Milan: Design spotting in Brera

I considered sharing my recent travels in chronological order, but with my #blago2014 travel buddies Jillian and Judith getting a head start on our adventures at this year’s Salone del Mobile, I decided it would be more fun to blog about Milan alongside them. Won’t it be interesting to see four different sides of the same story? Mine begins in the impossibly stylish district of Brera.

Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 Brera Design District

Populated by designer names, elegant boutiques and impeccably dressed residents, Brera is a hotbed of activity of Milan’s very own Design Week.

Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 Brera

Brera opens its polished, darkened doors to the masses during Salone del Mobile. It was an incredible experience to just wander around, popping in and out of upscale shops and showrooms, swept up in an Italian-designed lifestyle that 99% of us can only ever admire from afar.

On the fringes of Brera is 10 Corso Como, the iconic concept store and cafe beloved by Milan’s citizens of style.

Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 10 Corso Como cafe

Done in a uniquely Milanese mix of boldness and opulence, everything at 10 Corso is breathtaking, whether taken in all together…

Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 10 Corso Como interior

or piece by piece.

Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 10 Corso Como black and white

Oh, yes: the price tags are breathtaking too, although you can take home affordable versions of the store’s signature black-and-white patterns, as wrapping paper and tote bags. For those with a more modest budget, the design wonderland High Tech is a short walk away and is equally fun to explore.

Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 Brera neighborhood

This girl looks like she would fit in at 10 Corso Como, no? By the way, it’s worth mentioning that Salone del Mobile is prime people-watching time, with all the design folk swanning around the city.

Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 Hay pop-up shop

Aside from beloved institutions like 10 Corso Como, Brera was also a temporary home for visiting brands and their pop-up shops, such as Danish furniture designer Hay. I’ve only ever seen Hay online (though they recently opened a store in Amsterdam), so this was a real treat for me!

Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 Hay pop-up shop

I love Hay’s approach to color and pattern—totally different from the Italian design enveloping us that weekend, but no less elegant or appealing.

Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 Hay hangers

Case in point: Hay can make even wire hangers covetable, even if we all know how they’re the worst thing for clothes.

Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 Hay minimarket pop-up

Hay’s pop-up store featured a Minimarket: a colorful curated selection of small goods ranging from €19 tea towels to €1 pens. I may have gone a leeeetle bit crazy here.

Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 Hay Minimarket

All I know is that where the Japanese are stocking up on stationery is where I want to be!

Update: Check out Judith’s blog for a closer look at the Hay Minimarket

Lovely comments:

  1. Beautiful pics!!
    and loved this post a lot!
    keep them coming ;)

  2. So much fun to see & read your part of the trip, Deepa. And no wonder why you went a little crazy at Hay, their stuff is so good! You “must” definitely check out their Amsterdam store some time, because they have even more beautiful things… Can’t wait to discover more of “your” Blago! xx

  3. Don’t you love how my sweater and Judith’s bag coordinate with the store sign? Now THAT is design. Love these shots!