It’s not often that I sit through a presentation without taking notes and thinking about how I can share the highlights with people.

I have journalist genes in my jeans.

But I was so inspired during a presentation at Casa Spazio in Chicago  that I went into sponge mode and just took it all in. A brilliant panel of experts shared insights and design trends from Salone Internazionale de mobile (The Milan show of modern design).

Global traveler and  businessman Marco van velsen of Former (a furniture manufacturer in Italy)  and Scott Dresner of Dresner Design in Chicago  shared what they saw as trends and what I see as inspiring and exciting:

1. Space Saving Solutions:

I almost have to sing this one! I’ve been aware of the brilliant creations of a company named Clei for a few years now. Their brilliance seems to be continuing. There isn’t much that makes me happier than well designed, functional space. This niche’ is only going to get bigger and better.

2. Attention to detail:

If you look closely at the tables and consoles you see how the “feet” or “legs” look shallow from the front view and deep from the top view. Design details like this showed up in many furniture piece and cabinetry.

3. From "fashion" to "furniture":This something that I love following, since furniture and home decor are the "fashion" for your dwelling while "fashion" is the decor for your physical body.

Color translates.

Textures and adornments translate.

Line and design translate. And in one of the most straight forward examples, Dresner touts yellow as the “it” color. You’ll see that in retail fashion establishments as well.

4. Wood - Renewed. This interesting terminology shared by Dresner is different from "reclaimed". It's taking wood that is not necessarily recycled or being "re-used" but has different coloring than what we've been seeing the last several years. Featured were more medium wood tones, more grain and texture and changing grain directions within the same space.

5. Thin Skinned: We all know that thin is always in, but now it’s showing up in counter tops. According to Dresner, there’s a transition happening from the thick, substantial counter tops to a thinner, sleeker counter top.

6. Table Integration:  And tables are being integrated into spaces and designs. So there were lots of scenarios where a table existed, but not as a traditional, free-standing “dining room table” but more of a horizontal surface that could be multi-functional, which could include use as a dining surface.

7. Crazy patterns:  I’m thinking this isn’t going to see much penetration into the American market. Not that we’re conservative or boring. We’re just not as design adventurous and we don’t change things as frequently as they do on the other side of the pond.

And a special thanks goes to the River North Design District who coordinated this inspiring event.

So if you want to keep up with design trends and marketing  - please join me in the place where I share these insights - You’ll have immediate access to a “behind the scenes” session about the effect Google has on your Houzz profile. Then once every few weeks, something else interesting and fun will come across your screen.

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