North Shore interior designer Kirsten Ford made her way to Milan in April to attend one of the biggest events on the global design calendar, the prestigious Salone Internazionale del Mobile design exhibition, as the New Zealand winner of a global design competition.
Here Kirsten shares with us how to translate Milan’s new season trends for your home...
In the interiors world, Milan’s Design Week is one of the most influential sources of design trends, so I was extremely excited to see first hand what will be finding their way into our magazines, stores and homes. While I’m a firm believer in not being a direct trend follower, they are a great source of inspiration. So here’s my guide on how to include some of Milan’s key design trends into your home.
Furniture shapes were definitely softer and more round - still with the beautifully clean lines European design is renown for, but combined with softer curves that make a space feel calmer and more organic. At home, think about balance - contrasting these softer shapes with strong angles and lines. You could combine a sofa that has a clean architectural shape with occasional chairs that are rounded and cocoon-like. Or soften the strong lineal lines of kitchen cabinetry with pendant lighting that is more organically shaped.
Warmer colour palettes
The colour palettes dominating Milan were closely influenced by warmer, richer tones. Think burnt orange, mustard yellow, burgundy and peach. Evocative sunset palettes and desert tones that are earthy but still sophisticated and sexy. Marmalade, sienna and terracotta are by far the hottest hues. Dusty mauves and inky indigoes are key accents. These colours were used confidently in Milan on large scale wall coverings and sofas, but they will equally add a sense of warmth and luxury in smaller pieces like occasional chairs and accessories like cushions and throws. Timber colours are becoming richer and warmer and grey has made way for taupe, camel and caramel tones. Metals are warm and burnished - so when looking at items like tapware, polished finishes are being replaced with those which are brushed and aged.
Sofas, seating and cushions in Milan were beautifully detailed with tailored embellishments like stitched quilting, flanged seams and buckles. Fabrics were confidently and expertly contrasted in the same setting, creating a stylishly eclectic vibe. You can look to accessories to add interest and detail - particularly cushions and ottomans with contrast piping, toggles, fringing and tassels.
Every installation and display I saw was beautifully accessorised. And the accessory of choice? Without a doubt, anything leafy, including both potted plants and actual indoor trees. At home, adding greenery provides an organic beauty to any space, the green canopy providing visual interest, texture and height to balance rooms. Of course, they also come with the benefit of being a natural air purifier and stress-reliever. My current favourite indoor plants include the succulent, philodendron, bonsai, snake plant and orchid. Make sure you place them near windows for natural light and they are perfect for filling empty corners and gaps on shelving.
Kirsten Ford Design is a boutique, full service interior design studio located on Auckland's North Shore, working with clients nationwide. Specialising in new builds or full renovations, Kirsten Ford Design works with busy clients, their architects, builders and trades from concept to completion of your finished home. They offer expertise in creating a clear vision for your home, colour and finishes specifications, furniture and furnishing selections and styling. With a passion for creating bespoke interiors that are a true reflection of your story and your lifestyle, their homes always have style and edge.