A stellar array of minimalism was on display at the winter edition of Maison and Objet in Paris last week. Furniture manufacturers known for streamlined designs kept it lean, while porcelain manufacturers lauded for ornament got into the modern game. Lighting seemed to take cues from the midcentury, the Far East and the luminary who began it all, Edison, as filament bulbs transformed fixtures into lit sculptures. Overall, the eight halls filled with products showed us that this season’s fair was a hospitality design tour de force. In case you missed them, here are 20 highlights that made our hit list.
The Alki Cooperative, founded in 1981, hangs its hat on the ancestral savvy and technological expertise born deep in the Basque Country of Spain. New this year, the Zumitz Collection, designed by Jean Louis Iratzoki and Ander Lizaso, is made of woven chestnut basketry wrapped around metal frames. The Zumitz includes room screens, an ottoman, a plant container and a firewood basket. The rawness of the natural wood has a textural feel that brings nubby notes to a space.
The 2016 focus for Chelini is melding classicism and contemporary lines: such is the case with the Art. 2189 sofa. Looking back to the ’50s for inspiration, the Italian manufacturer brought a touch of luxury to the sofa fitted with a bench cushion by way of gray, chenille upholstery fabric and contrasting piping that mimics the dark wood tones of the base.
Based in Stoke-on-Trent, England, CoBALTUM is a newly launched design brand that produces fine bone china. The company’s focus centers on traditional craft, artisanal values and truth in materials. CoBALTUM’s newest collection, Exemplum, has gilded detailing combined with an intermittent pattern that teases the eye. Designed by Rebecca Hogg, a member of the CoBALTUM design team, this new take on classicism is mythically chic.
Design Letters and Friends
While Arne Jacobsen’s furniture designs for Copenhagen’s SAS Royal Hotel (built in 1960) have become classics, the Egg and the Swan chairs among them, Design Letters and Friends debuts a number of lesser-known accessories from the hotel. The AJ Royal Vintage Collection consists of an egg-shaped vase, which Jacobsen designed for the restaurant and bar area. A throw in a geometric pattern taken from the carpet on the second floor of the hotel is also in the new collection.
Design Letters and Friends
EditoThe Dandelion rug by Edito is a graphically clean foundation for interiors in soft hues of gray, blue and red. The rug’s origins are hand-drawn, the design then actualized with synthetic fibers that have a texture similar to wool but without the maintenance issues of the material. Because the rug is heat-set, it does not shed. The Dandelion, which comes in two sizes, is certified OEKO-TEX® Standard 100, which guarantees no harmful substances were used to create it.
Christophe Pillet designed the Echo dining table made of marble and wood. Both sleek and striking, the table has a Zen-like profile that inspires unheard-of moves, such as deciding to place it in the middle of a room as a sculptural piece rather than hiding its form with chairs. It’s easy to see why this French industrial designer has won acclaim for the quality of his furniture.
The filament bulb is an ever-growing trend in lighting as the artful illumination of the naked light-source continues to inspire designers to create shades that won’t hide the wiry light crisscrossing its glassed container. All handmade and designed in-house, Filament Style’s Diamond Collection is just such a concoction that comes in six color combinations and four different shapes.
Provenance treasure-hunting Gubi has once again unearthed a gem in the Satellite lamp, designed originally by Mathieu Matégot in 1953. The shades of this family of pendants produced by the Copenhagen-based manufacturer are made using the Rigitulle method, a dexterous folding of fabric-like metal sheets the designer invented. These textural oblongs that extend from an arcing metal plate are available in Midnight Black, White Cloud, Venetian Gold, Rainy Grey and Shy Cherry.
The Noces de Cuir Collection by Haviland pays tribute to the time-honored materials of porcelain and leather, but the outcome has anything but an old-world feel. The three pieces in the collection are available in navy blue, honey and brown. The rectangular and smaller square trays can be placed atop the larger tray to nest into an artful arrangement. Another dexterous move with this family of products is the mix of materials not normally combined in accessories.
A fashion-forward creation by Bartoli Design, the 1085 Edition chair, manufactured by Kristalia, owes its good looks to haute couture. The natural-hide seat was made using a technique developed by Presot, a company that produces soles for leading Italian designer-label shoes — the visible stitching an explicit reference to that world. Though its feet are in the fashionable past, given the time-honored process used to create it, its supple seat sits securely in the present with a tie-rod device that ensures the tension that could have been lost with the passage of time and the softening of the hide remains strong.
The Outline mirror by Danish industrial designer and artist Kristina Dam cleverly doubles as a hanging station for outfits as the dressing ritual unfolds, the painted steel geometric frame acting both as a design element and a utilitarian helpmate. The creators in Dam’s Copenhagen studio maintain the belief that art and interior design can merge if attention is paid.
Maison Koichiro Kimura
“Let’s skip away to another world” is Maison Koichiro Kimura’s MO with this space-aged Miyavie Collection of polyethylene seating. Thin filaments of resin are woven and melted to form the chairs and sofas that spring to the touch. The type of resin Kimura uses for each piece, as well as the shape, density, weight and degree of flexibility, can be altered to make this collection appropriate for everything from pieces of artwork to functional furniture.
Maison Koichiro Kimura
Commissioned for Wallpaper* Handmade, an exhibition and special issue created by the magazine, Miranda Watkins’ Martini, a travel cocktail set handcrafted by A R Wentworth of Sheffield, is made of pewter and cork. The Victoria and Albert Museum has acquired this stealth travel-mate for its permanent collection, and, though it is a savvy globetrotting accessory, it would look just as chic parked on a stationary bar. Think: welcoming resort mainstay.
Bring al fresco style to indoor or outdoor rooms with Paola Navone’s new lacquered metal furniture for Serax. The Italian designer arrived at the intersection of straight lines and curves in crisp white to achieve elemental flair. The triad includes a settee, a chair and a side table. In a plant-filled setting, these pieces will bring an uptick in sophistication; indoors, they declare understated confidence.
SoftLine brought the Emma daybed to M&O, and the flexibility of the moving parts adds up to smart style. Designed by Thomas Müller and Jörg Wulff, the daybed has a centering foot that makes the upholstery appear to hover. The design duo carefully considered detailing, given the spare profile they achieved, including the stitching on the mattress designed to enhance its simplicity.
The James Collection, designed by award-winning Yabu Pushelberg for Stellar Works, includes four products: chaise, desk, stool and bar cart. The frames on each piece draw airy geometric shapes fitted with floating planes, leaving the backdrop into which they are placed unencumbered. Matte black metal is mixed with walnut and matte sable-colored leather to create a juxtaposition of warmth and industrial coolness.
The Reaktor table, designed by Piotr Grzybowski, takes three dimensions in three directions — the voids in the wood drilled in varying directions whether they reside on the flat surface of its top or on its sloping sides. Inspired by a game table that brings marbles to mind, the solid oak top is designed and made with machined precision, then treated to a handmade finish. The base is copper-plated steel.
Swallow’s Tail, photography by Votjech Veskrna
Valerie Objects has released new cutlery collections by international designers Jinhyun Jeon, Muller Van Severen, Studio Simple, Koichi Futatsumata, Studio Wieki Somers and Maarten Baas. Each has envisioned a prototypical set of tools for dining — resulting in six quirky, high-end luxury sets of spoons, forks and knives. The design by Baas, recently released by the Antwerp-based manufacturer, is playfully childlike.
Vanessa Mitrani’s glass Bundle pendants were inspired by a number of poetically distinctive vignettes that she describes as allegories of a gourmet world. She looked to Japan and India during her musings: the globes are reminiscent of bundles of soybeans draining in the land of the rising sun as well as the art of Indian rope-making that facilitates the transport of delicacies that will grace the table.
The Scaffold sofa, designed by André Teoman Studio for Wewood, brings its own side table and bookshelf to the scene, elements that deftly act as a room divider when the sofa’s back is turned on the space. The shelving units, made of solid wood using Portuguese joinery, create armrests and a backrest while displaying design elements or books. The natural finish enhances the minimalist feel of the sofa.