A Designer in Paris

by Natalie Straker, Bernard Interiors

Visiting Paris for Maison & Objet in January is also an opportunity to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of Paris Deco Off, which celebrated 10 years this year.

In honour of the Paris Deco Off anniversary several iconic designers produced bespoke oversized furniture, placed throughout the streets of design district Saint Germain for the public, and designers, to enjoy.

We navigated our way through the busy avenues to find the enormous offering by fabric house La Maison Pierre Frey. Based on a design from the upcoming 2019 furniture collection, the chair was scaled up significantly and upholstered with specialist outdoor fabrics.

There were live music parades and street dancers, and the hustle and bustle of visitors spilling out of the busy fabric houses lasted late into the evening.

Elsewhere in Paris, the highlight of this year’s Maison & Objet was undoubtedly the Unique & Eclectic section – an endless feast of distinctive and exceptional pieces from far and wide.

Original hand carved sculptures and objects from across sub-Saharan Africa were presented alongside hand spun, one of a kind rugs and wall hangings, amongst many other exceptional items.

The true value of the Unique & Eclectic section of M&O is the opportunity to integrate diversity and significance within an interior scheme, using beautifully crafted items that may sometimes surprise and always delight.

We sourced many new items including hand carved African décor, luxury woven Iranian rugs and bespoke painted French pots used at the gardens of Versailles. We also made sure to catch up on the collections of our suppliers from within the UK.

M&O Trend Spotting

  • Neon and graphic signage – adorning walls within bedroom room sets or used simply as an art installation in itself.
  • Mustard and orange – from upholstery to case goods these hues were unmissable. Paired with calm, crisp fabrics or perhaps classic walnut. Either way, something to look out for in the upcoming seasons.
  • Making a statement! Oversized lamps, graphic artwork, eclectic mixes of bold patterns and vivid colours, everything was on offer. It would be fair to say … more is more!
  • Stone – from natural pieces to progressive replica materials. A classic statement within design, new production methods have emerged in recent years to provide a wide variety of durable/alternative options. For example, we sourced samples from a manufacturer who can produce faux stone cladding which has the capability to be back lit due to its translucent fabrication.

What M&O Means To Me As A Designer

An eye for the unusual and individual drives my attention to detail and the sheer variety on offer was astounding and inspiring. Having always appreciated the value of ‘stepping outside of the box’ visiting Maison was an opportunity I could not resist!

One of our objectives was to engage with, and eventually source from, new suppliers and manufacturers to continue injecting the personality and uniqueness we strive to achieve within our designs.

We have documented the highlights and our exceptional finds, we will share with the rest of the team and refer to this information continuously throughout the coming year.

Our style is born from our clients vision and our skills realise our clients’ business aspirations or dream lifestyle.


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Photography © Neale Smith / Kristen McCluskie