AKD ON TOUR IN MILAN: THE MAGICAL MADNESS

Every year designers from all over the globe travel to Milan to experience the design week madness that is Salone del Mobile, and this year I was one of the lucky ones!

From the moment I touched down I quickly learned that no amount of planning or organisation can prepare oneself for the Salone del Mobile experience – it is pure chaos, in the most exhilarating way. The whole city comes to life with countless creative ideas captivating the eyes and minds of designers, year in year out.

Thought-provoking installations could be spied in every nook and cranny throughout the city, the crowds literally busting out of the old Palazzo’s and spilling into the surrounding streets, and local delis were dressed up in Hermes wallpaper just for the occasion!

It’s universally known that Italians are a passionate bunch. They truly have a genuine foundation of belief in everything they do. Regarding design, they live for the detail, the craftsmanship, the history and the future. It was incredibly exciting being at the centre of it all this year and my heart is skipping beats even now as I relive the highlights:

FIRST STOP – BOFFI

The very first stop on my tour was the Boffi showroom, where I was gratefully offered my much-loved (and needed!) morning coffee, until I made a rookie error of insulting the nation when ordering my usual soy cappuccino. I’m sorry to say that I ended up drinking espresso for the rest of my trip!

As I bounced off the showroom walls I admired kitchens designed by Piero Lissoni, focusing on a modular concept, where the kitchen is treated more as a piece of furniture. Minimal joinery was ever fixed to the wall, and was always balanced by open shelving, raised legs, split finishes and unexpected texture combinations.

  Piero Lissoni kitchen, featuring Salvatori marble clad doors

Piero Lissoni kitchen, featuring Salvatori marble clad doors

  Balanced kitchen storage and display at Boffi

Balanced kitchen storage and display at Boffi

  A furniture-like kitchen design at Boffi

A furniture-like kitchen design at Boffi

NEXT STOP – SALVATORI
 

Salvatori marble is a favourite in the AKD studio, and this year they released brand new textures to their collection to resemble timber called ‘Stone Parquet’. Their showroom also featured furniture collaborations with architect John Pawson and lighting designer Michael Anastassiades.

  Infinity room installation of Salvatori’s gorgeous book matched stone

Infinity room installation of Salvatori’s gorgeous book matched stone

  The new ‘Stone Parquet’ finishes on display at the Salvatori showroom

The new ‘Stone Parquet’ finishes on display at the Salvatori showroom

  Love me, Love me not table by Michael Anastassiades in Salvatori stone

Love me, Love me not table by Michael Anastassiades in Salvatori stone

NEXT STOP – DIMORE STUDIO

Designer duo Dimore Studio created an installation ‘Transfer’ in which they blurred the boundaries between art and design. In each room of a pitch-black Palazzo they installed tents illuminated only by candle light. The tents had little peep holes to peer through revealing the curated and collected object and furniture within. To add to the drama, each room had its own specific eerily nostalgic music playing.

  The entrance to the ‘Transfer’ installation clad in mirror

The entrance to the ‘Transfer’ installation clad in mirror

  A striped tent illuminated by only candles

A striped tent illuminated by only candles

  One of the tents decorated decadently in a Moroccan style feast for the eyes

One of the tents decorated decadently in a Moroccan style feast for the eyes

NEXT STOP – POLIFORM

This year Poliform exhibited old favourites dressed in new materials and textures. On trend are rich decadent colours like plum, chocolate and burnt orange sitting gorgeously with more neutral blushes and nudes. Poliform exhibited new brushed metallic and glass finishes for their wardrobes and kitchens which I can’t wait to get my hands on!

  New ‘Emperador’ marble to Poliform’s existing ‘Wall’ storage system

New ‘Emperador’ marble to Poliform’s existing ‘Wall’ storage system

  Leather drawers to an open robe display section

Leather drawers to an open robe display section

  New ‘Home Hotel’ table on display with inset stone lazy susan

New ‘Home Hotel’ table on display with inset stone lazy susan

NEXT STOP – POLTRONA FRAU

Another favourite from the fair was Poltrona Frau with their forever classic leather pieces. This year they introduced two new glass pendant lights – one by Neri and Hu and the other by GamFratesi. The palette was so inviting, with layered rich textures, they featured polished plaster as an understated feature. The colour combinations on display were very successful, bold yet elegant.

  The ‘Soffi’ pendants by GamFratesi on display at Poltrona Frau

The ‘Soffi’ pendants by GamFratesi on display at Poltrona Frau

  The new ‘Byron’ chaise in a divine chocolate toned leather

The new ‘Byron’ chaise in a divine chocolate toned leather

  Velvet cushions on a leather base is a winning combination

Velvet cushions on a leather base is a winning combination

NEXT STOP – LOCAL DESIGN ABROAD

Then I was off to admire some fresh new pieces by our beloved Australian lighting designers Christopher Boots and Volker Haug. Set in an amazing old Palazzo with vibrant layered colours, the space in itself was an inspiring mix-and-match of fabulous Italian architecture

  Christopher Boots’ new Verdigris finish on display at the Local Design exhibition

Christopher Boots’ new Verdigris finish on display at the Local Design exhibition

  The lovely layered spaces that housed the Local Design exhibition, curated by Emma Elizabeth

The lovely layered spaces that housed the Local Design exhibition, curated by Emma Elizabeth

 ‘ Sculptural Oddments’ pendant by Volker Haug

Sculptural Oddments’ pendant by Volker Haug

NEXT STOP – HERMES

Hermes’ display of new homewares and objet took colour blocking to a whole new level where they created a monolithic Moroccan glazed tile maze! The most delicious rich and vibrant colours were layered gorgeously and lit so they glittered as you moved through the installation.

  The glazed tiles at the Hermes display were gorgeously reflective

The glazed tiles at the Hermes display were gorgeously reflective

  The new Hermes fabrics were innovatively displayed folded

The new Hermes fabrics were innovatively displayed folded

  Some of the maze forms were wrapped in stairs

Some of the maze forms were wrapped in stairs

LAST STOP – GUBI

Last but certainly not least was the fabulous Gubi display which was set in the most impressively Italian building I had even stepped foot inside! There is something so beautiful about the juxtaposition of super modern furniture in a very elaborate old building. There was a sense of luxury within the history of the building that can’t be replicated pseudo nor converted into words.

  A stunning lounge setting by Gubi

A stunning lounge setting by Gubi

  The new ‘Satellite’ pendant by Gubi

The new ‘Satellite’ pendant by Gubi

  The comforting nostalgic feeling at the Gubi   display

The comforting nostalgic feeling at the Gubi display

So I came, I saw, I conquered. And I have the blisters to prove it!

Until next time Milan. And there will be a next time . . .

All images ©Alexandra Kidd Design

KEEP WARM AND CARRY ON

Simon and Garfunkel sang ‘Seasons change with the scenery’, but in the world of interiors, our scenery changes with the seasons.

As the temperature begins to drop and the sun starts sinking lower in the sky, we’re swapping our lightweight linen sheet sets for their woven woolly counterparts, our open toed slides for closed in (furry!) slippers, and our slip dresses for dressing gowns.

At AKD, we spend our days helping people to emotionally connect with their surrounding spaces by adding layers of warmth and texture in their homes. This is even more important as we begin to spend more time indoors, enjoying, entertaining in, and engaging with our interior spaces.

So, whether we’re adding layers to wear, to sit or to stand on, to breath or to bathe in, to have or to hold, or to simply snuggle under, we’ll be keeping warm and carrying on this winter - both in comfort and style!

1. Amour long sleeve & pants pyjamas with customisable monogramming is worth rushing home for, via Neue Blvd

2. The Cocolux Luna Smoked Onyx dark and moody scented candle is perfect for awakening the senses in any interior space, via Cocolux 

3. The Womb Chair in luxurious blue velvet hits the ultimate soft spot this season, for those wintery days spent indoors with a good book, via Walter Knoll (image via Instagram)

4. The Pure Cashmere Stone Egg Blue Rug from Robyn Cosgrove does not lie, it is made from pure cashmere. We can't think of anything more luxurious to keep our tootsies warm underfoot in the cooler months, via Robyn Cosgrove

5. The soft, textured, knitted Ila Robe is far too elegant to be called an everyday robe, but I guarantee we will be wearing it every day! Via Eberjey

6. This chic Eldvarm Wood + Leather Basket is the perfect fireplace accessory for any designer home this Winter, via Top3

7. This stunning table lamp can be paired perfectly beside the womb chair for reading, the cylindrical form lends itself to a horizontal or vertical placement, via Articolo Lighting 

8. The Husk Weave Rug is made from all natural fibres and a generous pile that feels lush underfoot, via Armadillo & Co

9. Winter. Obsession. via Matches Fashion

10. The Oversize Knitt Woollen Throw with its soft, chunky layers will wrap all the way around you like a great big hug, via Nickel N Co

11. How gorgeous are these handmade ceramic keep cups?! Ideal Winter warmers for coffee, hot chocolate or chai of your choice, via DEA Store

12. Make sure to restore your Winter skin with a fabulously indulgent day in, via To Wonderland Wellness Spa

13. You can never have too many throws and the Algrove is perfect for layering this Winter, via Sheridan

14. These leather mittens will be keeping the big kids warm and in style, available in Sydney Cos stores

15. The 'Brigette Blouse' and 'Alexandra Pant' make the perfect silk pyjama set by providing the right amount of luxury this season, via Maison du Soir

THE REVEAL: TIMELESS BEAUTY

Once upon a time in a beautifully leafy Sydney neighbourhood, set amongst the rows of Victorian and Federation homes, stood a very tired red-painted brick terrace, patiently waiting to be kissed back to life. And wait she did . . .

Then one day our clients and their very young family fell upon (and in love with) her and made her their family home. However, within a few short years she was no longer ‘just right’ and they were in desperate need for a larger, lighter and more efficient home to accommodate their now very busy and bigger lives.

We brought her walls down, letting the house breathe a long-awaited sigh so as to sit much more comfortably on her new larger foundations and in her now glowing white-rendered skin, optimizing the space as well as introducing more natural light and fresh air throughout.

As the months of intensive renovations passed we saw the terrace transform inside and out, where she now stands firmly proud in the middle of her lively street.

The home now offers a perfectly balanced combination of traditional and modern details, conveying a timeless and relaxed feel.

  We opted for a fresh and contrasting black and white exterior scheme with a natural stone floor.

We opted for a fresh and contrasting black and white exterior scheme with a natural stone floor.

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The foyer and concealed powder room feature a gorgeous Philip Jeffries’s grasscloth wallpaper for added texture and softness.

  Cosy and relaxing furnishings have found their perfect place in the refreshed original sitting room.

Cosy and relaxing furnishings have found their perfect place in the refreshed original sitting room.

  The new steel and glass dining room extension brings a modern twist to this classic terrace and is the perfect surround to the beautifully understated dining setting.

The new steel and glass dining room extension brings a modern twist to this classic terrace and is the perfect surround to the beautifully understated dining setting.

  The fresh and minimal colour palette with its natural stone and solid timber layers evokes a sense of authenticity and relaxed timelessness.

The fresh and minimal colour palette with its natural stone and solid timber layers evokes a sense of authenticity and relaxed timelessness.

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JERSEY RD 08.jpg

The back of the house is now completely open, filled with natural light, air and textures. Although the house now has a lot more openings to the outside, the new flow creates an enviable serene atmosphere as the occupants feel perfectly safe and private all year round.

  A concealed laundry and study nook can easily be accessed or hidden away depending on the needs of the family.

A concealed laundry and study nook can easily be accessed or hidden away depending on the needs of the family.

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The soft and natural palette, as well as the sophisticated finishes, have been cohesively carried into the master bedroom, walk in robe and master ensuite.

  In the kids bedrooms, we loved adding a final touch of magic with the installation of bold, colourful wallpapers, each offering the perfect storytelling backgrounds for our custom bedheads and carefully selected accessories.

In the kids bedrooms, we loved adding a final touch of magic with the installation of bold, colourful wallpapers, each offering the perfect storytelling backgrounds for our custom bedheads and carefully selected accessories.

And they all lived happily ever after.

See the full Project Album
All images ©Alexandra Kidd Design