International interiors editor and brand consultant Emilio Pimentel-Reid rounds up the top trends at Paris’ Maison & Objet, Deco Off and design hot spots around town.
Held in January at Paris’ Parc des Expositions, Maison & Objet is a cutting-edge platform for the launch of some of the most exciting home collections in the industry. Buyers, press and design lovers descend on the city to shop the fair and varied satellite events and to be inspired by the emerging trends and exciting new talent. This season’s top categories included fabrics, wallpapers, lighting, furniture and crystal pieces, with plenty of inspiration to go around.
1. Fantastical Jungle
Depicting an exotic mangrove jungle setting in a ‘Sea Green’ monochrome, de Gournay’s ‘Rousseau’ wallpaper design brims with verdant flora and fauna. This handpainted window to the wild intensity of the rainforest captures the continued fascination with all things tropical this season. Inspired by the 19th-century French artist Henri Rousseau, the scene conjures up the vibrant setting synonymous with his Jungle artworks.
At Atelier Swarovski Home, known for pushing crystal to its aesthetic and technical limits, up-and-coming Spanish designer Tomas Alonso’s ‘Prism’ series featured trays and vases constructed from crystal and marble. Seemingly mimicking the iridescence of Amazonian birds or insects and bonded together using the company’s signature UV adhesives in colour coatings, the objects produce fascinating optical illusions and effects.
The call of the jungle even reached Ercol, the British manufacturer founded in 1920 by Italian designer Lucian Ercolani. To complement its timeless ‘Originals Stacking Chair,’ the company created a bespoke coloured lacquer for spring/summer 2017 bathed in a tropical ‘Forest Green’ that will sit alongside its existing coloured finishes.
The upcoming season promises statement pieces in rosy shades. Pinks from extravagant cerise to the palest cherry blossom combine with fabulous fringing, tassels and glamourous crystal accessories straight from the runways.
At Petite Friture, French designer Constance Guisset’s mischievously elegant ‘Panache’ Mirrors delight with their exaggerated shape. In a new twist on a timeless element, the mirror is adorned with colourful tassels in a choice of black, blue, or gold, inviting you to transform this object to suit your style and mood.
On the Munna stand, shared with sister brand Ginger & Jagger, the Porto-based company’s renowned handmade upholstery drew and subverted inspiration from the past. The fun ‘Fringes’ sofa invited guests with its flirtatious feel and layers of fringe running along the seat and curved backrest. This statement piece called to be placed in the center of a stylish living room as a playful focus of attention.
Like jewellery, the satin-finished crystal and engraved bronze ‘Lustre Ginkgo’ chandelier sparkled at Lalique. Designed in collaboration with Delisle and inspired by a 1930s piece for the Paris Hotel Intercontinental, the lamp referenced the beauty of the gingkgo biloba tree, a symbol of longevity, hope and prosperity reinterpreted in clean geometric forms.
Notting Hill native Richard Brendon partnered with the Gleneagles Hotel to develop ‘Fluted,’ his new handcrafted crystal collection. The range draws inspiration from the decadent cocktail culture of the 1920s. Like the cocktail glasses of the Art Deco era, the stemware is light and perfectly proportioned, while the tumblers are reassuringly weighty. Mouth-blown by master craftsmen in Bohemia, the collection takes its name from the fluted cuts that run the length of each piece.
3. Pattern Play
Layering pattern with bohemian nonchalance is back and nowhere was the look pulled off more confidently than at Ancien et Moderne. Now in its second year and presented in a gallery, this pop-up melded time-honored craftsmanship with 21st-century living. Conceptualized by PR & marketing strategist Beth Dempsey and luxury blogger Stacey Bewkes of Quintessence, the shop included companies hand selected for their impeccable quality, style and creativity.
In the mix were designer Michelle Nussbaumer’s fabrics, jewelry and home accessories; La Tuile la Loup made-to-order ceramic dinnerware; knotted silk rugs by The Rug Company; and custom bronze mirrors by: Tim Corrigan, Alex Papachristidis, Frank deBiasi, and Bambi Sloan.
The stand out Fromental’s panoramic wallcovering was inspired by the phenomenal tapestries of Jean Lurcat. ‘Bruyere’ blends the abstract and the figurative in its rich and multi-dimensional detail, creating a luxuriously abundant scene hand-painted onto silk and paired with Justin Van Breda’s ‘Jardin Majorelle’ custom cabinetry. A masterclass in elegant layering.
4. Italian Retro
Returning to the oft-visited mid-century modern, the latest collections refreshingly channeled the Italian version of the movement, with rich materials and graphic patterns.
The ongoing ‘Lunar’ collaboration between luxury stone experts Lapicida and designer Lara Bohinc continued with the launch of new brass and marble ‘Stargazer’ candlesticks inspired by orreries, mechanical models of the solar system used since classical times. Available in two designs, these candlesticks have a powerful sculptural presence far exceeding their practical use. In the hexagonal ‘Constellation’ bowls, Lara Bohinc focuses on marble, with faceted, geometric forms exploring their innate weight and decorative potential. Within the concept, she also sets an intriguing design puzzle: each of the four sizes of bowl is available in five different marbles, challenging us to mix, match, set and re-set them into an almost infinite number of arrangements
Tribal motifs and mid-century references also imbued the latest fabric collections, including impressive choices by Dedar. ‘Pic Nic’ (on curtain) is an haute couture embroidery on a hessian ground. The contrast between the two techniques adopted, chain stitch and rattail, is accentuated by a colour palette similar to that used by Gio Ponti. The ‘Parchisi’ upholstery fabric (on armchair) referenced the recognisable geometric prints and the expressiveness of 50s-style abstract art in wool and cotton. Playful and labyrinthine, the design is the result of a complex manufacturing process that combines yarns of different blends and thicknesses.
Fendi Casa embodied the eclectic and sophisticated atmosphere of a typically Italian modern residence, where design and fashion are blended in harmonious contrast. A highlight was the Infinity Coffee Table with a top in transparent glass, available in olive green, bronze and crystal blue, in contrast with the metal structure.
Milanese interiors firm Dimore Studio was invited to interpret the Persian rug as a contemporary classic and the resulting ‘Paralleli’ collection is a triumph. Created for Gorlan and reflecting the studio’s flair for bringing together different materials and eras, the designers used the rug’s texture to express these elements in a modern way. Baroque allusions to embroidery, ornamental motifs and interpretations of Persian and Indian patterns contrast with the simplicity of monochrome and contemporary-art inserts. The weave features metallic inserts, like scoring; thick, visible seams to beautifully stitch these different worlds together.
5. Floral Ambition
Not surprising with Spring approaching, full-on florals blossomed all over the collections. Think digitally printed flowers on fabrics, blooming wallpapers and rugs. The most interesting manifestation of the floral trend, however, was on mosaics and lighting.
“The inspiration for this family of designs lies in my personal environment,” says Dutch designer Kiki Van Eijk, referring to her first collaboration with Bisazza. Finding beauty in the weeds and wildflowers, Van Eijk translates the oft-overlooked into the neo-romantic and feminine ‘Ranunculus’ and ‘Calystegia.’ Reinvented in a large format using traditional artistic techniques, the flowers poetically sprout and climb up the bricks of an imaginary wall reproduced in digitally created mosaic.
The son and grandson of flower growers, multidisciplinary designer and artist to watch Marcin Rusak has always been fascinated by the natural world. The Royal College of Art and Einhoven graduate uses research, craft and cutting-edge technology to create poetic works like his standout ‘Flora’ lamp and screen which mixes resin, processed flowers, brass, and sand-blasted mouth-blown glass.
6. Refined Nature
The reference to nature was further refined into more serene designs. At Tom Dixon, we spotted a series of sculptural artefacts cast in solid brass with a matte finish bearing a bone-like quality. Available in a range of three sizes and a trivet, the ‘Bone’ collection had a quiet elegance amongst a flurry of bathroom and lighting launches on the designer’s buzzy stand.
Haute crystal maker Saint-Louis teamed up with French product and interior designer Noe Duchaufour-Lawrence to create ‘Folia,’ a stunning collection of 25 pieces of tableware, decoration, lighting, and furniture inspired by nature. Duchaufour-Lawrence’s pieces elegantly echo the Moselle forest surrounding the storied Manufacture, balancing the radiance of crystal with the strength of ash wood.
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