today marks the start of milan design week 2014. i’m working on a very special project (more on that soon!) for which i need to be in belgium, and i admit i’m a little sad i can’t be in milan this year. the past two years i’ve visited milan during design week, i loved the atmosphere in the buzzing city and i came back entirely inspired and invigorated. you can check my posts about those visits HERE.

since i won’t be able to report from italy this year, i thought i’d make a little round-up of the events and products that would have me excited to go and see. think of it as a little curated guide to milan – not an exhaustive list of things to see and do (with all that is happening in milan, i think that would be an impossible list to make anyway!)


food and design – is there a better match? not in my book. my favorite water brand S. PELLEGRINO has invited several italian top chefs for a live installation at the TEMPORARY MUSEUM FOR NEW DESIGN 2014. for the tavola by s. pellegrino campaign, the water label has already asked several local creatives to design a table setting and create an original dinner (the pic above is from the collaboration with BANKRUPT DESIGN). if that project is anything to go by, i’m sure the concept in milan will be pretty inspiring, too.

new clothing rack by NOTE DESIGN STUDIO

i really love this clothing rack – aptly called plateau – designed by NOTE DESIGN STUDIO for spanish company PUNT. the hallway seems to be a major source of inspiration for designers these days. i see lots of inspiring images of neatly decorated hallways pop up in my pinterest feed, and many feature cool new ways or designs to keep everything tidy and organized. it probably has a lot to do with the fact that modern urban living needs to make use of every available square meter – speaking from my own experience here, too! you can go see the punt collection at the SALONE.

FADE COLLECTION by john astbury and kyuhyung cho

i had never heard of this stockholm design duo before, but i like the way their fade bathroom collection looks, so i’ll be keeping an eye out for them in the future. i love that they re-thought the way bathroom products can be presented, and how much their approach resembles that of tableware design. seems like it could almost serve both purposes, right? the fade collection will be presented at VENTURA LAMBRATE.

belgian design at BELGEN

four belgian organisations teamed up to bring the best of belgium and the netherlands to milan this year with ‘belgen’ – DE INVASIE, ATELIER BELGE, KASK, LABT and DECOLABS. their expo is part of VENTURA LAMBRATE – my favorite section of milan design week. if you’re looking for the freshest designs, cool coffee bars and hottest trends, this is the place where you want to go.

LUCEPLAN‘s new costanza colors

i’ve always loved the costanza lamp. it’s such a classic and minimal shape, the light is warm and cozy and the dimmer switch with sensors is simply genius. we have the version in steel, but i absolutely adore the new collection with black and white. and how about those beautiful pastel shades? i would definitely like to see the grey and the muted pink in real life. if you do too, it’s best to check out luceplan’s booth at the SALONE.

HAY‘s first time in milan

it’s hay’s first time in milan, and the danish design label is debuting at design week with a wrong for hay showroom and hay minimarket in the famous BRERA DESIGN DISTRICT. everything hay cooks up is pretty rad, but i’m especially intrigued by this metal coat rack designed by swiss studio BIG GAME. like i said – cool hallway design for the win!

new vision cabinets for PASTOE

i’m not entirely sure whether the new v701 and v702 cabinets designed by karel boonzaaijer and pierre mazairac will be on show anywhere in milan, but i still wanted to include this picture in my round-up because i love it so much. pastoe does have an expo in milan this week at ventura lambrate, showcasing several scale models of their iconic chairs as part of the SUPERMODELS exhibition.

MERCI pop-up store

and how could i forget to mention the MERCI POP-UP STORE? the last time my favorite shop in the world popped up in milan, it was also my favorite space in milan. 10 corso como can’t touch that.

other places and spaces i would have loved to check out this year are DMY and TORTONA AROUND DESIGN. are you going to milan? what are your favorite brands or spaces to visit? if you’re looking for nice places to eat or hang out, don’t forget to check the travel section on this blog. some of my favorite tips can be found under the MILAN CATEGORY.

photos via 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

Obika Mozarella Bar

May 24, 2013 • Food and DrinkMilanTravel

let me tell you about my passionate relationship with mozzarella. for years, i was sooo into it. i can vaguely remember the first time my parents served us the white cheese, probably with sliced tomatoes, a little basil and not much else. for a miserable cook like me, mozzarella has been a life saver on plenty occasions. there really isn’t much that you can do wrong with it, so i got into the habit of putting it on top of everything – and i do mean everything – and then letting it melt a little bit in the oven.

obviously, after fifteen years or so, i got a little tired of mozzarella. as suddenly as it had appeared in my life, i banned it completely from my kitchen and my plate. i was tired of it, and had moved on to stinkier, greener cheeses. (for the record, nothing or no one will ever come between me and my love for cheese.)

then we moved to geneva, and lo and behold – the local supermarkets all carry this wonderful burrata version of mozzarella. it’s gooeyer, and it has a slightly more sour taste, and it was love between me and mr mozzarella all over again. so when we were looking for a place to have dinner in milan and saw this obika mozzarella bar, we took place at its cozy bar table.

the food was amazing, obviously. and the atmosphere was warm and lively. there was a happy hour thing going on, but i was too distracted by the tanks filled with different mozzarellas to care. though i did take my eyes off them long enough to notice the interior wasn’t too bad – i’ve come to expect a lot worse from milan, which on the whole hasn’t too many hip places to eat. so, in short, though nothing about this rambly blog post is short, i’d definitely recommend this place.

p.s. – ugh, i just googled the place and it appears to be a chain of restaurants all over the world. i’m not usually into that, but hey, show me the mozzarella and i cave.

photos by stephanie duval


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my name is stephanie duval, and i am a storyteller. this blog is where i share my favorite stories about design, travel, fashion and the nice things in life.


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