Written by: Balázs Pécsi, luxury expert and author of The Gentleman’s Review magazine.
I have been involved in interior design and décor for over a decade and have spent nearly as much time in the luxury sector. During this time, I have had the opportunity to visit many extraordinary interior spaces, as well as those considered special. Based on these examples and conversations, I have perhaps managed to form a holistic picture of how we perceive luxury here at home, what we consider it to be, what people’s desires and expectations are in this regard. What are the must-haves and what are the taboos? Many people consider mundane, run-of-the-mill interiors to be luxurious – as long as there is a touch of glamour in the metallic surfaces or the shiny velvet. Was this the client’s desire, or perhaps the interior designer’s imagination? Often, it’s hard to separate the two.
In my practice, I have encountered relatively few surprising, positively shocking domestic interiors that adhere to international standards. This doesn’t mean we don’t try to follow foreign trends: when it comes to the mediocre and forgettable, we’re already quite good at it. That’s why we need an annual, uncompromising design exhibition like S/ALON and daring retailers who are willing to order unique pieces, showing that there can be a different way. To make a home stand out from the rest, so-called statement pieces are very effective tools. These are innovative solutions, furniture, or accessories that immediately capture one’s attention when entering a room. Pieces that we may remember for a long time, perhaps even throughout our lives – for example, I can vividly recall the impact it had on me when I first entered my friend’s bathroom and saw a priceless collection of antique Ming vases hanging on the wall.
Below, I have gathered 10 superb statement pieces from the offerings of S/ALON BUDAPEST interior design fair,, which will take place from September 22 to 24 at Budapest Arena, to ensure that no home is boring. After all, life is too short for dull design.
Élitis offers large panoramic wallpapers with various patterns, and these mural decorations are labeled with 360 different names – probably because you can use them to completely cover a small room. I chose the scene called "A Beautiful Sunday" to illustrate how a distinctive pattern, a unique artistic style, and a touch of color can work wonders even in the most boringly decorated space. The colorful, painted scene exudes a soothing atmosphere, depicting 19 people, adults and children, enjoying themselves on a turn-of-the-century, perhaps a Central or South American island: playing, dancing, or chatting.
I love the monochromatic, geometric collection of the porcelain manufactory founded in 1747 in Lower Saxony. It strikes a balance between ornate and minimalist. Its main motif is a stylized floral shape, which was also favored in Gothic architecture – so it wasn’t invented by Louis Vuitton, although it does appear in the French fashion house’s monogram pattern. The collection’s name, Ca’ d’Oro, refers to Venice’s perhaps most famous palace on the Grand Canal. In the Middle Ages, Ca’ d’Oro was indeed covered in real gold – nowadays, of course, we don’t see any of it, but I appreciate that the gold is not only in the building’s carved motifs but also serves as a subtle decoration on the products. Such a set dominates a set table, but you can also use it to decorate a wall – it will look spectacular!
The story of the Christian Fischbacher brand essentially began with the rise of cotton trade in St. Gallen – although the first Christian Fischbacher had to literally walk 30 kilometers back and forth to sell his goods at the fair. Over six generations, the company expanded, producing not only upholstery fabrics but also wallpaper and other products, including rugs. The La Dolce Tiger collection, named after the Malay word for tiger, features tigers lurking among bamboo leaves and flowers. The fine New Zealand wool is hand-knotted, and a total of 17 colors were used in the design.
I confess, I really love the Bretz brand, especially knowing the company’s history. The company almost went bankrupt twice, first when the factory was bombed to rubble during World War II, and second when they nearly went under during the 1986 global economic crisis caused by the oil crisis. But they always bounced back, and after the second restart, the family business turned to manufacturing velvet sofas, positioning the brand as a luxury brand. The colorful, somewhat unusual, often huge Bretz sofas are not only status symbols but also very eye-catching pieces that give the living room a unique atmosphere.
Moooi, under the artistic direction of Marcel Wanders, is not known for conventional products. One of their quirkiest pieces is this chair, which looks like it’s assembled from petals plucked from a hydrangea bush. It’s available in six different color positions, and obviously, it’s most "lifelike" when you choose a shade that matches an actual hydrangea flower. It’s beautiful how the modern, simple form contrasts with the intricate applications, making it perfect for a cozy corner in a spacious living room, perhaps as the centerpiece of a reading nook.
This outdoor furniture collection is an evolution of the Cliff collection, partially crafted by hand. The woven cords give these pieces their uniqueness, making them cool objects on their own, but I wouldn’t call them statement pieces individually. However, when it comes to the red-plum-violet color option, they do become statement pieces – because the set is also available in beige and gray shades. Paired with outdoor lamps also available from the brand, a relaxing corner can be created in the garden or on the terrace that will leave our guests speechless.
In the local language, Rapa Nui means Easter Island, which is why the Italian manufacturer came up with monolithic legs for this console table. This piece, perfect for the hallway and living room, has a very simple shape, but its stone-like legs give it an extra appearance that can already be called a statement piece. It’s a unique, unusual piece that guests will admire.
This wall lamp is also available as a ceiling light, but it looks best on the wall, as if it were just a Chanel brooch. The additional decoration, even in the bathroom if desired, saves the room from boredom. This lamp, available in several color options, was designed as if it were jewelry with precious metals and gemstone inlays, yet thanks to its clean lines, it doesn’t look old-fashioned.
This piece is part of the M’Afrique collection, a playful, easy-to-maintain, practical, and ergonomic piece of furniture that has all the qualities we expect from an outdoor furnishing – yet it is incredibly eye-catching. The African influence is undeniable, and the overall picture can be particularly atmospheric, especially if you purchase it in various colors and styles.
This table lamp, available in two sizes, evokes the domes of the Renaissance as if it were also a centerpiece for your desk. It’s incredible how such a small object can create such a strong impact, elevating even a more simply decorated space. This lamp also navigates between the old and the modern, and we may even sense a hint of East-West style fusion in it.
All of the fabulous design objects featured in the selection can be found at brands that are regular partners of S/ALON BUDAPEST. You can admire the Moroso Gogan sofa featured on the cover in the grand interior of Basic Collection from September 22 to 24 at the Budapest Arena.