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Exciting Design News From Some of My Favourite Italian Brands!

Every April the interior world flocks to Milan for the annual Salon del Mobile. It's arguably one of the biggest interior fairs of the year and one of my favourite events - offering a perfect place to meet other people from the industry and hear all the latest design news. Sadly, this year it was cancelled due to the (whisper it) coronavirus pandemic. So, in honour of the event - 12 of my blogger friends and I have clubbed together in partnership with Design Diffusion to share the latest design news from some of our favourite Italian brands.



Holly of Decor8 will kick-off tomorrow, and I will follow on my own instagram on Tuesday 16th June, sharing the latest news from Cantori, Casalgrande Padana, CRISTINA Rubinetterie, Doima Cucine, Maistri, Minotticucine, Quadro Design and Viva in my stories. You can then follow the instagram 'chain' as we take turns to present the exciting design news.

We hope you'll come and join us for an Italian design fest!

Niki

Picture 1: Macro Grigio granite-effect porcelain stoneware by Casalgrande Padana
Picture 2: Kitchen by Maistri
Picture 3: East Side tap from Cristina Rubinetterie

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Design Diffusion, all words are my own.

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6 Design Companies Working Towards a Sustainable Future – From Ambiente 2020


Paid press trip: 
A few weeks ago I was invited to visit Ambiente - the leading international consumer goods fair in Frankfurt. It's a huge, awe-inspiring fair with such a vast diversity of items that I barely scratched the surface. Even so, it was exciting to discover the latest news and trends from the home decorating world. A couple of factors really shone through - the first was the increase in handmade, artisanal items - which you can read more about here. The second, was how the design world is tackling sustainability - whether in the form of upcycling, recycling or offering entirely new solutions altogether. Here are six companies that stood out:

1. 3DCORK: Based in Alentejo, South of Portugal, 3DCORK produces contemporary cork items which are 100% natural, biodegradable, recyclable and ecological. The collection is a story of love for land and nature - as well as the home!  

2. LPJ Studios: This Bavarian upcycling company founded by renowned designer Hedwig Bouley recycles leftovers from the fashion industry to create fabulous, avant-garde pieces such as handmade rugs, blankets and dog baskets. A part of this rug for example is made from an old sweater! The entire production chain is fair, local and C02 neutral. 


3. OOhh Collection by Lübech Living: Made from 100% recycled materials (primarily paper as well as eco-felt - a fabric made from recycled plastic bags and plastic bottles) the OOhh Collection is the result of a Danish design combined with a Fair Trade project in Sri Lanka. Look out for beautiful pots, vases containers, seasonal decorations and office accessories! 

4. Carpenter Brother & Sister: founded in 2005 in Taiwan, Carpenter Brother & Sister focuses on bringing creative woodwork to the home. The company only works with FSC-certified, sustainable forestry centres to achieve their goal of being an eco-friendly supply chain and create beautiful pieces that benefit both society and nature. 

5. Reisenthel: For over 40 years, Reisenthel bags and carrypacks have stood for modern, innovative design. This year marked the launch of a funky neon yellow and blue collection aimed at kids and made from recycled pet bottles. 

6. retap: Danish hydration company retap offers reusable bottles, carafes and water glasses especially designed for tap water, offering us an inexpensive and eco-friendly way to stay hydrated. The colours are nice too! 

I also spotted countless other brands both big and small, working towards a more sustainable future which was very encouraging. I can't wait to see what's happening at Ambiente 2021! In the meantime, hop on over to the Ambiente blog today where I've written a feature about some of the beautiful handmade pieces I spotted at the fair.

Niki

This article is written as part of a paid press trip to Ambiente 2020. However, all words and pictures are my own. 

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IMM Cologne 2020: 5 German Design Pieces Everyone Should Know About!


Paid press trip
Last Monday I was invited to the International furniture and interiors fair IMM Cologne by the Association of the German Furniture Industry. It's become an annual trip which I look forward to  - and the perfect place to find out about the latest trends, discover new brands, catch up with people from the industry - and of course, pop along to the odd party! One of this year's highlights was a design tour of Germany's leading furniture brands including Rolf Benz, Kettnaker, Interlubke, Raumplus, Freifrau, Tojo, Schönbuch as well as innovative start-up Floating Offices. Five pieces on the tour really caught my eye - and I had to share them with you today!

1. Interlübke - just cube



Winner of The German Design Award 2020, the innovative new just cube allows a variety of configurations so that you can shape your furniture according to your needs. It's unique, 'clean' and highly functional.

What I love most: Let's just say, we have a tough time keeping things in order at home (ahem) and this beauty would help us no end. Did I mention it comes in 24 colour ways too?

2. Tojo parallel bed


This multi award-winning piece of kit designed by Nora Große and Alisha Hauk is genius. It's a bed base made up of six wooden feet which are used to connect the slats - no screws required! And you can make it as narrow or as wide as you like!

What I love most: the winner of several green awards, the bed is made from raw beech wood and is reduced to its absolute minimum. Also, who doesn't want to sleep like a star fish from time to time?!

3. Schönbuch - Simetria cabinets



It's always a treat to meet the designers behind a product and Eva Marguerre and Marcel Besau of Studio Besau-Marguerre were so inspiring! The design duo collaborated with Schönbuch to create the new Simetria cabinets. Contemporary, colourful and playful, the wall-hung cabinets come in 26 different colours and 7 shapes and can be combined in whichever way you like!

What I love most: A storage solution that doubles up as colourful art, what's not to love?!


4. Rolf Benz ADDIT



Gone are the days when a sitting room was reserved for, just well, sitting! These days the sofa is at the heart of everyday life and is used for everything from eating, working, relaxing, gaming, watching Netflix to socialising and sleeping! This was the thinking behind the new award-winning Rolf Benz ADDIT sofa, which is designed to accommodate all of these activities and more. The modular design means it can fit just about any space and be adapted over time - and add-ons such as shelves, trays and storage make it truly versatile. Very cool!

What I love the most: I'm a big fan of lifetime purchases - and this high-quality piece can be adapted to any new situation, making it a great investment and aa more sustainable option.

5. Floating Office



Anyone who lives in a big city will agree - space can be a challenge. And studies have shown our dwellings are getting smaller and smaller. The design world has responded with a load of smart, space-saving solutions - and this has to be one of my latest favourites! Darmstadt start-up Floating Office has created a vertical furniture installation with Nolex. The desk not only looks pretty cool, it can be raised to the ceiling at the press of a button to clear up space when not in use.

What I love most: The desk is surprisingly sturdy  - and completely out of the way when not in use. Genius!


Thank you so much to the Association of the German Furniture Industry, for inviting me to IMM Cologne. I loved the tour, VIP dinner and the exhibition featuring the winning motives from the #Zuhausesein (#beingathome) global photo competition.

Curious to see a little more? View a film of our German design tour here.

Have a great weekend folks!

Niki

This post was brought to you as part of a paid press trip by the Association of the German Furniture Industry, however all words are my own and I only ever work with businesses and brands I love and think you will too.

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Showtime: Come and Join Me At Formland!


Paid partnership:
Why, hello there! Not sure if I've shared a glimpse of my new studio here in Malmö - I moved in at the end of last year and I can't tell you how much I love being here each day. The new year has started with a bang. January means one thing in the design world: showtime! And this year I'll be attending Formland for the first time. Have you heard of Formland? It's one of the Nordic's most important annual interior & design shows and takes place in Herning, Denmark from 30th January to 2nd February 2020.

I'm excited to be taking to the stage on Friday 31st at 13.00 to participate in an 'International Trends' panel with Holly Becker and Trend Stefan. If you have the time, pop along, it's always great to see a friendly face in the crowd! As my first ever visit to the fair, I'm looking forward to checking out the trend zone The Art Of Living, the various stands (it promises to be a real Scandi design love fest with visitors from all over the world!) and listen to the international talks on the Speak Up Stage (I'm particularly curious about Jill Hawkin's talk on 'How do we sell to people who don't want to buy' - see the full schedule here). Sound exciting? Here's a sneak peek from last year:














Looks and sounds exciting, don't you think?!

Find out more about Formland, see this year's schedule and book your tickets here.

Please note that Formland is a closed fair for the design and interior industry and reserved for professionals with registered companies. Students can access the fair on Friday.

Hopefully see you there!

Niki

Photography: 1. Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian Home - Others: Courtesy of Formland. 

This post is brought to you in paid collaboration with Formland. However, all words are my own and I only ever work with brands, services and events that I love and think you will too! 

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For The Love of Rugs: Three Favourite Looks From Domotex 2019

It's amazing what a difference flooring can make to a home - whether you go for tiles, wood, concrete, wall-to-wall carpets (word on the street - or should I say feet - that these are starting to make a come back in Denmark!) - a space can be completely transformed in an instant. Needless to say, choosing what to go for can be so daunting! We definitely don't have enough rugs in our home (for this very reason) and in my mind, rugs / carpets are what make a home ultra snuggly - do you feel the same? This was top of my mind when I visited Domotex - the leading fair for flooring coverings - in Hanover last weekend. The theme was Create N Connect - and there was just so much to see! I couldn't resist a peek around the wood floor and tile halls, but my mind was on the carpets  - and there were three looks that stole my heart!

1. Timeless Contemporary
Located in the quadrangle formed by Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Tisca cultivate super cosy, unique hand-woven rugs. Their skilful weavers fashion treasures out of beautiful, hard-wearing textiles which are designed to last. I'm loving the extra chunk Olbia Campo rug below!


2. Modern Boho
For pretty rugs with warm colours, plenty of pattern. and a bohemian edge, Edelgrund is totally on point! Their stand had a souk like feel, showcasing their tribal carpets made in the homes of weavers in Iran. Each of Edelgrund's patterned kilim rugs are Fair Trade and tell an individual story.


3. Natural Toasty
I spent a disproportionate amount of time eating chocolate with Austrian based company Natur Pur. The small, family-run business creates a range of luxury hand-knotted rugs made from natural undyed wool for an extra toasty feel!



Aren't they beautiful?! Do you have a favourite?

Coral Garden
I'd like also like to do a special shout out to Vanessa Barragäo, who handcrafted the stunning Coral Garden. A notice next to the artwork read: "Global warming and pollution are destroying one of the world's most vital environments, the coral reefs, which are the heart of marine life's bio diversity." Vanessa used recycled materials to create the coral reef (which fades out from a healthy reef to the left and dying reef to the left) to raise awareness of up cycling and environmentally conscious production. Beautiful and so important!










My Tribe!
And last but not least: my tribe! It was so fun catching up and taking part in two panel discussions with my favourite blogger gang including (from left to right below) The Ruggist, Happy Interior, Monster Circus, Decor8 (the creative behind the stand seen in the first image), Camilla BelliniVosgesparis,  Passion Shake, (Me!), and Trend Stefan seen here on the stand of Jaipur Rugs. And a special thanks to Lars Rogall from Domotex for inviting us!






//Image credits (from top to bottom):
Taken by me, designed by Decor8, Stylizimo, Tisca, EdelgrundNatur Pur, Lars Rogall / Domotex

//This post is brought to you in collaboration with Domotex. As always, all words are my own and I only ever work with brands, companies and events which I love.  

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5 Great Reasons to Visit IMM Cologne 2019

Montage by Vosgesparis


Wondering about the hottest interior trends for 2019 and beyond? Come and join me at the world's biggest interior show for the international furnishing market: imm cologne! The furniture fair takes place between 14th - 20th January (open to the public 18th - 20th January) at the Koelnmesse Fairground in Cologne, Germany. I've been super excited about it ever since the press conference in Madrid in September - here are 5 reasons why:

1. It's the place to be: imm cologne attracts more than 1450 exhibitors from 50 countries - from top players to exciting newcomers, all of whom will be showcasing their latest furniture, innovation and design lines. In other words, wear flats and bring your camera!











2. 2019 is 'LivingKitchen' year: The LivingKitchen Koelnmesse will showcase the latest news from the world of kitchens, combining business and trend research and all the latest developments from the international kitchen scene. Oh and you'll get to sample delicious titbits on your way round too (yum!).





3. The Stage: Rest your weary legs and settle down to enjoy talks on trending topics such as lighting, colour and materials, latest developments in interior design and a wide spectrum of issues such as sustainability and future forms of living. On public days, interior designers and design professionals will provide practical tips on home furnishing, colour, lighting and latest trends as well as share their expertise in furnishing. I might just camp out there a while! Read more about the program here.





4. #Zuhausesein: The Association of German Furniture is set to launch its new initiative: #zuhausesein (meaning 'be at home') at imm cologne blogger events. Join the conversation about #zuhausesein, and what home means to you - oh and follow the hashtag, Facebook and Twitter pages for the latest news!

To me, home is where my family is, which means I have one in Sweden and one in the UK - I've been known to refer to a hotel room on holiday as 'home' too! What does 'home' mean to you to you?

5. Soaking up Cologne Design Week: also known as 'Passagen', Cologne Design Week takes place across Cologne city centre and promises events galore! Meander through the salons, furniture stores, showrooms and galleries for inspiration among other interior-istas - and soak up the city at the same time!

The Old Town of Cologne with the church "Groß St. Martin / Koelnmessa


Koelnmesse




Interested to join, too? You can secure tickets for imm cologne here.

I'll be there at the start of the week - give me a shout if you'll be there then too, it would be so fun to catch up!

Niki

Photography: 1 & 2. Courtesy of Desiree / Vosgesparis 3, 4, 6, 7 - courtesy of Koelnmessa. 5: my own. 

This post is brought to you in collaboration with imm cologne, all words (and enthusiasm) is my own! 

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8 Interior Trends from Milan Design Week 2018

Last week over 400,000 companies, designers, creatives, makers, architects and communicators flocked to Milan Design Week to feel inspired by a week of talks, exhibitions, latest news and tours across the fair and design districts. It was one crazy week but fascinating to find out more about the latest trends and news from the interior world. One of the highlights of my week was a Safari Blog tour organised by the monthly Italian DDN magazine in which we visited some of the major Italian Design Brands. From dark wood and cool stone to soft, velvety textures and amber accents, here's my round-up of the latest 2018 interior design trends from the tour:

1. Dark wood


Wood remains a key material in the 2018 interior, but there's a distinct move to the rich, dark side. These beautiful wooden worktops by luxury modern furniture brand Poliform, slide so you can place them where you like on the countertop (in fact, the entire kitchen worktop is adjustable to fit your needs - Italian design at it's best!).

2. Black metal



 While brass is still present, black metal might just have stolen it's party crown. Think sleek, slim furniture, small details, accessories and art made from black metal with a matt finish. Known for creating innovative bedroom furniture (such as the iconic Natalie bed), Flou featured examples of this across their stand in the form of slim, handles on chest-of-drawers, side-tables and art!



3. Dark earthy blue, green, and Brown. Powder and Amber accents





2017 was the year the world fell in love with pink (in all it's powder, blush and earthy forms). And it seems we haven't quite had enough of it yet. But there's also a new accent in town. Amber. Walter Knoll's carpets and Badawi cushions (I soooo need one of these in my life) were designed in collaboration with fabric designer Helmut Scheufele and inspired by the landscapes and colours of Africa. The deep amber tones and soft pinks looked particular beautiful against a dark backdrop (loved the statement blooms too!).


4. Silk, Velvet and Other Soft Fabrics




Who doesn't love a beautifully soft fabric? Tactile materials such as silk and velvet are adding a lush feel to the home in 2018. Treat your feet to a silky smooth rug and sit back in an upholstered chair (like these on trend beauties: Soft and Jane by Poliform) or add decadent curtains in a rich coloured velvet. The movement and texture in the fabric also adds depth and interest to a space.

Note the angle on the Jane chair leg - another key trend to look out for this year!

5. Texture




I love pieces that want to make you reach out and touch them - and 2018 promises to be a year of enticing textures. Think simple patterns, tactile materials and other subtle undulating surfaces. This swoon-worthy cabinet by Natuzzi (one of is the world's best known furniture brand, known for creating harmony throughout the home) is spot on - and such a great colour too, don't you think?!

6. Sustainability




In a time where there are serious concerns about the planet and the effects our lives have on it,  I was relieved to experience a conscious effort to move towards creating furniture with a sustainable mindset. A fine example of this is the Kartell Organic Chair, made from a revolutionary organic plastic material that's both sustainable and high quality. Hurrah!

7. Slim-line furniture





Forget bulky pieces, in 2018 it's all about a slimmed-down, more streamlined look. Shelves, chairs, and tables have come over all sleek and the airy look and feel gives a wonderful feeling of space. I particularly loved the floor to ceiling BROMPTON Shelving Unit and other streamlined furniture by Boffi, it created a real sense of calm.

8. Stone



And finally, concrete, marble, terrazzo and limestone have risen up the interior rankings, adding cool texture, tactility and interest to different areas of the home. I was completely taken by this powder pink stone against grey steel (and touches of brass) by Scavaloni - producer of Italian design kitchens and bathrooms as well as furniture. 

I hope you found these trends as interesting as I did. Is there anything you find particularly exciting or intriguing? 



A big thank you to Francesca Russo from DDN magazine for designing the tour and to the fabulous gang of bloggers who made it so much fun (from left to right: Desiree Groenendal / Vosges Paris, Stefan Nilsson / Trend Stefan, Mary Middleton, Agata Dimmich / Passion ShakeFrancesca Russo / Design Diffusion, Me! Holly Becker / Decor8 and Ula Michalak / Interiors Design Blog

If you'd like to see more from the Blog Safari check out the film on DDN Video News (in Italian), a dedicated film of the blog safari and a film about the Fuorisalone Inhabits and Milan Design City in Piazza Castello.

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