Kathie Chrisicos: Dispatch from Maison & Objet

November 3, 2015

Maison & Objet, the Grande Dame of home design shows, celebrated its 20th anniversary this past September. I was thrilled to attend and experience firsthand this influential design showcase known for defining what’s hot and determining what new designs will make it to market in 2016.

The overarching theme of the fall edition was “Precious,” chosen by the Maison & Objet Observatory, a collective of architects, designers, stylists and forecasters who identify emerging design trends. The theme was woven throughout all aspects of the show —in installations, experiences and conversations —and took as its starting point the position that artists, artisans and designers are rewriting the rules of luxury.

Maison & Objet

Photo courtesy of Maison & Objet

Gone is the surface glitz and ersatz glam found in earlier iterations of opulence, replaced by a “post-bling” aesthetic that focuses on the hand of the maker and the beauty of what is unique. There is a growing desire for creative expressions that honor authenticity and demonstrate a respect for materials and craft. While the concept of Precious conjures ideas of rarity and that which is intrinsically valuable, it also describes the lure of the unexpected and a recognition of individual eccentricities.

Maison & Objet

Photo courtesy of Maison & Objet

This is most readily seen in a resurgent interest in natural, raw materials including hard and semi-precious stones – agates, malachite, lapis and alabaster – and their transformation into hand-crafted pieces for the home. There is also a new appreciation for gold and reflective surfaces. Not the bright and shiny variety, but those with a more lived in look, reminiscent of antiques and vintage finds.

Maison & Objet

Photo courtesy of Maison & Objet

Much like the products being introduced at Maison & Objet, these new codes of thoughtful luxury will no doubt gradually filter into the mainstream over the next several years as designers and their savvy clients embrace this sophisticated new design aesthetic.

Cr Sterling

C. R. Sterling  Rock Crystal Hanging Bowl

Kathie Chrisicos, president of Chrisicos Interiors, is a Boston-based interior designer. She is a past-president of the International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA) and an active member in numerous professional associations in both the design and construction industries. She is a sought-after speaker on design and has appeared at industry events and conferences throughout the region.

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