Highlights of Maison et Objet 2011

From Christian Lacroix fabrics to croissant-inspired sofas, it's Ooh là là at the Paris Show, reports Annie Deakin

Last week, design globetrotters pounded the Paris pavements and exhibition halls for Maison et Objet, perhaps the most important European event for interior design. The prototypes we saw at Milan Furniture Fair last May are finally now in production and were on show last week. It's a little humbling to see the designs in their journey from drawing board to the shop shelves.

Unlike most trade shows (which focus on consumer designs), Maison et Objet highlights high-end home furnishings and edgy designs by emerging and established designers. It's a hypermarket for interior designers; the newest fabrics, wallpapers, lighting, tablewear and furniture are shown at the bi-annual luxury trade show.

For four days (21-25 January), the city of Paris was taken over by super sleek design. Exhibitors spilled beyond the eight huge halls of Villepinte exhibition centre. Much hype was given to a new event ‘Deco Off’, dubbed the rendez-vous of international designers and decoration editors. Nearly 70 fabric and wallpaper showrooms, including Sonia Rykiel Maison and Jim Thompson unveiled new collections. Of particular note was Sanderson’s new 1950s collection of archive-based botanical prints in limes, reds, greys and blacks. Above their showroom was an apartment newly decorated in Zoffany’s new Intaglio collection comprising architectural prints made up of old London maps, prints of buildings and Corinthian columns. Down the street, Pierre Frey showed a 1950’s toile – all will shortly be at Chelsea Harbour Design Centre.

As part of Deco Off, Designers Guild showcased the fabrics from their much-hyped collaboration with iconic fashion house Christian Lacroix. Typically Lacroix in texture, the richly patterned velvets, exuberant silk florals and printed linens reference historical couture, the city of Arles (Lacroix’s birthplace) or the Toreador. Tricia Guild says of the design marriage, 'It has been a wonderfully exciting experience translating the spirit of Lacroix couture into a beautiful collection of fabrics for the home.' Across town on rue Rambuteau, crowds flocked to a Glass House exhibiting innovative heaters by Paris based 5.5 designers.

Unsurprisingly, the French designers made the most impact at Maison et Objet. The Bouroullec brothers were the official designers of the year – alongside Edouard Francois (the pioneer of green architecture) and interior architects Gilles and Boissier (of Miami Hakkasan fame). All were acknowledged as the 2011 Now! Design a Vivre Designers of the Year. At the show, Ronan and Erwan Bourroullec, who are best known for their iconic designs including the Closed Bed and the Vegetal chair, exhibited significant new designs. Much was made of their new croissant-shaped buttoned sofa ‘Ploum’ for Ligne Roset. The four-seater sofa has a minimum number of seams on the stretchy sofa fabric with just one seam on the back. Its organic streamlined shape echoes the retro trend of shell-like sofas; they hoped it would look like a ripe, voluptuous piece of fruit. Of the Ploum sofa, the brothers say, 'We attempted to make a very comfortable contemporary settee. 'Ploum' is a vast shape on which the whole body rests on a soft, welcoming surface. It's seat is relatively low, it seems organic, perhaps the use of a stretch fabric is like a symbolic parallel to a contemporary lifestyle in which flexibility of use and comfort seems to us to be essential.' It will soon be in London, as will their other new notable designs showcased at Maison et Objet – a handspun Afghan wool rug for Spanish company Nani Marquina and the Ovale tableware range for Alessi.

Staggering in size, Maison et Objet is a huge collection of innovation and talent all in one place. Is it the most important European event for interior design? Probably not but it's a gem for New Year inspiration and to see how revised prototypes reach final launch.

Annie Deakin is interiors writer for sofa and interior design website mydeco.com.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Suggested Topics
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Ashdown Group: Accountant - London - £48,000 - 12 month FTC

£40000 - £48000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: International Acc...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power