Charming version of a classic: To mark the 50th birthday of its storage unit “Componibili,” Kartell is launching a version for children in bright red and with a smiley face in place of the simple holes in the sliding elements.

Well stored: Where to put all your things?

Whether proudly presenting or skillfully concealing their contents, the new bureaus, sideboards and shelf units at the Milan Furniture Fair deserve our complete attention.
by Jasmin Jouhar | 4/11/2017

One of the most unpopular topics when it comes to furnishing is arguably how to skillfully store one’s possessions. For when the right spot for the dining table has been decided and the seating arranged, the tiresome question arises: Where shall we put all the stuff; the books, vases, plates, souvenirs and heirlooms? It’s a shame, in fact, because storage space is not simply a necessary evil. And how we store our belongings also says something about us. Some present their Japanese teapots as though in a museum, arrange photo books and antique first editions widely spaced on the bookshelf. Others in turn stuff their book collection, thrown together over the years, onto a far-too-small shelf – in two rows to save space. The drawers and compartments are so brimming over that most of the items disappear, never to be seen again. These people tend to favor ceiling-high fitted units that mercifully engulf everything from sports shoes to spare blankets.

The furniture industry is evidently aware of how mindsets can differ when it comes to creating order in one’s home and this year is offering a broad range of storage furniture, as is very much in evidence when wandering around the Salone del Mobile. For the home curators, De Padova, for example, offers a filigree shelving system by Studio MA/U that transforms every object into an exhibit. The minimalist “086” shelving by the Brothers Bouroullec for Cassina may not be practical, but is the ideal stage to present your favorite piece. Glass bureaus are also well suited as display cabinets in home museums. BD Barcelona for instance is presenting “Dalia” by Joel Escalona in Milan, whose wrought-iron ornamentation conceals nothing; indeed, it actually directs the gaze towards what is inside it.

For those who tend to be more chaotic we recommend inherently closed storage solutions that, in addition to the tidy impression they give, offer an additional advantage: The fronts of the cupboards, sideboards and bureaus provide plenty of space for design. With the product family “Ziqqurat” the in-house design team at Driade for instance proves that block stripes and floral patterns do not only look good on summer dresses. Spanish designer Jaime Hayon has designed the “Clown” cupboard for Ceasarstone, the manufacturer of quartz surfaces: The front of the unit is adorned by – yes, you’ve guessed it – a clown face, whose protruding ears serve as door handles. De Castelli has devoted its entire booth to the topic of storage – with various shelving systems and free-standing units. The sideboard “Elisabeth” with its pleated front by Nathalie Dewez is particularly well conceived.

Because, as always in life, most people are to be found bobbing somewhere between these extremes when it comes to organizing their possessions, the market offers an enormous range of more or less covered storage furniture that, with satin-finish glass, perforated panels or lattices, highlights the charm of almost, but not quite concealing the contents: for chaotic curators and the curatorially but also chaotically minded.

Italian manufacturer De Padova recently took over 75 percent of Danish label M/AU Studio and consequently also the refined steel-profile shelf system that transforms every object into an exhibit.
Simply and elegant: Piero Lissoni for Knoll International
Provides a fitting stage for your favorite piece: the new “086” shelving, designed by Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec for Cassina.
Italian designer Matteo Zorzenoni has staged an entire exhibition of new products for the Salone in collaboration with various firms. He realized the decoratively perforated unit “Oblò” together with Scapin.
Don’t ever lose your sense of humor: A clown face adorns this unit by Jaime Hayon for the manufacturer of quartz surfaces Ceasarstone. Pressing the protruding ears opens the doors.
Dutch company Baars & Bloemhoff is actually a materials specialist, yet for the Salone del Mobile the firm has commissioned young designers to create items of furniture for the second time now. Klaas Kuiken transformed sheet material into a sideboard and a cupboard with decorative relief.
This year De Castelli from Italy is devoting its entire trade-fair booth to storage furniture. French designer Nathalie Dewez has cloaked her free-standing unit “Elisabeth” in elegant, copper-colored pleating.
Nika Zupanc for her part plays it safe, giving each compartment of her “Longing Cabinet” for De Castelli its own lock complete with decorative key.
This new shelf system by Sweden’s Claesson Koivisto Rune and presented by Artifort exudes simple elegance. The name “Palladio” leaves no questions unanswered.
Closed fronts have one major advantage: They offer plenty of space for design, as shown by Driade’s “Ziqqurat.”
And closed fronts can be varied.
Spanish firm Sancal is showing the storage furniture family “Estante” by Juan Ibáñez: Perforated sliding doors and fabric side panels lend the pieces texture.
Joel Escalona has enveloped this glass sideboard for BD Barcelona in wrought-iron tendrils, nonetheless, “Dalia” hides nothing.
One of the finalists of the newcomer competition was a twenty-one of the Council for Design: the sideboard "Mido" by Rasmus Warberg.
Belgium’s Kewlox specializes in systems furniture. That may sound tedious, but the “Mist” collection by Julien Renault with its satin-finish fronts makes simplicity a pure pleasure.
Whether closed or open, that can be designed as well as the height of the shelf.
For all those who have nothing to hide: The "Worship Wardrobe" at Wallpaper Handmade
In "Tabernacle" by Giacomo Moor and Emmemobili, also Wallpaper Handmade, you can conceal everything conceivable and bring out only when necessary by unfolding. Integrated into it: a small table top and a luminaire.