There’s nothing like a little Paris to stoke a design lover’s imagination, and the fall edition of the semiannual Maison & Objet fair—which included an expanded universe of design events under the banner of Paris Design Week—certainly did not disappoint. From showroom installations to exhibitions to displays at the fairground itself, these are the top home design trends we can’t get off our minds.
Old Is the New New
We’ve been seeing designers play with recycled or repurposed materials for some time now, but in Paris, makers and artists took humble or found materials to another level. Designer Sandra Benhamou’s Paris Design Week installation at Galerie Vauclair, for example, showcased a custom chandelier constructed from vintage Murano glass pieces from the Veronese archives, presiding over her new sofa and cocktail table designs. Together, they created a svelte tableau that nodded to the very-in louche stylings of the 1970s while celebrating the past’s continued relevance—and material integrity.
On the other end of the spectrum, India Mahdavi’s satellite exhibition, Greetings from Greece, presented in collaboration with Athens-based Carwan Gallery, was revelatory in its mundanity. The young designer Savvas Laz stood out for his Trashformers series, in which he transforms styrofoam from discarded consumer electronics packaging with fiberglass and pop-y hues. The resulting mirrors and chairs look like they’re made from powder-coated steel, but weigh only a few pounds.
Forget Color Blocking: Meet Pattern Blocking
Pattern was pronounced at Paris Design Week this year, and designers’ maximalist installations spurred the emotions as much as the imagination. Design darling Laura Gonzalez showcased an epic conflation of prints at her eponymous gallery (see image above), layering signature Schumacher fabrics in luxe expanses. The fabric house’s newly opened showroom, a few blocks away, was equally dizzying in the best way possible.
Designers Are Getting Ethereal
Bold strokes still abound in Paris and on the fair floor at Maison & Objet, but we saw a material exploration of softness from designers this year that felt like a prelude to something much bigger. At the Espace Commines presentation, design duo Sabourin Costes presented a beautiful resin and glass cocktail table alongside tubular stools and a tendril-y vase inspired by sea anemones.
Elsewhere, Clarisse Demory curated a pop-up for the perfumer Nonfiction dubbed Language of Light, where Rahee Yoon’s ombré resin Block objects stood out for their ethereal, meditative quality. And Theoreme Editions held court at the 3537 event space for the group show Whatever Has to Be Done, in which printed silk draperies by artist Justin Morin elegantly framed furnishings from emerging European design talent.
Curves Are In; Corners Are Out
Seating was equally soft this year, in profile as much as fabric composition. Pieces embraced curvature, like Bina Baitel’s sloped sofa or the blue velvet tête-à-tête installed at Designer of the Year Cristina Celestino’s “Palais Exotique” restaurant concept for Mariage Frères. In keeping with the theme, the Invisible Collection presented the architect and designer Aline Asmar d’Amman’s debut furniture collection, featuring a “sensual” conversation salon upholstered in pink mohair, while Beirut-based designer Roula Salamoun’s Archipelago sofa featured sculpted edges inspired by coastal erosion.
Silver’s the Real Winner
Aluminum, chrome, and stainless steel dominated the showrooms, from products like Thibault Huguet’s understated Lampe #1, available in customized heights, to Wendy Andreu’s compact Staple Console and Charlotte Juillard’s chrome ISO sconce. Boon Room showcased steel and stone works by Batten and Kamp alongside Tim Teven’s sculptural chrome Pressure vases (as seen in ELLE DECOR’s September issue) and Will Choui’s punishing mirror-polished stainless steel WCL lounge chair and aluminum Squarehead mirror. These are accents that provide an edge (for when your sofa has none.)
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