The furniture branch is introducing items with natural stone affordable for the middle class, too
We bring back tidings of great joy from the Milan Trade Fair Salone del Mobile (April 09 – 14, 2019): First off, marble is being used in increasing measure for furniture. And second: an also increasing number of objects are priced for the middle class. We had reported on the interest in natural stone back in 2017 after our visit at the Milan fair and and again in 2018 after the IMM Cologne fair in Germany.
But now the trend has reached a new dimension: exhibitors at the Milan Fair were showing at least one item with integrated stone, bar a few.
We interviewed companies usually working with wood. They reacted with bewilderment at our questions stating: „But clients want stone.“
To be specific, the interest of the branch is restricted to marble – perhaps including onyx but not granite, slate in but as table top or in the infamous billiard table.
We saw little quartzite, and, if there was any at all, then merely as an accent.
It will be interesting to see if natural stone beyond marble can establish itself on this market.
Interesting, too, to note that many exhibitors were propagating table tops with marble décor which were, in fact, ceramic. Is fake stone siphoning off portions of the market once again?
We portend that the opposite is true: A large portion of real marble table tops are priced out the range of the middle class. Copies wet the taste of potential clients.
Ceramics are providing the marketing and paving the way for natural stone. Yet: when ceramic producers give their materials the names of genuine stones the natural stone sector must act against it.
There is a definite trend in design of marble furniture: often not the entire table top but only accents are made of marble. A mix of materials is very popular.
At the Stone Fairs this type of furniture made for the middle-class client are not shown. Only Xiamen has addressed this segment of the market.
Salone del Mobile, 2020, April 21 – 26
Photos: companies / Peter Becker
(06.05.2019, USA: 05.06.2019)