Andy Barette, Creative Services Director
The sheer scale of Maison et Objet in Paris was still baffling me, and acclaimed interior designer, Stephen Ryan and myself needed to pick up the pace in the afternoon to be sure of seeing as much of the luxury furniture as possible. There simply isn’t time to look at everything and I found myself refraining from making eye contact with people through fear of getting even more waylaid! I have always been a big fan of feature lighting and the Hisle stand was certainly worth a visit for their ‘Carre’ lamp amongst other things. The gold anodized ‘Carre’ lamp was a beautiful elegant soft table lamp that really caught my eye.
From the Hisle stand, I was drawn to the ‘Pietre di Monitillo’ space. They describe their products as ‘a collection of stone objects’ but that description does no justice to the marvels they produce. The pieces they use for their collections are made from Carrara marble, green imperial marble and Mazzaro, which is a limestone from Puglia. They had two absolute stand-out displays for me, firstly the most beautiful wall of concave tiles in Carrara marble, sumptuously tactile and wondrously sculptured – I didn’t even need to know where it would fit in a given project, I just wanted to use it!
The second element that I couldn’t stop touching was another display of marble tiles with a wonderful ribbed effect. It was just so beautifully made, admirers were gathered around and the friendly Italian representatives were certainly earning their money as brand ambassadors!
There was certainly no shortage of decadent furniture and upholstery stands, one of the most striking for me being Emanuel Ungaro, a really divine set of fabrics and colours was on offer here, for those looking for rarer material and marquetry. www.ungaro.com/emanuel-ungaro-home/.
The most inspiring find for me in the afternoon however, was the Eichholtz stand. I say ‘stand’, but they seemed to have an exhibition all of their own. Eichholtz are a business to business wholesaler of luxury furniture, lighting and accessories. It was the ultimate one stop shop and if you only had time to visit one space during the show and went to this one, you would not have been disappointed. It was a sensory overload, with almost too many options to take in including some gob-smacking lighting displays, and wonderful objects and sculptures.
After Eichholtz, time was running low and my new strategy was simply to take as many photos as possible, to look back at and pour over for inspiration back at our showroom in Chelsea. There is certainly an eclectic mix of images, with my highlight a series of glass cubes displaying translucent skulls, as a lighting feature- whacky, creative and a bit sinister at the same time!
The curtain on the show drew for us at about 6 pm. To summarise on my experience, Maison et Objet is the ultimate interior design business to business event, with an almost unimaginable amount to take in. With careful planning, there is so much that can be taken from the show, and it has certainly opened my eyes to a higher level of possibilities when considering how to make our spaces really great. I will be back, but this time for twice the amount of time – at least!