Everything was ready. The tote bag, the ethical aluminum water bottle, a snack and a couple of books to read during the subway ride. Milan, a spring day that has just begun. The Salone del Mobile began, and I felt happy. My friends know it, when it comes to design, I am always among the first to arrive. That morning the streets of the center were more crowded than ever: after all, the design week always brings a lot of vitality, between the fair and all the Fuorisalone events.
Once I pass the entrance controls, I let myself be swept away by the immensity of the white and eclectic space of Rho Fiera. I walk on the red carpet that indicates the path, and everything around me seems immensely large.
Credit: Salone del Mobile
I visit the first pavilions with great curiosity and interest. Lamps, tables, chairs and armchairs, sideboards, bookcases and other furnishing accessories made with the most disparate materials. I make a creative journey among the most curious products, I talk with some designers, I take photos and I collect catalogs to browse through calmly during my break. I drink a coffee at the bar out in the open air, at a time when a song goes off on the radio that makes me smile. The bartender dances to the rhythm while preparing a juice. The people around me seem to enjoy this sunny and design day. The Salone always manages to give me a unique energy.
Arriving at Hall 8, I go up the escalator and find myself at a stand that I don’t remember having visited before. Bontempi Casa. I know the brand, but I had never stopped at one of their stands at the fair. The image from outside strikes me immediately: the arches are large, have a wide range, and remind me of the typical housing structures of Neoclassicism in the post-Roman period. The neutral colors of the walls impress me with their elegance and simplicity: powder pink and dove gray, a combination that I have always loved in sophisticated design. Chic, but at the same time welcoming.
The Bontempi Casa stand, Hall 8, booths A25 B24
I enter the stand and immediately feel at home. There are green plants resting on the shelves of the bookcase – it looks like a garden, warm light chandeliers, soft velvet leather chairs and armchairs, tables with open books, a reception with smiling girls in uniform. One immediately perceives the elegant but fresh style of the company. There are a lot of people, customers, sector employees, curious onlookers, design enthusiasts like me. I touch the blue petroleum velvet of an armchair with my hand and recognize the high quality of the material. Beside me, journalists are doing video interviews with some designers. A few steps further, my attention is caught by a group of curious onlookers around a table. There is an artist who paints. They explain to me that this is an ad hoc event, during which the professional illustrator colors with his watercolors drawings made by him depicting the new Bontempi Casa products. What a beautiful idea, to return to craftsmanship in small gestures such as designing and coloring a design product, it is precisely what I think we need today. I choose the design of a refined writing desk with a round mirror, that I see live in the next room.
Vanity desk, lacquered steel structure, Supermarble top, wooden drawer. With integrated mirror and light
The modular steel bookcase that runs through the corridor is my favorite piece. A perfectly linear, harmonious, infinitely reproducible design. The shelves and dividers are different: in wood and crystal, they alternate and create a remarkable artistic composition, to which is added the contemporary freshness of the green plants placed above and all around. I suddenly feel transported to the patio of a large family home.
The details of the tables on display are truly unique: one of these has a peculiar diamond cut in the structure of the legs that intersect with a scratch-resistant glass top. Another solid wood table – in natural walnut – is covered with offcuts of fabrics and color charts that hypnotize me for their liveliness.
Millennium XXL table in solid century-old walnut structure in lacquered steel
A pretty glass food trolley reminds me for a moment of the collectible pieces of the antique maison: the vintage twist always gives something emotional to the design objects. And when combined with modern style, it’s definitely the best.
Chic trolley, lacquered steel structure, glass tops
Small lamps in processed glass hang from the ceiling and look like elegant decorations. There are many mirrors, round and oval, that illuminate and give even more space to the stand. A comfortable armchair next to a small table seems to look at me and tell me “just sit here, just relax”. Visitors seem satisfied, welcomed and guided within the Bontempi Casa world by agents and hostesses. I like everything about this stand. I feel good vibes. I take a catalog and continue my tour.
Pica sideboard, Kito table and Tondo mirror