It is often said that Milan is the drinkable city, but this sobriquet is especially true during Milan Design Week, the annual celebration of architecture and design that takes place every spring in the Italian capital. At events, pop-ups, and showrooms all over the design capital last week, thousands of brands and designers showcased their latest products. A quarter of a million visitors flooded the Salone del Mobile fair, which was back in full force after two years of cancellations.

There was so much to absorb—indeed, to drink in—that editors from ELLE DECOR were eager to find the newest trends in interior design. We trekked across the city and the fair (with the step counts to prove it) to scout all things new, from the texture that will be on your next sofa to the tint you’ll soon have on your apartment walls. The last few years were all about creature comforts as the pandemic raged outside our homes, but this year it’s all about being transported-whether it’s to a different era, to a different country, or even just to the outdoors.

Version 2.0 of BOUCLÉ

If you’re suffering from bouclé fatigue—the nubby textile that migrated from Chanel jackets to everybody’s sofas these last few years—you’re in luck: the Salone del Mobile floor and satellite events throughout the city both featured refreshing updates on the fabric this year. Bouclé’s most notable reincarnation was a color-based one, changing from that off-white that dominated our Instagram feeds to bolder, nature-inspired hues—like a mossy green for Arflex, a brown for Montis, and gold for Sheba. In addition to the usual loopy pile, there were a variety of cozy textures beyond the loopy pile, like waffle-like chenille, soft mohair, luxurious cashmere, and menswear-inspired tweeds. In our opinion, Fratelli Boffi’s booth was the perfect embodiment of the look.


If you weren’t surprised to hear that wall-to-wall carpets are back, buckle up for the Milan debuts: Not only is carpeting back, but it’s brighter, bolder, and shookier than ever. As a result of Luca Guadagnino’s installation at Milan’s Spazio RT, we were drawn to the trend immediately. In a press release, Guadagnino called the primary-color, collagelike wool and silk carpets his team created with Northern Irish graphic designer Nigel Peake “a bit rock-and-roll.” Leo Rydell Jost unveiled similarly exuberant carpets at Alcova in super-saturated colors of gold, violet, and crimson.

Aside from color, companies showcased rugs that were funkier – and fluffier – than your standard offerings. Beni Rugs collaborated with Colin King on a shaggy collection in mustard and cream hues at Alcova. CC-Tapis presented a hand-knotted rug with a varied Himalayan wool pile that resembled a ring of plush forest moss at the fair. We were also intrigued by Evolution21’s play with pile; its handwoven carpets featured pleasing patches of “floof” that resembled soft sea anemones.


With the addition of nearly-hidden visual interest to these pieces, legs have become more than an afterthought. The Archibald seat, a collaboration between Poltrona Frau and masked Argentinian-Spanish artist Felipe Pantone, features a striking iridescent frame with color-blocked leather upholstery from Poltrona Frau, while the Metropolis table’s legs were shaped by the arches of a Roman palazzo at the new Fendi Casa store. A series of playful seats featuring anthropomorphic wooden “shoes” for feet were unveiled by Mexican duo Design VA at SaloneSatellite, the trade fair’s spotlight on emerging designers. Additionally, Olufisayo Bakare’s work was showcased at Design Week Lagos, including a colorful salvaged wood stool carved into the shape of a bird. This stool represents the mythical Benin bird of prophesy.


With Calico Wallpaper, AB Concept created a serene wallcovering collection inspired by the changing seasons of the Japanese Alps

AB Concept and Calico Wallpaper

While the country remains largely closed off to foreign visitors, interest in Japanese design sensibilities is at an all-time high. A limited-edition run of Cassina’s Soriana armchair was upholstered in Japanese denim, while Calico Wallpaper and AB Concept collaborated on Forest of Reflection, a serene wallcovering collection inspired by the Japanese Alps in spring and summer. During the fair, Duravit and Sebastian Herkner showcased a bathroom collection inspired by Japanese tea ceremonies that channeled Japan’s minimalist aesthetic.

The sun shines brightly

This year’s Salone was all about reflections, so you like what you see in the mirror. Flavie Audi showcased her sculptural mirrors at Nilufar Gallery, which included colorful resin moths embedded in the frames; Tom Dixon’s Mirror Ball chandelier at Palazzo Serbelloni was a chromed-out celebration of his brand’s 20th anniversary. With Philippe Starck’s help, Dior relaunched its classic Medallion chair with a shiny new look this year.


Every major brand has introduced another version of the modular sofa at Salone and beyond, making it the seat du jour year after year. New designs for cocktail tables allow them to be layered together in multiples, making them just as personalized as the sofa. B&B Italia’s Planck line adds color and fun to the living room, while Porada’s Callisto marble nesting tables resemble a stone mosaic when arranged together. Molteni&C created a collection with subtle layers with its curvy Cleo collection, and Luca Guadagnino Studio created jigsaw puzzle-like red travertine and black granite cocktail tables.


At ELLE DECOR, we’ve covered the green trend a lot, so judging from Milan Design Week, it’s clear that this trend won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. From Paul Smith’s lime-green seating with De Padova to Pin-Up magazine’s poison-green spritzes, this trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. In spite of all the emerald, we noticed one particular sub-trend: pale green. “It’s moved beyond the forest green we’ve seen lately. We were told by New York designer Josh Greene, “It’s more faded.” It can be called conifer or alpine.” He noticed it in everything from Luke Edward Hall’s fabrics for Rubelli to Kartell upholstered pieces—along with terrazzo floors and marbles everywhere in Milan.

A punchier, mintier hue was also visible on Spanish outdoor brand iSiMAR’s pale green outdoor furniture, Connubia’s seafoam seating, and Swarovski’s celadon table settings with Rosenthal. Samsung’s fair booth suggests that pale greens may even replace the ubiquitous forest green kitchens. According to Salone del Mobile’s president, Maria Porro, the trend seems to represent a collective need to connect with nature. We have suffered so much [these last two years] that the border between indoors and outdoors has become irrelevant. It’s not just about the design and beauty of the product, but also about what goes into it.” Porro explained.


After nearly two years stuck at home, designers were eager to get out—and Milan Design Week showed that. In place of the cartoon-like, Memphis-inspired shapes and colors, we found low-slung, come-hither furnishings reminiscent of disco, Halston, and sexy ’70s interior design. DimoreStudio, in particular, embraced the era in its presentations at its DimoreMilano space (think leopard-print carpet, smoked glass, and gleaming chrome), while Buccellati’s headquarters featured a rooftop tableau with fringe, ferns, and ashtrays, among other delightful details. In particular, Dimorestudio cofounder Britt Moran told us that the company is heavily influenced by the 1970s and Italian greats like Gae Aulenti. And the fixation with the decade didn’t stop with Dimore: Lee Broom released a series of six light fixtures that took inspiration from the divine as well as Brutalist architecture; Sé Studio revealed a disco-themed room (complete with a geodesic disco-ball light fixture) at the Milan powerhouse design gallery Rossana Orlandi. Baxter’s booth was stacked with curved, low-rise furnishings in gray and aubergine, while Dior’s garden party was full of ’70s vibes with funky Italo music.


In our 2022 kitchen report, we predicted that unique stones would become a major trend throughout the home. The next big thing in stone? Color. And lots of it. SolidNature took over the bottom level of an old industrial laundry facility at Alcova with a collaboration between OMA and fellow Dutch designer Sabine Marcelis (no pun intended). One of the most Instagrammed items of the week was the exhibition’s candy-colored archway made from nine different slabs of polychromatic onyx. An entire bathroom suite carved from the palest pink onyx, a delightful contemporary look at the 1950s color scheme, was displayed by Marcelis. In addition to the stone bed (yes), OMA contributed a stunning bookcase, crafted from Satin Verde marble, with shelves in gray and tangerine striated onyx. Stone is not just a surface, but can also serve as a status symbol and a venue for experimentation.