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Dean Larkin Explores New Design Trends at Salone del Mobile 2023

Salone del Mobile in Milan, Italy took place at the end of April, and I was and I was able to attend thanks to the generosity of FLorim, an Italian manufacturer of large-format porcelain stoneware tiles and slabs who has been in business for 60 years.. This annual furniture event is one of the most important events in the design world, and it was exciting to see all of the latest trends and innovations. Many of these new design trends highlighted the design world’s increasing commitment to sustainability, which is something that is obviously important to us at Dean Larkin Design. Some of the exhibitors we saw debuted versatile and customized seating with a variety of color and material combinations. There was also a focus on tech-enabled furniture at Salone del Mobile 2023. This included furniture with built-in speakers, lights, and other smart features. I saw sound-absorbing fabrics and tables and a completely digital water distribution system that offers hot or cold water that could be plain or carbonated.

History of Salone del Mobile

Salone del Mobile was first held in 1961 and has since grown into a global event that attracts over 300,000 visitors from around the world. The fair showcases the work of over 2,000 exhibitors from over 30 countries. This year’s event was the first I have attended since the pandemic, and I found many, many new offerings that I was excited about. Below are a few of my favorites.

Highlights of Salone del Mobile 2023

Below are a few design highlights from Salone del Mobile 2023 that I found the most remarkable.


The show included a lot of cool lighting debuts. These were all interesting and one trend that we saw in many of the exhibits was lighting with leather hangers. These are a couple of examples.

brown toned opaque globes with light rods held on leather straps - New lighting trend at Salone del Mobile 2023- Dean Larkin Design
large brown toned opaque half-globes on floor - New lighting trend at Salone del Mobile 2023- Dean Larkin Design

Baxter Furniture

Baxter debuted some interesting furnishings with color, material and style combinations that I loved. Some of the seating colors were aquamarine, pink and electric blue, which you can see in the chair pictured. I really liked the lighting, which also featured the leather hangers, and we hope to incorporate these into our Larkhill project.

Brown wall with baxter logo - new trends at Salone del Mobile - Dean Larkin Design
Baxter leather chair with blue-green cushion - new trends at Salone del Mobile - Dean Larkin Design
Baxter royal blue chair on orange carpet - new trends at Salone del Mobile - Dean Larkin Design
Baxter lighting fixture made with leather straps over marble table- new trends at Salone del Mobile - Dean Larkin Design

GRAFF Faucets

GRAFF is a company that is actively green, which again you know is something we value. GRAFF has implemented ISO 14001, (an international standard for effective environmental management systems) and meet strict conservation standards. I really liked some of the faucets they debuted this year, which had fun colors and shape combinations.

Salone del Mobile 2023 was a great opportunity to see the latest trends in design and the event really showcased how designers are using their creativity to address challenges like sustainability.

FLorim Visit

GRAFF faucets with columnular bases, flattened spouts brightly colored with marble type large spheres on top - new design trends at Slone del Mobile 2023 - Dean Larkin Design
Group of people invited to visit FLorim factory in Italy-Dean Larkin Design

While on this trip to Italy, I was also invited to go behind the scenes at the FLorim factory. FLorim manufactures high quality contemporary home appliances that I love. So FLorim took me and some other designers to dinner and then the factory, which was amazing. The factory was over half a million square feet, and they only had about 28 people working because things were so automated: like a ballet of machines running around. The facility was so clean you could eat off the floor, and solar powered.
One of the most impressive things we saw at the factory was a kiln that was 150 meters long that went up to 1200 degrees centigrade. We were able to look through a viewing opening to see the heat. We also saw the new porcelain products they debuted at Salone del Mobile. I love natural stone, but porcelain does have some health benefits over real stone.

Compacta porcelain sheet with earth toned striations by FLorim - Dean Larkin Design
Group walking through FLorim factory beside gigantic kiln in Italy - Dean Larkin Design
Viewer hole on kiln with heat visible - FLorim factory tour - Dean Larkin Design

Want to see more of the trip to Italy?

Dean Larkin Designs Unique Contemporary Homes in So Cal

Our architectural design company, established in 1999, maximizes the intrinsic potential of a location while meeting each client’s specific lifestyle, business or institutional needs. Dean Larkin is very familiar with both historical and contemporary homes in So Cal and the entire Los Angeles area, and the firm endeavors to achieve a complexity that is multi-layered with an effortless elegance. For a sustainable design that is modern and innovative, unlocks your location’s innate potential by making specific use of light, views and more, and is uniquely designed for the way you live, contact Dean Larkin for a consultation.