By Rose Winston
January 24, 2013—For the past month, Paris has been awash in protests, both for and against the government’s gay-marriage law (which passed on February 12th). As I arrived in Paris to attend Maison & Objet, the renowned annual interior design show, I had the good fortune to witness history in the making as citizens took to the streets to voice their views. It was fascinating to watch France’s “democracy in action.”
Likewise at Maison this year, many companies were doing their part to “democratize” home styles by bringing well-designed and innovative products to the masses. Here are a few of the hot trends and fabulous finds I discovered at the show.
In the Jim Thompson showroom, artist Richard Smith introduced his latest No. 9 collection, inspired by Turkish motifs. Smith’s Grand Paisley fabric pairs a wheat-colored linen foreground with forsythia, light pink, chartreuse and turquoise-blue accents. A perfect spring bouquet!
Gray is still popular this season. In shades ranging from light dove to taupe to dark charcoal, it provides a neutral canvas upon which many vibrant colors can be paired.
A profusion of pink permeated the show this year, from light rose to warm coral and deep mauve. The chromo-meter was also turned high with bright shades from forsythia yellow to Chartreuse green. Fabulous shades of blue were also omnipresent. Below, Belgian company Charrell combined a serene blue linen sofa and chairs with lightly distressed wood furniture and a stunning crystal chandelier.
London’s Designers Guild displayed an alcove of chairs upholstered in all shades of blue, from indigo to sky blue.
And a guest room by Pierre Frey was enveloped in a bold, modern graphic fabric that covered the walls in bold forsythia and ivory.
Theresienthal Crystal introduced a new collection this year called Amundo, with designs based on the Asian temples of Angkor Wat. Each piece can serve as a vase, a tea light, a candle holder or a centerpiece bowl. The colors of amber, indigo and plum impart a sense of serenity.
One of the most innovative lamps I found at the show is from a small French company called Verveine Menthe. Drum-shaped lampshades in its nature-inspired collection come in a variety of vibrant colors and display a whimsical cut-out where a faux canary is perched.
As Jules Renard once said, “add three letters to Paris and your have “Paradise. ” It is so true that Paris, the capital of decorative arts, has the ability to inspire great creativity in all of us.
Rose Winston is pursuing a second Masters in Interior Design at the Corcoran College
of Art, where she was awarded a Fellowship.