The crisp month of September kicks off a busy and inspiring season for the design industry with Paris being everyone’s first port of call.
The city is host to Europe’s largest homeware exhibition, Maison et Objet which is a showcase for launches from new brands and the industry’s key players. In turn the city’s galleries and boutiques are transformed into a playground for glittering events, cocktail parties and innovative installations. I paid a flying visit last week – here are my highlights from the show and the city…
We stayed at the super cute new Hotel Paradis Paris in the up-and-coming 10th Arrondissement and a 7 minute walk from Gare Du Nord. Decked out in Ace Hotel style furnishings, I loved the combination of sleek industrial glamour, mid-century design and a touch of French whimsy – spot on!
Heading to the fair I was pleased to find a mix of my favourite brands and some new discoveries.
Finnish brand Marimekko‘s stand centred around their new Weather Diary collection of painterly textiles and ceramics was simple and breathtaking. How stunning are the platters? I want them all. And I loved the way they showcased the textiles by stitching together mammoth clouds that looked like they were groaning with rainwater. Read more about The Weather Diary Collection in our interview with the designer here.
More on the popular painterly trend was new find – French designer Anna Deman – who took an unusual monochrome approach to the trend.
French kids brand Petit Pan always have a great selection of whimsical home accessories that even adults love. New to their collection was a beautiful set of brightly coloured cement tiles retailing at around £105/€ 126.21 per square metre. You can see how great they look in situ here. The brand are also well-known for their brightly coloured lanterns in characterful shapes – I fell in love with this bamboo and silk polka dot teapot!
There was a real crowd around this new piece so it was hard to get a good shot and I can see why. French studio Petite Friture have created the most sensational wall hooks in mouth blown coloured glass. Designed to look like soap bubbles the ‘Bubble’ hangers are beautifully imperfect and undulating, available in grey, coral and lemon. Priced at £40/€48 for a small and £53/€64 for a large – which colours would you have?
They also introduced a collection of bright watercolour cushions fast becoming a signature style for the brand following the popularity of their Francis Mirror
Another new discovery for me was Chhatwal Johsson - a company founded by a Swedish and Indian husband and wife duo. Their pieces aim to combine the Swedish aesthetic with the handmade heritage of Indian textiles. The result is a beautifully restrained ethnic collection. I loved their new season colour combinations of navy and orange and an on trend mix of chevron and polka dot patterns.
Lovely wallpapers from Bartsch, a French company specialising in kids wallpapers. My favourite is the Moon Crescent wallpaper which feature golden glints of the lunar cycle.
Dreamy Tie and Dye linens from Baan. I love the palette of acid and monochrome hues.
Stunning cosy wool rugs by Honoré
Then finally after a long day pounding the the trade fair halls – we collapsed into a numb slump [anyone who does the fairs can relate to this anaesthetic feeling] that can only be sated with copious amounts of French food and wine. A cosy evening was spent at Chez Janou a buzzy French restaurant.
Bright and early the next day we set off to explore favourite design haunts in the glittering city.
Merci was breathtaking as usual, where I picked up some early Christmas presents and treated myself to some Autumn linens from their world-famous linen section.
How beautiful does Paris look in the Autumn? It certainly looked magical staring out from exquisite kids design store Bon Ton
When in France…
Goodies at Bensimon!
I visited the iconic candle-shop Cire Trudon for the first time. It smelled out of this world!
A quick stop at Hermes in the ritzy Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood. The breathtaking store is housed inside the 30′s era Lutetia municipal swimming pool!
Finally, our last port of call before we boarded the Eurostar home was the famous Rose Bakery inside Le Bon Marche.