This year’s Milan Furniture Fair was as intense and amazing as it is every year. The world’ biggest design fair continues to grow as thousands descend on the fashionable city and is a must see for anyone in the design world. KE-ZU account manager Sara Lund had the pleasure of visiting the fair, as did many KE-ZU clients. We spoke to Sara about the show, and checked in with our ‘ZU Insiders about their experience and highlights With more than 2000 exhibitors at the fairgrounds and 1000-plus installations all around the city, it’s impossible to see everything – even if, like Sara, you’re hitting 30,000 steps a day. But despite how wide-ranging the fair is, there are always trends that dominate. This year there was a strong presence of warmer, richer tones, with forest and teal green, mustard, royal and navy blue, and peach and terracotta. Shapes, colours and a mix of fabrics offered a very luxe feel, which Sara describes as “art deco with a modern flavour.” Image source: Archdaily   The KE-ZU brand exhibitions are always crowd favourites. It was great to see the latest collections from Andreu World, Artifort, EMU, ENEA, Expormim, Forestier, Kenneth Cobonque, LZF, M114, Sancal, TUUCI and Vondom, and for KE-ZU clients to meet the people behind the brands. Sancal is always a must see, and this year’s stand inspired by Turati metro station was a crowd favourite. Venetian designer Luca Nichetto created four new pieces for Sancal, all inspired by travellers and the Milanese metro station, and the Spanish brand introduced new members to the Tonella family by Note Design Studio. Patricia Urquiola continues to be a prolific designer with additions to Andreu World’s Nuez collection as well as the Versi marble-fringed tables for Editions Milano and Fordite rug for cc-tapis. Image source: Ramone Steve Ramon Esteve designed the LZF stand – “It was gorgeous,” Sara says – with exciting new designs, Lens and Loop, by MUT Design. There was a strong focus on sustainable and environmentally conscious design. Vondom’s new collection Ibiza, designed by Eugeni Quitllet, is made with salvaged plastics. In an effort to help clean up the ocean, the chairs are made with single-use plastic bottles and objects that have washed up on the shores of Ibiza – Quitllet’s hometown. It was wonderful, as always, to see so many KE-ZU clients in Milan, to show them the new products and introduce them to our suppliers. We also asked our three ‘ZU Insiders about their trip and what they are looking forward to specifying for upcoming projects. Lise Desebordes (HDR), Cathy Jameson (Geyer) and Michelle Macarounas (Infinite Design) were our eyes and ears on the ground, bringing us the best of design, art, culture, food and wine in Milan.

Lise Desebordes, Senior Interior Designer, HDR

1. G and T (Source: Chowhound),  2. The Newsroom by Storagemilano (Source: Vogue),  3. Yamaha Wall Piano (Source: Yamaha),  4. The Newsroom by Storagemilano (Source: Vogue),  5. Stop Armchair (Source: Sancal) What can’t you travel without? My battery charger. With all the photos and stories capture, that was a must. What kept you sane on the plane trip over? Gin and tonic and a whole row to myself to lie down. Heaven on air! What was your highlight of the fair? Yamaha Wall Piano: I want it in my new house. Studiopepe’s Les Arcanistes installation: You picked three objects – mine are featured in the photograph – and received a reading about them. My reading was tower, success and perseverance. I’m looking forward to the future! Vogue Italia Divine apartment installation: Amazing designers! The project showed two points of view, or two sides of the same coin. One is clean and symmetric, sleek and contemporary, while the other is more natural and seemingly more disorderly. What would you like to see more of in the local design scene? I have no expectation really. I just love being immersed and surprised every year. Milan never fails to deliver an amazing design experience. Which new piece by a KE-ZU brand are you looking forward to specifying for clients? I loved Sancal’s new Turati collection, and the Stop armchair looked amazing at Wallpaper* Handmade. Also, the Andreu World Reverse table with a full timber base, and the new Enea workplace lounge Kubika by Manel Molina.

Cathy Jameson, Partner, Geyer

1. 5VIE Flag (Source: Elle Decor),  2. Airplane TV Screen (Source: Video Blocks),  3. BOSE Noise Cancelling Headphones (Source: BOSE),  4.  Milan (Source: Boca Do Lobo),  5. Interchange Coffee Table (Source: Sancal) What kept you sane on the plane trip over? Many, many child-free movies. What was your highlight of the fair? The general ambience of Milan with the entire city dedicated to design – living and breathing it. It was really inspiring. What would you like to see more of in the local design scene? What is great about Milan is the concentration of showrooms in specific locales. We have it in a small way here in Sydney with our design neighbourhoods, but the 5Vie area with the artisan workshops was also really lovely but accessible, which is less obvious in Sydney. Which new piece by a KE-ZU brand are you looking forward to specifying for clients? The Sancal coffee table Interchange. For more information about this year's Milan Furniture Fair, contact us here.