Spring Summer 2011 Product & Interiors Trend Report from Maison et Objet

on 8/7/10

Maison et Objet, Paris is one of the largest & most influential trade shows for the interior & product sectors. Taking place twice a year it showcases both long established and up & coming designers from around the world, plus international exhibitors have on offer their own product direction to retail buyers ready to go into store the following season.

The show also acts as a central point for trend direction with many of the leading trend agencies presenting their future forecasts up to 18-24 months ahead, and of course buyers & designers visit to gain direction from some of the more directional brands & individual artists, translating the key trends for their own market level.

This exhibition is a trade only show so not open to students, however, The Trend Boutique think it is important to bring you the key direction from Maison et Objet and how it links into the trends for the forthcoming seasons. As interiors & product trends take some inspiration from fashion & textiles, but also from their own sources within Maison et Objet you can often find that the main themes straddle more than one season.

The Trend Boutique found that the key focus at the show was the the dawning of a new, post–recession era of positivity and optimism – a wave of upbeat feeling which is echoed in upcoming lifestyle and interior trends. This was interpreted by the show as:

  • Gadgets and gimmicks, so well-received in previous years, had somewhat lost their appeal in favour of ‘forever’ items in bold colours, patterns and geometric shapes.
  • ‘Re – composed’ appeared to be the by-word of the show, with elegant, classic shapes and items, being bought up-to-date with modern, natural materials.
  • Glass, wood and paper have all been used in innovative ways, as we begin to treasure more simple resources.
  • Primary colours were also seen in abundance at the event
  • As part of the idea of a 'new era', new direction was bought into strong focus by the celebration of the emerging talents of young designers.

These findings were all very much in line with Spring Summer 2011's main themes, as highlighted in our 'Guide to the Season' trend reports. On show though were also some product & interior finds that were still taking influence from the tribal themes of Autumn Winter 2010-11, which is not surprising given the importance of the theme within this sector.

Product Direction 1: Papercraft

In line with the new respect for natural resources, the emerging trend for simpler & more hands-on product design, and a love of the crafts, the first product direction The Trend Boutique want to highlight is 'Papercraft'. We feel it is such an important emerging concept for Spring Summer 2011, we have completed a whole report on this 'Micro Trend' (see Article Resources for link).

One of the designers we liked the work of was, young French artist Maud Vantours, a graduate of ESAA Duperre in Paris, who taps into this concept with her striking paper sculptures, all in an upbeat fluoroscent colour palette. Having previously shown at Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan and the Grand Hotel Intercontinental, her layered sculptures are inspired by natural landscape formations. 

Paper Sculpture - Maud Vantours Maison et Objet

Paper Sculpture by Maud Vantours, 2010. Photograph Courtesy of Maison et Objet 

Product Direction 2: Lighting

With the introduction of LED lighting & the new European initiatives it is not surprising that lighting products were high on the agenda, as we the consumer try to make that important shift towards the more environmentally-friendly, low energy bulbs. As these lightbulbs offer different properties in terms of brightness & speed of illumination, many lighting brands have had to rethink their products and come up with innovative solutions to meet our high expectations & modern home environments.

The Trend Boutique particularly liked the company Melogranoblu whose Italian designers, Massimo Crema and Ermanno Rocchi, created stunning blown glassware made entirely by hand using trusted Italian craftsmen. The use of primary colours gives an entirely new spin on traditional glass-blowing.

Others we liked were innovative lighting concepts that came courtesy of French designer Elise Fouin. Bridging the gap between art and design, her eco-friendly constructions consisted entirely of re-composed materials. Predominantly working with paper, her constructions have included armchairs, tables and chandeliers, but it was her stunning display of lamps which dominated at Maison et Objet. Fouin was inspired by natural forms, such as 'sea shells and rocks,' and the organic, structural quality of her craft is obvious testament to her inspirations.

'Atmopshere' by Melogranoblu, 2010. Photograph Courtesy of Greg Savez 

 Elise Fouin - Maison et Objet

'Lucinda' Polystrene Ceiling Lamps, Elise Fouin, 2010. Photograph Courtesy of Christopher Young

Maison et Objet

Product Direction 3: Tribal Influences

As mentioned above, The Trend Boutique saw the continued influence of tribal & African inspired products with the emphasis being on pared down shapes, natural raw materials & a bright eclectic colour palette. We particularly liked when all of these reference points came together with African traditional textile, in previous 'cool finds' we identified the 'Binta Chair' for Moroso as a prime example, however at Maison et Objet we also liked the 'Helix Chair' also for Moroso.

What's great about the 'Helix Chair' designed by Karmelina Martina is that the initial inspiration for the chair comes from an unusual, but decidedly natural source - the snail. The young Italian has embraced a long - standing fascination with snail shells by experimenting with different colours and texture and she describes the 'Helix Chair' 'Like a snail without a shell, wearing every day a different dress.' 

Helix Armchair Moroso - Maison et Objet

' 'Helix' armchair with pattern of African Wax', Moroso, 2010. Photograph Courtesy of Maison et Objet

Product Direction 4: Natural Materials

There was a definite shift in focus back to natural & distressed wood throughout Maison et Objet, used to create beautiful, pared-down furniture and simple, rustic products. After a whole decade of laminates and plastics the return of more natural woods & corks is an important change in focus, and reflects

Another artist whose work links seamlessly the 'wood' trend at Maison was Yann Marot, a native Frenchman who uses Robinia wood and other natural products, such as cord, to produce hand - crafted products such as bowls, tables and chairs. His work carries the essence of the 'natural' theme which dominates for Spring Summer 2011, and also provides another reference to the 'Tribal Influences' mentioned above.

Yann Marot - Maison et Objet

'Wood Bowl, Robinia wood sculpted and rope,' Yann Marot, 2010. Photograph Courtesy of Maison et Objet 

'Carved wooden bowl,' Yann Marot, 2010. Photograph courtesy of Maison et Objet

Product Direction 5: Re-worked Classics

Traditional 'classic' shapes & products were 're-worked' with unusual materials or with a new eco-slant. Bright colours were introduced to add a sense of playfulness or to add the 're-working' aspects. The key is to take the classic shapes or patterns and reinterpret them with a more youthful approach, patterns were juxtaposed against one another, colours were bright & unexpected, and the materials were very modern or recycled. The Trend Boutique really liked this chair by Philippe Starck, Maison et Objet's 'Designer of the Year'.

Philipe Starck - Maison et Objet

Min Ming stool editor by Philippe Starck Photograph Courtesy of Maison De Objet 

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article resources

For further information please visit:

Maison et Objet

Maud Vantours


Elise Fouin

Moroso Interiors

Yann Marot

Kenneth Cobonpue


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