Sleek Kitchens, Wood Designs and Technology Highlights of Milan 2016

It was another exciting and exhausting Salone del Mobile for the Homedit team in Milan last week. From the latest in kitchen innovations presented at EurocCucina to new, elegant and design-forward furniture for your home, here’s a quick overview of the trends we spotted along the way.

Hidden Kitchens

Lots of stands were filled with sleek cabinetry in all varieties of materials, from wood to glass and leather. Behind those walls of doors are the latest technologically advanced ranges, dishwashers, storage cabinets and appliances that the market has to offer. Whether the cabinets have handles or rely on touch to open, there’s a level of minimalism for every home design taste.

Martini kitchenView in gallery
Martini showed this kitchen that combines several trends: hidden appliances, pops of color and a mix of styles. While the design is contemporary, includes small classic touches, such as the wood detail on some of the handle-less cabinets on the sides.
Laboratorio sliding cooktopView in gallery
Laboratorio Mattoni takes the hidden kitchen to a new level by offering designs that completely conceal the cooktop in the island. The extended top also serves as a countertop dining area and can accommodate stools underneath. Available in both electric models as well as manually operated styles, the islands are both stylish and space-saving. The lighted bottom is also a nice touch.
ernestomeda sliding coverView in gallery
Perhaps you don’t want to conceal the entire island top — Ernestomeda offers a kitchen workspace that includes a sliding cover for just the cooktop. This style gives you the option of more serving or workspace.

The Undefined Cooktop

Induction cooktops were all the rage in most booths, with a number of them presenting technology that turns a completely flat island surface into an induction cooktop with no knobs or burners. Still, we saw plenty of new styles for those who prefer to cook with gas.

Alno cooktopView in gallery
This Alno cooktop is a good example of the new styles that eliminate the usual drip pans and large square or rectangular grilles that support pots on the stove. Here, each burner is separate in a loosely defined area, which is entirely customizable. Want all the burners all in a row? No problem. This style is also easier to clean than a gas stove traditional arrangement.
SMEG showed this style of cooktop. While it is contained in a specific stainless steel-covered area, it's still a sleeker version of the usual has stove. All the burner pieces, are removable for easy cleaning. The most unusual part of the design is the bird-shaped support, which are also available in other designs.View in gallery
SMEG showed this style of cooktop. While it is contained in a specific stainless steel-covered area, it’s still a sleeker version of the usual has stove. All the burner pieces, are removable for easy cleaning. The most unusual part of the design is the bird-shaped support, which are also available in other designs.

Stylish Kitchen Storage

If you haven’t looked at kitchen designs recently, you’ve missed out on how stylish kitchen storage options can be. From customizable options for backsplash storage to lighted drawers, specialized containers in drawers and uniquely concealed power outlets are just some the ways designers have made kitchens more functional.

Leicht modula component backsplashView in gallery
Leicht has a great modular backsplash storage system that lets you choose the storage pieces that you want to hang from the main rail. This keeps key tools handy without sacrificing valuable counter workspace.
Febal Casa lighted shelvesView in gallery
Long gone are the days of rummaging through dark cabinets and drawers in search of a tool or a spice jar. Many designs now come with lighting options for both drawers and cupboards. Some light up when you open them, while others, like this one from Febal Casa use the colored LED lights as a design element at the edge of glass shelves that are behind frosted glass doors.
Deca orgnized drawerView in gallery
Deca’s marvelous lighted drawer includes smartly divided storage that keeps essentials tidy and accessible.
Martini color accentView in gallery
Martini’s rich wood kitchen combines the hidden storage option with a colorful open section that serves as storage and an accent. The lighted interior includes power outlets that allow you to leave often-used or hefty appliances like a stand mixer in place.
Toncelli chef centerView in gallery
Then there’s this work station from Toncelli, which is a chef’s dream. Concealed under the counter at the cooktop are divided drawers for every tool you might need, as well as safely and accessibly stored knives.
Arrex SinkView in gallery
Kirchen sink designs have also improved, and not just with better faucets. Many brands at at Eurocucina like Arrex, presented sinks that have extra components that make using the sink space more efficient. From drainers to cutting boards, the options make work space out what used to just be the sink.
Nature Design wood islandView in gallery
Amid all the sleek and minimalist designs we still saw plenty of natural wood options for those who prefer it. The island from Nature Design shows how you can meld new technology with a natural wood island.
Gulla Luxe putdoor gillView in gallery
Of course there are still many people who prefer a traditional luxe kitchen like the ones that Gullo offers. The Florentine company makes some of the most substantial and luxurious appliances we’ve seen. This is their newest addition, which is an outdoor grill station that matches the interior models.

Chairs

Every type, style and design was on display, but it would be a crime not to start our chair survey without Knoll, ing-time producers of some of the most iconic chairs in design history.  Fittingly, their booth featured a number of iconic styles, along with a historical synopsis.

Knoll chair 1956View in gallery
Stylish and practical, this 369 Chair by Knoll was hailed as a design of the age. Like most Knoll pieces, it is as fresh today as it was at the time of its introduction.
Camus Collection wood chairView in gallery
Salone Del Mobile was a veritable forest of wooden chairs. We particularly like this one from the Camus Collection because of it’s sinuous leg design that joins with the arms in a very unique way. The entire collection was a display of woodcraft mastery.
Carl Hansen chairView in gallery
Another wood and leather combo — with a very different feel — is this one from Carl Hansen and Son. Modern, different and comfortable, the chair is versatile thanks to the neutral leather and unique style.
leolux retroView in gallery
A little bit of a space-age feel and a lot of fun, this chair and side table combo from Leolux was an eye-catcher. The colors would also allow it to be at home in a retro style of decor.
Filo Design chairsView in gallery
Filodesign’s fun and funky chairs, poufs and accessories are made from ruffles of a plastic material, or roses fashioned from industrial felt.
Hulsta poufsView in gallery
Hulsta had cute poufs in a variety of colors. Perfect for a kids room, we want one in our living room as well!

Lighting

We’ll have to wait for 2017 for Salone de Mobile’s Euroluce for a focus on lighting, but this year had countless interesting designs amid the furniture and kitchens.  From glitzy and glamorous to spare and functional, every brand had lighting on display.

David Medri light chainView in gallery
Glass mosaic artist David Medri’s luminous chain is something to behold. Glitzy but somehow not over the top, it would be a perfect art piece that also provides soft mood lighting.
eichholz chandeliersView in gallery
The Eichholz stand was a wealth of glitz and stately glam. These chandeliers attracted a great deal of attention. The multitude of chains making up the swags of the chandelier give the fixtures a plush and rich feel. The light the emit is also soft and warm.
Bodema lampView in gallery
On the edgier side is this table lamp from Bodema. Known for their sofas, sofa beds and chairs, we think their lighting is pretty cool too.

Unique Furniture Designs

One of the most interesting aspects of a design fair is discovering new furniture designs. Smaller makers and big brands alike had plenty of designs that make you say ooh and ahh!

Dimesione storageView in gallery
CHI WING LO is a furniture brand, designed and made in Italy under the close direction of architect Chi Wing Lo. This bedroom storage piece is exquisite, whether open or closed. The gorgeous wood is finished with stunning leather.
Dimension storage openView in gallery
The interior woodwork is impeccable.
eichholz deskView in gallery
This stylish glass desk from Eichholz is definitely glamorous, but could work in a masculine home decor style as well.

Outdoor Furniture and Accessories

With summer on the horizon we were excited to see lots of designs for the outdoors.  The best thing is that designers have created so many new options that it’s not just boring lawn chairs and tables.

atelier vierkant boothView in gallery
You can count on Atelier Vierkant to present gorgeous oversize pieces that draw you in. All their oversize vessels are definitely statement pieces.
Domiziane outdoor tableView in gallery
Domiziane produces colorful and gorgeous designs made from lava stone and stainless steel. Floral table designs. and multicolored accessories and washbasins are included in their collections. This dining table would be beautiful on any patio.
Skyline outdoor seat setView in gallery
Skyline’s outdoor lounges with a central ottoman can be placed as far apart or ass close together as you wish. They;re perfect for a sunny outdoor space, especially poolside.
Stratta outdoor foam setsView in gallery
When we first saw this sunny yellow outdoor furniture from Stratta we thought “hard plastic.” Fortunately we were wrong and it turned out out to be some of the most comfortable seating we tried. The furniture is soft and is created from coated foam. The colorful pieces are great for indoor or out, and the inset planters are a unique bonus.
Vondom outdoorView in gallery
We’ve always loved Vondom’s avant-garde indoor and outdoor designs and their Salone display did not disappoint. Neon-lit pieces and funky designs project a very cool vibe, especially this living set and lighting fixture.

Sofas, Sofas and More Sofas

Probably one of the most used pieces of furniture in your house, sofas are also joining the tech revolution. Not just new fabrics and shapes, but new motion options and a technological integration are now available in a vary of brands and designs.

Fama sofa
This Fama grouping is so bright and cheery, you can’t help but love it. With that much pattern and color, you wouldn’t need a lot of accessories to complete the room. The mixing and matching of patterns and colors seems to be taking it’s lead from the fashion world.
Franco Ferri leather sofaView in gallery
Until recently, about the only motion you could get in a sofa was a build in recliner, bendable headrests, or arms that fold up or down. Now, it’s also possible to get backward motion for the entire back part of a sectional, as in this leather model by Franco Ferri. By pushing it back, you create a chaise lounge in the middle of your sofa.
Delta Salotti theatre sofaView in gallery
For the ultimate in home theater experiences in the size of a regular family room, there’s this sofa from Delta Salotti. With a built-in cooler, tablet stand and controls, the three-seater has a wireless sound system built in behind each seat. It also includes a motion feature that rumbles along with the action in the movie that you;re watching.
Swedish boothView in gallery
It’s not high-tech but it’s still very beautiful and desirable. The booth featuring Swedish design had this living room collection that is colorful and comfortable. The sofa has a really cool bumped out back you’ll want to keep away from the wall so tat you can admire it.

Bedrooms for Kids and Teens

Versatile bedrooms for kids and teens were plentiful.  Basic styles, as well as those with pops of color, can be decorated for any gender and can easily grow with a child.

Gautier kids bedroomView in gallery
A neutral wood design like this one from Gautier is perfect for seeing you child through the ages. Whether decorated with dolls, trucks or sports paraphernalia, it’s a stylish furniture combo.

Wood Furniture

Despite all the new materials that are available, wood is still a popular option for designers. Its creative versatility, warmth and universal appeal mean it’ll never go out of style.

Habito consoleView in gallery
Habito’s console is equal parts art, handicraft and practical furnishing. The carved design is stunning, both in the undulating deep curves as well as in the carving marks along each curve.
Wewood sofa backView in gallery
At the other end of the spectrum are the smoothly carved designs from Wewood. This is a particular attractive and useful storage shelf design that is part of the sofa.

Tables

There were too many interesting designs to count, so here are just a few that caught our eye.

Laser art console mirrorView in gallery
Laser Art Style’s console table is just plain fun and funky. It has a complementary mirror, but either piece would be good on its own as well.
Max Divan coffee table setView in gallery
For a while now, we’ve been admiring the trend of having more than one table serve as a coffee table. This grouping by Max Divani mixes shapes, heights and finishes. It’s ultimately more useful than one large coffee table because you can move them around at will.
Objekto hairpin tableView in gallery
Objekto’s small table turns the hairpin leg design upside down. Rather than the traditional rounded hairpin legs, this one puts the round end through the table top.
Mia collection bench and tableView in gallery
MIA Collections‘ dining table set, made in Indonesia, has a very cool bench design. Rather than just a block of wood, the seats are defined with leather.
Porro box tableView in gallery
This table made of angled boxes is from Porro.
Lema library shelvingView in gallery
Library shelving from Lema is a book lover’s dream. This wall of shelves has so much space for books, as well as display items, it’s unbelievable. Talk about a statement…
Twils shelving frontView in gallery
Approaching this shelving unit, by Twils, the vertical column appear to be a design element for the horizontal shelves…
TWils shelving sideView in gallery
But from the side, you can see that it’s more shelving. A fantastic design indeed.
Potocco shelf closedView in gallery
This unassuming shelving unit from Potocco is more than meets the eye. Thanks to hinges concealed with arts of the shelving, it can be opened to for a larger, more expansive flat shelving unit.
Potocco shelf openView in gallery
With a few easy pulls and pushes, you have completely different shelving unit.

Unique pieces that defy categorization

There are so many gorgeous designs that are one of-a-kind stunners, we thought we’s show you a selection.

Reflex dining table and lightView in gallery
Sit at this table by Reflex, you’ll feel as if you’re dining under the stars. What a spectacular dining room this set would make.
Arte in Motion coffee tableView in gallery
The Arte in Motion booth was full of finishings created from pieces of machinery. Each piece is more interesting than the next, whether it;s from an airplane, a boat or a car. This entire coffee table is a good example.
R1920 resin wood consoleView in gallery
R1920‘s resin and wood console is amazingly beautiful.
Vibrazioni consoleView in gallery
Vibrazioni makes one-of-a-kind, signed and numbered furnishings and accessories from old oil drums. The Italian artists have created a stunning collection that is recycling at its most artistic.
Yomei writing deskView in gallery
An elegant writing desk from Yomei is covered in suede with wile accents. It has a drawer with electronic outlets and a secret compartment for valuable papers or credit cards.
Verde Profilo wall and lightView in gallery
Specially preserved moss makes for a stunning display from Verde Profilo. If you don’t have a green thumb, you can still enjoy greenery — or another color since it comes in full rainbow of hues.
MMB Billiard stack tableView in gallery
A far cry from the green-felted behemoths of yore, this stunning billiard table design is from MM Billiardi. Who knew a game of pool could be so artful?

Keep an eye on Homedit.com for expanded coverage of these trends and more from Salone Del Mobile 2016 in Milan.