Thursday, 31 January 2019 / Paris, France


2019 couldn't have started off better. I attended Maison & Objet, the most prestigious interiors and design trade show on the planet, in Paris few weeks ago in collaboration with Treniq. If you follow my Instagram stories you've probably seen my highlights from the event already. Maison & Objet is a major event for the global design community.  Even my taxi driver in Paris knew about the event and warned me that the city will be extra busy for the third week of January, especially since it was also Paris Fashion week. Of course I didn't mind. In fact, the more the merrier, although you should expect your hotel room to cost double what it usually costs for this reason.

Nothing really could have stopped me from attending this event. Maison & Objet has always been on my bucket list. It's such a huge trade show. There were 8 different halls showcasing everything from fashion accessories to homewares. It's also very much the place to be seen and to network in the industry. Maison & Objet is strictly for professionals, so anyone who is there is in the industry which makes the event so much more exclusive. There were a lot of buyers, designers and just head of major department stores there. It was truly the perfect place for me to get inspiration and mingle/network and that's exactly what I did during my stay in Paris.

Getting there was pretty stress-free too. I'm so lucky to live in London as Paris is only 2.5 hours by train  from St Pancras (to Gard du Nord). I didn't want to fly (and stay near the airport where the exhibition is) as I can't imagine going to Paris and not being able to experience the city. I lived in Paris for 4 months in my 20s, so it has always been a special place for me. I stayed in Saint Germain (which just happens to be my 'old hood') and luckily there was a direct train service going from Saint-Michel Notre-Dame (RER B) to Villepinte (where the exhibition was). Everything was so hassle-free and it only took me 35 minutes in the metro to get to the exhibition. Saint Germain is super close to the metro station (app. 5 minute walk), so if you're planning to attend Maison & Objet, this is the ideal location to stay in. There are lots of cafes, shops and nice restaurants in Saint Germain which will make your stay feel a lot more pleasant than staying in a hotel near the exhibition centre.

Now, let's talk about the event itself. What can I say, it was unreal. It was definitely the coolest interiors event I've ever been to. And I've been to quite a few! It was also the biggest and most international trade show I've ever attended. I knew it was going to be big but I really didn't expect to be walking 6 hours a day non-stop. All the halls were within walking distance from each other but there is so much on display that you will get distracted. I started off in Hall 6 and spent most of my time in the Unique & Eclectic section. I panicked a little when I realised all the other things that were on my must-see list and how little time I had left. I had made a plan beforehand and honestly without it I would have been a little lost. Plan what you want to see because you won't be able to see it all.

Like I said,  my favourite hall was the Unique & Eclectic section and I spent most of my time there. It was like a cross road of cultures from all over the world. The furniture pieces and the decorative objects (especially art) were unlike anything I've seen before. They had some really unusual lighting designs and they had even DJs playing music there. The vibe was out of this world and you couldn't help but get inspired as you walked from one stall to another. You can tell dark colour schemes are back. Lots of dark and bold colours were on display, replacing the neutral palettes of the previous seasons. Brass, gold and silver were used to create layered, eclectic spaces. Natural materials like wood and rattan were pretty predominant too. There were lots of irregular shapes and unsual designs that caught me eye. Feminine tones (especially blush and pink) seem to be here to stay (at least for this season). Also, velvet sofas are still very much in trend this season, although you may seem some bolder and more creative designs (which very much draw their inspiration from art deco; think of scalloped shaped furniture!)

Also, the What's New? sections were worth a look. 3 different spaces and 3 themes were presented to showcase seasons outstanding new products. I preferred the décor section of course which was organised to 3 contrasting atmospheres. Minimal Brutalist (natural & minimal), Luxury Graphic (luxurious and dramatic) and Ethic Arty (which combines different cultures). I loved them all for very different reasons. Items made by hand are huge this year. A lot of sustainable materials are used as well like clay, jute and bamboo, rattan, sisal, paper and glass. The handmade ethnic vases and sculptures were worth examining close up and I was so happy to see that wall rugs are back!

Mid century modern furniture is also still very much in demand thanks to its timeless sleek lines and organic shapes. You'll see more dark colours this year, like dark stained wood.

I'm so happy that bohemian and tribal designs are still going strong. Cultural influences seem to be a big part of it this season and I also love the use of natural fabrics. People are looking for eco-friendly options which is why it's important to introduce sustainable, natural materials to soft textiles and  furnishing. Rattan has been one of my favourite materials for the past 5 years and I love that it's now used literally in everything from laundry baskets to lighting. Natural rugs are also bigger than ever.

The home fragrances section in hall 3 is also worth mentioning. As a self-proclaimed candle addict I was in scent heaven. I thought my scent knowledge was pretty vast, but I spotted quite a few new brands too. Those gigantic home diffusers smelled amazing. Unfortunately there was no way I would have been able to sneak one into my handbag.. Maybe next time!

I hope you've enjoyed my Maison & Objet highlights. It is impossible to cover everything in this piece, so I thought I'll focus on the things that stood out for me most. The whole experience was amazing and I want to say a massive thank you to Treniq for sponsoring my trip there. I felt so lucky to be there and I was so inspired and full of ideas afterwards. I literally wanted to redecorate our entire house all over again. Nah, just joking! But it was nice to see how certain trends are evolving at the moment. The bohemian trend has never looked more glamorous and I truly believe that sustainable interiors and eco-friendly living are the future. Maison & Objet is a semi-annual event and the next one is in September. I would say it's definitely worth a visit, especially if you're running a small business. You will get so much information on the latest trends and products and it's also a great way to present your products and knowledge to a bigger audience. Plus, of course there's the little thing that the event is held in Paris. Need I say more..

* This is a collaborative post with Treniq.


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