Twice a year, design editors, buyers and interior designers flock to Paris to see what is new at Maison & Objet, the influential home decor and design trade show. Launches there can provide a stylistic bellwether for the next year of trends in design. In January, the same group spends time in the 6th arrondissement in St. Germain at Deco Off, now in its 7th year, taking in the new fabric launches displayed in pop-up and permanent showrooms centered in this delightful neighborhood. However, the buzz at the trade fair Maison this January wasn't as loud. Editors claimed the show, where accessories are the main draw, was lacking in inspiration and I have to agree, there was not something to amaze and delight around every turn, as I navigated my way from one diagonal aisle to the next in Hall 7, themed Scenes D'Intereur. Why this lack of design mojo? A downturn in the European economy, for starters. But lo and behold, I found design inspiration worth getting excited about, and here are a few key trends worth noting.
Oversized birds and florals in a re-colored Asian-inspired tree of life archive design Songbird has been digitally printed at Dedar
Tropical motifs, including palm fronds and tribal patterns in energized colors co-mingled at Pierre Frey's island style showroom display
Reissue alert! This playful catepiller-like chair comprised of separate, modular color-blocked pieces was originally designed by Frenchman Pierre Charpin in 1996 and was brought back by Cinna, a division of French contemporary brand Ligne Roset
Citrus! All shades of yellow were spotted, and this citron yellow fabric on a classic bergere from Grange looked so energized.
Sumptuous silks in spicy colors and a zesty yellow abstracted ikat from Jim Thompson in their "Bonsai of The Vanities" Collection
A beautiful regal Egret strutted across the window of Nobilis
Another great Deco Off window with an amazing bird leg table and a mix of graphic geo and classic damask prints
Yet more birds and florals spotted in the de Gournay showroom. It is always such a pleasure to see hand-painted scenic wallcovering hung in a setting with a residential feel. Just gorgeous.
FEMININE SOFT COLORS:
I've been admiring the accessories and table designs of Brit Bethan Gray for some time. She plays with the feminine and masculine in her work, and also was an early champion of using marble in a graphic way. Her blush colored marble table top adds just the right dose of girly, and the painted wall in her booth was the perfect shade of petal pink.
I can count on Gaston Y Daniella to bring back graphic geometrics. Here, they have tented their pop-up showroom space with eye-catching red, black and white prints
BLACK AND WHITE:
More amazing displays at Rubelli, where they had fun with pattern on pattern in a black and white print
It seems you can always make a good argument for black and white design in Paris. Someone is always doing it well. Here, Laurence Brabant and Alain Villechange's op art hand-blown glasses in a graphic black and white twist.
THE ARTIST'S INFLUENCE:
Directional trends are what I love to find, and Osborne and Little introduced Cubiste, a strong angular distorted digital pattern influenced by avant-garde Cubist greats Picasso and Braque.
SPHERES, ROUNDED CORNERS, SOFT EDGES:
One of my favorite design discoveries was the new furniture and lighting of Magic Circus Editions. The scallop backs and dainty legs on these blue velvet covered designs were captivating, along with the hand crafted lighting designs that harkened back to the 1920's and 30's.
Diminutive chairs inspired by 1940's and 50's designs covered in lush velvet...See a trend here? Almost everything from Portuguese furniture company Ginger and Jagger was interesting and directional.
Round light fixtures from Gubi, the Danish design company, shone brightly in metallics and black and white finishes. These pieces were originally designed by Louis Weisdorf in 1972. Esteemed companies with great archives are turning to them for inspiration and re-issues.
Coralie Beauchamp's orb lights were industrial and cool
Martin Huxford, an English designer who works primarily in metals, had this amazing Eclipse convex round mirror in black on a chain that looked like a giant pendant necklace on the wall
Hands-down the most inspired and creative design I came across was from a design idol of mine, India Madhavi. Everything she designs is whimsical, unique and totally original. She created a new collection of curved and linear metal hardware called "Bubbles" for Vervloet, the sumptuous luxury hardware maker. The handles and pulls can be found in the US soon, at ER Butler.
This compact curvy Palette desk captured my attention at And Tradition, designed by Spanish designer Jaime Hayon, it pairs two distinct shapes in white marble and brass. This is an other Danish design company bridging history and innovation.
British designer Nick Munro is known for his sleek, art deco inspired barware. He introduced his Trombone bar accessories in copper, a material that is huge right now stateside.
Gleaming brass Basalt hexagonal tables from Martin Huxford