A small, dynamic, family-run furniture company, Living Divani launches its new collection in Milan that mixes old-fashioned ways with innovation and rituals of everyday life. Under the steady hand of art director Piero Lissoni, and second generation family member, Carola Bestetti, the Living Divani collection explores traditions and nature – earthy materials such as hide, leather, rope and wicker, woven or quilted with artisan skills and the traditions of the past – and material experiments to create a collection that responds to life.

Highlights include the 1950s inspired Easy Lipp designed by Piero Lissoni. True to the Lissoni design approach, the sofa is simple in form with careful details including delicate stitching on the seat cushions and slender metal legs. The new George’s chair by the Spanish designer David Lopez Quincoces is a very simple design too, made precious by the combination of materials and finishing – wicker, leather, rope, wood and metal – and their multiple combinations. The 'light' version emphasises the graphic character of the black lacquered steel frame and seat in solid ash wood or Iroko wood (for outdoors), while the woven version gives a more precious effect. The Casta armchair by LucidiPevere comes out of the design studio of Paolo Lucidi and Luca Pevere based in Palmanova, Italy. The cylindrical legs in solid beech wood are united by a belt in lacquered or leather sheet steel, containing the seat like a snugly fitting belt.

Living Divani also collaborates with fledgling designers, with Carola Bestetti and Piero Lissoni always on the search for talented young designers they can take under their wing. This year, notable newcomers include kaschkasch, a designer duo from Cologne who have responded to the flexible needs of the home/offices with FJU – an extremely linear desk that can be 'shut' to free up space and cleverly doubles as a storage nook for books and magazines. While the collaborative partnership of Tommaso Nani and Noa Ikeuchi of mist-o who work between Milan and Yokohama, designed the Inari console that merges Japanese traditions with Italian – and is composed of four elements in steel sheet brought together in one harmonic element.

Heidi Dokulil