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Salone del Mobile, hosted in Milan since 1961, is where all the interior design trends are launched and this year was no exception. Exploring the stands of this edition of the fair, ALTER EGO team caught the vibes of excitement and relaxation marking the novelties of the world's best known design brands. And we’re sharing some of the trends showcased during Milan design week that we are still thinking about.


Walking among the stands of the Salone you breathe an incredible desire to live en plein air. During the pandemic the importance of being able to enjoy an outdoor space has been rediscovered to benefit from the contact with nature.IMG_1962.jpg

A trend confirmed by the new, important debuts in the outdoor sector, including that of Poliform, which presented a new set of outdoor seating that would easily look good enough to work indoors. This approach encourages a life where you waft from one end of the living room to the terrace without pausing or noticing any aesthetic differences, and was also seen at brands such as Ethimo and Nardi.

The proposals for furnishing the outdoors no longer have anything to envy to the interior solutions: the fabrics are synthetic, to resist UV rays and bad weather, but with a soft hand, full colors and refined textures just like natural indoor textiles. This year in particular, boucle and woven textures were recurring materials seen at the fair, applied to outdoor sofas and armchairs that make these seats just as stunning to use both inside and out of the house.


Modular sofas were one of the most notable comebacks. Huge sectionals seemed to be a running theme on many of the stands at Salone, which is an indicator of just how people are still very invested in spending leisure time at home.

But while more prevalent than ever, super-size couches aren't a sofa trend as such. What was noticeable was the effort that been put into the design of the back of many of the models we saw. It suggests open-plan homes, where seating acts as a room divider too, will be a trend to keep in 2023. Open floor plans are all about versatility and flexibility, and it’s becoming increasingly popular as people look for more adaptable and sustainable ways to maximize the space in their homes. So, multi-purpose spaces are here to stay.IMG_5897.PNG

Seating got also floaty this year at Milan Design Week, with many of the furniture debuts supported by tiny hidden legs or even transparent frames. Poltrona Frau reintroduced the 1982 Ouverture sofa by Pierluigi Cerri, in which supple leather cushions perch on an industrial steel T-beam. Meanwhile, at Edra, Francesco Binfare's new couch on its round feet almost hovered above the ground. What this does is create a sense of airiness and light in and around furniture, allowing the room to breathe and ambience to flow.


The past few years’ Salone del Mobile showcased many interior greenery elements, from botanical patterns to statement plants. And biophilia is still important, thought this year’s trends are less inspired by lush nature but instead by the irregular and imperfect.IMG_7740.JPG

Imperfection is a stylistic trait in this season’s debuts, in which raw, neolithic finishes shined. Daniel Arsham, with Snarkitecture, has been doing it for some time, most recently creating perfectly imperfect designs with Gufram and Nendo. Elsewhere, Richard Yasmine showcased Silent Hollows, a tribute installation to Mother Nature featuring crater-like mirrors, and GESSI launched a JACQUELINE COLLECTION using a material present in nature but never before applied in bathroom furniture: the hollow bamboo roots. And Cosma Frascina showcased his hand-crafted calcarenite objects and furnishings, leaving the matter raw and “alive”.

Green Living is an approach to architecture and interior design that seeks to incorporate elements of nature and the natural environment into human-built spaces. This trend celebrates desert landscapes, mineral shades, mossy greens, and unfinished textures. It’s also given rise to an exciting new material palette. 


In recent years, minimalism has been the dominant trend in interior design, with clean lines and neutral-toned schemes being popular choices. However, in 2023, furniture brands featured at the Salone del Mobile revealed a shift towards maximalism, with bold colors, patterns, and textures taking center stage.


In terms of colour, this year we saw bright, eye-catching tones like orange, deep yellows, jewel greens and rouge emerging as key shades. The austerity of the grey, taupe age is over; it’s now the age of strong colours, in everything from wall and fabrics to cushions, rugs and curtains. Vibrant, playful and colourful interiors are uplifting and energising; they instantly make you feel welcome and cheerful. And who wouldn't want their home to sing with happiness?

For those who still like to keep things a little more subtle, there was also an abundance of nuanced, pale shades of blue and green. They are more interesting than neutral colours, but less overpowering than bright ones and - falling somewhere in the middle - just end up feeling super-sophisticated. A beautifully saturated clover green made several appearances at Salone del Mobile. It swathed the Eolie lounger by Gordon Guillaumier for Roda; the Perry Up sofa by Antonio Citterio for Flexform; Molteni&C’s Mateo table by Vincent Van Duysen; and the Porta Volta chair by Herzog & de Meuron.


The past fascinates, seduces and reassures. So this year at the Salone del Mobile there were more and more companies offering re-editions or novelties inspired by the glorious Fifties, Sixties and Seventies.


A nostalgic revival style that started in fashion is going to be popular again. Trends are cyclical, while the mid-century modern palette mix of the figures and sixties led the way in the last decade, furniture brands are easing into a groovier look by making a nod to the seventies and Memphis design with all its hippy hues and playful forms. Prepare yourself for earthy color schemes, and a lot of texture and layers of tactile materials.

For its booth at the fair, Spanish brand Sancal prepared a rich ménage of tones and patterns that pay tribute to the seventies. In particular, Studiopepe’s Bold table for Sancal takes a cue from the work of Memphis design icon Ettore Sottsass and features punchy shades to match the brand’s fun-filled selection. Among the re-editions, the Armadillo armchair, designed in 1969 by Gianni Pareschi, and reproposed by Busnelli.

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