Milan Furniture Fair Trends: Top 6 For 2013

April 15, 2013

Would you like to see the 6 tops trends from the Milan Furniture Fair, Salone del Mobile, for 2013? I am very happy to share my trend scrapbook today from my recent trip to the Salone del Mobile so you can see which 6 trends I’ve spotted for this year. Here are the top “must-see” trends…

Milan Furniture Fair Trends: Top 6 For 2013

#1 PASTELS: The use of pastel shades is more of a reality than a new trend and comes as a result of the bold colours we have been seeing for quite some time. Home decor has never been so feminine! We can see pale violet, mint, soft blue, lemon, pale coral and other sorbet-like hues. Pastel color used to be injected through small accessories but as consumers grow in confidence, they begin to decorate now with pastels as statement pieces. The porcelain and beech wood pastel Lù tables shown were designed by Pinwu, a Chinese design firm that Holly is fond of so she says you guys have to look them up! Holly also loves designer Patricia Urquiola, you can see her new and gorgeous Clarissa Hood chair above that she designed for Italian brand Moroso which launched in Milan as part of the “Clarissa family” which are geometric in form (on the outside) but soft and cozy on the inside.

Milan Furniture Fair Trends: Top 6 For 2013

#2 NEW COLOUR – TERRACOTTA: I first spotted this colour in Stockholm in February at the furniture fair. Very few companies are launching this new colour so it looks still more of an experiment than a real trend. But that’s what makes it exciting! NCS, the colour academy, calls it terracotta which I believe hits the mark. What is your feeling about it? Some examples above are by Billiani, Flexform and Vitra.

Milan Furniture Fair Trends: Top 6 For 2013

#3 VERTICAL PLANTS: Hanging baskets, bulbs, wooden and metalic grids are innovative ways to grow vertically and one of the innovative gardening trends for your home. At the fair, many stands worked with hanging garden walls as part of the stand concept. Flower pots on display were not as common as specific furniture pieces designed to decorate with plants. Shown are some examples in the stands of Roda, Booo, MatteoGrassi and Moroso.

Milan Furniture Fair Trends: Top 6 For 2013

#4 MARBLE: Marble is culturally associated with a more luxurious taste, social status and, well, bathrooms. This trend appeared last year in Milan but is still to be seen and even growing – this year I spotted it developing in different ways for table tops and pedestal tables (Covo had a good example in solid marble shown above), seating structures, wall sculptures and accessories. There is almost no contemporary furniture label which is not at least offering one or two marble pieces in their collection. Others shown that I snapped and included above are from Poliform and also Flexform.

Milan Furniture Fair Trends: Top 6 For 2013

#5 CLUSTERED LIGHTING: Although I didn’t visit the lighting fair that took place at the same time (it’s a huge event and I didn’t have enough time), I still have observed that the aesthetics of the setting have become as important as the lamp design itself. All technical components are carefully designed and the lamp cable itself can be a playful item, as seen on the lights from Merry-Go-Round based in Sweden. Pendants are grouped with similar or equal pieces to create a dramatic lighting sculpture. And all kinds of materials are allowed: baskets, porcelain, glass, silk, wood, metal, etc. Other examples shown above are by Vuorivirta and Rossana Orlandi.

Milan Furniture Fair Trends: Top 6 For 2013

#6 AIRY STRUCTURES: This is one of the trends I love most: metal and wood structures are carved in an organic, light and very airy way becoming almost an art object or sculpture. Craftmenship is key here! I have seen this trend mostly at Italian brands so far like Ceccotti, Galotti&Radice, Porada and Porro.

So that’s my take on some of the trends this year. Which is your favorite? Where are you getting your trend updates from? Would you like to share your inspiration sources? Have you visited any inspiring fairs lately?

(text+images gudy herder, photo editing and layout: holly becker)


  • Reply Danish™ April 15, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Nice report – always good to be on the front foot :)
    I am particularly keen on trend #2, the Terracotta. A great color that brings out memories of the wooden masterpieces designed in the 50’s and 60’s.

  • Reply simona April 15, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    I am very keen on trend no.2, Terracotta, especially in its paler version, some sort of pink, like in the picture of Vitra booth!

  • Reply ilaria April 15, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Thank you Gudy (and Holly for hosting this post ;-) Very nice post and excellent trends. I like the way you spotted them. It is clear you had fun at the Salone. Have you both a lovely day xx

  • Reply Winnie Helmes-Ham April 15, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Nice trend post! I like the terracotta colour trend mixed up with green plants on a marble plant table or piedestal.

  • Reply Louisa Blackmore April 15, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Gudy… my little partner in crime, what an absolute delight to read your blog post on decor8! A brilliant look at the top trends for 2013, you take such lovely photographs too! My personal favourite trend is the clustered lighting, looks so fun. Hope you had a fab time in Milano, are you in London anytime soon? xx

  • Reply Anastasia of Passion & Obsession April 15, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Hey Gudy,

    thank you so much for sharing {and Holly for letting her do this}! It’s a blessing to ‘visit’ Milan trough your eyes, especially for those, who couldn’t be there… I am head over heels for two ‘trends’ you’ve mentioned:

    1: My first and only visit to a furniture fair {this year} was the immcologne and I’ve noticed the geometrical / airy structured furniture trend… I am very much in love with this kind furniture & I think this will be not just a trend because of their visual nature {the Eames wire chairs have been very popular over decades}! They are made for both: small AND large rooms! In small spaces their light appearance leaves enough room to breathe and it even adds an unexpected complexity to large rooms!
    2: The Terracotta trend is something I like a lot because of the friendly and warm color palette! I am going to renovate our kitchen some time soon & have been dreaming about a copper kitchen for years {I think copper is the big elegant sister of Teraccotta Trend}. Again, I have been thinking: is it just a trend? My instincts taught me, that it is NOT! Last weekend I went to a flea market & found the most beautiful shining antique copper iron works from 1870 {} and I am going to put them on my new kitchen cabinets! Even over 100yrs ago people appreciated the color of copper! I love this, how trends come back over and over again… And and here we go again, the achieved acceptance of a trend turns it into style!

  • Reply Tina Ramchandani April 15, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Loved seeing the trends. Wish I could have been there but this is the next best thing. Thanks Gudy + Holly!

  • Reply Rosa Paula April 15, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Thank you Gudy! I loved your post!
    Terracotta is definitely my favorite, but I also like #5 and #6

  • Reply Daniela April 15, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    My favorite trend is the pastels. Your great report inspires me to use more of these lovely soft tones into my designs. I think they will stay in trend for a while. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Anna April 15, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    This is clearly a refreshing post. I think that my two favorites from this entry are the terracota and pastels. They look clean, discreet and warm without being too old-fashioned.

    I think these would look great in a contemporary kitchen, too!

  • Reply Anette@lebenslustiger April 15, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Some day in future when my kids are grown I will join you on your trend show trips through Europe, Gudy :))) You are such an expert on putting these reports together! Very nice work! I have been loving terracotta for many years. For me the color sort of made its way from the outside (I used to have a large tropical garden with lots of terracotta pots) to the living room with having rugs and pillows in this color combined with white furniture. Today I would add a little zing to it. Maybe something yellowish green or blue or even neon (Being seriously addicted to neon last year I have been off it for a few weeks now! but…) :) Thank you Gudy and Holly!

  • Reply mel April 16, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Oh my Gudy, what a lovely surprise to read you here! It’s not often that I love every trend around but I would have to say that I’m a fan of everything on your list. I especially like the clustered lighting – so pretty! Mel x

  • Reply Tijen Samuray April 16, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Dear Gudy:
    Such a great summary about the trends that u ve spotted in Milan fair. Thank u very much for sharing. True inspiration…
    Also congradulations on writing as a guest blogger at decor8.

  • Reply Kate April 16, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    I love the pastel “ice-cream” coloured chairs, so pretty and summery. Just what we need after this long long winter! Any idea where I could buy them from?

  • Reply Lena April 16, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Excellent trend spotting by Gudy, as always! My favourites are the vertical plants (but that’s mostly due to the fact that I’m crazy about anything green and growing after this winter) and the clustered lighting. Oh, and I like the airy structures, too. Sorry, I can’t just pick one favourite…

  • Reply Alba B. April 16, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Great Post Gudy!!!
    Thanks for sharing and thanks to Holly inviting you here!!!

  • Reply Trisha Brink April 16, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Oh Holly, I love it all….but the one that strikes closest to home here is the lighting. I was SO HAPPY to find a supplier state side for that amazing colorful cord. Until now, it’s been difficult to find here. Color Cord Company has now stepped up with color corded pendant kits & colored cord by the foot. It’s affordable & I bought some for myself in Kelly green. Woo hoo! :) My hubby just hung our clear bubble pendant….but thanks to you & your report, now I want 2 more! Ha ha ha…..keep up the good work!

  • Reply Hema April 16, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    Brilliant trend post Gudy! I am fond of Patricia Urquiola’s works and I love pastel color furnitures, – fresh, relaxing and modern! Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply Gudy Herder April 16, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    @Danish™: At the end everything comes back such as so many Scandinavian designs right now from the 50’s and 60’s. I am pretty curious if this colour is having a certain success. Let’s see :-)

  • Reply Gudy Herder April 16, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    @simona: Well spotted! There is in fact some hue with a slight pink in it, others go more brownish. Thanks for commenting, Simona!

  • Reply Gudy Herder April 16, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    @ilaria: Oh yes, I did, of all the shows I attend, this is my favorite! Nothing better than having fun in Italy. And thank you, Ilaria!

  • Reply Gudy Herder April 16, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    @Winnie Helmes-Ham: Hi Winnie, I am surprised about the general terracotta feedback since I believe it is not an easy colour to accept by the final consumer.
    But I guess it all depends on how you combine it and I like your take on it.

  • Reply Gudy Herder April 16, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    @Louisa Blackmore: Ay, Louisa! The next trend report we are doing together, right? We were so close already…Thanks for commenting!!

  • Reply Gudy Herder April 16, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    @Anastasia of Passion & Obsession: Dear Anastasia, I totally agree.
    And yes, copper is a trend! Since I have been writing about it several times, I tried to focus now on different topics. What makes copper so trendy right now is its combination many times with other materialssuch as wood or discovering it in a fairly new context for lighting and even bicycles.

  • Reply Gudy Herder April 16, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    @Tina Ramchandani: Thank you Tina! I really appreciate! And you are a fantastic trend spotter too!

  • Reply Gudy Herder April 16, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    @Rosa Paula: Oh, thank you! I really didn’t think that terracotta would be such a success!

  • Reply Gudy Herder April 16, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    @Daniela: Dear Daniela, they will! They are the response to bold colors or block colors we have been seeing for a while.
    In my (humble) opinion they will even replace the neon trend. I have almost found nothing in fluor this time at Milan. And that means something!

  • Reply Gudy Herder April 16, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    @Anette@lebenslustiger: You are making a good point here, Anette!
    Plants are invading our homes now, vertically growing or not, fresh flowers all over and more than a trend anymore, so it makes a lot of sense that terracotta is the color/philosophy to go!

  • Reply Gudy Herder April 16, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    @mel: Why not adapting some trend to your new home, Mel :-) And thank you for commenting!

  • Reply Gudy Herder April 16, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    @Tijen Samuray: I am very happy too to be here. Holly and Decor8 have always been my role model! Thank you so much Tijen!

  • Reply Gudy Herder April 16, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    @Kate: Hi Kate, they are from Pinwu which is a Chinese brand. They are setting up a retail structure in Europenow and you can directly mail them and ask.
    In fact they leave the product here and don’t ship it back after the fair I have been told :-)

  • Reply Gudy Herder April 16, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    @Lena: Picking 3 out of 6 is perfect, Lena:-) Thank you for hopping over!

  • Reply Gudy Herder April 16, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    @Alba B.: Thank you Alba for leaving such a beautiful and long comment on the blog too.

  • Reply Gudy Herder April 16, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    @Trisha Brink: Hello Trisha, we finally can buy the colored cords over here in Barcelona too. It has taken some time but it is quite easy to find them now. Is kelly green similar to emerald?

  • Reply Gudy Herder April 16, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    @Hema: Patricia is always among the star designers at the show. Everything she designs has a brilliant signature. The collection she has been doing for Very Wood is lovely too.

  • Reply Gudy Herder April 16, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    @Anna: Anna, pastels are just perfect for a kitchen, no doubt.
    And terracotta could go along with white and black. I think that would make it quite sophisticated. Add some green plant spots…and we have the kitchen of the year! :-)

  • Reply Kreetta April 17, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Hi Gudy and Holly!
    Great report. So many nice things. I thought I would never ever like pastels anymore after 90’s but I now I do and I also like vertical plants – have to try!
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Gudy Herder April 18, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    @Kreetta: Same here. No pastels in my life until I bought the other day a very nice print online and guess what? It’s baby blue, peach, pink, lemon… :-)

  • Reply abhishek April 22, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Such great, pictures. Definitely gettin me in the mood to redecorate! :)
    very cool with your home pics here and decorating ideas.

  • Reply therese May 19, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    I like the pastel modern lounge chair at the top! I would love to pair it with this table from In Style Modern

  • Reply Rakesh Patil May 3, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    o many nice things. I thought I would never ever like pastels anymore after 90’s but I now I do and I also like vertical plants – have to try!

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