Fresh from the Milan Fairgrounds, The Conran Shop reveal the hottest furniture brands, coolest collaborations and interior trends on show.
Salone del Mobile at Milan Design Week is the biggest event on The Conran Shop calendar as it continually serves up the very best that interior and industrial design has to offer. Check out our top picks from the Salone Satellites – showcasing young designers and students from around the world – and the next big trends in interior design.
Our pick of the best interior trends
1. 1970s plush
Part of the allure of TV series Mad Men has always been the style. The popularity of the show has created a renaissance for this desirable look as typified by Knoll. One of our highlights and back in the show for the first time in many years, Knoll has been pushing new developments – think lacquered surfaces and subtle smoked colours. Giving a nod to early 1970s style was the Bastiano sofa by Tobia Scrapa, a re-edition of a design first born in 1962. A soft lacquer finish to the wooden frame worked well with its deep cushions.
Paying homage to the great masters of design was clearly evident. We loved how designers respected the past but bought iconic designs bang up to date. Fritz Hansen had one of the best new launches again based around classic designs. The iconic drop chair first conceived in the 1950s by Arne Jacobsen for the SAS hotel in Copenhagen, and now available for the first time in plastic and upholstery. Plus, the re-launch of the Grand Prix chair with wooden legs was another favourite.
The never say die metallic trend keeps shimmering back into the limelight. While there was a huge gold rush in interior decorating and home furnishings: copper, rose gold and brass also added lustre across all finishes. Kartell’s eye-catching display of glitter supported their launch of tableware, with plenty of gold and metallic finishes. The metallic trend appears to be going nowhere in a hurry, as we spotted it again at Knoll and a few independent brands.
4. Embroidered tapestry
Out with the new and in with the old, many designers were leaving bold summer florals behind in favour of vintage inspired tapestry prints. We adored the embroidered Eames chair at Rossana Orlandi.
With a focus on quality craftsmanship, furniture continued to look at how everything is made and constructed and even deconstructed. There were fewer fat rounded legs and more emphasis on graceful proportions. Vitra had several new key products, and great to see more work by Barber & Jay Osgerby including a gorgeous new bookcase and a sofa very reminiscent of the British classic Knole.
6. Reinventing materials
Designers reworked traditional materials and gave them a contemporary twist. A prime example was the Terrazzo Project by Stéphane Halmaï-Voisard and Philippe-Albert Lefebvre, whose speckled TP panels were made of resin cement and stone aggregates cast onto corrugated aluminium sheets.
7. Pastel palettes
Muted primary colours gave a nod to the swinging sixties, a pastel pastiche full of nostalgia and playful appeal.
Our top picks from the Salone Satellites
1. Maarten Bass
What a mad, super-fun festival of a funfair! Congratulations for being innovative and exciting, for us this carnival-esque spectacle was the best event at the show.
2. Wallpaper* Handmade
A well curated collection featuring some great one-off designer collaborations. Truly inspiring stuff.
3. Tokyo Imagine Via Tortona
A wonderland of creativity where Tokyo is the place where both the contemporary city and fragments of Edo culture co-exist.
4. Ventura Lambrate
Over the last few years this has been a highlight thanks to its amazing mix of creativity and brilliant new designers.
Bright and bold, the eye-catching installations at Milan University were created by some of the world’s greatest architects.
Taking a different perspective on design, we couldn’t resist the witty collaboration with the Rijksmuseum.
Looking for more design inspiration? Check out our latest A Season in France spring/summer 2014 collection. Plus, visit our Facebook page to see all of our A Season in France launch event photos and our incredible before and after photos from our A Season in France Chelsea store windows.
Whether it’s a serene bedroom retreat or relaxed living area, embracing the paler end of the colour spectrum is the way to go when it comes to creating a peaceful ambience. Subtle textures and muted hues add a romantic flourish to home décor and this look is clearly evident in a few key pieces in our latest furniture and textile collections.
Surfing the net, snuggling up with the family or indulging in an afternoon with your newest book; modern living means the sofa has become much more than somewhere to rest your legs of an evening. Opt for superior comfort and inimitable style with our generous Lavenham sofa. Made from seasoned hardwood and upholstered in luxurious Designers Guild linen, the design is detailed with French seams to conceal the raw edges of the fabric for a neat finish. The seat cushions are filled with French duck feathers and a comfortable, high resilience foam core for everyday lounging. The result is a plush sofa with lived in appeal, which will complement an array of home interiors.
Another sofa embracing the loose linen trend is the almost mystically delicate appearance of the Ghost sofa by designer Paola Navone. Designed to be an adaptable piece of furniture that can be both light and airy or formal and luxurious, this statement-making sofa boasts impressive depth and unparralled comfort. Complete with oversized cushions and complementary throws, we simply can’t resist this snug haven.
Our latest bedroom linen is also awash with sherbet colours, muted hues and ice-cream parlour shades. The soft colour palette is ideal for adopting a mix-and-match approach to interior decoration. All pieces are made from natural linen which is a perfect choice for bedding as it allows the skin to breathe, keeps cool in summer and warms up in winter. A long-lasting and durable fabric, linen is easy to wash and dries quickly. Plus, the soft touch also works wonders against sensitive skin as linen doesn’t cause any allergic reactions.
Featuring pillow cases, flat sheets and duvet covers available in double, king-size and super-king-size options you can easily create your very own bedroom sanctuary. The dreamy pastel shades will beautifully complement an array of home interior schemes from the ultra-modern to the traditional and ensure you always wake up on the right side of the bed every day.
Shop our top 10 buys to tranquil style with loose linen and muted hues:
1. Lavenham sofa
2. Ghost sofa by Paola Navone
3. Ghost armchair by Paola Navone
4. Ghost ottoman by Paola Navone
5. White linen pillowcase
6. Old rose linen double flat sheet
7. Teal linen king-size duvet cover
8. Natural linen super-king-size duvet cover
9. Oxford white linen pillowcase
10. White linen super-king-size duvet cover
Francophiles rejoiced last night as we launched our Spring/Summer 2014 collection A Season in France at our flagship Chelsea store. Flying the flag for the country that has over the years been a go-to source of inspiration for the Conran family, the historic Michelin House building on Fulham road was simply a buzz with all things French.
From the Gallic charm of traditional blue and white kitchen textiles, lobster crackers and mussel pots evoking authentic Provencal lifestyle, to a new generation of French talent including colour-pop metal outdoor furniture, handmade ceramics and iconic Le Corbusier designs.
Ever-changing and inspirational, The Blue Room was transformed into a slice of Parisian heaven complete with built-in bespoke bar and vintage furniture. Pillars were painted with the tricolour French flag and one of the national emblems of France the Gallic rooster was emblazoned across the wall.
There was a table laden with mouth-watering mini sweet treats from one of the jewels in France’s culinary crown La Pâtisserie des Rêves, while a nearby tower of full-flavoured dips and tapenades from aix&terra celebrated traditional recipes descended from the best culinary know-how of Provence, France. As the bubbles flowed courtesy of Champagne de Bleuchamp, customers and guests roamed the store discovering the very best in French design, art, food and drink on their travels.
While this event has us daydreaming about lounging poolside in Saint Tropez, exploring the fragrant lavender fields of Provence and treating ourselves to the gourmet delights synonymous with the country; there is no need to book a trip on the Eurostar just yet.
A Season in France continues across three Conran stores (Chelsea, Marylebone and Paris) until June and as we enjoy more sun-dappled days and move into summer expect the spirit of holidaying in the French Riviera to takeover. Vive La France!
To celebrate A Season in France, we’re pleased to offer 15%* off when you shop online and in-store from Thursday 10th April to 6pm Sunday 13th April (online offer valid until midnight). To claim your discount, simply enter the promotion code LOVEFRANCE when you checkout or present it at the tills in-store.
*Offer excludes art, gift vouchers and delivery charges. Promotion not redeemable for cash or credit, one-time offer per customer.
Visit our Facebook page to see all of our A Season in France launch event photos. Plus, our incredible before and after photos from our A Season in France Chelsea store windows.