Design Trends at Milan Design Week 2018

Salone del Mobile Milano
Salone del Mobile Milano

Milan Design Week is the global celebration of Interior Design including a phenomenal focus on kitchen and bathroom trends.

Salone del Mobile 2018 held in April saw a predominant trend in large format porcelain slabs. (also known as ultra compact surfaces). The slabs are becoming well established for use in traditional benchtops, splashbacks and wall claddings. The newer and more exciting trend which was well displayed throughout the fair is its use on furniture, including full cabinets clad in porcelain.

There was an overwhelming presence of large format stone which meant beautiful natural texture everywhere


Kelly Gammie of Eucalyptus Design attended the show and was particularly impressed with the extensive use of large porcelain slabs especially this detail of cabinet claddings for door and drawer fronts.

Storm Bench & Splashback

Kelly said “There was an overwhelming presence of large format stone which meant beautiful natural texture everywhere. I’m not a Bling Designer so I loved the emphasis on natural finishes. Large uncut porcelain slabs created a contemporary look, using the same pattern and
texture on the cabinet fronts, bench top, the splash back and the floor. Many exhibitors were continuing the stone look into the sink, back of glass cabinets and draw bases. Stunningly rich timbers and metals were being combined with textured and patterned porcelain cabinetry fronts,
something that has just recently started to appear here in New Zealand. I am particularly keen to explore this look in upcoming projects for both kitchens and bathrooms. There is no doubt that the fully clad look is not an entry level cost but when utilising porcelain slabs to create a beautiful flow from benchtop to splashback it is a stunning yet cost effective solution. The traditional contemporary look was still evident but it had a gruntier feel. Less painted finishes and more timber that was again complemented by textural porcelain slabs featuring extensive marble and granite patterns. ”

Not far away from Milan, is the annual September Marmomac Stone Fair in Verona Italy. It is the largest stone fair in the world show casing all aspects of the industry. The number of porcelain slab displays continue to grow each year with many attendees commenting that these products have become the new “go to” product, having the same impact that engineered stone had 20+ years ago. It is interesting to note that Australian fabricators see porcelain use in their home market as far more predominant, porcelain slabs now making up a large portion of turnover in splashbacks and benchtops. New Zealand is certainly following this trend and is sure to catch up in the proportional use of the porcelains over the coming years.