Review 1: Salone del Mobile 2015 – The Italians are Back

This was our most Italian trip to Milan. Not just because we hired a car for a pre-fair getaway at Villa Rosmarino on the Ligurian coast – though watching the sunset from hilltop villages, scaling cliffs to a picture perfect monastery and dining with the weekenders at Puny’s in Portofino all helped set the Italian pace rather quickly.

At the fair and throughout the city there was a feeling that the best Italian manufacturers had made it through a difficult few years and were ready to put their best foot forward again. There was a quiet confidence in the air.


We spent an hour with Andrea at the Agape showroom learning about the company’s newest innovations. Their perspective on the bathroom is less utilitarian and more experience – a spa atmosphere both relaxing & rejuvenating.


Ell, a vanity solution with small slats in crystal plant that is both countertop and sink at the same time


Solid, a mirror that looks like a drop of mercury on the wall when the hand blown glass isn’t illuminated like it is here.


Canal Grande, a gentle tup resembling a washbasin with a shelf at the perfect height


In Out tub in Nero Marquina marble


Flos has elevated LED to a level where we’ll feel a lot more comfortable using it, especially in decorative fixtures. Clara by Piero Lissoni is a wall or ceiling LED panelled disc, with beautifully consistent diffusion.


Superloon by Jasper Morrison


Copycat by Michael Anastassiades in four metal finishes


Notch by Michael Anastassiades


The Salinas Kitchen by Patricia Urquiola for Boffi

B&B Italia introduced a number of stunning new chairs


Papilio Shell chair by Naoto Fukasawa


Charlotte chair by Antonio Citterior


Butterfly outdoor sofa by Patricia Urquiola

Milan design firm Dimore Studio exhibited their sensual perspective on design in an apartment, Dimore Gallery, filled with products they collect or produce themselves. Colour, pattern, texture with a heavy dose of fashion inspiration.



Milan – from our Instagram

Collaborations between designers and craftsmen are one of the most exciting aspects of Milan Design Week. Design icon Patricia Urquiola worked with the expertise of the Czech glass company Lasvit to create these unmistakably soft and brilliant vases.


The Leclettico studio is showing an unusual and eclectic curation of collectible objects and bespoke craft. Jim Hannon’s three piece nesting table is cut from a single block of Carrara marble.


Admiring the simplicity and craftmanship of the Cypris Mirror from Classicon.

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Diesel’s stand for Moroso is undeniably rock-star. This bent and perforated steel cabinet combines an edgy masculine form with a feminine colour beautifully.


One of the many reasons we come to Milan is to see and feel (and sit…) so many products aren’t on show in local showrooms. Maruni‘s Roundish lounge chair passes the comfort test with flying colours.

Milan – from our Instagram

LED is coming into it’s own with applications that respond to the small size of the light source. Nebra, by Sebastian Herkner for Fontana Arte replaces the sphere with a disc of pressed cast glass which changes from a circle to and oval as one moves around the pendants.


Mounted as a wall light, Clara, by Piero Lissoni for Flos, is a super flat light source. The polycarbonate lens diffuses the light to a gentle and consistent glow, hiding the panel of diodes shown here.


Film, from Davide Goppi, is both a wall light and a personalized art installation with gently flashing LED’s behind the client’s own photos processed onto slides, somehow marrying the essence of digital and analog.


We were pretty intrigued by the Weeble Wobble base of the table and floor lamp versions of Pin, by Lchiro Lwasaki for Vibia. High output LED in a super compact and practical package.

Milan – from our Instagram

We’re huge fans of Vancouver’s Bocci Design, who have one of the most beautiful stands at this years Milan Solone del Mobile. The new “16” is the result of pouring 3 separate layers of molten glass on a horizontal plane with an LED. Configurable with infinite possibilities.



Several lighting companies are releasing tubular lights this year and Lee Broom was no exception. His Crystal Tube Light is one of the best we’ve seen, but the version in Carrara marble is simply stunning, and priced accordingly.


Also by Lee Broom, a series of tables and objects combining layers of black & Carrara marble with acid yellow glass. He explained that an internal steel structure provides both strength and the intriguing contradiction of lightness of stone.

Milan – from our Instagram

Milan’s Salone del Mobile is the world’s most important design fair. 350,000 people pour into the city for the week to see the newest furniture & lighting from designers both established and emerging. We make the yearly pilgrimage to glimpse into the future – not just to see and touch new creations, but the join the conversation of how they will impact our lives.


One of our favourite lighting designers Michael Anastassiades unveiled a new series of mobiles for his namesake brand. Pure and poetic, with layers of subtle detail – Mobile Chandelier 10 with a folded mirror.


Foscarini is showing new interpretations of their most successful lamps, including an inverted, mostly translucent, version of the Chouchin pendant – top right.


New York based Roll & Hill has carved our a niche in the luxury modern lighting with a distinctly American perspective – the lights all have a sense of substantive materiality and form. The Mini Farrago, by Jason Miller, is inspired by the masts of tall ships.


Bocci’s stand was a highlight at Euro Lighting, the biannual focus on lighting at the Salone. Two new products unveiled including 73, which has a fabric texture achieved from blowing molten glass into a ceramic textile.


Getting in a quick swing on Philippe Malouin’s installation before dinner hosted by Wallpaper Magazine and Caesarstone – thank you for a brilliant evening! Please note the palace required holding on to our champagne glasses at all times…

Percival Loft Progress

Our Percival Loft client was so excited before our steel shelving was fully installed that he started testing out vintage Alessi acessories amidst the construction.

Thanks to : Terris Foot Contracting

Design Tip: Doors

We’re talking doors today in the Vancouver Sun Arts & Life section. We used floor to ceiling doors on concealed pivot hinges for this closet at our Aspen Drive project to maximize storage access and minimize lines from jams and trims.

Design Tip: Authentic Approach

The previous renovation in this warehouse building covered up all the brick, beams and concrete with drywall. We chose to expose them again which gave this bachelor pad loft a healthy dose of authenticity.

Strong & Quiet

The kitchen millwork at our Beatty Street Loft project needed to be strong but also refined and quiet. We used a dead flat finish on brushed american walnut to achieve a more muted hue and finished it with matte black hardware brought in from the Netherlands.

Design Tip: Creating Zones

The ensuite at our Aspen Drive project was designed for a couple with an active lifestyle, who are more interested in spending time outside in Whistler than waiting for their turn in the bathroom. The walk in shower, floating vanity and toilet room each have their own zone so two people can go through their morning (or apre ski) routine without stumbling over each other. And a calming spa-like palette helps remind them they’re far away from the city.