At the start of each year, the Interior Design world heads to Paris for Paris Design Week. Paris always delivers a glamorous experience and let’s face it – everyone loves a weekend in Paris – even in January when it’s freezing cold. We stayed in a fab little hotel called Le Saint, perfectly formed, perfectly french and served a damn good late night cocktail. Plus it had this little plant stand just before the lift up to your room, where you could choose a few plants to take up to your bedroom. Nice touch I thought.
Paris Design Week consists of two major events and lots of cocktails parties and dinners, Maison et Objet and Paris Deco Off are the two big trade shows. Most people visit both, but to be honest, my favourite is Paris Deco Off.
Maison et Objet needs to up their game I think. We’re all so tired of design shows that consist of row upon row (and 8 halls) of stands. There’s nothing conceptual to add interest, simply a grid of brands showcasing their wares. Two designers that I met said it was worth the schlep going to Maison as out of all the stands they sometimes find one or two interesting new suppliers. Personally, I think that’s not good enough and would really welcome some further creativity from the show’s organisers. However, it’s one of those shows that you need to get on with, wearing comfortable sneakers, and dive right in to hunt out some good finds and keep an eye on trends.
On the other hand, Paris Deco Off adds the element of experiencing Paris first hand in the glamorous 6 arrondissement of Paris – St Germain. Little popups throughout the area house fabric, furniture and design brands. Most will welcome you with a glass of champagne and chocolates, and then show you through their latest collections. Between showrooms, you do sometimes fall into a small brasserie with friends for lunch or cocktails. It’s really fun to do this and almost everyone I spoke to, loved hanging around here during Design Week. and then you move onto the next pop up.
There was one major trend that I spotted this year, with 2 small trends emerging and being used sporadically.
Rattan/cane furniture was definitely on the increase. New brands were showcasing new pieces, restaurants were incorporating this into their design and even Paul Bert Serpette (the iconic Parisian flea market) was brimming with interesting vintage and new pieces. You couldn’t escape that Rattan was on the rise – and this makes total sense. A couple of years ago, we embraced the tropical/jungle look and this is a natural evolution from those popular wall coverings and fabrics.
The next ‘trend’ that I could see was the emergence of the colour yellow. There were bits and pieces of it being used – in design, yellow is a very divisive colour, and designers don’t often use this strong colour. But we were seeing pops of this around Maison et Objet as well as Paul Bert Serpette (the flea market) again. Personally, I’m not a huge yellow fan, but it does change the feeling of a space, making it very playful, and this is something that we haven’t seen in interiors over the last few years.
Fringes are back, on furniture, walls, lamps, and whatever else you can think of. Again, bringing a fun element back to interiors. We had a lot of fun playing with the fringe wall at Ginger & Jagger. The Fringe bookcase was a highlight too.
Beyond the Shows and into the Ateliers
Being in Paris is wonderful, especially when your great friends with you introduce you to special Ateliers that they use in their design firms, 3 of which we got to visit.
Perrine Rosseau is a contemporary textile company, with the heart of the brand thoroughly entrenched in weaving, the looms make up most of the first-floor space in the atelier, and you’re surrounded by fabrics and the most phenomenal threads in gold, silver, copper and many more materials. These sorts of brands make design come alive, they sit at the junction between art, craftsmanship, design and human function. I would advise you to spend a few minutes browsing the Perrine Rosseau website.
We then moved onto the showroom apartment of Vincent Darre, one of the top tastemakers and designers in France. Everything in his apartment is for sale and trust me, it’s quite an experience. In every part of the space you are delighted by the shapes, colour and pattern that you see in front of you.
Lastly, we visited the studio of designers Hubert Le Gall, known for his fantastical designs and prolific work. Entering this space is truly like entering another world, that of Hubert’s. Everywhere you look there are whimsical creations, lamps, mirrors, tables, shelves, lights, you name, it’s somewhere in that studio and looks completely unlike anything you’ve seen before. His pieces often sell for more at Christie’s than they do retail, so if you’re looking to invest in collectable design, then he’s definitely one to add to your research list.