The embrace for layers and textures was stronger than ever, showing a distinct move away from minimalism. We saw plenty of rich embellishment that transcended time, era and style; a celebration of the decorative arts with grandeur, palazzo settings, lavish flower displays, elegant woven textures and intensive detailing like quilting and pleating. A highlight was the ceiling at the Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades exhibition, which was covered in thousands of red and pink Atelier Oï origami flowers (and one of the most photographed exhibitions at design week). 


L-R: Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades, Dimoregallery, Local Milan No.3 exhibition, Gubi at Palazzo Serbelloni and ‘Perfectly Imperfect’ exhibition by Dimorestudio.

NATURAL NEUTRALS // Another move away from minimalism was evident in the consistent presence of natural neutrals, featuring earthy and textural layers on layers. We saw an embrace of organic shapes and designs with hand-made detailing, and natural materials like wrapped leather and unique stones. Warm palettes of creams, beiges, milks, layered with brown, terracotta and rust tones were evident too. 


L-R: Six Gallery, Sigve Knutson sculptures at Norwegian Presence, N01 by Nendo (Fritz Hansen), Silhouette sofa by GamFratesi (HAY), Tribal upholstery on the Coco chair at Gubi, Natural material palettes at the Mater stand, Khatam bowl (Apparatus Studio), Tres Vegetal rug (Nanimarquina) and Jim Thompson cushion (Poltrona Frau).

All MDW18 novelties will be available from Cult showrooms later in 2018. Interested in seeing more news from MDW18? Check out our full MDW18 News & Trends Review and MDW18 Product News Index.