Creative and elegant, classic and innovative, chiaroscuro and transparent – our homes are changing with the times and the new needs of life. Their day and night zones are adapting with modern, sustainable designs that are also elegant and based on attention to detail and materials. The real stars of Milan’s Supersalone exhibition were without a doubt marble, with its infinite colors, and glass, with just as many shades of transparency.
Elegance, balance, and purity of proportions are in the DNA of every element in Gallotti&Radice’s dining, living, and home office furniture ranges. The selection of tables, chairs, armchairs, sofas, storage units, and bookshelves that the company presented at Supersalone and Fuorisalone 2021 were all as different as they were unique, with each piece linked to the next in the finer details.
Oscar and Gabriele Buratti’s commitment to creating furniture that’s the center of attention can be clearly seen in Shiro and Akiko, a paired dining table and chair. Shiro is a large wooden table with an inlaid top and a Capri ebony finish. The same finish is used for the round solid wood legs with their oval lines and black chromed metal details. For the top, customers are offered a choice of white Carrara, Calacatta Vagli Oro, or Verde Alpi marbles. The Akiko dining chair has a curving, enveloping shape, especially the backrest. It’s available with fabric, velvet, or leather upholstery in all the company’s colorways and with padding in variable-density polyurethane foam and polyester fiber wrapped around the warm gray metal frame.
Turning to the living room, designed by Pietro Russo, Hide&Seek is a storage unit that stands out for the cadence of its design, its cylindrical volumes, and its contrasting full and empty spaces. The shelves have revolving half-cylindrical doors with double-sided openings, which means each compartment can be left closed or ajar. The wooden structure can have a glossy or matt lacquered Persia red or glossy or matt Londra gray finish. The fittings are satin brass.
The product of the artisanship of Studiopepe, Spectrum is a pendant lamp. With handcrafted burnished brass parts, which almost appear to be stained and mismatched, each one is unique and unrepeatable. The heat-bent neon light source forms two different shapes, one more triangular, the other more curving.
The next highlight from Gallotti&Radice is the new Elissa Sectional modular sofa, the design work of Dainelli Studio.Fabric, velvet, or leather upholstery is available in all the firm’s colorways. With just a glance, you’re immediately struck by the linearity and simplicity of the elements – including the cushions and backrests – and the rhythmic way they combine. The padding, in high-resilience variable-density polyurethane foam and polyester fiber, combines with an internal wooden structure and a mud-colored lacquered base. The back cushions are down filled.
The other sofa in the 2021 collection is a mini reinterpretation of the Audrey, this time designed by Massimo Castagna. Dubbed Audrey XS, the sofa is almost crescent shaped with a half-length backrest with just two cushions, plus two decorative ones.
Still in the living room, the Lilas armchair, again designed by Dainelli Studio, picks up where the Elissa Sectional leaves off, with the addition of a 180° swivel movement with return. The Livre armchair served as the inspiration for the 360° Livre Swivel and the Livrette chair, both designed by Federica Biasi and both with an enticing, enveloping look created by their rounded backs. The bases are finished with solid open-pore ash stained black.
Resia, a rug designed by Dainelli, and Clemo and Monete, both coffee tables created by Massimo Castagna, close the circle of living room furniture. And both coffee tables use the circle as their dominant element. The second, in particular, is something unrepeatable, with its deliberately irregular burnished metal, much the same as the Spectrum pendent lamp. The marks on the metal are actually the sign of the sophisticated etching and oxidation process used to create the piece.
Finally, the two real stars of Gallotti&Radice’s 2021 collection are from its home office line. The President desk has just turned fifty and has taken on a new role as the limited President Gold Edition, in extra-light tempered glass finished with an exclusive crisscross gold painted finish. The second star is the Prism Divider, a modular column bookcase in frisè walnut, designed by David/Nicolas. Everything can be customized, from the number of shelves to the option of placing two or more columns side by side to create unique compositions.
There’s a new vision of the home as a place that’s central, alive, and to be thoroughly lived in, both with company and intimately. This new way of thinking about your home’s spaces and life is absolutely contemporary and already calling out for new furnishing elements. Lago’s new 2021/2022 collection was created specifically to respond to this call. In fact, it includes no fewer than thirty new products and a limited edition line. Both were presented at Milan Design Week.
The Supersalone Limited Edition included four furnishing elements selected from the new range, but with a one-off design and marble texture. Each one was part of the Casa Lago installation at Fuorisalone and limited to just one hundred unique, numbered pieces. Their materials were the real standout. Designed by Daniele Lago, the firm’s CEO and head of design, the pieces are a fusion of creative flair and digital artisanship. Juxtaposed polygons interact with one other against the mood created by marble and glass. The intersections between the shapes are between Calacatta Black, Port Saint Laurent, Marquina, and Sahara Noir marbles, which, partly disjointed and partly perfectly fused, create an extraordinary feeling of balance.
The four redesigned pieces are the N.O.W. sideboard, the Fluttua Replis bed, the 36e8 Glass sideboard, and the Meet Table which, as mentioned, are all from the new 2021 collection.
N.O.W., which stands for Not Only White, is a sideboard with customizable doors that set a rhythm with their alternating color gradations. The doors also have a patented opening system, intended to maintain the sense of volume and purity. The latter is also maintained by the absence of external frames, since the smoked glass fits directly into the doors, which are illuminated from inside.
The 36e8 Glass sideboard has many of the same features but is smaller in size. An evolution of the iconic 36e8, the unit is suitable for any interior. Its modularity and alternating volumes with integrated lighting are revolutionary.
The Meet Table stands out for its sculptural, symmetrical half-moon supports, the two meeting at a single point. The solidity of the base – available with special pewter, titanium, or black metal lacquered finishes – is balanced by the lightness of the top, available in lacquered glass or Wildwood or XGlass composites, with a rectangular, irregular, or elliptical shape.
The Fluttua Replis bed immediately grabs your attention with the irregular folds of its headboard, which also reflect light to create a chiaroscuro effect. The most striking thing about it, though, is that it appears to be floating in midair, a feature it shares with the Fluttua version, which is entirely supported on its wall mount and also features headboard backlighting. The other products from the new collection have the same feeling of lightness created by being more or less suspended above the floor. In some cases, the effect is created with almost invisible glass. The night area is completed with matching bedside tables.
The products for the day area of the home focus on stylish shelving units, sometimes created with almost invisible glass, and equally light and transparent coffee tables. Up Glass Coffee and Layers Coffee are both good examples of this. Pleasure Coffee and Lean Coffee, on the other hand, create an interplay between their glass legs and their natural stone and wood (respectively) tops, with irregular, curved, or squared shapes.
Finally, with its enveloping, modular lines, Air Soft Sofa brings unparalleled comfort to living areas. The technology of the aluminum frame and the patented system for attaching the seats and backrests lets you create infinite configurations in a few simple steps. Its supports, available in extra-clear toughened glass and metal, bring a look that’s both ethereal and innovative to the spaces it furnishes.
The domestic space can be something surprising and unexpected. A little experimentation, an eye for finishes, and a careful study of shapes and balances make for fertile ground for planting a new design seed for the night and day zones. Presented in Milan, in a booth designed by Calvi Brambilla, the new collections from Pianca are the fruit of this approach.
“The distinctive character of the shiny, reflective finishes are an expression of the company’s desire for experimentation and to help its customers immerse themselves in a deliberately surprising home environment, with optimistic, genderless pink and bright chrome hues,” says the designer. “It’s a message that goes beyond the home space.”
Designed by Emilio Nanni, the new Platea sofa is a reinterpretation of the armchair of the same name released in 2019. It reflects the original’s curvaceous, welcoming, and solid aesthetic, but reinterprets its volumes and dimensions. This sofa creates a game between its sections based on a dialogue with its metal rod supports that, combined with the other elements, create a sense of sobriety as well as of dynamism between its straight and curved lines.
The new Spazioteca bookcase features a similar interplay of full and empty spaces, of order, rhythm, and proportions. Highly versatile, the unit can accommodate books and much more, including monitors and televisions, but also simply act as a dividing element between different rooms or to mark off a home office space. The name itself hints at its highly modular nature, with divider spacings of 3/8” (1 cm) as standard. It combines open elements with modules and doors from the Spazio system.
Distinguished by their soft, enveloping shapes and balanced use of materials, more new products for the day and night zones include collections designed for Pianca by Raffaella Mangiarotti and Note Design Studio. Mangiarotti designed the Palù bedside table and bench, while Note Design Studio created the Embrace bed. With its curving headboard the hallmark of the design, Embrace conveys all the reassuring warmth of a hug. It’s available with or without underbed storage. Without it, the mattress lies within the structure, accentuating the sense of protection.Palù, on the other hand, draws its inspiration from the alternating sound of the wind and the silence of nature between river reeds. The collection translates this into a relationship between presence and absence in small light designs for the bedroom. Both the bench and the bedside table have wooden rod frames, creating an interplay between full and empty spaces. The seat of the bench – in fabric, leather, or synthetic leather – is padded, while the curved drawer of the bedside table pivots open towards the bed.
Glas has never stopped investigating the potential of glass. Traditional processing techniques (always a hallmark of the Macherio-based company) combined with innovation, creativity, and the most recent research developments can all be seen in the new products the firm previewed in Milan. A good example is the innovative Sherazade Wall partition system, designed by Piero Lissoni. This is the core of a system that combines different doors and partitions for creating interiors marked by elegance and rhythm. The latest addition is a floor-to-ceiling partition wall with hinged doors. The piece can be customized with any Glas product, regardless of whether or not they have the same finish. Five different versions of the aluminum supporting structure are available and can easily be adjusted to compensate for irregularities in construction. Clicking into place, the panels are available in a wide range of laminated glass as well as stoneware.
Also designed by Piero Lissoni, Lazy Hub tables are a natural evolution of the Hub line, characterized by rounded lines and glass. The top has a 27 1/2” (70 cm) diameter lazy Susan set perfectly in the center. The outside part of the table top and the foot of the table are lacquered gloss or lacquered matt tempered glass. The lazy Susan is available with the same finishes but also as a mirror with stratified shades of red to amber, deep blue to pink, and sunny yellow.
The Simoon coffee tables, the work of designer Patricia Urquiola, are almost the polar opposite of the Lazy Hub collection. The defining element here is glass, but as part of an experiment with glass and non-glass, enhanced by simple, linear, and very clear lines that counterbalance the curves of the Lazy Hub. The line is essentially an exploration of the infinite potential of glass that goes beyond the more traditional aesthetic rules. The sense of the material takes on a special lightness achieved using crushed Murano glass, sourced from production wastage, applied to the surfaces. It’s as if a glass cloak has been laid over the tables, resulting in a new and visually striking design. The sheets of extra-light glass have polished edges and are UV glued to each other. For Supersalone, the design was created in bold colors, ranging from dark topaz to amethyst, adding an extra touch of eccentricity.
Glas also staged an exhibition in Milan devoted to Nanda Vigo, an architect, artist, and designer who collaborated with the company for many years. For the event, tables and mirrors from the Andromeda collection were remade. Dating from the 1970s, these were Vigo’s first designs for the company and won him the Saint Gobain prize.
Italy’s architectural tradition again came under the watchful eye of designers during the empty silence of 2020. Patricia Urquiola was among them, who revisited it with a modern spin combined with the age-old desire to “give lightness to weight.” For Budri, the Spanish architect and designer created a collection of modern, elegant, and minimalist tables dubbed Architexture. She worked with monochromatic marble, typical of the Renaissance, giving it a pictorial quality and a sense of the material as a continuation of nature. Marble’s naturally graduated tones and origins reflect the designer’s commitment to sustainability and low environmental impact, which she shares with her Mirandola-based client.
There are eight tables in all – two round dining tables and one rectangular, two round coffee tables, and three round side tables. Although different heights and dimensions, all the tables are connected by their marble legs (single, triple, or quadruple, depending on the size), which is the true hallmark of each, and extra-clear glass tops, which reveal the rhythm of the alternating colored bands below. Many combinations are available, all of them combining natural tones in unexpected ways, with the pinks, light blues, deeply dark blues, and greens typical of Onice Rosa, Onice Aquarel, Azul Boquira, Verde Lapland, Verde Antigua, and other marble varieties. Respect for nature and its laws can also be seen in the choice of marbles, all of which were sourced in Italy: Verde Alpi, Verde Borgogna, Verde Venezia, Bianco Statuario, and Travertino Romano.
The abstract and the concrete, technology and artisanry, rationality and poetry have all guided the hand of Porro’s art director, Piero Lissoni, in designing a new collection of home furnishings. Featuring extreme flexibility and crystal clean lines, modular systems take centerstage as veritable architectural creations for living spaces. But the collection also includes cordless lights that make light the only real presence. Technology also extends to the doors of closets and other furniture units, many of which feature special opening mechanisms.
For the installation at Supersalone, entitled The Electric Box, Lissoni drew his inspiration from Casa Elettrica (Electric house), a design by Figini and Pollini that featured at the Triennale di Monza in 1930. The installation was a kind of illuminated, transparent box, slender and light yet solid. The space included Storage, an almost invisible wardrobe that today, after being designed in 2000, has been rethought from both the functional and aesthetic perspectives. The piece can now transform into a bookcase or even a kitchen dresser, both illuminated by hidden lights. The shelves become the luminaires, with the warmth of the light adjustable to two settings. The installation also included the Pascal table, with its black-stained ash top and a base in solid ash of the same color.
"Storage was created back in 2000 but it’s been regularly updated ever since. It’s like architecture within architecture but is very light and all about transparency. It’s like a window within the home. We thought on an architectural scale and not in terms of a product. We asked ourselves if it’s possible to put windows inside a home. Every element of the installation has been designed, from the staircase to the modules to the materials and color. This year, we added lights. But they’re a trick. They’re invisible lights that hide their technology but make you interpret what’s inside in a delicate, sensual way.” (Piero Lissoni)
Other new products from the 2021 collection were displayed at the Porro Duriniquindici showroom. These includedSystem, a system of bookcases with integrated walls. This large piece in eucalyptus wood comprises three overlapping sections: the base with drawers, the empty middle section with a woven straw backing, and the long shelf that forms the top.
Also for the living area are the Romby armchairs, designed by GamFratesi as a mixture of vintage and modern. The truncated cone base is solid ash, either natural or stained black. Its flared shape is made up of wedges and connects to a padded swivel seat, upholstered in leather and fabric.
For the night zone, the Byron bed combines three elements: a padded bed frame raised slightly above the floor, a soft cushioned headboard, and a screen, which seems to embrace the space and protect you in your sleep. The lines are soft, the edges rounded, while the screen, with its black-stained solid ash frame and woven straw and black and white houndstooth pattern, creates a balance between the contemporary and traditional, the concrete and the abstract. But the catalog contains much more.
Rugiano aims to give homes a unique, personal atmosphere that expresses the personality of their owners, transforming dreams into cutting-edge designs. The firm presented its 2021 living collections at Supersalone.
Created from folded sheet metal, the Leaf collection comprises bronzed wall lights with irregular geometries that create games of light on the walls of your home.
With its interplay of full and empty spaces, a sense of lightness and delicacy, and with light emerging from its different compartments, the Frame bookcase has a painted bronze or black chrome frame and is available with different shelves, covered in either leather or marble. Its hallmark is that is can easily be customized by adding a range of different elements, including storage boxes with a leather finish, upholstered doors, and different opening options. It’s also possible to add a display case with glass doors to the middle of the unit.
The Como-based company places a special emphasis on its seating ranges, from sofas to armchairs. The Memphis sofa immediately catches the eye with the clarity of its elegant lines and the details of its finishes, especially the leather. A version is also available with the back- and armrests upholstered with woven velvet cord, a detail that, along with the integrated marble tables, enhances the overall design.
Turning to armchairs, Rugiano has released a series of new products, from the inviting and versatile Ambra to the upholstered Giorgia dining chair with metal details and contemporary looks. With its single shell design, which makes the back and base a single element, the chair is a whole new concept for the firm. The design is enhanced by its smooth metal trim around the middle, an extra touch that also creates a contrast with the fabric.
Finally, Incanto is a coffee table that brings natural materials and artisanship together in a design with overlapping, irregularly shaped tops. Rugiano’s typical commitment to creating elegance in every detail is combined in this piece with an ability to blend purity and artisanry in an innovative way, with neither detracting from the other.
Photos courtesy of Gallotti&Radice, Lago, Pianca, Glas, Budri, Porro, Rugiano