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Tag Archives: Milan Design week

Samsung 24 hr. Kitchen at Milan’s Fuorisalone 2019

Last week I attended Milan’s Fuorisalone 2019. It was the start of Milan Design week.

I was invited by Samsung to experience their 24hr. kitchen, a concept kitchen at the centre for our busy lifestyles and increasingly round the clock needs.

I was impressed to see how innovative kitchen technology and design came together at Samsung 24hr. Kitchen. Flat style appliances flushed against the kitchen furniture gave them a seamless feel.

We all know that the kitchen nowadays is no longer at the periphery, instead it has become the heart of our homes. I was eager to explore how Samsung addressed this new trend.

There were 3 kitchens: The Morning, Day and Evening kitchens, each with their own integrated personality and working aspect. A 60metre table ran through these 3 spaces.

The tables showcased creative food concepts by Laila Gohar. Wheat was the focus of the Morning kitchen, tomatoes in the Day kitchen and sugar in the Evening kitchen.

Each room had tables showcasing the food in their raw and then the transformed states from using the appliances. The Morning room exhibited wheat and breads. There were also butter sculptures for us to spread from onto our breads. Samsung 24 hr kitchen Dual Cook Flex oven The Dual Cook Flex oven baked the wheat into bread.

What I liked about the Dual Cook Flex oven, was its ability to cook two different dishes using two different temperatures at the same time.

You could even flex the oven door open for the top shelf without affecting the cooking below. This oven would definitely fit in with my fast pace ‘on the go’ lifestyle. The Day room showed how fresh tomatoes could be transformed into sun-dried tomatoes, gelée and dehydrated tomatoes. Samsung 24 hr kitchen Family Hub fridge The Samsung Family Hub refrigerator was used to keep the tomatoes fresh.

Did you know it had IoT (Internet of Things) capabilities too? You could post photos from your phone straight onto its digital screen.

I always found fridge magnets annoying because they scratched the fridge. With the Family Hub, I would be able to transfer photos onto the fridge without marks.

You could also see the contents of your fridge on the Family Hub screen, a handy feature for when food shopping right?

Next to the Family Hub fridge was the Virtual Flame Technology cook top. This cooktop had LED lights that looked like flames, changing in intensity with heat strength.

It was a great feature because it allowed for better control whilst cooking. The Samsung Evening kitchen had matching Black Stainless Steel appliances. Here we got to see how sugar was transformed into a variety of candies.

Did you know that conventional two door fridge freezers had the same air circulating through them because they shared an evaporator? This apparently meant that the odours from the freezer could pass through to the fridge. Fish odoured candy doesn’t sound appealing right?

Samsung’s solution was the Twin Cooling Technology Integrated refrigerator. As each fridge had its own evaporator, there was no more mixed odours.

I am a doctor, interiors editor and mother of 2, so anything that could save me time and make my life easier would always be welcomed. The Samsung smart appliances I saw at Fuorisalone definitely fitted the bill. The tour of the Samsung 24hr. Kitchen concluded with a special cooking demonstration by Michelin starred and a member of Samsung Club des Chefs, Chef Michel Roux junior. He cooked up 3 amazing courses in a short time.

It was wonderful to get a live demonstration of the 24hr. Kitchen. Michel retrieved the fresh ingredients from the Family Hub refrigerator, cooked langoustine on the Virtual Flame Technology cook top and baked choux buns and quinoa patties in the Dual Cook Flex oven. Here is the Langoustine grillées, freekah, petit pois with huile d’avocat that Michel cooked on the Virtual Flame Technology cook top.

You can see more of Michel’s cooking on my IGTV now.

Hope you’ve enjoyed a little tour of Samsung 24hr. Kitchen. It’s amazing how far kitchen technology has come to meet our ever-changing needs.

(All photography is by Geraldine Tan. This is a paid partnership post with Samsung for the Samsung 24hr. kitchen).

Acqua di Parma Home collection.

I have been a fan of Acqua di Parma for many years now, so I was super excited when invited to the launch of their Home scent collection in Milan.

If you are new to Acqua di Parma, then let me give you a little introduction : It’s a scent that was conceived by Carlo Magnani, heir of one of Parma’s aristocratic families in 1916.

The first and original scent was called Colonia, a fresh citrus signature classic which up till today, has a loyal and growing fan base, amongst which are many famous A-listers.

Acqua di Parma has always been synonymous with luxury and sophistication. It’s one of those scents which will instantly transport you to the warmth of Italy. I stayed at the beautiful Principe di Savoia, part of the Dorchester Collection hotels in Milan.

Here’s a look at my elegant room, and unsurprisingly, there were Acqua di Parma products in the bathroom too.

I could seriously get used to this luxury lifestyle. Before the evening’s festivities, we went for a short walk to soak up the Milan vibe and have coffee. Can’t go to Italy and not try their delicious coffee right?

On our way to coffee, we stumbled upon Acqua di Parma’s store. I didn’t go in, as I would be back there the next day to interview Acqua di Parma’s CEO Laura Burdese and product development and innovation director Paola Paganini. Now, to the party. It was a spectacular event.

I just adore that yellow, the colour of Acqua di Parma’s packaging. The colour was a homage to the beautiful yellow houses of Parma, a city that I would love to visit one day. This imposing arch of peace was our view at the party venue in Dazi arco della pace.

It’s so impressive and steeped in history, just like the Acqua di Parma brand itself. The beautiful yet subtle scent from the new Home collection pervaded the event space and greeted us as we entered.

So, I can finally reveal that Acqua di Parma has launched 10 new scents for their Home range in candles and scent diffusers. Five of the new fragrances were developed to capture the typical moments of Italian living and they are called Luce di Colonia, Buongiorno, La Casa sul Lago, Caffè in Piazza and Oh, L’amore. The other 5 Home scents were inspired by Acqua di Parma’s Blu Mediterraneo line that recreates the feel of the Italian mediterranean. They are Arancia di Capri, Fico di Amalfi, Bergamotto di Calabria, Chinotto di Liguria and Mirto di Panarea. Acqua di Parma Home candle It was fascinating to talk to Paola Paganini, the product development and innovation director of Acqua di Parma Home range.

I learned that it could take up to at least 2 years from product conception to production with many fine tuning along the way.

She said the paper label took many trials, as they had to find the right quality paper that could withstand the heat from the glass.

The Luce di Colonia scented candle above is a light and sunny aroma that celebrates Acqua di Parma’s classic scent Colonia.

There are citrus notes of orange and lemon, combine with delicate floral and wood notes that evoke the sun drenched landscape of Italy.

They decided to keep the wax as natural as possible, so coloured the glass yellow instead.

The wax is a mixture of soy and paraffin and the glass moulded in the signature shape of the classic Colonia scent bottle. Acqua di Parma home These candles are called Buongiorno, a scent to reflect a sunny Italian morning.

Acqua di Parma describes it as the first rays of sunlight coming through the windows, as the breeze rustles against the light curtains.

It brings with it the scent of mint, lavender, Rosemary and newly cut grass.

Sounds divine right? In fact, this is one of my favourites.

The Buongiorno scent diffuser now sits proudly in my living room, injecting a dose of happiness each time I enter. This is Oh L’amore and it’s all about Italian passion and emotion, a part of Italy’s DNA.

I love its intense spicy notes of black pepper, cloves, and amber, just perfect for a romantic evening. Here’s the La Casa sul Lago scent diffuser, a scent to evoke an Italian villa sitting by the silent rippling waters of a lake.

I was keen to relive those happy memories from our family holiday at Lake Como, and its calm floral and musk fragrance didn’t disappoint. These Mirto di Panarea candles inspired by Acqua di Parma’s Blu Mediterraneo range, are a restorative blend of myrtle, basil, lemon and bergamot.

Its meditative scent calms and sooth, so perfect for burning in the bedroom. Here is the beautiful Laura Burdese, president and CEO of Acqua di Parma, addressing the launch party.

It was such an honour to meet and interview her.

Laura has worked in roles from L’Oreal, to Swatch and later as CEO of Calvin Klein watches and jewellery.

She joined Acqua di Parma in 2016, a return to her roots in the beauty industry.

She brought with her a fresh and innovative approach to Acqua di Parma.

I asked her why the Home scent market?

She told me that it was an opportunity to bring into people’s homes those unmistakable moments of Italian life.

I asked if the home scent market was any different to the beauty fragrance market?

Laura alluded to the Home scent market being a slightly different target market.

She said candles were more for gifting, whereas perfumes were a more personal choice.

I guess women who already love the Acqua di Parma perfumes would be the natural purchasers of the home scents.

However, those who don’t buy perfumes for themselves may be that untapped market with the home products.

She told me that a typical Home scent buyer is a woman, who loves to decorate her home.

Laura told me that contrary to the belief that the brand was male centric, buyers were mainly women. In fact users were a balanced 55% men and 45% women.

Finally, no interview ends without asking what’s next on the horizon.

Hot off the press, Laura told me that there will be an upcoming new Signature collection. It will come in stunning black and transparent bottles with a gold finish. Sounds amazing! I can’t wait to see that design element.

I was also excited to learn that they will also be adding 5 new Asian inspired scents such as Yuzu, Sakura, Vanille, Camellia and Osmanthus. ( Bearing in mind that the Chinese market for Acqua di Parma is huge and growing, this is a brilliant strategy). Anyway, the evening drew to an end after a fabulous Acqua di Parma inspired 3 course menu.

I had a brilliant time in Milan. It’s always wonderful to learn about what goes on behind the scenes.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post on the Acqua di Parma Home range. I will be showing you more of the Acqua di Parma candles in my next post. This time you will be seeing it in my home setting.

Have a wonderful week ahead.

( All photography are by Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell. The Acqua di Parma Home launch event was part of a press trip).

I have just returned from an amazing trip to Milan, with the car brand MINI. I was invited to view their MINI LIVING installation called ‘Breathe’ for Salone del Mobile 2017.

Urbanisation combined with a shortage of space for housing is fast becoming a global issue. To help address this issue, the project is exploring different concepts for shared space living, with an eye on also reducing our carbon footprint.

MINI has always had beautifully designed cars with a low carbon footprint, coming from its compact size and efficient engine. The MINI Living project is a testament to their brand value for a more ‘conscious’ way of living, whilst still embracing design. MINI LIVING was launched in 2016 under the creative direction of architect, Oke Hauser (on right).

This year the project commissioned Brooklyn based architect firm SO-IL, to help them showcase this architectural concept for future urban living. Ilias Papageorgiou (on left) represented SO-IL at the event. Here is the BREATHE installation for MINI LIVING. The theme for the build was ‘Air, Light and Water’.

The installation was pre-fabricated after design, then transported to Milan. This home ‘on the move’ could perhaps be a concept solution to the ever increasing global mobility and migration of society.

The structure comprised of a steel frame with a tough, porous white fabric, that filtered light and purified air. There were no bricks and mortar in sight.
The space is designed to be an interactive experience between the three people who would live there and with their surrounding environment.
Here is the simple but perfectly functional kitchen. The basin in the kitchen with its water sourced from the collected rainwater on the roof. The space is for three people to share.  See how the light filters through.
Does this concept challenge your view on material possessions?  Perhaps we should all be thinking of simplifying our lives with a capsule wardrobe? Bedroom number one. Here is the shower area.

This space really makes me think of how the lines between interaction and privacy becomes blurred.  It truly was a beautiful green space indoors. Here is bedroom number two which could also double up as the living room. Looks pretty cosy doesn’t it? At the top of the installation was an oasis of green. It was a communal space filled with oxygen giving plants, and a place for growing vegetables to encourage self sufficiency.

There was also a rain water collection system that channeled water into the home for usage. Alongside the MINI LIVING installation, were three other related commissions.

The first was a live creative project by Assemble, a collective of architects from London with their project called: ‘A factory as it might be’.

Assemble showcased how collaborative working could lead to the production of beautiful clay plates, using natural resources. The plates were then used at the dinner party that I attended.  Pigment dyes used to colour the clay plates. The second commission was the Conscious Café by Laila Gohar, which demonstrated how sustainable living can be a reality.

Wild mushrooms that grew indoors, later made it to our plates for dinner. The leftover fruits from harvest were dried in the sun to make fruit leathers for dessert.

The last commission was an interactive exhibition in a darkened room, playing with the elements of light, water and air by Zaven ( no photo shown here). Here is the installation by night. Doesn’t it look beautiful?

It was so wonderful to tour and experience the MINI LIVING space. It has definitely given me food for thought. Are those questions now swirling in your head too?

I was interested to read about a recent interview by MINI with Ilias Papageorgiou. He was asked whether he thought this collaboration with MINI LIVING brought the idea of sustainable communal space closer to reality.

In his answer, the designer argued that it had been an important exploration of relationships between people and between people and their environments. It was certainly a great platform for researching new ideas and this small beginning can ultimately have a large impact.

Finally, I would love to know what you think. Do you feel that there may be elements here that are a future vision of our homes? If so, what would you like to take with you?

( All photography are by Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell. This is a sponsored collaborative post with MINI, but all views and opinions are my own).

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