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With regional and international design fairs such as Milan’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile and INDEX International Design Exhibition having recently ended, we can now take a step back and reflect on the most hard-hitting trends for furniture design happening this year.
Functional furniture is breaking out of convention with innovative, cutting-edge forms and transforming into quirky, personalised pieces.
Many design companies present at INDEX 2013 offered complete bespoke services for most of the pieces, showing that today’s customer is expressing a willingness to reflect their individuality more distinctly than ever before.
In addition, environmentally- friendly products continued to shine in the lime-light with recycled and up-cycled objects and materials. Furthermore, furniture constructed of natural wood, like blonde or ash in raw wood textures cmmonly had Scandinavian twists, and equally dominated the platform.
“More so now than ever, designers are shunning the perfection of machine-made products and opting instead for sinuous lines and organic forms,” said interior designer, Pallavi Dean of Pallavi Dean Interiors.
“We are looking to create a more symbiotic relationship between the outdoors and indoors by taking cues from natural colour and texture palettes and form, ordering strategies like scale and proportion found in nature,”
Laura Bielecki, senior interior designer at GAJ noted: “The idea of sustainability (reuse, reduce, and recycle) and attention to global well-being has brought forward a newfound care of designers toward these more earth-centred pieces.”
Amongst the metals, polished brass and copper remain the sheen of choice for areas such as kitchen fittings, lighting and furniture detailing.
In addition to the nature-inspired trend, comes the “fun trend,” mixing positive imagery such as fruits, either as lighting or sculptural pieces, and bright splashes of colour, taking us back to times of fun and play.
Bielecki confirms that designing in a childish way is cost-effective, and reusing forgotten pieces can be exciting.
The quickly advancing integration of furniture and technology is another growing synergy which Commercial Interior Design repeatedly observed while attending the four day INDEX design fair in Dubai, UAE, such as the many marriages between seating and sound.
Paris’ well-known design fair, Maison et Object predicts this trend to be the most notable one, likely to leave the biggest impact on the evolution of furniture design this year.
“Materials and their performance are sketching out a future in which the senses and sensuality are combined,” the design show’s trend report noted.
INDEX’s exhibition director Frederique Maurell also added: “This year will include modern home automated technologies which are shaping new trends in the design sector.”
Tell us about your company?
Okamura was founded in 1945 in Japan. Since its inception, Okamura’s motto has been: “Quality pays for itself.” The company applies this philosophy throughout product development, production, sales, installation and even disposal for every Okamura product.
Okamura has established a company-wide quality control management system and environmental management system, with all of the production offices throughout Japan being ISO9001 certified and the Okamura Corporation fully ISO14001 certified. This ensures high quality products that are environmentally friendly and comply with international standards like GreenGuard.
What are your best selling products?
Our most popular product in the Middle East is the Contessa chair. Contessa is popular for its smart operation function, which enable users to control the seat height and the locking and releasing of the reclining.
What projects have you been involved in?
We have worked on projects around the world: Trenitalia in Italy, King David the Builder Kutaisi International Airport in Georgia, Zakum Development Company in UAE, Ministry of Interior in Saudi Arabia, and Qatar Petroleum in Qatar.
Okamura has unveiled new task seating Choral at NeoCon 2013. Choral is a mid-market task chair with high-end design and functionality. Offered in 3,520 variations, it can meet today’s modern work styles in almost any interior environment.
The Choral’s signature “U” frame masks the lumbar support mechanism, which allows the design to be unencumbered with dynamic lines that are pure and simple, allowing it to work in unison with most interior environments.
It’s also simple to use: the Choral uses a standardised design that allows options to cleanly integrate within the form and provide adjustment levers that are instinctively positioned under the seat for use without even looking.
The Choral is offered in 3,520 variations, and its features include mesh, fabric, leather, white or black body, polished aluminium, silver or black painted frame, extra high-back, high-back or mid-back, headrest, hanger and lumbar support, and 11 colours.
It also utilizes Okamura’s unique urethane Multiple Density Moulding technology and pivot suspension for a seamless gradation of the cushion in order to distribute weight evenly, reduce pressure points, and ultimately provide superior comfort.
Lastly, it’s sustainable, meaning the Choral Chair was developed under ISO 14001 standards, is GreenGuard Certified, 100% of the contents are recyclable, and it can be disassembled for repair and new updates.
SELVA Middle East
Tell us about your company?
SELVA Middle East LLC is a concept company providing high-end Italian furniture, accessories, lighting, fabrics, carpets, wallpaper, as well as interior design services, covering both retail business and hospitality. Established in 2005, SELVA Middle East LLC is a joint venture company between Al Naboodah Investment LLC and SELVA Spa, which has been leading Italian company for manufacturing, selling and exporting a wide range of high-quality furniture since 1968.
We are excited to announce that this autumn we are opening a new showroom at an exclusive location on SZR. Spanning across 1,200m2 and spread over two spacious floors, the new showroom will allow us to display the widest range of SELVA products and also products of our exclusive partners: Busnelli, SABA Italia, De Majo Lighting, Verpan, Vibieffe, BS and San Giacomo.
What projects have you completed?
SELVA Middle East has successfully undertaken a number of residential, commercial and hospitality projects all over the region. We have been working on some of the most exclusive private villas and apartments also on some remarkable projects, such as Marriott Hotel, Dubai; Grand Hotel, Dubai; Kempinski Hotel, Dubai; Kingdom Hospital, Riyadh; and Al Furjan Project, Dubai, just to name a few.
What sets you apart?
Creativity, variety, and traditional Italian handicraft lay at the essence of SELVA furniture. For more than 40 years, our craftsmen put all their knowledge, experience and affection in every single piece of furniture, bringing it to life. Just by looking at the creations, one sees immediately that they have been made from top-quality materials with meticulous precision rather than just being cranked out one after another. They radiate classic elegance and timeless beauty.
Thanks to brands appreciated worldwide, over the course of the years, SELVA Middle East has developed into a lifestyle provider with a focus shifting from the individual piece of furniture to the entire design concept with furniture, textiles, accessories and more.
Furthermore, highly qualified and trained members of the SELVA team are well known for assisting and providing our customers the best service, from design and selection to delivery and maintenance, with friendly yet professional approach.
Where do we find you?
Sheikh Zayed Road North, Exit 42 Dubai
Tel: +971 4 3411933
Tell us about your company?
Intermetal has been manufacturing furniture for the educational sector since 1992 and includes furniture for Early Learning, Classrooms, Universities, Libraries, Computer Labs, Office and Administration, and Cafeteria & Canteen. Since inception, Intermetal recognised that quality furniture has a positive effect on children’s health and development and that comfortable furniture increases concentration in the classroom. At Intermetal we realize that “one size does not fit all” and offer a range of adaptable furniture to suit varying heights, sizes and age groups. With technology developing at a rapid speed we continue to create furniture that is flexible, easy to arrange and that can respond well to the changing educational requirements.
We have recently launched COSMO, a versatile, moulded ergonomic chair collection manufactured from quality steel and high grade plastic. Available in a range of colours and bases, COSMO can be used on its own or coupled with a range of desk options. We have recently added the IF4261 classroom table manufactured from a sturdy, oval steel tube that is powder coated and treated for rust protection. The table top is available in three colours and is made from a solid, durable, high impact melamine mix.
What projects have you been involved in?
Intermetal has supplied many schools that include: GEMS Schools, Newton International Schools, Merryland, JSS International, Dubai International Academy, Abdulla Ali Al-Sharhan, Muscat International Private School, Dawha High School, CFBT, Nord Anglia Education, The American University of Sharjah, Sharjah University, Higher Colleges of Technology, Abu Dhabi University, Bahrain University, Buraimi College, Amity University, Heriot-Watt University, RAK Academy, and many more.
What sets you apart from your competitors?
As a furniture manufacturer we can monitor the entire process enabling us to control quality and lead times. Our plant covers an area of over 40,000m2 and is fully equipped with CNC Bending and Routing Machines, Robotized Welding, Powder Coating and Chrome Plating Lines, Upholstery and advanced Woodworking.