Top Ten Design Finds From Maison & Objet Paris 2016
January 31, 2016 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
It was apparent during my recent visit to the design show Maison & Objet in Paris, that furniture and home accessories brands traditionally known for interior products are venturing outdoors.
As evidence of the trend toward indoor-outdoor living, the show no longer includes a hall dedicated uniquely to outdoor products as most brands now feature designs for both indoors and outdoors, no longer fitting into one category any more than they fit into any one room.
Indicative of the blurring boundaries between indoors and outdoors, here’s what was trending at Maison & Objet this month: Materials from nature–lighting made from mushrooms and planters 3D-printed from potato starch; multi-tasking furniture perfect for small space living; nature embedded into indoor-outdoor furniture with integrated planters; lots of furniture and accessories made from or inspired by logs. Here are some of my favorites from the January 2016 show:
1. Decadent Decagons: Lithhos Ceramic Italy
I love the sleek geometry of this handmade ceramic indoor-outdoor table collection from Italy. As a bonus for those who live in small spaces, these multi-tasking pieces can either offer storage or a spot for a planter inside a designated opening on the tabletop.
Great for outdoors, the tables have drainage holes, but for indoor use with plants they’d require placing a tray under the container. If you recall your high school geometry, the tables are available in a few configurations including octagons and decagons.
2. Dossofiorito Rolling Planter Table
Pottable (get it?) is a solid oak rolling coffee table with a ceramic pot that fits into a well on the tabletop. This is another multi-functional piece which offers flexibility for small space living. Plants will love it as much as you do–the table’s on wheels so it’s easily moved around the house enabling the plants to chase the sun for maximum exposure.
3. Suspended Roots
Some plants prefer to hang out rather than move about. Dossofiorito’s Epiphytes collection of glazed ceramic planter “bottles” are porous so they capture and provide just the right amount of humidity to keep plant roots happy for several days.
But what might you ask are epiphytes? They’re plants that grow on other plants, usually trees–Epi meaning ‘on or above’ and phyte meaning ‘plant.’ They’re not parasites, these babies just like the companionship of other plants.
4. 3D-Printed Planters Made From Leftover Potatoes
Who woulda thunk it? This was one of my favorite finds. Dutch company Rescued turns waste and leftover potatoes into 3D printed hanging planters.
Talk about combining the best of current obsessions: edible materials you’d never think of recycling into non-edible objects then reducing waste by using the latest manufacturing process to create one-off products. Clever.
5. Edible and Natural Materials Mushrooming Into Furniture
Potatoes are not the only edible material designers are turning into furniture and accessories. Designer Jonas Edvard, one of the designers from the show’s Talents à la Carte exhibition of emerging Scandinavian talents, is known for his Myx lamps made from mushroom mycelium. I featured these lamps back in 2013, but since then he has launched a number of other products made from other interesting materials.
The composite limestone and bio-resin tabletops of his Gesso side tables represent the world’s first compostable stone material, sourced from the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old coral reef in Faxe, Denmark.
Sitting atop welded and painted steel frames, the tables can be arranged in a number of configurations mixing the two available heights and four colors.
6. Bacsac is Back: New Watering Bottles
Bacsac is a favorite French brand I’ve showcased since I first discovered them soon after their launch in 2008. Famous for their soft sack planters which limit evaporation and maintain moisture, Bacsac is back with another product in the irrigation realm.
Debuting at M&O this year, their new unglazed ceramic watering bottles use the suction created when you cover the opening at the top to pull water into the bottle, then as you uncover the opening, it releases a spray for irrigation.
The lovely bottles resemble guards and double as decorative accessories for indoors or out.
7. Lyon Beton: Lightweight Concrete, Heavy in Design
Part of their Edge collection, this simple concrete stool sits a bit above the ground on four swivel castors so it moves wherever you want to place it, indoors or outdoors. The soft braided rope handle contrasts nicely with the concrete’s hard lines.
I also love their Green furniture collection which features a planted coffee table–a trend I saw repeatedly at this show, the merging of furniture and planters.
8. Fashion Hosiery: Zee and Laorus Garden Hoses
Looks like fashionable garden hoses are an emerging trend as these are one of several I’ve spotted in the past year. They’re off the ground and mounted on walls as though they were art, and colorful enough to double such. Belgian company, Zee, showed their Mirtoon collection of eye-popping colorful hoses and hose reels.
Laorus, whose products I have featured from past Maison & Objet shows, was back with new colorways for their garden hoses which are housed behind a door on their matching wall boxes.
9. DIY Outdoor Pizza Oven Kit
Featured as part of M&O’s Wild theme, Dutch designer Pieter Städler’s Brick & Sand is an open air compact pizza oven that you build yourself. A graduate of the cutting edge Design Academy Eindhoven, Städler experimented with materials, proportions, and heat distribution to create this modular design featuring a concrete lid, pizza stone, metal door, and matching grid but leaves it to the user/builder to create the brick base construction of their choice.
If you’re not into DIY, he offers the Sand Oven, a ready-to-use taller version on legs.
10. More From the Danes: Colorful Indoor-Outdoor Tabletops
Each of Troels Flensted’s colorful Poured Collection pieces is as unpredictable as the way in which his materials flow together to create the unique patterns on his tabletops. Combining mineral powder, water-based acrylic polymer and pigments into a liquid casting material, the Danish artist creates his tabletops by hand then seals them with a strong stain and highly abrasion and weather resistant sealer, while a local blacksmith forges the frames then powder coats them in matte black finish. Each piece is unique, its different patterns determined by the amount of pigment Flensted adds to the casting mix, how the mix is poured into each individual mold, and how the material flows together to creates it’s unique patterns.
Stay tuned for much more from my Paris trip!
Disclosure: My trip to Paris was sponsored by Maison & Objet. I was not paid to write this post. All opinions expressed herein are uniquely mine and not indicative of any sponsor opinions or positions.
Unless otherwise noted, all photos by Robin Plaskoff Horton.