Dimitra Hatziplis

Navigating the Evolution: Saloni 2023 Showcases Furniture Trends

The anticipation was palpable as design enthusiasts and industry insiders flocked to this year's Saloni exhibition in Milan, a focal point for the latest in furniture trends. The organisers had taken a bold step by reducing the scale of the event, making it more streamlined and accessible. While the decision had ripple effects, it seemed to have breathed new life into the exhibition. The smaller size prompted exhibitors to think outside the box, resulting in innovative and well-curated spaces. This departure from the norm ultimately transformed the exhibition into a more streamlined experience, proving that sometimes, less truly is more.

Stepping into the exhibition hall, a seasoned visitor would note that trends in the world of furniture design are like quicksilver – always shifting, yet sometimes leaving lasting imprints. Looking back to my inaugural visit in 2018, I can't help but recall the overwhelming presence of plush velvet and lush greens. Those trends reverberated through the blogs and showrooms in the following year, as shades of orange and terracotta dominated the scene in 2019. Each of these exhibitions, a time capsule of design, allowed me to bring home pieces that encapsulated that particular trend.

However, the show's continuity was marred by the unforeseen circumstances of 2020, leading to the cancellation of the exhibition. The 2021 edition was a modest affair, constrained by the prevailing situation. Then came the twist in 2022 – the exhibition shifted from its traditional April slot to a sunny June rendezvous. This change injected the event with a summer vibe, fostering renewed enthusiasm among attendees. A vibrant atmosphere was in the air, as industry peers rekindled old connections and fostered new relationships.

As the sun set on 2022, it was evident that the winds of change were sweeping through the design landscape. Velvet, which once held court, began to recede, making way for the rise of bouclé. Leading-edge companies were experimenting with intriguing colour combinations and textures in bouclé fabrics, signalling a shift in the design zeitgeist.

Now, in 2023, we find ourselves at the crossroads of an evolution, a synthesis of the preceding years' trends. The reigning theme of the year centres around embracing organic forms. Gone are the rigid lines, replaced by the fluidity of rounded sofas and elliptical tables. The colour palette, once bold and vibrant, has now circled back to more neutral tones – a return to browns, creams, and earthy hues like orange, burgundy, and green. This transition ushers in a sense of warmth and comfort, reminiscent of a welcoming oasis.

Fabrics too have undergone a metamorphosis. While bouclé continues its ascent, it now shares the stage with woven textiles and velvet, the latter no longer the main act but a supporting player, adding accents and depth to the ensemble.

As we reflect on this year's Saloni exhibition, it's clear that the journey through trends is a dynamic and ever-evolving one. From the grandeur of plush velvet to the emergence of bouclé and the embrace of organic shapes, each year brings with it a fresh perspective, a new chapter in the ongoing narrative of furniture design. And as we weave these threads of inspiration into our living spaces, we participate in this captivating story, making our homes a canvas for the artistic evolution of design.