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?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Recruitment Genius: Production Operative

£13000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to a period of sustained an...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering