Trends at the Milan Furniture Fair

red dot online Presents the Most Important Trends at the Salone del Mobile 2004


This year, current and future trends of the design and furniture industry were once again exhibited in Milan; approximately 1,500 exhibitors showed their products at the fair, which ran from April 14-19, 2004.

In addition, more than 300 events and shows were part of the Interni program, which was spread out around the city in numerous locations. This year, too, the scale and offer of the furniture fair were overwhelming. The mood in the industry, however, continues to be reserved: still, when it comes to the future, only words of quiet optimism can be heard.

Professor Dr. Peter Zec and Elmar Schüller define the most important moods and stylistic trends of the Milan Furniture Fair in this trend report. On the one hand, the attempt to “medialize” furniture becomes increasingly clear. To characterize this trend, which combines diverse product genres, Zec and Schüller invoked the term "hybrids".

On the other hand, the following four topics are setting trends for design:

- The combination of natural and artificial materials in all variations is still dominating

- The retro look of the 1980s, with its typical geometric forms, black-and-white patterns and polished chrome and stainless steel surfaces, marks the design of many products this year

- Green and orange as well as gray and red in all shades and combinations are still the dominant color trends

- Despite all of the innovations, many manufacturers are referring back to the classics, which are re-interpreted and staged – rediscovering traditions and holding fast to the big names of the past that have proven successful and recognized.

The following trend galleries in Milan offer a vivid overview of the trends that set the tone for the future.


Trend gallery "Hybrids"

Trend gallery "Natural and Artificial"

Trend gallery "The Return of the '80s"

Trend gallery "Traditions and Classics"

Trend gallery "Colors, Forms and Materials in Milan"