Design trade events have been back with a vengeance in 2022, making up for lost time with inspirational exhibitions across the globe!

The 60th edition of the Milan International Furniture Fair took place in June, with the world’s design metropolis once again inspiring through remarkable creativity. Closer to home, Decor + Design and the Australian International Furniture Fair (AIFF) returned to Australia’s design capital of Melbourne in July 2022. With 8000+ trade visitors over four days, Australia’s No.1 Interiors Trade Event featured the latest beautiful collections from leading Australasian exhibitors across indoor and outdoor furniture, soft furnishings, lighting, art and textiles.

There were some key design directions present in both Milan and Melbourne which look set to dominate the coming year.


Sustainable design has become a major focus in the design world and will only become more sophisticated, with the quality of sustainable furniture higher than it’s ever been.

M + Co Living exhibited for the first time at Decor + Design in 2022 and impressed with a chic and stylish in-house collection. They are also the Pacific distributor of the Gus* Modern brand; sustainable furniture that combines comfort and high style with low environmental impact.

The Gus* Modern Vegan AppleSkin™ Leather sofa was a favourite with Decor + Design visitors, where it was on display at the Design Matters National Sustainability Hub.

Vegan AppleSkin™ Leather Sofa, M + Co Living

Vegan AppleSkin™ Leather is a new, eco-friendly upholstery material that offers an exciting new option for customers searching for a quality alternative to leather. Formed by upcycling discarded fruit fibre into a durable covering that retains the classic aesthetic of natural leather, the material is a standout. Designed and manufactured in Italy, the material was created to re-purpose the food remnants of the country’s apple orchard and juicing industries, and to answer a global call for an alternative to natural leather.

Sustainability and durability were everywhere at Milan Design Week, such as at the Urban Matter(s) exhibition. Often they were addressing long-standing challenges in design recycling, such as zips on cushions and covers. One of our favourite innovations was from the YKK brand, which launched a series of NATULON® recycled zips made with ECONYL® regenerated nylon, composed entirely of nylon waste.


A major theme in Milan was respect and empathy for nature, as well as the value of craftsmanship and the use of raw natural materials or recycled ‘found objects’.

In Melbourne, the VIVID Design Awards are always a highlight at Decor + Design, now in their 19th year. Australia’s longest running competition for emerging designers, the awards program shines a light on fresh talent across Furniture, Lighting, Object, Colour and Concept Design.

Marlo Lyda won the 2022 VIVID Judge’s Choice Award with the gorgeous Remnants Collection. Normally, small or cracked pieces of stone are deemed a nuisance or discarded. In Remnants Collection, these imperfections are collected and coaxed back into the limelight, forming coffee and side tables. The restored stones sit atop custom-made frames, bound by meticulously wrapped copper.


Bouclé has been everywhere the past few years. The French word refers to a looped, nubby style of yarn, as well as the fabric that can be woven from it and is famously used in Chanel jackets.

The high-texture textile adds depth and interest to interiors and has been particularly popular in neutrals and off-white. Bouclé became more multi-faceted in 2022, seen in deeper colours such as rust and citrine.

The Fratelli Boffi stand at Milan Design Week 2022

At Milan’s Salone del Mobile, the Fratelli Boffi stand was perhaps the perfect ode to bouclé, with rusts, purples and greens all working together in perfect harmony. The materials also had a more refined texture than previous incarnations.

In Melbourne, Decor + Design favourites Darcy & Duke had a hit with their burnt orange boucle armchairs (centre, below).

Darcy & Duke’s stand at Decor + Design 2022


Curves have been making waves in sofa design. Sharper, minimalist lines have been replaced by armchairs and sofas that cocoon in a comforting embrace. At the Australian International Furniture Fair (AIFF), there were a number of strong curved pieces from major furniture brand HTL.

2022 curved armchair and sofa from HTL.


Major colours in Milan and Melbourne this year included oatmeal, coffee, rust, burnt orange and many shades of green.

A hero colour at both shows was ‘Tuscan Yellow’ – a bold, bright, hopeful colour that was used sparingly but to great effect in standout pieces. We love this yellow pendant light (left) from Cromwell Australia.


Geo-surfaces, either natural stone or mineral-inspired prints, were everywhere in Milan. Sicis had a spectacular display at their stand – featured in the top image for this article.

There are many decisions at play when it comes to designers and architects sourcing the right stone for a project. A beautiful aesthetic is important but also needs to be supported by durability and sustainability.

AC Stone‘s ability to tick all of the above is fast making the group a leading supplier of engineered quartz stone and porcelain products for Australian interiors. Their stand at Decor + Design was buzzing with visitors, impressed by the quality and versatility of their products. 

AC Stone’s stand at Decor + Design 2022.

Decor + Design and the Australian International Furniture Fair (AIFF) will be back at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre from 13 – 16 July 2022. Register your interest now to receive show updates, as well as the latest news and design from the world of interior design.