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

#INSTAFAVES: WHAT WE LOVED AT SYDNEY INDESIGN 2017

If you followed us on Instagram last Friday and Saturday you would have seen a few of our favourite things from Sydney Indesign 2017 pop up in your feed as we made our way around the showrooms and design venues to discover, touch and feel all the fabulous new products and designs. But if you missed it, here are the best bits from when we were #outandabout . . .

Let the fun begin!  #SID17

Let the fun begin! #SID17

Maddie and Jess working on their selfie game at  LightCo

Maddie and Jess working on their selfie game at LightCo

We loved the Symbol Pendant Lights designed by Melbourne-based studio  Satelight  which are inspired by jewellery, in particular paying homage to decadent earrings. 

We loved the Symbol Pendant Lights designed by Melbourne-based studio Satelight which are inspired by jewellery, in particular paying homage to decadent earrings. 

Alex and Jess ready to pound the pavement in search of the greatest new products and designs for the homes of our wonderful clients. We loved the vibrant and fun  Sydney Indesign  branding this year!

Alex and Jess ready to pound the pavement in search of the greatest new products and designs for the homes of our wonderful clients. We loved the vibrant and fun Sydney Indesign branding this year!

We were thrilled to finally lay eyes on the  Mito Lamp by Tom Fereday  in real life, after it was showcased at Salone del Mobile in Milan earlier this year. 

We were thrilled to finally lay eyes on the Mito Lamp by Tom Fereday in real life, after it was showcased at Salone del Mobile in Milan earlier this year. 

The  Earp Bros  showroom was a favourite for all of us this year. This display by  Tom Fereday  beautifully captured the latest furniture and lighting designs. Showcased alongside prototypes and models, the display told the story of each of the designs, highlighting the creative process and the evolution of each piece. 

The Earp Bros showroom was a favourite for all of us this year. This display by Tom Fereday beautifully captured the latest furniture and lighting designs. Showcased alongside prototypes and models, the display told the story of each of the designs, highlighting the creative process and the evolution of each piece. 

The three new shades launched by  Axolotl Paint  are simply perfection. 

The three new shades launched by Axolotl Paint are simply perfection. 

Maddie, Natalie and Demi enjoying a well-earned refreshment.

Maddie, Natalie and Demi enjoying a well-earned refreshment.

And a moment to put their feet up . . . 

And a moment to put their feet up . . . 

. . . before discovering    Pure Interiors  new range. We are obsessed with the bathroom vanities, kitchens and wardrobes. Pure elegance and luxury. 

. . . before discovering Pure Interiors new range. We are obsessed with the bathroom vanities, kitchens and wardrobes. Pure elegance and luxury. 

We have a crush on the divine Pieman chair by  Tom Fereday  and we can't wait to find a home for it! 

We have a crush on the divine Pieman chair by Tom Fereday and we can't wait to find a home for it! 

The  Pure Interiors  glass robe doors with leather shoe slings were to die for! They also know what we want with their deluxe leather laundry baskets. Swoon! 

The Pure Interiors glass robe doors with leather shoe slings were to die for! They also know what we want with their deluxe leather laundry baskets. Swoon! 

Marmo Furniture  caught our eye with their bright, bold furniture pieces that you just want to touch! 

Marmo Furniture caught our eye with their bright, bold furniture pieces that you just want to touch! 

The  AKD Team  #outandabout: Alex, Maddie, Jess, Demi and Stuart

The AKD Team #outandabout: Alex, Maddie, Jess, Demi and Stuart

 

 

 

OUR TOP 10 FROM THE DEN

Touted as 'Australia’s leading destination for contemporary design + art', DENFAIR has just wrapped up its third issue in Melbourne. Although only in its infancy, DENFAIR has quickly cemented itself as a highlight of the Australian design calendar. After 3 days of carefully curated, high quality design experiences, in leaps and bounds it has landed with much accolade on to the world's design stage. Thousands of architects, interior designers, stylists, specifiers and retailers flocked to Melbourne's Convention and Exhibition from 8 - 10 June to admire the brightest talent from local and international brands. 

We have bookmarked our Top 10 designs and designers from this years exhibition - some are old friends and some are exciting new talents we can't wait to work with.

1. FRED INTERNATIONAL

As one of Australia's leading distributors of contemporary Scandinavian furniture we adore absolutely everything on display at the  Fred International  stand!

As one of Australia's leading distributors of contemporary Scandinavian furniture we adore absolutely everything on display at the Fred International stand!

2. IN-TERIA

We love these fabulous custom timber door handles, made in Tasmania by  In-teria. 

We love these fabulous custom timber door handles, made in Tasmania by In-teria. 

3. MICHAEL REID SYDNEY + BERLIN

With galleries in Sydney and Berlin,  Michael Reid  showcased the work of contemporary photographer Derek Henderson, featuring his recent   hydrangea series that explores subtly curated floral arrangements, expertly captured on large format film. The result is simply stunning. 

With galleries in Sydney and Berlin, Michael Reid showcased the work of contemporary photographer Derek Henderson, featuring his recent hydrangea series that explores subtly curated floral arrangements, expertly captured on large format film. The result is simply stunning. 

4. GIOPATO COOMBES

Giopato and Coombes are a dynamic husband and wife duo, creating inspiring pieces including one of our favourites - the Bolle pendant - inspired by soap bubbles! 

Giopato and Coombes are a dynamic husband and wife duo, creating inspiring pieces including one of our favourites - the Bolle pendant - inspired by soap bubbles! 

5. TAIT FURNITURE

We have admired the work of  Tait Furniture  for many years, and their presence at DENFAIR only confirmed why. Their gorgeous outdoor furniture collections were beautifully presented in collaboration with Melbourne firm  DesignOffice . 

We have admired the work of Tait Furniture for many years, and their presence at DENFAIR only confirmed why. Their gorgeous outdoor furniture collections were beautifully presented in collaboration with Melbourne firm DesignOffice

6. NAU

Under the  Cult  umbrella,  Nau  made its debut at DENFAIR 2017, launching with a large range of gorgeous indoor furniture that we can't wait to find a home for. 

Under the Cult umbrella, Nau made its debut at DENFAIR 2017, launching with a large range of gorgeous indoor furniture that we can't wait to find a home for. 

7. SPACE FURNITURE

Space Furniture  was one of the bigger players amongst smaller local brands, but they remain one of our all-time favourite suppliers. They displayed a range of contemporary classics from B&B Italia, Foscarini, MOOOI and Cassina . . . swoon.  

Space Furniture was one of the bigger players amongst smaller local brands, but they remain one of our all-time favourite suppliers. They displayed a range of contemporary classics from B&B Italia, Foscarini, MOOOI and Cassina . . . swoon.  

8. BONNIE & NEIL

The name  Bonnie and Neil  has become synonymous with bold patterns on floors, walls, cushions and fabric, and their presence at DENFAIR didn't disappoint. Their collaboration with  Byzantine Design  revealed tiles and floor coverings in the wild patterns they have become renowned for. 

The name Bonnie and Neil has become synonymous with bold patterns on floors, walls, cushions and fabric, and their presence at DENFAIR didn't disappoint. Their collaboration with Byzantine Design revealed tiles and floor coverings in the wild patterns they have become renowned for. 

9. MARZ DESIGNS

Marz Designs  released their new 'Furl' wall lights in collaboration with designer Christel Hadibawawa from  CHRISTEL H . The rolled brass or powdercoated metal make for a unique wall-mounted lighting effect.

Marz Designs released their new 'Furl' wall lights in collaboration with designer Christel Hadibawawa from CHRISTEL H. The rolled brass or powdercoated metal make for a unique wall-mounted lighting effect.

10. ARCHIER

Design and architecture firm  Archier  showcased earthy, ceramic basins at the fair. They teamed up with ceramicist  Lindsey Wherrett  to create these absolutely stunning pieces. 

Design and architecture firm Archier showcased earthy, ceramic basins at the fair. They teamed up with ceramicist Lindsey Wherrett to create these absolutely stunning pieces.