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The best exhibitions, galleries and suppliers you missed at Salone del Mobile 2023

Explore interior designers and architects' Italian heaven with the latest in trends.

milan glass ceiling
April 26, 2023
Photography by Rana Md Jewel

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Salone del Mobile, held annually in Milan, is the world's largest trade fair for furniture and design. Since its inception in 1961, the fair has become a cultural institution and a symbol of Italian design excellence. 

Salone del Mobile attracts more than 300,000 visitors from over 160 countries, including industry professionals, designers, architects, buyers and enthusiasts, who come to witness the latest trends and innovations in design. 

What makes Salone del Mobile so famous is its reputation for showcasing cutting-edge design, creativity and innovation. The fair is a celebration of craftsmanship and technology, where visitors can experience the best of contemporary design in furniture, lighting, textiles and accessories. The fair is not only a showcase of Italian design, but it is also a global platform where designers and manufacturers from around the world come together to share ideas, collaborate and network. 

If you couldn’t attend 2023’s edition, we have you covered. Portaire’s co-founders, Lori Bolon and Matteo Grand, spent five days in the great halls and streets of the event, taking notes of everything beautiful and inspiring. Below, you’ll find first-hand images, and more. If you like professional interior design content, don’t hesitate to subscribe to our newsletter.

Occhio’s exhibition at Villa Necchi

Home of Occhio’s hospitality stand and set location for House of Gucci, the Glass Pavilion of the historic Villa Necchi Campiglio was the perfect setting for showcasing Occhio's vision of a new light culture. 

Occhio is an international lifestyle brand founded in 1999 by designer Axel Meise, focused on quality design, technological research, and the "joy of use" of lighting.

Occhio presented its new Luna collection, featuring the innovative Fireball light source, which creates a soft and direct light without glare. The Luna collection includes wall, ceiling, table, and suspension lamps with classic and innovative designs.

The installation evoked new and unknown concepts, transforming imagination into reality. It was a special opportunity to showcase Occhio's idea of a new lighting culture on this stage.

The Luna collection was available in three different sizes, with a mirrored head or base. The lighting could be adjusted, turned on or off, or the colour temperature modified with simple gestures or the Occhio air app.

Galleria Vincenzo de Cotiis

Vincenzo and Claudia Rose De Cotiis opened a new exhibition space in Milan's prestigious district, coinciding with the prestigious Salone del Mobile 2023. The 300 sqm space features visionary international artists, curated by the duo. 

Vincenzo De Cotiis, an architect and artist born in Gonzaga, Italy in 1958, founded his studio and gallery in 1997 after studying architecture at the Milan Politecnico. His work is renowned for reflecting the beauty of time-generated patinas in both architectural and luxury interior designs around the world. 

He employs recycled materials marked by time and wear, reinterpreted with new and precious materials to create pieces that recall abstract nature. His highly collectible works are exhibited at his Milan gallery and international design fairs, including Design Miami/Basel, PAD London, Design Dubai, TEFAF, and Art Paris, solidifying his place as one of the leading international contemporary design figures.

Maison Matisse

Maison Matisse, a design brand inspired by Henri Matisse, has teamed up with British artist Faye Toogood to release its latest collection. 

Named the Esquisses collection, it includes living room and bedroom furniture based on Henri Matisse's book Dessins: Thèmes et Variations. The collection features a coffee table, side table, armchair, rugs, and a blanket, and was designed by Toogood to be "both strong and soft". The Maison Matisse – Esquisses collection by Faye Toogood was showcased at Studio Nerino in Milan, Italy from 17 to 23 April 2023.

Rossana Orlandi Master Gallery

Rossana Orlandi, a former fashion industry figure, established an art and design gallery in 2002 that quickly became a leading hub for design. She transformed a site in Milan into a mecca for design through her love and passion for it. Orlandi began by showcasing small pieces that presented an aesthetic dialogue between objects outside of place and time. She travelled around the world to Design Weeks and was particularly fascinated by the Dutch school, discovering artists such as Maarten Baas, Formafantasma, Nacho Carbonell, and Piet Hein Eek who later became some of the most significant figures in design.

Orlandi’s gallery launches and solidifies designers and artists, transforming contemporary design into collectible design, akin to the rare and vintage selections made famous by international auctions in the field. She is deeply invested in the well-being of “her designers,” to the point where she becomes their motherly figure. A must-see if you come to Milan!

Loewe at Palazzo Isimbardi

The new chair collection from LOEWE, showcased at Salone del Mobile 2023, explores the playful side of the brand and broadens its horizons with unexpected materials, textures, and colours. 

Expert craftspeople have handwoven each chair, using techniques that range from traditional leather and raffia to unexpected materials like thermal blanket foil and shearling. The chairs are also decorated with flashy colours, emphasising the material combinations and decorative reinvention. 

The collection features a variety of chairs, including stick chairs, cane chairs, and Lloyd Loom chairs, each embellished with creative weaving and decorations. The chairs are reimagined as unique pieces, transforming everyday objects into avant-garde tools of design.

Sofas by Edra

Supreme comfort, universal and timeless elegance are the fundamental characteristics of Edra. Edra was born in Tuscany in 1987. Today it is known worldwide for the absolute quality of its products, which combine artistic tradition, technological research, high manual skill, and extremely precious materials.

Edra has always created exclusive and timeless products. Sofas, armchairs, and all other products in the Edra collection are designed and built with such meticulous care that they are truly unique and unmistakable, to be enjoyed with the utmost pleasure and to remain a heritage forever.

We were particularly taken by the incredible iridescent fabrics they used. Soft, plush and innovative, Edra knows how to make furniture stand out. Note that this gorgeous purple and blue colour is only available in this sofa style.

Gorgeous bathroom showroom by Cristina Rubinetterie

Cristina Rubinetterie was founded by Ezio Cristina in 1949 in Gozzano, Northern Italy. Since then, the company has expanded and transformed into an industrial-scale manufacturer, with the acquisition of SILFRA in the 1980s and becoming part of the Caleffi Group in 2017. The company has introduced several innovations to the market, including the thermostatic mixer and the single lever mixer, and has dedicated an entire division to stainless steel. Today, CRISTINA Rubinetterie operates four production sites in Italy and exports to over 60 countries, with a focus on sustainability and custom solutions for design projects.

In 2020, the company renewed its strategy to focus on design, wider project work, and the hotel sector. They offer a range of products for bathrooms, kitchens, wellness centres, and outdoors, with the aim of being functional, durable, and aesthetically in line with contemporary interior design. The company also offers tailor-made solutions to meet varied design requirements. CRISTINA Rubinetterie is a member of the Green Building Council Italia and uses the Leed rating system to evaluate the sustainability of buildings.

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