When my friend said that Milan design week is definitely a show I shouldn’t miss, (and I have been to many, many shows) she was right! Wow. Just Wow! I have to admit Milan Design week, furniture fair or Salone Del Mobile Milano was not only well organised for foreigners but it was pretty easy to navigate on my minuscule knowledge of Italian (Pitta, Pizza, Ciabatta, eh).
The show itself, this year had the most amazing lighting I have ever seen. I have to admit, I expected the furniture to be amazing (it IS Italy after all), but I didn’t expect the lighting to be THAT inventive, artistic, groundbreaking and original. It really did blow me away and I probably research new lighting at least once a week whilst sourcing for projects or researching an idea.
The artistic nature of the lighting was unexpected and I captured a few of my favourites here for you to experience. The most mesmerising and beautiful pieces were by a designer called Arturo Alvarez and the paper lights by Ingo Maurer.
The furniture was amazing, of course, but I didn’t see anything that was truly groundbreaking or innovative, except for Max Lamb’s recycled textile furniture. Textiles are highly polluting (they emit methane gas when decomposing and can poison groundwater from chemical dyes) so if the large amount of textiles around the world can be beautifully, usefully, economically recycled or upcycled in a healthy way, that makes me a happy chappet.
Seeing this kind of innovation is really rewarding for me and is important in order to get to know the latest designers from around the world and make new connections in all the different related design industries.
Even if you aren’t a designer, one of these fairs is worth the visit. I would definitely recommend not going alone however, especially if you are an introvert or female! I definitely felt pushed around and my naturally polite nature was just seen as annoying (Italians are confident and seem to be talking passionately 100% of the time so they genuinely don’t notice you especially if you are a quiet little flower ) … or just man-up a bit while in Italy.
And so to Lake Como…
There is no doubt that this place is magical. Every time I looked at the mountains they were different. I can’t believe it, but now I realise that I didn’t take that many photos, I just found myself staring at those gorgeous mountains and that amazing lake. I would love to give a little plug to two amazing places here – Bed & Breakfast Storico who had the friendliest and most welcoming owners (after a day with uptight, bossy designers this felt like heaven) in Como and the most amazing restaurant for salad La Vita è Bella. I know that sounds a little underwhelming, but when you just want a salad and you expect everyone to say “go home” and instead they say “I know just the place” – you know you are in for a treat and I was.
I got to experience the most amazing spa at The Grand Hotel Tremezzo. If you do one thing on this planet before you die, go there, be treated like royalty and experience the good life. Like everyone stress can wear me down. It usually takes me at least a few days to “unwind” when I go on holidays, but here, it was a few hours. That was unbelievable for me! If you need a pamper, don’t think twice, go there.