Maison & Objet as you will know is a regular on my trade show beat and the twice-yearly exhibition is always full of interesting new products. This edition though I didn’t attend, I had to miss the September edition of Maison & Objet. I was gutted, I think this is the first I’ve missed in about 5 years, but I was already committed to so much already for the month. So I asked Stacey Sheppard of The Design Sheppard blog to write a guest post all about her favourite finds from her very first visit to Maison & Objet in Paris. Stacey is a fellow interior-design addict, and as a writer and a blogger, she is always seeking out the very best products, projects, and design advice for her readers. Stacey started her career in design and architecture writing for Designer Kitchen & Bathroom magazine and still writes for a number of leading design and interiors magazines and websites. The perfect person in my book to share her thoughts with us about all the gorgeous products and highlights from the September edition of Maison & Objet.
Maison & Objet is a show I have wanted to visit for the past few years and now I’ve done it I find myself wondering why I’ve waited so long. Living in Devon means I often have to travel to a London airport in order to attend international trade fairs. But not this time. A short one hour flight from Exeter to Paris was all it took and by lunchtime, I was trying to navigate my way through the slightly overwhelming exhibition halls of Parc des Expositions.
I am by no means a novice when it comes to trade fairs, having visited a fair few over the years, but my experience pales in comparison to Mary’s. So before I headed to the City of Light I made sure I drilled Mary for any useful tips and advice on how to approach the fair. And I’m glad I asked!
As always when visiting these exhibitions I keep my eyes peeled for any new interior trends that may be starting to filter through. It’s a tough one because new trends usually take a good few years to filter down to the high street. So while I may pass them off as old news, they may not have actually made an appearance in the shops yet.
What I did notice is that the same trends that Mary spotted at the January edition of Maison & Objet were still very much at the forefront. There was a lot of velvet, fringing was very prominent, earthy colour palettes were extremely strong with dark greens, burnt oranges, mustard yellows, and berry tones cropping up again and again. Jewel tones were also extremely popular, particularly teal. Brass is still the metal of the moment and natural materials like rattan could be spotted time and again.
So rather than focus on trends, as I feel Mary pretty much covered this in her last post, I’d like to highlight a few of my favourite design finds from the show.
First up are these really impressive decorative tile stickers from Boubouki. Founded by graphic designer Julia Bünger in 2010, Boubouki, which means “bud” in Greek, is a German company that produces super sleek tile stickers that can be used in kitchens or bathrooms to improve the look of existing tiles.
Whether they are cracked or chipped, or simply a bit plain, these stickers, which are printed with UV inks on white PVC film and finished with glossy UV lacquer, will provide the perfect solution. The stickers are water repellent so can even be used in damp areas and they can be removed later without damaging the tiles or leaving a residue.
With over 200 different designs, there is guaranteed to be something for everyone. My personal favourites are from the recent Infinito collection, which features graphic black and white designs. If you are renting and have a less than impressive bathroom, these stickers could be the temporary solution you are looking for.
Texture was a very obvious trend at the show. Products with a more tactile and textured finish were everywhere. One of my favourite finds that really embraced texture were these statement ceramic tiles by Portuguese company Theia Creative Tiles. Each tile is handmade using traditional Portuguese materials and techniques.
By combining texture with colour, shape and pattern, many of these tiles also create the illusion of movement when used on a larger scale.
Another overarching trend that I identified was the use of recycled, sustainable and environmentally friendly materials. With all the bad press that plastic has been getting recently and the emphasis on more mindful consumer purchases, brands are starting to catch up and many are now looking to do their part by making more considered choices when it comes to the materials that they use in their manufacturing processes.
One company that does this well, and that really stood out to me was Danish company Lübech Living. Founded back in 2006 by Simone Rosholm, the company designs and produces its own brand OOhh and OOhhx, and is the European distributor for Vance Kitira Candles and is also the Nordic distributor for the well-known Italian brand UASHMAMA.
It was the OOhh products that really caught my eye though. The entire collection, which includes plant pots, vases, dishes, trays, file organisers, tealight holders, placemats, pen pots, and decorations for Easter and Christmas, is made from recycled materials. Paper, plastic and wood are used to make the products which are sealed with natural latex on the inside making them 100% waterproof. Materials like sand, wood dust and cement are used on the exterior to give textured or patterned finishes.
All the products in the range are made by hand as part of a Fair Trade project in Sri-Lanka. The project allows them to work with over 200 underprivileged women who are able to work from home producing goods for Lübech Living whilst looking after their homes and families.
3S design is a family-owned Slovenian company that specializes in architectural design, product design and manufacturing. The company uses its knowledge and expertise in architectural design to produce innovative and functional pieces that solve the issues created by modern day living.
On show in Paris was the Steeline_magnet collection which is a magnetic storage system composed of base plates and magnetic accessories. Shelves, hangers, holders, and hooks can be positioned anywhere on the magnetic back plate making a truly flexible storage solution for the home.
The system is perfect for use in the kitchen to store herbs, spices, knives, mugs, textiles and any other small items that need to be kept close to hand. However, it can also be used in home offices, hallways, bedrooms or living rooms.
I was immediately drawn to the stand of Dutch lighting company AY Illuminate. The lighting is inspired by nature and different cultures which can be seen in the contemporary, organic shapes and the materials that are used. The company works in close collaboration with artisans in Asia and Africa to explore natural materials and traditional skills and techniques.
Many of the lighting products are also made from recycled or sustainable materials such as cardboard, sisal, bamboo or rattan.
A huge big thank you to Stacey for sharing her finds and photographs of M&O and I hope you’ve enjoyed these highlights from the September edition of Maison & Objet. Images of Theia Creative Tiles, Boubouki and Lübech provided by the brands. If you’d like to see more my highlights from previous editions of Maison & Objet take a look here.