In the first part of my article, I listed four of the trends that I noticed at the Milan Furniture Fair 2019. These were: 1. The frequent use of colors, such as Living Coral (Pantone color of the year) and Mustard; 2. The mix of different materials for many pieces of furniture; 3. Asymmetric furniture; 4. Coffee tables as focal points.
The following are four more trends that grabbed my attention at the Salone del Mobile 2019:Seats with sophisticated backrest
Since I’m a fanatic of sofas, chairs, and armchairs with artistic backrests, there’s no wonder to why every time I see a piece with an interesting backrest I stop and take a picture of it. That said, it is also true that at the Salone del Mobile I saw many pieces of furniture specifically designed to not be placed against the wall, as it is usually the case.
Most of the time there isn’t enough space to place a sofa in the middle of the room, but we often use armchairs and chairs to complete the conversation areas. In this case, a piece of furniture with a sophisticated backrest really adds a touch of class to the furnishing of the room.
Since I’ve been working as a stager for more than a decade, I visited countless homes for both consulting and redesign. What I’ve noticed is that most of the time, my clients position the sofa in the center of the room in order to be able to watch the TV more comfortably. This happens because they want to have the TV in front of the sofa and not to the side. In this case, having a sofa with an elaborate back offers a nice focal point.
Here are some examples:
At the Salone I saw many sofas that can double as beds, ottomans or lounge chairs, thanks to the movable backrests. Definitely a trend that suggests a way to enjoy the house in a more casual and relaxed way compared to the habits of the past, but also a clue that times have changed and now we feel more the need to have convertible furniture probably due to the new tendency to live in smaller spaces.
I myself have an unstructured sofa in my office and I can only speak well of this product. The backrests, in the shape of a prism with a triangular base, are in fact movable and therefore give the possibility of obtaining: 1) a single bed if completely removed, 2) a sofa if placed in a row along the long side, or 3) a chaise longue if placed on the short side.
After seeing a very nice unstructured sofa at one of my clients’ house, it took me months to find the one I eventually purchased, especially because I didn’t know what kind of keywords to use to describe it. In my opinion, sofas like these are the best solutions for flex rooms, such as an office that doubles as guest room, or a playroom/sleepover room that doubles as a media room.
Here are my favorites:
This is not surprising, given the trend for small spaces mentioned above, but also because Italians have always been at the forefront of creating convertible furniture.
Many Italians live in small spaces, I myself lived in a two-bedroom condo with my parents and brother before moving to the States. Therefore, I guess this is a manifestation of our genetic attitude to solve problems combined with our artistic side.
It is amazing to see how a desk hides a bed or how a single bed becomes a table. In this case, we are not just talking about the design but pure and simple engineering.
In the image above, the bed is right behind the desk. The cool part? The fact that the desk keeps its horizontal position when you pull out the bed. This way, you don’t even have to worry about removing everything from the top, just the tallest items.
Every time I look at this piece of furniture I wonder who was the genius who invented it. I mean, a bunk bed coming out of a sofa? And not an ugly sofa, but a super cool sofa with simple and modern lines. They were able to even find a way to add the ladder and the safety rail!
This is another genius idea: a countertop that with a simple move either hides the glass cooktop and provides more counter space or adds a table on the side.
Small Tables Incorporated in The Seats
This is a space-saving solution as well as a simple and beautiful design idea. I saw countless examples of side tables, but also magazine holders, directly incorporated into sofas, armchairs or even ottomans. No more looking for a side table or a magazine rack to coordinate with the sofa, since this is already integrated into the sofa itself. It’s like buying one and getting two. This is also true for ottomans where you have a soft part for sitting or resting your legs and a hard part for putting your glass of wine.
I hope you enjoyed this brief journey into the world of the Salone del Mobile. I also hope it has given you some suggestions on how to furnish your home in an innovative and unique way.
Do not hesitate to contact me if you need help adding a touch of Italian style to your spaces and making them a conversation topic amongst your friends!
Francesca Tosolini, Interior Designer | New Interior Solutions
Francesca Tosolini grew up in Italy and moved to the United States in the late 1990s with her husband. She is a bluejeans-sneakers kind of person and is very fond of innovation, self-improvement, and eating pizza every weekend. Francesca has her diploma in Interior Decorating and is also an Accredited Staging Professional and Certified Color Consultant. In 2018, she received her Associate of Arts in Interior Studies from Bellvue College.
Learn more about working with Francesca Tosolini of New Interior Solutions through her eDesign Tribe member profile!