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Maison et Objet 2011 Day 1

Online Editor Ben Morgan visits Maison et Objet in Paris for the annual home fashion show.


January 21st, 2011

Arriving in Paris to -2°C this morning made me long for the circa 30°C temps they’ve been having back in Sydney, but the 2011 Maison et Objet fair offered anything but a chilly reception on day 1.

I took the opportunity on the first day to check out ‘Now! design à vivre’, one of the most exciting halls for high-end residential furniture and homewares from leading brands (Hall 7, which also features some big names, I’ll take on in a couple of days).

Maison et Objet in January is really about all those prototypes we saw in Milan last year finally being put into production, which means a number of the products have been refined and reworked slightly. So you’ll have to excuse me if I recap on some of those prototypes launched late last year.

Kristalia have launched two new pieces from Italian Christophe Pillet, the ‘Pulp’ chair and ‘Neat’ table. I love the curved geometry of the Pulp chair and the absolute simplicity of the Neat table.



Kristalia also launched additions to the current collection, such as the BCN Stool and Elephant chair with wooden legs (the most beautiful yet in my opinion).




Another great find was this folding chair, ‘Desile’, from Belgian company Vange. CNC-machined from a piece of laminated bamboo, the chair is flat-packed, can be stacked flat and can be folded two ways – so with a different colour on each side, you can have a red and a blue chair in one.



Meanwhile, over at French Manufacturer ALKI, their new 2011 ranges are a celebration of felt and oak. Their beautiful writing desks just made me want to sit down and get lost in writing that novel (yes, online editors dream of writing novels too!), while their felt-covered oak chairs (Meta) are full of character.




A gorgeous asymmetrical wood and glass table from Miniforms presented a beautiful interpretation of nature.


Gandia Blasco’s stand felt out of place in the depths of Parisian winter, but it would have been right at home in Australia. Their stand was awash with earthy browns, whites and creams.


French company Cinna launched an amazing array of products at this year’s Maison et Objet, including several designs by Singapore-based Outofstock and Nathan Yong – personal favourites are the ‘Black Forest’ table (Outofstock) and the Marcello chair and Paper Table (Nathan Yong).




Ligne Roset (Domo Collections in Aust.) had the new sofa by the Bouroullec brothers on show. The large kidney-shaped sofa is super comfortable and sumptuously oversized!



(The Bouroullecs were acknowledged this year as the 2011 Now! design à vivre Designers of the Year. More on that tomorrow.)

Not sure if RS Barcelona are trading on the location, but this cute ‘Eiffel’ stool packs down quite small and was a bit of fun.



These storage units from Opinion Ciatti were a continuation of the trend I spotted at imm cologne last week, where wall storage is being made up of smaller, less-uniform compartments.


Magis (Corporate Culture in Australia) had all their latest production pieces – a lot that were launched at Milan last year – including the Tower shelves for the me too collection.


Zanotta (Space Furniture in Aust.) had an awesome display of their chairs throughout history in this cool display wall.


Moustache (available through Dawson Interiors in Aust.) had their fun, quirky designs on show, from their twisted ‘Big-game’ chairs and this cool coat rack that draws on your walls – for those without kids to do it for them of course.



Another standout for me was Muuto. Previously focusing on homewares, the collective of Scandinavian designers is now moving into larger furniture, with the release of a new sofa collection (pictured) with others to come at Milan 2011.


So, once again, I could go on for days about everything on show at Maison et Objet (and luckily I’ve still got two days to do it), but those are my highlights in furniture from Now! design à vivre. Tomorrow I’m going to pick my favourites from the homewares and talk a little about the Designers of the Year.

Until then…


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