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On my recent trip to Milan, it was hard to decide where to go and what to see simply because there was too much to see: Milan is the hub for Italian interior design. Friends and colleagues gave suggestions to me, and in the course of the adventure my weary feet lead me to other sources of inspiration. Here’s a quick survey of four showrooms that I found particularly inspiring. (For two more, check out Italian Design Now)

Artimede is making an impact on design by employing some of the most famous designers working today to design light fixtures utilizing the latest technology. It was great to see this showroom in person. The results are innovative and modern, using minimal design for maximum impact.

Discovery lamp, for Artemide

Discovery lamp is clear when off, while the surface turns opaque and reflective when the turned on.

David Chipperfield has designed a range of minimalist lights, including this floor lamp.

David Chipperfield has designed a range of minimalist lights for Artimede, including this floor lamp.

Scrittura LED source light help to define space through light, by Artemide

You should know by now that I’m a fan of minimalist art, including the work of Dan Flavin. The Scrittura LED lights are inspired by Flavin’s work, while employing the latest technology to define space.

Scrittura LED source light help to define space through light, by Artemide

Cool tear-drop glass pendants.

Cool tear-drop glass pendants.

Ilio floor lamp by Ernesto Gismondi for Artemide

Ilio torchere is the perfect addition to a modern loft.

Poliform is know in the US for kitchens. A revelation for me was their furniture showroom, with its contemporary mix of materials, color and design. It would be easy (and expensive) to outfit a home shopping here.


I like the luxe feel of this space: marble and wood, brass and yellow-gold, checkered rug. It is very Italian sensibility.

Guest arm chair and Poliform Wall system

The Guest arm chair was definitely a favorite of mine, as it is physically and visually comfortable. I also love the Wall system that integrates its own light source.


Dama side table by Poliform

Drama side table creates the right balance of function and form.


POLIFORM SKIP storage system furniture detail

This view of the Skip storage system shows a mix of materiality that is important to make modern interiors feel warm and interesting: fabric wall panels combine with charred wood walls, metal wall system, and the wood screen outside.

The Cheese table might not be that practical, but it is cool and fits the blog theme nicely.

The Cheese table might not be that practical, but it is cool and fits the blog theme nicely.

Big Bug Bed by Poliform detail

I would have a hard time getting out of the Big Bug bed on the weekends.

An unexpected find was the opulent Meissen showroom, off the main shopping street, tucked into a renovated private home. Oh the splendors of money and good taste.

Meissen table, chairs and lamp

Meissen table detailing

Meissen china rests on a porcelain inlay produced by a chemical reactions in the firing process.

Meissen Shoroom

Meissen fireplace detail

Porcelain and metal fireplace surround.

Close to our hotel was the Poltrona Frau showroom. I was never a big fan on the company over the years, but this may have been because the pieces that I saw in San Francisco didn’t tell a cohesive story. That changed in Milan. I loved the design of the pieces, with a mix that is urban, contemporary and fresh.


This bookcase would look great in a high-rise apartment.

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This is one of my favorite tables…it works due to the contrasting materials.

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David Bjørngaard, October 2015


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