Maison & Objet, Paris


Maison & Objet, Paris


Hello folks! Remember me? I can’t believe that January is almost done and I am only getting around to my first blog post of the year now. I’ve been saying it for so long now, but I need more help around here. It’s reached boiling point and as such, I am finally getting around to dealing with that important mission. More of that soon, but for now, I want to share some thoughts and inspiration from our recent trip.

Charly and I (and my long-time school friend, Karen, who was along for the ride) travelled to Paris last week to attend MAISON & OBJET – a renowned trade event and the international authority for home decor, interior design, architecture and lifestyle products. Attending an exhibition of this scale was as overwhelming as it was inspiring for this first-timer – and as is the case with many rookies, mistakes were made. The biggest error was assuming that we could cover this five-day event in just two days. Not our smartest move. We probably saw less than half of what was on offer, but we loved every minute of it, regardless!

So many of the fabulous brands we saw are by no means ‘new’ to market, but many were new to us. Seeing all of these creative companies and individuals in full exhibition mode from the large, well-established organisations to the very small new businesses was exactly the creative stimulus we were craving.

So, what were some of the stand-out companies and concepts for us? Well, let me start with some trend observations and then I’ll move into some of the notable brands we saw. Here’s my proverbial two-cents worth on what’s hot and happening in the world of interiors.

Vinyl revival

Without a doubt, the biggest ‘new’ trend on my radar is vinyl rugs. Now, we all know that vinyl floor coverings are nothing new – we’ve all encountered them somewhere in our childhoods, be it at our grandparents or parents homes. Safe to say, vinyl has already had it’s heyday but it’s traditional use has has been a wall to wall solution, whereas what we’re seeing now are pieces specifically cut and designed as rugs. Area rugs, kitchen rugs, runners and round –  these babies are coming in hot! Not only do they look fabulous but let’s face it, they could not be more practical. And who doesn’t love practical when it looks this good?

Vinyl rugs are firmly placed on my must-have list!

Velvet is here to stay

This lux textile has been making it’s way back to the forefront of home interiors for a some time already and it looks as though it’s fixed to settle in and stay for a while longer. Few textiles can pack a visual punch and add drama to a room like velvet can. Whether you’re mixing it up with traditional pieces or keeping it fresh in a simple minimalist setting, velvet seldom disappoints.

Blue is the new black

Anyone noticed all the dark blue kitchen cabinets making a splash on Pinterest, or the sudden rise in blue textiles or the dramatic dark walls? I’m personally loving all the shades of blues everywhere. From navy to indigo and everything in between, blue is looking to be a big interior hit for 2018.

A strong departure from my usual safe and subtle palettes, I started to dabble with some dark blues late last year (my Instagram can account for it), but right now just about any shade of dark blue has really got me excited to make some bold design statements this year. Watch this space.

So that’s a little round-up on what I thought were the stand-out trends, but now for some insights into companies and creatives that caught my eye. I must state that it’s impossibly difficult to accurately summarise all that got my attention at the show, because so much of it was truly inspiring, but these are a few of the companies that were either new discoveries to me, or just well worth a mention.

WOUD – A fairly new Danish design brand putting a modern spin on deep-rooted Nordic design traditions. I spent a good deal of time at this stand admiring every detail of their designs. When you see their product range which includes pieces like this, you’ll want to do the same.

HARTÔ – Smart and colourful French furniture design for cool and quirky interiors. We loved their compact secretary desk with it’s interchangeable colour options. They also design a small range of lighting.

STORY TILES – This small Amsterdam-based business, founded in 2013, creates art on tiles, wood and cards – although it’s the tiles that are the main attraction. Every design features witty and comical illustrations with the most exquisite and tiny details. I’d seen their products before but never fully appreciated their unique beauty. The new collection is magical.

KLYBECK – This innovative furniture brand from Switzerland (also a relative newcomer to the market) creates a small collection of furniture and home accessories. I was particularly drawn to their IVY series of coat hooks.

AVEVA – Using sustainable ideas and materials, this interesting company puts an innovative spin on traditional and natural resources by combining the hard and soft materials in interior design – particularly wood and wool, their trademark. We really loved their felt storage baskets & merino wool strap shelves.

LORENA CANALS – Let’s hear it for 100% cotton and machine washable rugs. The perfect accessory for spaces occupied by kids and pets alike! The colour are pattern choices from this brand are extensive and fabulous. where have they been all my life?

OYUNA – A luxurious brand of cashmere, cotton and silk products, both for wearing and the home. Let’s just say I’ve never wanted to own a throw so desperately! They are amazing.

LINTEX – last but far from least, this extraordinary range of uber stylish whiteboards is well worth a look. It may sound like something a little odd to be raving about around here, but trust me on this one. I’m a big fan of lists and visual planning, but I have an inherent loathing for traditional whiteboards. When it comes to workspace interiors, whiteboards with their ugly metal frames and shiny surfaces are big offenders in the aesthetic stakes, but Lintex have developed a range of writable surfaces that will knock your socks off! Think seamless magnetic surfaces and a colour palette that includes blush pink. See for yourself. 

Thanks to my first look at MAISON & OBJET, I’m feeling more excited and inspired than I have in a long time. Big thanks to my lovely travel companions, Charly & Karen for an awesome and memorable trip! Keep an eye out for my next post featuring some travel tips for Paris, including the fabulous boutique hotel we found.

Kathryn Hawkes

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1 Comment

  • When in Paris - House of Hawkes 19/02/2018 at 9:10 PM

    […] to attend Maison & Objet. You can read all about our design adventure and awesome discoveries here, but I also wanted to tell you a bit about our stay in La Ville-Lumière (aka the City of […]

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    Hi, I’m Kathryn

    Hi, I’m Kathryn

    House of Hawkes is a boutique interior design studio based in Dubai. This website is where it all began and remains a creative platform for sharing my work, my love of design and things that inspire me. Come on over & meet the team.

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