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Furniture design has been advancing; for some time now, heading towards a more natural place of comfort – both visual and functional. The 2017 Salone displayed this movement at its best, and for Collage‘s Mark Pheloung, the experience was one that will be translated into the New Zealand market in the coming weeks.

He’s been going to the Milan show every year for the past three decades and has witnessed the industry shape and change. This year, it was the subtlety of form and comfort that caught his attention.

Currently in Vogue

“What was evident was a continuing softness, both visually in terms of colours and tones, but also in the continued use of timbers,” Mark says. “The timber being used is continuing to deepen in tone creating a raw, natural yet soft aesthetic. Beautiful finishes in copper, steel and bronze are also being utilised to complement the timber.

“Bright colours are well gone, with deep pastels the focus, especially deep greens, blues and browns. “There are no sharp, clean colours anymore; they are all softer tones.”

Furniture design has been advancing; for some time now, heading towards a more natural place of comfort – both visual and functional. The 2017 Salone displayed this movement at its best, and for Collage‘s Mark Pheloung, the experience was one that will be translated into the New Zealand market in the coming weeks.

He’s been going to the Milan show every year for the past three decades and has witnessed the industry shape and change. This year, it was the subtlety of form and comfort that caught his attention.

Currently in Vogue

“What was evident was a continuing softness, both visually in terms of colours and tones, but also in the continued use of timbers,” Mark says. “The timber being used is continuing to deepen in tone creating a raw, natural yet soft aesthetic. Beautiful finishes in copper, steel and bronze are also being utilised to complement the timber.

“Bright colours are well gone, with deep pastels the focus, especially deep greens, blues and browns. “There are no sharp, clean colours anymore; they are all softer tones.”

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Feel, Functionality and Durability

Along with the visual softening, functionally, the focus is more on comfort than it has ever been before, particularly in lounge and dining furniture. Large, soft, deep seats are being favoured this year, and traditional leather finishes have been surpassed by soft finishes that offer a velvet-feel. “This is something that is really developing as people still want the versatility and durability of leather, but with the soft finish,” Mark says. 

In regards to kitchenware and tabletops, the use of ceramics is developing, with ceramic materials becoming increasingly effective at replicating stone or marble. “Ceramics are scratch resistant and incredibly hardy but can also provide that luxurious, natural element with various finishes.

“What we’re seeing is a clear theme: it’s about natural materials, and a natural feel. It’s about feeling comfortable in your environment, but that is an all-encompassing comfort, both visually and physically.”

Feel, Functionality and Durability

Along with the visual softening, functionally, the focus is more on comfort than it has ever been before, particularly in lounge and dining furniture. Large, soft, deep seats are being favoured this year, and traditional leather finishes have been surpassed by soft finishes that offer a velvet-feel. “This is something that is really developing as people still want the versatility and durability of leather, but with the soft finish,” Mark says. 

In regards to kitchenware and tabletops, the use of ceramics is developing, with ceramic materials becoming increasingly effective at replicating stone or marble. “Ceramics are scratch resistant and incredibly hardy but can also provide that luxurious, natural element with various finishes.

“What we’re seeing is a clear theme: it’s about natural materials, and a natural feel. It’s about feeling comfortable in your environment, but that is an all-encompassing comfort, both visually and physically.”


environment, but that is an all-encompassing comfort, both visually and physically.”

Italian Designed Furniture in New Zealand

Mark started Collage about 35 years ago as a platform to bring international designer brands into New Zealand. It continues with this aim, importing the latest furniture, and distributing only brands that are exclusive to Collage. Collage works with eight Italian designers, and has done for some time.

“Because we have such good relationships with these companies, they are receptive to altering products to suit us and the New Zealand marketplace, as well as creating bespoke and customised pieces, which is something that many others can’t do in New Zealand with international brands.”


environment, but that is an all-encompassing comfort, both visually and physically.”

Italian Designed Furniture in New Zealand

Mark started Collage about 35 years ago as a platform to bring international designer brands into New Zealand. It continues with this aim, importing the latest furniture, and distributing only brands that are exclusive to Collage. Collage works with eight Italian designers, and has done for some time.

“Because we have such good relationships with these companies, they are receptive to altering products to suit us and the New Zealand marketplace, as well as creating bespoke and customised pieces, which is something that many others can’t do in New Zealand with international brands.”

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Collage offers a design service and works both with designers and architects and its products are available through a variety of stockists. 

Visit Collage on ArchiPro here or pop into one of their retailers to peruse the very latest in Italian design. The latest designs purchased at the Milan show will be available in New Zealand as soon as the boat gets here!

Collage offers a design service and works both with designers and architects and its products are available through a variety of stockists. 

Visit Collage on ArchiPro here or pop into one of their retailers to peruse the very latest in Italian design. The latest designs purchased at the Milan show will be available in New Zealand as soon as the boat gets here!

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