MASON & MODE
Written by Bridget Williams
Designing eyes were turned to the ‘City of Lights’ during the latter part of January as interior aficionados assembled at the Parc des Expositions for the Maison+Objet tradeshow, and fashionistas flocked to runways staged around the city for Haute Couture Fashion Week. We consulted experts at Maison + Objet for insight on what’s new and next in the realm of home decor, and found that complementary themes could be culled from the runways.
Veteran interior design and trend hunter Elizabeth Leriche curated 500 pieces for “What’s New” in the Décor Zone at Maison+Objet. She grouped her selections around three different themes: Minimal Brutalist referred to almost monastic minimalism, offering variations on pared-back pieces and raw materials and lines; Luxury Graphic was inspired by the decorative arts of the 1930s to the 1970s, and featured luxurious pieces executed in marble, brass and velvet; and, Ethnic Arty, which celebrated the fusion of cultures and the blending of traditional savoir faire revisited by contemporary designers. “These diverse and, at times, opposing themes bear witness to the fact that we live in a society full of paradox where absolutely anything goes,” said Leriche.
She noted a rise in the application of concrete, both the actual material and imitation versions in wallpaper, paint, lights and even seating. She also pointed out a new approach to decorating walls using rugs as a wallcovering, and said that electric blue is making a comeback.
François Bernard, director of Paris-based trend consultancy agency Croisements, used tastes—savory, sweet, bitter, acidic, and spicy—for the starting point of his top trends in the Share Zone, which focused on tableware. Sweet celebrated pastel tones. Savory embraced whites, greys, blacks and sometimes bluish blacks like volcanic salt. “It is all about rough materials, creating a warm and contemporary rustic feel,” he explained. Bitter turned the spotlight on the green color palate, offering a fresh take on traditions. Acidic showcased yellows and yellowy-greens in all their glory, perpetuating the vintage trends of the 1950s and 1960s. Spicy brought about a riot of red and terracotta. “It’s all about embracing the outdoors, street food, global cultures.”
Bernard singled out the commingling of contemporary design with 18th century aesthetics; a rise in popularity of the color red; an increasing use of burnt wood; marbled effects on crockery and platters; and, the “molten” trend, with mirrors and lights flaunting oozing, drip-like silhouettes.
In the Leisure Zone, which showcased travel and fashion accessories, stationery, games, connected objects and souvenir gifts, stylist François Delclaux focused on the concept of travel, and the notion of whisking visitors off to three fictitious countries. Wood Land celebrated wood and all things hipster and natural; Ice Land turned the spotlight on shiny and metallic pieces; and, in Sun Land, all the items exuded a summery vibe and a colorful punch. “These themes also allowed me to make the whole space revolve around nature, which is an extremely vibrant subject,” explained Delclaux.
Delclaux pointed out that wood has started popping up in the most unexpected places, including iPhone covers, perfumed candle holders, spectacles, and even technological devices. He noted that nautical motifs can be found in abundance, adorning trays, jewelry, coasters, embroidered patches and even snowballs. “A very 1950s Miami-esque vibe puts coral pink center stage – Living Coral has even been elected color of the year by Pantone,” he added.
For each session of Maison+Objet, Paris-based forecasting agency NellyRodi analyses the latest consumer trends and sociological phenomena, and groups them into a theme. The topic chosen for 2019 was Excuse My French!. “There’s a renewed curiosity about the French abroad, a sort of fascination at the moment,” said Vincent Grégoire of NellyRodi. For Grégoire, the movement is linked to globalization: “In a world where things are becoming standardized, people are looking for something different.”