In my last post, I was reviewing my visit to IMM 2015 in Cologne, Germany. We left off looking at living room environments with an eye on interesting black & white patterns and 1970’s influences. Let’s continue with some Italian makers:
Last week I talked about the ’70s feel and an overall softness to new furnishings around the show. This was a strong theme with the Italian design leaders, like this comfy environment above. This room looks like it could have been plucked from a disco-era Milano apartment. The lush tropical plants definitely have an impact and again, this was a reoccurring theme of the week. Interestingly, a recent article in the New York Times about reducing clutter and the simplification of our domestic environments noted that Italian interiors tend to be the most busy, typically filled with family heirlooms and objects of decorative curiosity. Here we are above, owning it.
This dining room is a little more restrained but still lush and inviting.
Very bold use of lavender and green tones here; I could not confidently use these colors together.
This next brand is Gallotti + Radice. I loved the feel here; again a retro feel but more subdued and curated. It’s like my hip Italian grandmother decided to clean up a little before we come over before Sunday brunch. The grey-blue wall color was so deep I felt like taking a swim. Mixing of metals and soft furnishings along with expert accessory work kept the eye moving slowly and enjoyably.
The grey oak laminate floor is my latest underfoot crush; this look is popping up everywhere but rightfully so – neutral enough to go with everything but a solid base tone that holds it all together. These shelves are heavily accessorized but the realism of this room is enveloping and I indeed lingered for quite awhile, relaxing in all the seats I could. Looking back, the lighting was also well done which really helps hold an exhibit together.
Note the darkness on this velvety-soft little sofa. The lighting highlights the edges, art and shelves. Nice touch. Of particular note at Gallotti + Radice was the artwork and the carefully curated reading materials about. Altogether, a welcoming place to be.
Moving to a more minimalist vein, we walked over to Poliform.
I could never be tired of this Poliform bedroom. The dark walls and floor, the careful use of color and the way the sheets are ruffled is all so perfectly composed.
Here my friend Kelly Carpenter looks adorable in a comfortable chair/ottoman combo. I was pretty jet lagged here so it’s good she is sitting and not me – I might not have got up.
Plain floors and textured walls. The use of simple carpets on dark floors is very popular and as mentioned above, works well in every room.
Tall shelves were everywhere at IMM. Combined with other elements – low pieces and also with lots of open wall space – keeps the eye entertained and helps demarcate space into human-size chunks. A company called Capod’opera had a nice display with some remarkable shelf ideas:
That tall cluster to the left contained some astounding millwork detail. A combination of open and closed boxes in a range of blue-grey, composed in the still-fresh random arrangements I have been seeing the past few seasons. Here is a detail:
We’ll see more interesting shelves in kitchens with the next post.
Although my notes fail to remind me of the makers, I was impressed with the color, accessories and furniture detailing in these vignettes:
Another nice shelf design, this one by 1920R, who specializes in solid-hewn timber furniture.
I’ll move into the most exciting part of the show – the kitchens – in the next installment. Before closing today, a peek at the Koelner Doem – the Cathedral. I have been to Cologne many times and of course I walk over to this masterpiece. I had done a paper/study on this building in Art History III and visiting it the first time was massively impressive. Repeated visits do not disappoint.
So, with kitchens next I’ll also show some pictures of our side trip to SieMatic’s new flagship showroom in Amsterdam, an masterstroke of environment design integrated into a wonderful old 2 story building near the Museumplein.