Modern Beauty: 10 Design Favorites from Maison & Objet

Maison & Objet 2011

Paris is wonderful even in January. Aaron and I were just there, attending the unbelievably big home design trade fair, Maison et Objet. It was freezing and gray outside, but there was so much energy in the massive halls at the conference center that it seemed to burst through the doors, along with the smokers looking for a spot to take a break. The economy may be in flux, but if this year's show is any indication, the home design and decor world is forging forward. But, it wasn't about making deals for us — we were there to spot trends and see what is new....

To start off our coverage, I put together this gallery of items that were personal favorites; they are pieces that I was happy to see in person that I kept thinking about as I walked the aisles of the show.

The thing that the items in this group have in common for me is a certain style of decorative generosity. These pieces illustrate the shift toward not being afraid of decoration, either in form, or pattern or color. It's a modern version of luxuriousness which is not necessarily dependent on price or material, but rather the desire to fulfill a need for pure decoration which exists along with the item's natural functionality. They are, of course, things to sit on or cover your dining table with, but to phrase it in the most simple way possible, they are also going for pretty in contemporary fashion, such as by juxtaposing surprising materials, playing with scale, looking at the repeat and the appearance of "handmade" in patterns, and embracing more traditional materials and styles in new ways.

Shown above, top row, left to right:
1. Large scale, traditional pattern: Sofa from JNL Collection
2. Juxtaposing materials: Logs in Lucite from Bleu Nature
3. Traditional material with fresh color and loose pattern: Silk fabric stretched panel from Rocio Moreno
4. Handmade look produced digitally: Tablecloth from Hay
5. A lush, overstuffed version of Scandinavian design: Sofa from Muuto

Bottom row, left to right:
6. Loose, hand done pattern on a traditional rug: Rug from Ethnic Art Textile
7. Grouping of traditional fixtures: Chandeliers from Labyrinthe Interiors
8. Juxtaposing materials: Ceramic basket with rope handle from Reiko Kaneko
9. Large scale traditional imagery in fresh colors: Floral wallpaper from Jannelli & Volpi
10. Traditional Chinese pottery style in modern colors and finish: Porcelain from Jean Boggio for Franz

There is much more on the way as Aaron and I dig in on our photos and notes. More Maison et Objet coming soon!

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