SALONE DEL MOBILE MILANO 2018
The Evolution of the Bathroom Into a Sanctuary for Relaxation and Wellness
By Anne Breux
All eyes were on Milan during the annual Salone Internazionale del Mobile in April when more than 430,000 attendees converged to see the latest in international design. A greater number of Houstonians made it out to the showcase because it is more than just a market; it is a place for ideas.
With the goal of making creativity and innovation compatible with nature, energy consumption and the use of sustainable recyclable and non-polluting materials and techniques, the Salone del Mobile.Milano introduced its “Living Nature” exhibition in the Piazza del Duomo in front of Palazzo Reale.
Divided into the four seasons, the 500 square meter exhibit showcased familiar design objects in untraditional natural settings. It was beautiful to walk through this technological feat that generated clean energy through photovoltaic panels, then transferred different temperatures to each area. “Winter” was set to zero degrees centigrade to preserve the natural snow inside.
Concurrent events included the International Furnishing Accessories Exhibition, Eurocucina FTK – Technology for the Kitchen 2018 and the International Bathroom Exhibition 2018.
Bathroom design has evolved from a strictly functional space into a sanctuary for relaxation and wellness. Almost 250 exhibitors were on hand to showcase high-performance products that conserved energy with an emphasis on water efficiency.
Gessi’s Italian-made products and accessories demand that the bathroom should become an extension of the living area; a private spa that serves as a place of relaxation and wellness. Features include Roman tub mixers, body sprays and waterfalls and come in a variety of finishes including copper, mirror steel and Ceramilux.
The recent partnering of industry leaders Boffi and Fantini means that contemporary designer Michael Anastassiades has put his mark on the group’s Aboutwater collection. Sophisticated designs by Italian architect Piero Lissoni for Boffi and David Rockwell for Gessi’s Inciso Collection are setting new standards in excellence.
A new technology developed by Wall&decò has resulted in a laminated wallpaper that can be used inside the shower stall or on any wet surrounding wall. Thousands of patterns can be scaled and printed, jeopardizing tile’s dominance in the arena. The Wet System™ line adheres to cement, plasterboard, concrete, glass and ceramic tiles and is resistant against detergents.
The collaboration between the Italian-based Kartell, the world leader in plastic furniture, and the Switzerland-based Laufen, the world's leading manufacturer of bathroom fixtures, has led to innovative developments in their renowned SaphirKeramik material. Designer Marcel Wanders debuted a new collection out of this superfine ceramic — The New Classic — that combines bohemian with cosmopolitan and metropolitan design.
One of the most interesting developments is that manufacturers are incorporating design elements that are beneficial to those with disabilities, including waterproof roll seats by Diego Cesi/Archiplan and safety features such as the Hug Life Caring collection by Daniele Trebbi with Ponte Giulio.
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