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Milano Salone 2015

Milano Salone is an international furniture exhibition held every April in Milan, Italy. It is mainly an exhibition for furniture, but recently it has expanded to include fashion, art and others. The exhibition is held not only at Fiera, but all around Milan, and attracts people from around the world.
This year more than 300,000 people visited, and like last year, modern designs with a hint of classic revival were seen. Classical styles like the high back chair or tufted sofa and designs that add curves to modern minimal designs, creating elegance and lightness were seen. Minotti introduced a new sofa, gently curved through its backrest to the armrests. Designers created this modern-classical world was by coordinating chandeliers, antique furniture, and using black chrome or bronze finishes influenced by recent years. Many brands such as Cassina, B&B Italia and FLEXFORM revived past designs and introduced new materials and colors. One could say that each brand looked to its tradition or history.
Detail and texture of the feather were another key theme. Many brands used nubuck leather and many variations on leather, such as embossed or printed leather were also seen. Especially, Baxter used outstanding printed leather for its upholstery.
Geometric patterns, stitching, and piping materials added depth to flat modern expressions and created a luxurious ambiance.

Molteni&C/B&B Italia/MAXALTO/baxter/Minotti/PROMEMORIA
Moooi/FLEXFORM/Cassina/ARMANI / CASA/Living Divani


S Residence

The owner couple requested a spacious living room and dining room because they often have guests. They purchased a large penthouse apartment built for foreigners and asked Kenichi Yokobori and Tomoko Komata of Yokobori Architect Firm to renovate the space. In the original plan, public zones such as the living room and dining room were positioned on the south side of the space and private zones such as the bedrooms and bathroom were positioned on the north. The kitchen, laundry room, and family dining area were positioned in the center of the apartment, and surrounded the entrance. The center space was divided into small spaces and the kitchen was closed off.
When renovating, the kitchen was expanded and glass doors were added between the living dining room to make the room visible from the kitchen. Shelves hiding the sliding doors were created on both sides of the doors; the doors can be closed or opened depending on preference.
The family dining area now has a bench seat and a table like an American diner. The walls between the kitchen and family dining area were taken down and shelves were added. In the new plan, the living dining room, kitchen and family dining area are connected in a circle from the entrance.
To enhance the decorative and art pieces the couple has collected both Japan and elsewhere, the tone of the interior was kept white and many shelves were created in various places to place art. A unique and luxurious space was created through the positioning and designing of the doors and furniture to make the whole space symmetrical.


Nicolas Residence

The house of interior designer Gwenael Nicolas is a renovated flat on the top floor of a 3-story building. In the original plan, the closet and toilet were at the end of the entrance hallway and the space was divided into east and west sides. After taking down all the walls, the toilet in front of the entrance obstructed the view and was taken out. The walls that divided the space east to west were also taken down. Now, one can see directly access from the living and dining rooms to the children's room and the main bedroom on the other side.
Nicolas believes that "bright ceilings make rooms feel spacious" so she created a slit in the floor of the living and dining room and placed a light in there that shines upward. The sliding doors leading to the entrance were finished with mirrors to reflect both the art and light. The walls and ceilings were painted in light grey and the solid ash flooring was painted and shined repeatedly to look grey.
What is most impressive about this space is the black kitchen placed in the bright and spacious living dining room. For the kitchen counter, hammered finish granite was used. The ceiling was finished with black stucco, and black-painted birds eye maple was used for the kitchen walls and doors. The bathroom counter and floor were finished with the same granite stone as the kitchen to create the sense of one bathing outside in the moonlight. Because the bath is a unit bath, stones cannot be used, so tile that resembles granite was used, making a bath that does not totally look like a unit bath.


T Residence

15 years ago the owners purchased an apartment in a newly built low-rise building because of its unique loft design and a slanted ceiling. The original design did not fit with the owner's lifestyle and they asked architect Hiroshi Seki to renovate the apartment. Seki placed importance on creating a comfortable living space for them and their two cats. The toilet was originally between the bedroom and kitchen. Seki moved the toilet, bathroom and powder room so they are all in one place at the south side of the apartment. In addition, by removing the wall between the kitchen and the bedroom, Seki created a circuit in the house.
Seki kept the original high slanted ceiling of the living and dining room, but increased the ceiling of the entrance and hallway from 2200 mm to 4500mm. Seki originally planned to create a staircase to the loft from the west side bedroom, but a concrete structure which was not shown on the plan prevented this. So, he planned a new design, in which the loft and the bedroom are connected openly on each of the floors.
The bathroom, once dark, was replaced with mosaic tile walls and a glass window. This window not only draws bright light into the bathroom, but it also provides a view to the outside when sitting in the bathtub. The adjacent powder room space was also finished with the same mosaic tile. The bedroom, bathroom and powder room are gently connected and feel "roomy" because of the glass window.


Renovation Article

Recently, in Japan, renovations have become a popular alternative to buying a new home. Renovations are mainly divided into two categories. The first category is a "full renovation" where floorplans and finishes other than structure are totally changed. The other category is "partial renovation" where only finishes, appliances or necessary spaces are changed. Partial renovations are recommended for families whose lifestyle is going to change or who have limited budgets or time. Because there are more restrictions in an apartment than in a house, it is recommended to confirm what can be renovated in advance.
When changing floorplans, it is best to understand the original plan in detail. It is especially necessary to be familiar with the original piping and potential for water leakage when planning to renovate the kitchen, bathroom or toilets. Also, when changing kitchen or laundry appliances, advanced planning is necessary because Japanese and foreign items have different sizes and voltage.
Just by changing finishes can drastically change the ambiance of a space. When renovating, it is important to understand the structure of the building. Depending on the structure, the selection of materials and the method of construction will be different. In apartments, there are often restrictions. For example, floor finishes must comply with sound insulation levels of the apartment or materials must comply with fire regulations. Therefore, it is recommended to ask a professional or material manufacturer for advice.



SALVATORI is a stone brand founded in 1945 in an area called Pietrasanta, in Tuscany, Italy. Pietrasanta is known as an area where good quality ancient marble can be excavated. It is said that even Michelangelo often came here to find beautiful white marble.
There are still many stone factories or quarries in Pietrasanta but SALVATORI is perhaps the most unique of them all. Other than its headquarters and showrooms in Pietrasanta, SALVATORI opened showrooms in Milan, Zurich (Switzerland) and Santa Fe (United States). Recently, the brand has grown dramatically because of continuous orders from furniture and kitchen brands and famous designers. SALVATORI is in demand because of its collection of variations of natural stones from around the world and its high-level finishing techniques that create a fine impression. Gabriele Salvatori is the third CEO and also the art director; he researches and develops original machines to create unique impressions of the stones.
"Lithoverde" which SALVATORI announced in 2010, expresses what the brand calls "stone innovation." Rock remains created from cutting the rocks are piled on top of each other to look like one stone. The stones are also sliced and connected like plywood. SALVATORI won the ADI Compassod'Oro award in June 2014 for the beauty and charm it created from different sizes, colors and stone patterns and for its impact on the environment.


Companion Animals Article

Owning a pet has become increasingly popular in Japan for quite some time. In Tokyo, most pets are now kept inside the house, including large dogs like Golden Retrievers and Siberian huskies. 20 years ago, however, most dogs were kept tied up in front of the house and lived outside in kennels year-round. In Europe, dogs were considered important partners in hunting and raising sheep, and it has long been traditional to own dogs there. The concept of owning pets is newer in Japan and still not fully understood. "Loving" one's pet depends on how the owner feels, but "caring" for a pet or supporting a pet's health for mental and physical happiness is different. In this issue, we look at how to live with animals and still maintain the animal's quality of life. We examine this from the perspective both of the international pet welfare concept "5 Freedom" and German laws that protect animal rights. Living with a pet is not only about design-planning or material finishes of the house; training, communication and nutrition for pets is also important.


About 2015年07月

2015年07月にブログ「I'm home (NEWS / ENGLISH)」に投稿されたすべてのエントリーです。新しい順に並んでいます。




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