Editor’s Miscellany: Too Many Maison & Objet Favorites

February 17, 2011

Okay, it’s beyond me.

In my most recent post, outlining basic looks and trends seen at this year’s Maison & Objet show in Paris, I promised to follow up today with other products that, as it were, fell into the cracks between those larger trends–and in many cases seemed rather more interesting.

At first I dreamed of finding some kind of brilliant theoretical framework that would tie together all these choices into an overarching, synoptic view of worldwide interior design today. But I give up. It just ain’t gonna happen.

Instead, here is a random assortment of things from the show that simply seemed to me gorgeous and/or fascinating and/or fun. And I hope you will find them so, too. When possible I’ve given a New England source, but most of the items are not available–or, hint hint, not yet available–through a local shop or showroom.

Without further ado:

Photo courtesy of Roche Bobois.

To start with, one item that will be easily findable in our region: the strikingly architectural Barolé floor lamp (it also exists as a more pared-down and even lovelier table lamp), designed by Nicolas Stadler for Roche Bobois. An adjustable structure in solid walnut and stainless steel, with inset LED lighting. Their 2011 collections will appear in Roche Bobois retail locations (including Boston) beginning in late March or early April.

Photo courtesy of Ligne Roset.

And speaking of architectural, how about the Saint-James chair by architect Jean Nouvel for Ligne Roset? Pieces from their newest collections will reach U.S. stores in the latter part of this year. (By the way, our homes editor, Stacy Kunstel, already mentioned another recent piece, Inga Sempé’s Ruché sofa, in an earlier post.)

Photo courtesy of Antonio Lupi.

Still more simple and pure, if such is possible, are some of the designs from Antonio Lupi–largely products for the bath, like sinks and tubs, mirrors and accessories, but they also have ethanol- and wood-burning fireplaces you really should check out. [Note added 2/22/11: I’ve just discovered that Antonio Lupi is carried in Boston at Casa Design.]

Photo courtesy of Goodbye Edison.

Two other members of the elegant minimalist camp: “Up†and “Les Fines†LED table and desk lamps by Goodbye Edison.

Photo courtesy of Ochre.

A bit closer to home in some ways, the furniture, accessories, and particularly dramatic lighting fixtures from Ochre may be familiar to many of us via their SoHo store in New York. But what caught my eye in Paris was this set of reticent but magnificently rich bronze-and-horn door and cabinet pulls.

And where would any New England story be without blue-and-white porcelain? The Richard Ginori 1735 booth tempted passers-by with a luscious massed display of their classic all-white “Vecchio Ginori†pattern . . .

Photo courtesy of Richard Ginori Porcelain.

. . . but their newer offerings included this playful sponged version of blue and white.

Photo courtesy of Content & Container.

Here’s another, more adventurous, take on blue and white: the “Perfect Imperfect†collection from Pia Pasalk of Content & Container.  The Cologne-based company’s Web site also includes a few photos of their perfectly imperfect installation at M&O, which showed their wares on jumbled stacks of cardboard shipping boxes.

Photo courtesy of Golran S.R.L.

Moving on to the softer side of the world, from the ground up. Golran’s Carpet Reloaded is a limited-edition collection of old and antique carpets that have been decolorized and redyed, unthreaded and rewoven, cut and resewn as patchwork, or otherwise manhandled. Particularly in their more worn-looking or neutral variations, many of these seemed very elegant to me and could add a soupçon of welcome texture and irreverence to a room, all at the same time.

Photo courtesy of Ivano Redaelli.

The “Touch Me†collection from Italy’s Ivano Redaelli included some of the most covetable towels I’ve seen in a long time. Thick terry with a huge, overscale linen edging in muted earth tones: sage, olive, tan, soft blue. Mmm.

Photo courtesy of Borgo delle Tovaglie.

Also of interest: Borgo delle Tovaglie, a line of luxury linens from Bologna. Gauzy and frilled, frayed, faded and ruffled in a sort of post-apocalyptic, Philippe Starck-ish way. For some reason they wouldn’t let me take or have any photos, but this shot from their Web site gives you a bit of the idea.

Photo courtesy of Loro Piana.

The most sumptuous showing on the textile front was from Loro Piana. (If you’re a fan of the clothing, this won’t come as a surprise.) Rich weaves abounded, almost all in brown, caramel, cream, with occasionally another hue or two allowed. Lustrous in a deep way, not just shiny on the surface, and with a beautiful hand.

“Tulip Sway†in linen and cotton. Photo courtesy of Idarica Gazzoni.

In a different vein but comparably pleasant, the Arjumand collection from Idarica Gazzoni comprises fabrics and wallpapers in prints loosely based on “Mogul‖or more generally Persian, Indian, and Central Asian–motifs, executed on natural backgrounds in gentle blues, maroons, brick-reds and the like.

Photo courtesy of Bacsac.

Chic, flexible, eco-friendly fabric planters from Bacsac. Are these or are these not the coolest things ever? With single and multiple units in various sizes and shapes, you can create an instant garden anywhere. In mid-January the sight of these bred wistful imaginings!

“Belle Naturelle†felted angora pillows. Photo courtesy of The Soft World.

And to close, one of my very favorite favorites. The Soft World, “home couture†by Beatrice Waanders, is a truly sui generis collection of animal-friendly handmade felt products. The wool comes from rabbits, goats and old European breeds of sheep, raised by hobbyist-owners in Holland with whom Ms. Waanders often has a personal connection. Looks can range from these ethereal pearl-embroidered pillows . . .

“SuperNature†wood and felt footstool. Photo courtesy of The Soft World.

. . . to small stools of barely processed fleece and scarcely hewn wood that are more artwork than furniture. Not a majority taste, I suspect, but for me they punch all the right buttons.

So how did I do? Are any of these things gorgeous and/or fascinating and/or fun for you? Don’t be shy about sharing your thoughts. (And, by the way, there were lots more I wanted to include–maybe one of these days that brilliant theoretical framework will finally come together so I can write about them as well. But for the moment, what’s so bad about simply contemplating beauty?)

–Kyle Hoepner