Furniture, colours, shapes and materials….. When walking past all the new designs at the design fair in Milan you are utterly focused on it. I am always on the lookout for new and rising colours, products or trends, but whilst visiting Milan I am extra alert, for here most trends will be seen first. When you see a product in two different places with the “sheen of an oil slick”, you need to be sharp. Make pictures and take notes.

"Natural materials are still here".

Back in 2012 I could already see the bell jar trend coming. That year I created a folder “Laboratory from 1900” in my trend analysis. Pinned insects on a school pamphlet and bell jars with or without a cactus inside, but also the metal stool from the laboratory, it is still very en voque. Just no longer in Milan: there the next trend was ready to be launched. It is a sport to recognize it as soon as possible.

This year I came across some “old acquaintances”. Marble, as we know, has been trending for a few years now and especially very light coloured white marble. We used it in our side tables White Stone and for Clock Marble Time. What caught my attention was the use of green and dark brown marble. This makes our Clock Marble Time Green very contemporary! I also noticed the rise of the opposite of “the Scandinavian atmospheres”. Instead of the Nordic, light wood with many white and light pastels, Milan now showed me many dark walnut wood used in cabinets, table tops and legs. Our side table Two Tone will have some competition, but add our dark Treetop and you will combine the two trends perfectly.

Light marble side tables – Zuivers Marble Time in green – I took this picture at Vitra

"Colour, but not as we know it"

I took a lot of notes as far as colour goes. A great deal of (earthy) tones were used which seemed to be calcified. Pink, liver tones, grey… and some added colours that stand out a bit more. Not because of the accent, but because they are stronger then the muddy matte colours. Good examples are ochre, moss green and gold. It is still all very earthy and stays close to nature. We at Zuiver have a few existing products in gold, such as side table Cupid Gold, pendant lamp Plentywork and clock Tiktak Time. I spotted gold at the 2014 fair after all. Time to let the Zuiver design team know what we are going to do with these ‘muddy colours’ (as I call them, this way you will know what I mean).

Liver colours, marble – this shade of pink was introduced in Milan as the trend colour – beautiful marble at Tom Dixon

"Tune out: just nothing at all".

The ‘Tune Out’ is a movement slowly rising, as a contrast to the busy life we all find ourselves in. Just nothing at all. No Wi-Fi, no connection, no apps and no fuss around you. This gets translated into furniture by adding “ears” (side flaps) to armchairs. This way you can shield yourself from unnecessary influences from the outside world. The ‘Tune Out’ movement is also to be seen in desks with added front- and side panels to create a sense of privacy, also when placed in a larger room. A young designer even created a handkerchief to place over your phone, this way you are not available and no radiation is released.

The funny thing is that after a few days of visual focus, you start seeing beauty in everything. A special graffiti, a robot inlaid in bricks, a beautifully weathered billboard on a roof. Sometimes you have passed it a couple of times without even noticing it, but after a day or three you see it all. Every year this results in a folder “Eye Candy”. It doesn’t get you anywhere, but suddenly you find yourself capturing it all 🙂