'Last year it was all about the space, but this week it is much more about pieces,' says the Milanese design doyen Nina Yashar.
The inimitable art dealer opened her sprawling 1,500 sq m design 'warehouse', Nilufar Depot, during last year's Salone del Mobile and is again likely to steal the show with a stunning hybrid of antique, vintage and contemporary works which Yashar meticulously arranges in 'cinematic scenes'. Think retro-futuristic 'Chaise Maurice' armchairs by the Beirut-based david/nicolas design studio paired with the perfectly proportioned, limited edition brass and marble 'Blossom' floor lamp by Analogia Project, atop a vintage rug.
The words 'treasure trove' are often bandied about but the Depot offers a true master class in design. Much on show this week has been specially commissioned, from a trio of Massimiliano Locatelli's fluid 'Urmia' tables and abstract benches by Martino Gamper, to Italian architect Roberto Baciocchi's extraordinary 'Mirror Room', featuring Milanese artist Roberto Giulio Rida's extravagant indigo blue 'Mediterraneo' cabinets. It's not all Italian: we also spotted ethereal pendant lights by American designer Lindsey Adelman, Belgian designer Maarten De Ceulaer's elegant pile of leather briefcases, and the British creative Laura Bethan Wood's 'Ring' chandelier.
The highlight, however, is the intriguing collection of custom furniture and lighting by the young up-and-coming Italian designer Federico Peri, whose integrated 'Biblioteca Itinerante' seat with built-in shelves introduces a fresh take on industrial form.
'I am obsessed by his idea of building a house with all the same design pieces like Jean Prouvé. The unity of it is very beautiful,' says Yashar.
The gallerist admits she is equally obsessed with Loctatelli's new 3D printed table, created using a machine designed by a NASA engineer to build houses on the moon.
'This is what Salone should be. Not things you've already seen or that remind you of something from last year. It is about surprising people,' she says. Mission accomplished.