Twice a year, in January and September, interior design aficionados descend on the vast exhibition halls of Paris-Nord Villepinte for Maison et Objet, a five-day trade show like no other that is best described as utopia for the design-obsessed.
Showcasing the latest trends in residential, commercial and hospitality design and decor, the 250,000 sqm complex of eight separate exhibition halls and 3,000 exhibitors is an exciting and slightly overwhelming prospect.
For the interior design enthusiast it’s the chance to indulge in the most inspiring new offerings in furniture,lighting, textiles, fragrances, wallpapers, art, tableware and home decor accessories. So whether you’re after the sleek scandi style or prefer something on whimsical side, Maison et Objet has something for you to fall in love with.
Although it’s almost impossible to choose favourites, here’s a list of the ten top picks that were on offer at Maison et Objet over the past few days:
Portuguese design house Royal Stranger will bring a smile to the steeliest of demeanours. Bright and bold colours mixed with gold leaf, rich woods and glossy lacquers come together to create pieces that are a hybrid of art and design.
Inspired by nature, the Honeycomb Cabinet is the ultimate luxury statement piece and comes in a number of colour combinations with a choice of brass, copper or stainless steel finishes.
Lighting brand Oblure brings together internationally renowned designers to offer stunning lighting installations. One such designer is Antonio Facco, one of Maison et Objet’s young designers to watch and creator of the Mondo pendant.
With celestial designs very much on trend at the moment, this beautifully contemporary piece is reminiscent of the Moon’s orbit. Its overlapping geometric patterns allow you to interact with the lamp by moving its steel shades to create your own preferred design.
Brabbu is pure, unadulterated luxurious design. Bringing a modern twist to the ever popular Mid Century style, each piece, be it a dining table, bookcase, cushion or armchair, is sheer opulence.
The Malay Armchair with its tufted back and matte aged brass legs, shows that our love of velvet is still going strong. Perfectly at home in your sitting room or in a design-conscious cocktail bar, it comes in a variety of fabrics and colours. It has to be the mustard option!
4. Bed Linen, Mimi’lou
Kids decor is no longer about choosing between pale blues and pastels pinks. There’s far more choice nowadays to create effortlessly cool interiors that will inspire a child’s creativity.
Mimi’lou is the work of German-born artist Miriam Derville who turned her illustrations into wall stickers before expanding into a full homeware collection of cushions, storage, lighting accessories and bed linen such as this enchanting woodlands-themed duvet cover.
Launching its sixth collection at the show was French brand HARTÔ who create simple, practical designs that work seamlessly with everyday life. One such piece that fulfilled this brief is the elegantly crafted Gaston wall desk.
Ideal for smaller spaces, this modern secretaire with its four drawers and foldable work surface, is available in oak or walnut with interchanging colours and materials and sweet leather-loop handles.
Wallpaper has been making a serious comeback in recent years and no longer under the influence of kitsch floral prints. The designs available today are fresh, contemporary and sometimes quirky, none more so than those of PaperMint.
Created by Paris-based graphic designer Alexandra Bruel, PaperMint’s designs feature Art Deco motifs, geometric designs, terrazzo effects and leafy, tropical scenes. They also stock a range of removable wall stickers include mosaics that are perfect for tiles. My favourite has to ‘Le Plongeon’ (a.k.a. The Plongeon) in blue.
7. York Centre Table, Mambo Unlimited Ideas
Visiting the show, the one thing that struck me was the amount of amazing Portuguese design on display. Another brand flying the flag for Portugal was Mambo Unlimited Ideas.
Its York Centre Table with printed glass top and structural brass legs was one of my highlights and it’s easy to see why it was voted the Winner of the Eclectic section (a.k.a. Hall 1) at Maison et Objet.
Another theme that was running strong throughout the show was a return to monochrome. Black and white schemes peppered the event space with glamour powerhouse, Jonathan Adler also getting in on the act.
His Rocket decanters for Gin, Vodka and Whiskey, made from porcelain and featuring 24 carat gold plating are both sophisticated and a little bit in your face. The perfect addition to that drinks trolley you already bought or are about to buy!
Maison et Objet is also known for is extensive display of tableware and I was delighted to see home grown talent Arran Street East getting such fantastic and well deserved reception. Their hand thrown, simple shaped ceramics include mugs, vases, bowls and beakers.
Influenced by the surroundings of the Smithfield Fruit and Vegetable Markets, Arran Street East creates stunning glazes based on the local produce of the markets, resulting in beautiful hues of cabbage, potato, parsnip, lemon, pink grapefruit and pomegranate.
Finally, no self-respecting interior design show would be complete without some tantalising offering from Scandinavia. Leaving behind the pale woods and clean lines we typically associate with Scandi design, Danish designer Malene Birger of BIRGER1962 brings a monochrome palette with splashes of mustards, yellows and golds to her newly launched Spring collection.
Inspired by the style of the 60s and 70s, as well as her time spent living in chic hotels in exotic destinations, these stylish spaces offer classy, old-world glamour with just the right level of maximalism.
Selene Alford is the interiors obsessed creator of glazed.ie, a guide to stunning interiors and covetable homewares to you inspire you to create your own dream space.