On the lookout for trends in Milan: 3 clear ones spotted!

Written by Hanna Wendelbo-Hansson, 22 April, 2016

Last week saw two major international design events for 2016 - the Milan Furniture Fair and Design Week – and naturally, the Sandberg Wallpaper Design Department team was there to spot the latest trends and experience all the exhibitions for themselves. Here is a rundown of the three most obvious trends by Hanna Wendelbo-Hansson, Creative Director.


Bare wood is the new base:

A couple of years ago, black was the base colour of choice at exhibitions. It was subsequently replaced by white. This year, light wood formed the backdrop and structure of many exhibits. Bare wood featured widely in furniture, but also in the form of laminated-type structures in most exhibitions.

Prostoria, the Croatian soft-furnishings company, impressed with its exhibition stand where bare wood laminates were used to create a feeling of space, an idea worth copying and introducing in the garden.

More beautiful structures were on show at the Norwegian craft exhibition Structure, held at Ventura Lambrate. Bare wood with rich colours and beautiful handcrafted objects, curated by Sweden’s Hanna Nova Beatrice, and intricately visualised by the stylist duo of  Kråkvik & D’Orazio.  A daring, colourful exhibition which really provided plenty of inspiration for future wallpaper collections!

The bare-wood theme was also taken up at the fair by the exciting rug-maker nanimarquina, who creates simple-yet-fascinating interpretations of traditional designer rugs. Their stand was centred around a rough wood structure, with rugs exhibited against walls and ceilings. The effect was a stunning contrast between the raw wood and the soft, handcrafted rugs.


The botanical styling object of the year: the Japanese maple

The Japanese maple was the organic styling object featuring at many displays, both at the fair and around the town. This trend started a couple of years ago, when Patricia Urquiola styled the exhibition stand for Moroso and included a large tree in it. I remember that I was incredibly impressed by the combination of colour, shape, structure, pattern and materials, and all of it topped off with large Japanese maples which created a lush and inviting room in an otherwise boring and static exhibition centre. Perhaps it is the longing for nature in a hard digitalised world that has now broken through as an expression on a broad front? The trees were enormous and easily filled the trade stands of both de Padova and Poltrona Frau. It is no secret that I am a great fan of using trees in interior decoration – just check out the Skog wallpaper and you will understand precisely what I mean …!


The yellow sofa

Every self-respecting exhibition stand featured a sofa covered in yellow fabric. In general, this is a year with lots of colour, frequently used in beautifully-composed harmony. The most popular colour scheme can be described as a base of petrol blue and deep burgundy, combined with bare wood and accents in yellow and nude/apricot. Muuto, for example, used a yellow daybed, and the Swedish collection stand at the fair was fronted by the welcoming sight of Story, the beautiful sofa from Irheborns, designed by Helene Tideman.


Milan really showed itself off to best effect, with summer weather and sunshine. If you want to see more of my taken on Milan, with its flowering wisteria and backyards full of inspiring colours, please have a look in my Instagram account, @hannawendelbo.


/Hanna Wendelbo-Hansson

Creative Director

Sandberg Wallpaper