Well, now I feel better. Maison & Objet is living up to its reputation for offering the best lifestyle statements of any home show. Exhibits may not be revolutionary – at least not yet – but they are evolutionary.
Strength has been added to trends which emerged over the last two seasons in spots. Specific looks are now more easily recognized and have proliferated. Among them wire construction, being used for all manner of furnishings, especially seating and tables, but accessories have also picked up the trend. Lighting, in particular, whether floor or table lamps, or chandeliers. Even placemats and coasters were seen executed in wire. Most often, wire is bright silver, the alternative being black.
Silver accessories are in abundance, with mercury glass staging a successful comeback.
Metal has become an important material for indoor furnishigns, first noted last year when it became integrated aggressively into interiors. Entire cabinets, chests of drawers were fashioned in metal, some with rust stain or patina finishes. Chairs, settees, chaises and tables are an important part of this trend, suggesting garden-like settings for indoors. In this respect, metal has overtaken wicker and rattan, although both materials are still well represented. This season’s use of metal is more subtle. Armoires, chests and tables tend to be framed in rather than all metal. It outlines wood surfaces, often assembled in strips with heavily distressed and sometimes wiped color finishes.
Campaign furniture, also previously seen, has gained momentum. Even Hermes had an entire set-up of pieces in its famous store on the St. Honore Faubourg. Campaign pieces now make rather frequent appearances, including the ubiquitous leather folding chairs, benches and tables, which really do travel, rounded out by any manner of large trunks. These are often covered in cowhide or leather and serve as large coffee tables as well as storage. The most complex and interesting ones open up to reveal an entirely specific purpose, such as traveling bars, wine cellar or the dressing table the French call a poudreuse. There are also trunks used as end tables, often executed in metal, complete with leather handles and locks.
All this suggested mobility may tie in with the latest fad for "glamping," -i.e. while pretending to "rough" it in tents and – hold your breath – in newly fashionable tree houses. One doesn’t want to give up too much of the good life, does one?
Please read on for part 2 of today’s opening day post.