Functionality, beauty, sustainability: all the latest wood and ceramic finishes on show at Salone del Mobile
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Functionality, beauty, sustainability: all the latest wood and ceramic finishes on show at Salone del Mobile

The environment takes center stage in 2024

Functionality, beauty, sustainability: all the latest wood and ceramic finishes on show at Salone del Mobile

Following a record-breaking edition like 2024’s, there’s still a lot to say about the best architectural finishes that were on show at Salone del Mobile, especially in wood and ceramics. Beauty and functionality were a key focus, but there’s now also a shared commitment to sustainability and respecting natural resources.


Alpi: all the versatility of wood

ALPI © Thomas Pagani, courtesy of ALPI

Nature is the starting point for these material-driven products in unusual tones whose versatility and functionality point to the design prowess of Alpi. With new wood finishes created through important collaborations with designers and architects, the Forlì-based company returned to Milano Design Week with booths at both Fuorisalone and the Milano exhibition center. The three big names in 2024 were GamFratesi, Konstantin Grcic, and Piero Lissoni. Inspired by Scandinavia, the new North Light collection kicked off the new product launches this year. The line, a revisitation of Xilo, captures the intensity of nature through its calibrated colors. North Light is available in maple, white fir, and Scots pine, and with a straight or flame grain. The maple is also available with a curly grain.

Alpi has collaborated again with Italian-Danish architecture studio GamFratesi, which took up the challenge of working with the two-dimensional ALPIlignum material to develop ALPI Wooclé. Its manufacturing technique means it can bring depth and texture even to flat surfaces. ALPI Peacock, a second collection, was inspired by the intricacy of bark, leaves, and wood.

The firm’s collaboration with German designer Konstantin Grcic has produced ALPI Tramonto, a new color variant whose distinctive appearance stems from the way it blends alternating shades of red, burgundy, brown, and black, in a studied, expressive sequence.


Antonacci Falegnamerie: unveiling beauty

Antonacci Falegnamerie, ANAMORPHOSIS - REVEALING BEAUTY © Giorgio Chiantese Fourchetta Studio, courtesy of Antonacci Falegnamerie

A tribute to Italian manufacturing, creativity, quality, and attention to detail, as well as craft skill and traditions handed down from generation to generation, ANAMORPHOSIS – Revealing Beauty, from Antonacci Falegnamerie, is a timeless vision of design that grew out of collaboration between the company’s artisans and art director, Fabio Mazzeo. This three-dimensional architectural finish stands out for its bold, contemporary design and patterns that range from traditional to the most futuristic. But it also embodies a declaration of intent to celebrate variety, uniqueness, and the infinite potential of customized design. It’s a product that invites us to explore new frontiers in architecture and interior design.

The special feature of the finish is the use of solid wood, which, through hand and machine processing techniques, recreates material textures and shapes with a tactile effect in alternating waxed and stained panels in different sizes.


Barausse: aesthetics and mixed materials

Barausse, Margraf, DeCastelli, Carbon Ombra, DeLabré Courtesy of Barausse

Baraussesphere is all about evolution, challenging conventions, and combining design with ongoing material research. Barausse launched this new collection of mixed-material doors and partitions at Salone del Mobile. Stradling tradition and innovation, the range combines wood with marble, metal, and leather. Every grain, reflection, and fiber come together as part of the harmonious design philosophy behind this selection of doors, partitions, and wall panels that are full of character, originality, and distinction. Adding beauty to these designer products, wood combines with marble and metal to form geometric patterns, bringing a bold character to any space. The marble is treated with Ipogeo®, which brings out the veining and texture of the natural stone. At Salone del Mobile 2024, Barausse also featured its flagship mixed-material Baraussesphere range, the successful result of its collaboration with De Castelli, a historic firm that’s synonymous with artisanal metalwork.


Casalgrande Padana: the evolution and history of ceramics

Casalgrande Padana Courtesy of Casalgrande Padana

Casalgrande Padana’s product offerings at Salone del Mobile combine classic looks with contemporaneity. In a reinterpretation of history through a modern lens, they feature the subtle charm of beech wood combined with an encounter between porcelain stoneware and water. The firm has specialized in advanced ceramics as well as innovative and ecological floor and wall finishes for over sixty years.

Dubbed Marmora, Pietra Tiburtina, Project Wood, and Aquatio, four of its new releases are a celebration of beauty through innovation and technology. Marmora, in particular, draws its inspiration from the timeless charm of marble. A new porcelain stoneware collection, it faithfully reproduces the elegant veining that mineral deposits create in marble over centuries. Combining the ancient fascination of marble with the technical properties of porcelain stoneware, and available in six shades, Marmora retains its beauty over time as a finish for floors and walls in every design setting, including new builds and the restoration of heritage properties. Ideal for the contract, hotel, hospitality, and wellness sectors, the new collection also has applications on luxury yachts and houseboats.


Ceramica di Francesco De Maio Vietri: craftsmanship meets technological innovation

Ceramica di Vietri Francesco De Maio Courtesy of Ceramica di Vietri Francesco De Maio

By combining craft techniques with the technological innovation of large format tiles, Ceramica di Vietri Francesco De Maio has created Geometrie d’Ombra, a collection of hand-decorated Grès Maiolicato® tiles inspired by essential shapes, such as circles, lines, squares, diagonals, and triangles. Its name is from the hand-decoration technique used in its production, which can create shadow effects that give the geometric figures a 3D appearance with volume and depth. As a design element, the ceramic surface takes on a sense of constant movement that’s never repeated. The shadows used can make even the most common decorative shapes captivating. The use of six chiaroscuro shades – tone-on-tone smoke white, carbon black, powder pink, copper green, Niagara blue, and ruby red – accentuates the shadows, bringing the patterns to life in dialogue, creating a 3D effect that stimulates the senses and imagination of observers.


Cimento: games with materials

Cimento © Silvia Rivoltella, courtesy of Cimento

Cimento returned to Salone del Mobile with more products from its ongoing collaboration with Patricia Urquiola. A feature is the way each shape grows directly from the material, with its consistency and porosity enhanced to make each element unique and unrepeatable. Urquiola, who is now creative director, designed the firm’s booth and its new collection of furnishings. Again, she’s brought a strong architectural imprint to the designs while letting the material itself take the starring role.

The new collection includes tables, chairs, consoles, coffee and side tables, bookcases, mirrors, and vases. All of them have been vehicles for the designer to continue her work exploring the potential of CAMENTO®. These new products also use a spray technique to create surfaces that are unique to the touch.

Her designs play with shapes – sometimes linear and essential, sometimes soft and organic – enriched, like always, with quirky details. Contrasting smooth and rough surfaces, a striped finish, and the option of a range of color gradations all contribute to creating an aesthetic and formal balance that’s always dynamic. The designs range from pieces with a strong architectural character, multiple shades, and pronounced material-driven textures to organic, primitive forms. Some of them feature distinctive color schemes that resemble mineral stratifications in soil, while others resemble playful sculptures, with soft curving lines but rough surfaces to the touch.


Cosentino: a step towards sustainability

Cosentino Courtesy of Cosentino

Cosentino’s Earthic® by Silestone® XM is the product of innovation, skill, quality, and experience. The firm showcased this new collection during Milano Design Week at the exhibition center, in its own showroom, and at Teatro Gerolamo with an installation designed, like Earthic® by Silestone® XM, in collaboration with Formafantasma.

The result of research into product sustainability, these new hybrid surfaces are made using a mixture of new and recycled materials, including glass, PET, post-consumer bioresins from vegetable oil, and, finally, recycled fragments of Dekton®. While this reduces CO2 emissions and soil erosion, the firm also uses 99% recycled water and 100% renewable electricity.

Another step towards sustainability, XM is a new category of Silestone® finishes and the latest evolution of Cosentino’s Hybriq+® technology. A feature of Earthic®, as well as all future collections from the company, the finish has a maximum crystalline silica content of 10%.


De Castelli: artistic perspectives

De Castelli © Matteo Dei Maddalena, courtesy of De Castelli

De Castelli returned to Salone del Mobile with Ornamentum, a collection of copper and brass artworks that highlight the versatility of their production technique. By bringing together chemistry, mechanics, and art history, the company has created a masterclass in the erosion technique while returning to the origins of decorative work. It grew out of research into indirect engraving techniques and the works of 16th century Swiss goldsmiths, and is applied here through the lens of the firm’s specialized expertise.

Materials aren’t engraved mechanically but by etching, with the erosion process transforming the metal, just a millimeter thick, into a work of art. Thirty-one designers have contributed their personal interpretations to the collection, creating different tactile and perceptive experiences on the flat metal sheets. Lettering, optical graphics, and organic storytelling are the eclectic, multiform language of these 31 different copper and brass artworks.


Infinity: celebrating the perfection of marble

Infinity Courtesy of Infinity

Infinity was at Salone del Mobile with a range of products that celebrate the elegance and perfection of marble through contemporary eyes. New products for 2024 include Statuario Principe, which keeps the allure of the material unaltered.

The maxi slab product features sophisticated textures and balanced compositions, creating an effect of eternal and contemporary elegance in any room.

The most creative offering, however, is Thunderstorm: an original product that embodies and takes to a whole new level both inspiration and materials. Brilliant blue crystalline onyx combines with the gritty edge of sheet metal in one new combination. Dynamic details and bold colors make this material perfect for creating unique pieces that can transfer their personality to an entire room or space.

Pigalle is a resin-based product that enhances its minimalist black shade with a new texture, celebrating the simplicity and elegance of black, while giving rooms a curvaceous harmony.


Listone Giordano: creativity and research

Listone Giordano Courtesy of Listone Giordano

Listone Giordano’s return to Milano Design Week was a return to origins, with products that reflect a design approach that, almost twenty years ago, first attracted the likes of designers Michele De Lucchi, Daniele Lago, Patricia Urquiola, and Paola Lenti. On show at both Fuorisalone and the exhibition center, these products look to the future with an approach that’s as innovative as it is sustainable. At Salone del Mobile, the firm paid homage to Natural Genius, the product line that includes Medoc, Slide, Biscuit, and Perigal parquet floors and other offerings that combine style, technology, material-driven designs, colors, and unique shapes.

Collaboration with Paola Lenti has people talking about the power of color again. After the success of previous years, the firm was at 28 Via Bovio, the eclectic designer’s Fuorisalone space, during Design Week. The star of the show was a custom version of the Desir collection, which is all about color.


Londonart: inspiration without borders

Londonart Courtesy of Londonart

With bold shapes, clean lines, vibrant colors, and sources of inspiration that know no boundaries, Londonart presented its latest exclusive wallpaper designs at Salone del Mobile. The 2024 collection grew out of collaboration between Nicola Bottegal and Gio Pagani, who’ve created a journey through forms and cultures from around the globe. Inspired by imaginary worlds and evocative visions of the future, its aesthetic language is a subtle balance between contrasts and the charm of “disciplined excesses.”

Bottegal’s creations feature a bold and innovative exploration of contemporary design that immerses the viewer in a world of beauty, depth, and inspiration without borders. Each wallpaper is a testament to the designer’s ability to capture the essence of contemporaneity through bold shapes, clean lines, and vibrant colors. From abstract geometries to minimalist, decorative, and iconographic images, each pattern stimulates the imagination and transforms spaces into something uniquely evocative.


Lovelight 39: ceramic finishes straddling nature and city

Lovelight+39 Courtesy of Lovelight+39

Launched in Milan, the Urban Garden by Lovelight 39 collection of ceramic finishes is a journey through aesthetics and art, city and nature, craftsmanship and popular culture. Designed by architect and designer Simone Micheli, it stands out for its blend of graphics and material-driven design. There are several offerings available, each of which creates a balanced contrast between nature and the artificiality of urban life.

Micheli’s aim was to use surfaces to create spaces that are both peaceful and full of energy. With their mixture of materials, colors, and silver and golden finishes, they create the impression of being in an urban garden that invites you to get back in touch with beauty.

An excellent example is Ice, which transforms ice and crystals into furnishing elements.


Lualdi: dynamic scenarios

Lualdi © Sara Baldi, courtesy of Lualdi

With a range of new finishes, patterns, and colors developed – mainly – by Piero Lissoni, Lualdi’s mission on its return to Salone del Mobile was to display the infinite interpretative possibilities of materials, with products that, when combined with vertical furnishing elements, can create increasingly dynamic scenarios. Taking center stage was a series of chromatic experiments with materials, with blue and burgundy featuring on new milled wood patterns and flat wood surfaces.

The firm brought two collections to the exhibition. Linea stands out for the parallel lines milled into the wood, while Quadra’s milled horizontal and vertical lines crisscross to create squared textures that replicate in dynamic sequences.

Piero Lissoni has created a new language of wood, with three new graphic patterns that reinvent the aesthetic of the finishes by embracing the possibilities offered by customized wood surfaces.


Marazzi’s hotel suite

Marazzi Courtesy of Marazzi

Marazzi was back at Salone del Mobile with an interpretation of a luxury hotel suite, a project by Il Magma that featured simple, elegant interiors in which each area flows into the next through the use of perspective and furnishings that subtly demarcate spaces. The suite featured several Marazzi products, including its large Stone Look Travertino Classico slabs. The product created a background that was both neutral and highly tactile. Its texture is the result of 3D Ink technology, which creates a unique match between materials, colors, and a 3D texture onto which other marbles are then grafted.

A feature of the bedroom was the polychromic relief wall paneling behind the bed. The space itself was separated from a home office, with its table made with rare Marble Look Patagonia with unusual caramel veining, by a bookcase with a total black concrete effect finish. These are just a few examples. With contrasts and omnipresent material cross-references between spaces and furnishings, Marazzi’s collections demonstrate how to create interior design by focusing on different geometries and scales of application.


Scapin Group: industrial precision and a pairing of aesthetics and functionality

Scapin Group Courtesy of Scapin Group

Scapin Group returned to Milan’s Salone del Mobile with its Quartzforms® and Marmo Arredo brands. Specializing in the industrial production of kitchen counters and customized pieces in natural stone, the second of these provides industrial precision to meet the needs of designers and architects. But the company’s booth, designed by Stefano Boeri Interiors, featured the first of the two brands and showcased the Ecotone™ range.

These dynamic elements were finished with the Quartzforms® Ocean, Planet, and Forest surfaces, as well as the entire range of the New Era Ecotone™ collection, made with recycled components, resin from biocompounds, and with a crystalline silica content lower than 5%. With their gradations of color and different materials, each panel gives both indoor and outdoor spaces a permeable, elegant effect.

Ecotone™, made of recycled components, was the big news for 2024. Produced using the latest quartz processing technologies, Ecotone™ is a low environmental impact alternative that still features exceptional technical performance, including resistance to impact, scratches, stains, and acids. Ecotone™ is a transition between technical quartz produced with traditional methods and a more cutting-edge surface focused on respect for our planet. The production of Ecotone™ slabs uses 60% wind energy and recycles the water used.



Individual photo credits are included in each gallery image

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