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Getting ready for Maison

January 19, 2010

Maison & Objet – the twice-a-year decorative tour de force – is where designers and architects, buyers and sellers, editors and journalists from around the world convene to share and absorb innovative new concepts for living and view inventive new products for the home.

Ambitions to re-enforce the show’s pre-eminence as a trend and style leader runs especially high this time as the show commemorates and celebrates its 10th anniversary, a decade during which each successive exhibit trumped the last.

Already, M&O is looking ahead to September for its next coup: to annex "Paris Meubles," formerly shown in a different location, for the first time bringing  furniture under the same roof as all other home product categories for easier one-stop shopping.

On the other hand, "Paris Deco Off" is an off-premise open-house presentation by high-end home textile suppliers and interior design showrooms clustered in St. Germain, around the Place de Victoire, the Bastille and the Assemblee Nationale. These are luxury purveyors of the highest order with the most ambitious and glamorous products generally offered only to the trade. However, the five-day open house will allow entry for the general public to share the wealth of design concentrated here.

Anyone wanting to take advantage of this auxiliary show, ask at Maison & Objet for a map of the showrooms and a courtesy shuttle service to get you there in comfort and style.

Judging from advance news, there will be lots of trends to digest during the five days Maison & Objet opens its doors (Jan. 22-26).

The show"s main mantra is already clearly in focus: COHABITATION, or more simply put: "Can’t we all get along?" in our increasingly multicultural global village.

Not surprisingly then, Ethnic Chic, a longstanding exhibit fixture at M&O, has grown not just substantially larger but also more complex, richer and more luxurious. No longer centered on just one part of the world but a lavish buffet of multi-cultural influences originating from everywhere. The Middle East, so unfortunately in the limelight these last few years, still reigns supreme as an overarching design influence, with emphasis on Mediterranean terroir but reaching beyond the handmade much deeper into the sophistication of age-old cultures, such as the Ottoman Empire, which once ruled this region and sank its roots and introduced its architectural and design vocabulary into the West, still evident in Italy, Spain and Sicily.

Another message echoes loud and clear ahead of the show with these words: Simplicity, Authenticity, Quality, Craftsmanship, pure materials, and communing with Nature.

These are powerful images we will see addressed and expressed by virtually every exhibitor with superior products and a commitment to conservation and sustainability – whether derived from  Recycle, Reuse, Reinvent, or by honoring nature-made materials by using them conservatively and considerately.