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Among Memories - Summary of the exhibition: S/ALON Budapest

Photo Credit: Gergő Gosztom 

Author: Anna Gergely

Interior designer: Tamás Hannus

Our Sponsors: Ambi Light, Fatik Parketta, Möbelkunst, Amikor Galéria, Kaári Bútor Kft., THE AJKAIS, Erika Vér (graphics)

Just a couple of months before the very first S/ALON Budapest Home Expo we were asked to participate in the event and share a concept. Following the initial joy of opportunity, our ideas flowed and merged, and we began designing full steam ahead.

Searching for the necessary materials, furniture and supplier partners went smooth sailing. Everybody was happy to jump onboard and we cannot express enough how thankful we are!

We came up with the concept and name for our stand, “Among Memories”, to reflect the theme of the exhibition, “the past”. Our aim was to rethink old and well-known items, adapting them into modern spaces in a refreshing way. We did not want our stand to have a dusty and dingy feel; instead we combined vintage with a contemporary framework to create something receptive and inspirational for the modern eye.

We also wanted to avoid outdated socreal (socialist realism), retro-line impressions that circulate amongst Hungarian people. In most cases we used Danish designer pieces for their high quality and uniqueness; they testify that even items made in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s have aesthetic and ergonomic value in today's housing culture.

Our stand focused on two central areas of an apartment: the living and dining room. These areas are the stage for a wide range of entertainments- from special occasions such as family luncheons, to casual gatherings like enjoying a glass of wine with friends. So organization is crucial! There is a lot to consider in terms of functionality and aesthetics.

Next to the dining area was the living room. The space was slightly angled to symbolize that within a functional framework, there is still room to be creative and to deviate from usual schemas.
The background of the dining room was a black and white striped wall with an angelic image inspired by the prolific, Gio Ponti. With this we wanted to pay tribute to the 1950’s Italian architect, designer and painter who inspired our work.

The geometric background was opposed to an original Knoll Tulip circular table whose futuristic character was neutralized by a comfortable wicker, outdoor chair. Above the dining room hung a 1970 Hungarian polyamide chandelier.

"The lighting piece coupled with the round, circular shapes in the dining area gave the living room a light structure with a spacious feel."

The bordeaux-blue wall of the living room was selected for its playful balance between the warmth of its red and cool blue shade. A dominant element of the living room’s design was the Ambilight lighting source which was draped with a large-diameter, yellow textile. The lighting piece coupled with the round, circular shapes in the dining area gave the living room a light structure with a spacious feel. The two, seemingly contradictory design elements, worked harmoniously together to provide a lofty ambience.

Another unexpectedly fitting companionship was the Arkana Safari armchairs that well complemented the 1970’s Danish rosewood leather couch; its green hue balancing the burgundy background. The 1970’s Anaconda coffee table echoes the stand’s circular shaped theme with its winding, snake-like copper legs and smoked glass.

Behind the sofa was an extremely rare oak, slatted chest of drawers by Hans J. Wegner. The designer drawers were decorated with fine Hungarian art objects and vases. Over the commode were contemporary artworks by THE AJKAIS and a plastic bounded mirror that also served as pink-emitting, mood lighting.

When constructing the stand, we wanted to achieve a somewhat theatrical, yet homely authenticity to apartment living. Our target rooms were chosen since it is often the place where design is most challenged. Our presented stand is achievable in reality; it is a flexible and adaptable concept that can be implemented into all types of unit complexes. It served as a base and springboard for creativity in building a bohemian abode that preserves the values of the past whilst also looking imaginatively towards the future.

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