Finding Decorative Joy in Paris - Design Diary - Part 2

22-01-2017

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It's hard to care about the latest curtain fabric when you scroll through your Facebook and see news of two lost boys who have sliced a dogs ears off for fun, or a UN article recommending that the human race needs to give up dairy and meat consumption, or when Trump gets sworn in or when Bowie dies (may you rest in peace).

So what should we care about? What makes home important right now. Well there is nothing more important to civilisation than a roof and walls and warmth and water and let's not forget that most human of needs...JOY. Without joy there is no happiness, no hope, no dreams.

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So let's focus on Eco and function - hell yes, it's at the forefront of our minds right now - but let's not for one second assume that joy isn't just as important. Ornamentation can bring that joy and decoration is in our nature as humans. It's passed down through history; it's part of our culture and in our blood. It's how we express ourselves. So maybe that curtain fabric is worth looking into. Especially if it makes your heart leap a little and makes you dream of one day having a little piece of that in your own home or of designing something that wonderful yourself someday. Whatever it is that brings you joy, and for us it's all things interiors, that thing is just a valid and important as the pipes that bring you clean water. Because your soul is as important as the body it is housed in.

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So come on Maison et Objet, give us all the joy you've got! We are ready for it! 

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First things first, that Black and Tan moment that we mentioned in part one, it wasn't just us missing Buckers, it was for real. Black and Tan is a thing in interiors right now. And it is a gorgeous look. As seen here on the stand of our friends Petite Friture and also at Vitra and Ferm living.

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Next we arrive at the Rising talents stand where we bump into Seb cox, Giles Miller and Tom Dixon. Great to see British talent represented so strongly on the continent and along with ceramicist John Booth and Materialist, Zuza Mengham, they all represent new craft at its best. Quality.

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Another Brit brand making their mark globally, Pinch, is always effortlessly elegant. They are well loved within the design world for their quality craftsmanship and deserve to gain a much wider audience in 2017. 

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Elsewhere finishes were 'Ribbed for your pleasure'. From fresh quilted cushions by Nomess to Sebastian Herkner's tan tiles used as a backdrop to his stunning bath design. And even out on the streets of Paris in retail design, we saw fluted glass and ribbed cladding at the opulent Le Bon Marche. Glass in general was textured, fluted or wired. Definitely something we will be translating into our upcoming interior projects.

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A surprise hit for us was the wonderfully named Wiener GTV design - we are after all proud owners of our very own wiener dog. This furniture brand stole our hearts with their insanely beautiful colour combos, black curvy outlines and rattan details. Definitely ones to watch - a joy to behold.

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Next off we go (on recommendation from our pal Seb Herkner) to Le Bon marche - a luxury shopping experience with an incredibly relevant art installation by Chiharu Shirota.

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Entitled 'where are we going?' It is a question posed with a web of weightless boats on feathery white strands appearing to float toward the stunning ceiling of the main shopping hall - such a powerful display of the opulence retail environment playing as backdrop for some big questions about where we are headed as a race. The building itself is a joy, full of beautiful interior details. The art installation makes you question your joy in the experience of it all with more layers of beauty that are so strikingly simple that they are an amazing contrast to the setting. Could an artist have hit on a moment more powerfully? The dilemma of consumerism in a troubled world. 

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As for the numerous halls back at the main reason for our visit, Maison, dedicated to gaudy cheap plastic things that really should no longer be produced. We avoid those halls as, for us, they are the antithesis of Joy. What happens when the sub standard plastic crap starts to take over the market place and the homes of the world? People start to not care about anything because it's throwaway. It has no meaning, no soul, no purpose. Let's keep chasing quality and investing our time and thought and yes money in all that is good. Well crafted, purposeful, thoughtful, beautiful objets. That's got to be what Maison et Objet is about not just making a quick buck. We certainly found plenty of evidence of designers doing the good work and fighting to keep the joy alive, to inspire a better world. Bravo you soldiers of joy! Keep up the good fight, as we need to be bolder than ever right now.

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