An interview with Lilli Hollein - curator and co-founder of the Vienna Design Week
Top kitchen cupboards and living room sideboards: the best allies to hide/display your home’s true nature
An essential object that helps you organize space and keep your home tidy, sometimes hiding everyday chaos. One thing is for sure: these 11 cupboards won’t fail to catch the eye
A selection of 11 hyper-creative, multi-faceted cupboards among top 2018 must-haves
Speaking of furniture, cupboards usually evoke childhood’s memories including grannies’ homes, cozy, comforting domestic atmospheres, drawers, shutters hiding secret, delicious treats. Like other kinds of good ol’ time furniture – vanity tables, screens, mirrors – cupboards have come back in fashion in interior décor, often updated through signature projects that have managed to give their vintage allure a more decidedly contemporary touch, experimenting with new materials and textures. Modern cupboards – featured here as a selection of pieces illustrating the best 2018 furnishing trends, and useful, as all cabinets, as indispensable storage units - are not only very functional but they also serve as decorative elements, thanks to an in-depth aesthetic research introducing new, original, hyper-creative cupboard models. Once more back in their showpiece role, both in the kitchen and in the living room, the latest design sideboards are more and more daring, featuring new versions with precious finishing and sophisticated colors.
The Matrioska Credenza by Piero Lissoni is inspired by the classic Russian nesting doll, a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside another. Designed for Knoll International, the Matrioska cupboard features a perfect balance of proportions, size and colors recalling the Modernist masters. An object conceived “as a container made to host other containers that host other things”. The Milanese designer uses this eccentric wordplay to describe this short sideboard, available in different combinations, translating the reference to the suggestive nesting doll into an actual credenza made up of different elements, either open or closed by shutters, offering a glimpse of what is stored inside without unveiling it completely, in a balanced succession of full and empty spaces. Besides the architectural quality of each Matrioska element, one of the sideboard’s strongpoints is represented by the employment of both traditional and modern materials, such as marble, wood, lacquer and glass.
Sunrise by Volpi Arreda is a collection of total wood sideboards offering a new, characterful interpretation of the traditional vintage cabinet, recalled in its decidedly symmetric shape (with a central set of drawers inserted between two shuttered containers) and natural material. A small, simple-shaped credenza that, thanks to its peculiar texture, transforms its two-dimensional outer layers into vibrant 3D surfaces. The company’s exceptional expertise in everything relating wood manufacturing, along with a sensitivity about the realization of sophisticated finishing, gives life to a credenza made of natural wood, combining artisanal research and formal elegance. This stunning piece of furniture is further enriched by details such as the wooden splayed feet and handles that, with their clear-cut shapes, provide a beautiful contrast to the movement of the wood’s pattern.
Elena Salmistraro’s aesthetic sensitivity, winner of the Salone del Mobile. Milano Award as 2017 best emerging designer, has conceived Polifemo, a high cupboard designed for De Castelli within the Tracing Identity project, a collaboration between the Treviso-based company and seven up-and-coming women designers, curated by Evelina Bazzo. This original new interpretation of the traditional storage cabinet – an essential piece of furniture in the homes of old – turns it from mere, somewhat austere container into a benevolent, friendly giant. Salmistraro employs a clear reference to the Cyclops from ancient Greek mythology, imaginary figures with an only eye, set in the middle of their brows. Just as these huge creatures, contemporary cupboards by the Milanese designer feature solid, metallic bodies and thin legs, watching the world with their big central eye turned into practical handles. Made of black iron and copper with a wooden core, Polifemo gives a new aesthetic dimension to the design cupboard, generating an eccentric play of masses and weights that produces a consciously pursued “visual/figurative displacement” – and thus becoming something of a scenic container, a decorative element of great evocative energy.
Andrea Lucatello for Cattelan Italia, on the other hand, decidedly worked on geometries. Kayak is a collection of living room, two/three doors sideboards with a clean, essential design. The perfect furniture piece for a minimalist or total white interior thanks to its soft-colored (white, mocha) or, conversely, strong-colored contrasting finishing (red, black, graphite grey). The sideboard’s natural material acquires a modern allure thanks to its lacquered shutters, becoming three-dimensional through a play of slanting surfaces creating different facets, and the combination with crystal, of which the internal shelves are made. A sculptural presence, Kayak recalls the minimalism of certain horizontally arranged totems.
Another wooden sideboard, born from the collaboration between Natuzzi Italia and polyhedric Australian artist Jamie Durie, definitely breaks the bidimensionality of traditional cabinets. Amber is a sideboard system featuring three-dimensionally shaped surfaces, an effect obtained by employing a sophisticated, high-tech manufacturing. A versatile furniture piece that can be employed as entrance sideboard, living room cabinet and even wardrobe in the sleeping quarters, matched with the master bed from the same collection. The Amber short cupboard takes inspiration from a hilly landscape molded by the hand of man through a series of scallop-edged intersections. In this way, a delicate balance between natural beauty and industrial handicraft is enclosed into a simple yet elegant object, enriched by peculiar details such as the absence of handles and the thin though extremely robust steel feet.
Vintage allure as a source of inspiration is, again, the key concept to Fusion, a collection of solid wood sideboards characterized by a simple design and a door that almost seems a piece of cloth in its beautiful, tactile texture. Its authors Cairoli&Donzelli have conceived this retro-style design piece, recalling 1950s furniture, for the brand Twils that has been producing padded textile beds, linen and complements for over two decades. Fusion is a modern sideboard with details that display a constant research for innovation along a strong artisanal tradition: for example, the tweed-like pattern on the doors, obtained through the unique manufacturing of assembled pieces of solid wood, and the employment of specific cutting systems in keeping with a method patented by Tabu, a Cantù (Lombardy)-based company established in 1927, leader in the wood-lacquering field and the development of state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies.
The real 2017 must-have, though, is represented by Miscredenza (an Italian wordplay for “misbelieving”, editor’s note). A new, highly decorative cupboard by Patricia Urquiola and Federico Pepe for Editions Milano. A collection of small architectural furniture featuring entirely new geometries made of colored glass. The series includes both cupboards and two customizable bookshelves, all of them striking for the uncommon ability to combine poetry, technique, colors and simplicity. The two designers said how the new cupboard per se has become a compact, quite precious yet customary object, and how its name is linked with the desire of “believing” once more in old, abandoned techniques, in a time-distant world and in one’s own daring ambitions. From this concept the idea of creating something inspired by the leaded glass technique was born, giving shape to an exquisitely contemporary expressive result, as demonstrated by the abstract graphics and the innovative use of said technique. By using many-colored glass, directly connected to the concept of light, transferring it on a small piece of home furniture, lending it an almost internal shine, the designers have created a new object of extraordinary beauty.
The new Self Bold collection by Giuseppe Bavuso for Rimadesio is, within the category of modern kitchen and living room cupboards, the piece we have selected for you as an elegant and functional furnishing solution, a clear reference to the classic cupboards of yore. This design series of modern storage units stands out for the essentiality and neatness of its shapes, its pure, linear surfaces. Its rigorous geometry, playing with orthogonal lines and the thickness of each material measured according to the kind of finishing, make for an elegant and sober piece of furniture. The peculiarities that make this modern cupboard a really unique creation? The top shelves, made of both thick marble and thin glass defining the space, and the leather-clad interiors.
Brick by Simone Cagnazzo for Caccaro is a new modular system composed of high, small and TV stand cupboards. A versatile, flexible system that offers the possibility to create a customized composition, equally suitable for the living room, bedroom and ancillary rooms. Maximum comfort is provided by technical solutions such as an open compartment housing electronic devices, push-pull opening, maximum versatility – not just from an aesthetic perspective thanks to the choice of differently finished units, essences and sizes, but also from a functional one. The lacquered metal base, equipped with adjustable feet, can be easily converted into an extremely comfortable bench, a real hymn to multitasking design.
An actual reinterpretation of vintage cupboards, the Shine collection of storage units by Andrea Parisio for Meridiani Editions is a new set of colorful, sophisticated and elegant cupboards. Precious lacquered surfaces, bronze mirrors, marbles and essences matched with brass create clearly outlined, graphically designed pieces of furniture, the perfect idea for daring interior decorators. Metallic accents lend a strong personality to this new design cupboard, a retro-style object with a timeless elegance.
For lovers of a more traditional style we have selected the Harald sideboard by G. Carollo for Porada. A Canaletto walnut wood sideboard with essential lines. Quintessentially minimalist. From the touch-opening doors to the handleless, push-opening drawers to the definition of the top-essential edges and wooden or fume-mirror finishing, this small sideboard elegantly manages to combine traditional, timeless forms with contemporary zeitgeist.
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