September 11, 2011 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
Oo La La, I’m in Paris, and here is some of what’s trending from the international design fair, Maison et Objet Outdoor/Indoor: The boundaries continue to blend between interior and exterior sending interior design outdoors and the garden influences the interior. Sofas move to the patio and chaise longues to the living room. Terraces sport outdoor showers and balconies have weatherproof rugs underfoot.
I sat in several variations on the hanging chair, as well as in numerous contemporary takes on the bean bag chair in fabrics suitable for outdoors, or even for floating in a pool. Illuminated everything was a big trend: planters large and small as well as outdoor seating and tables were ready to light up backyards and rooftops as well as libraries.
Containers, furniture, and tiles made from lightweight concrete composite materials, like Domani’s Tolnite were trending. And since this is Paris, the home of Patrick Blanc, there were, of course, many vertical gardens and green walls. More than one brand interpreted the soft container concept, like those by Bacsac.
For the indoor garden: Marimekko’s soft pot bags are made form a durable and washable paper.
And there was lots of color!
One of my favorite brands, Deesawat, unveiled its new Bottle lounge chair at Maison et Objet.
On the Bright side
A bright red chair with spots for drinks from newcomer, Binome Jardin, is made from polyester resin supported by oak and acacia legs. I loved their offbeat round containers too.
Patricia Urquiola’s Maia chair, above, for Kettal is a favorite I would love to see with colorful pillows. On a weird note: just after I left the Kettal booth, there was aloud explosive crash that sounded like a bomb. A large portion of the suspended ceiling had fallen to the ground crushing things in it’s path right where I had been standing moments before! Unbelievably, not a single person was hurt and the Kettal folks managed to get their display up and running in time for the next day’s show. Whew.
Pierantonio Bonacina‘s Egg chair in front of a green wall, above, was one of many variations on the hanging chair trend. The chair, like many others today, is fabricated from a synthetic fiber material that’s weather and UV resistant, durable, easy to clean, doesn’t absorb sunscreen or other oils, and is even recyclable.
Italian company, Slide, introduced it’s collection of illuminated furniture, pots, and spheres that can be suspended or placed on the ground or in water. The sensual curve of the Moon seat, above, can hug one or more other Moon pieces to form a continuous modular wave of seating.
Scan Fatboy’s QR code fabric-covered beanbag chair, above, and you will be taken to the brand’s website for product information! Here’s a brand that knows how to have fun: their booth sported these oversized pots as tables, below, which they don’t sell, but I told them they should consider doing so.
So, after finding my way circuitously around lesser-known Paris streets, unable to resist checking out every amazing shoe in every store window I passed, I’m glad to have made it to the show where on two consecutive days I spent several hours exploring the zillion big brands and as many small newcomers in the outdoor and home design arena. Many of the designs I viewed are not yet available outside Europe, but I received numerous offers to become a North American distributor. Although I’d love to see some of these products in my neck of the woods, I’m not sure that’s up my alley.
Check back as I’ll be bringing you many more designs from Maison et Objet and also news from Paris Design Week, which starts tomorrow!
All Photos: Robin Plaskoff Horton