Talking trends: Treasures from the Maison & Objet expo in Paris

What did John Redmond, Emily Maher and Róisín Lafferty find at this year’s expo?

The annual Maison & Objet home and design expo, in Paris each January, is a don’t-miss event for buyers, interior designers and anyone in branding and visual merchandising, offering a first glimpse of what’s hot in the global world of interiors. It showcases emerging trends and signals items worth investing in and those that may already have reached a tipping point. Three Irish-based interiors specialists who attended last weekend’s event report their highlights.

John Redmond

Creative director, Brown Thomas Group

John Redmond travels to Paris to get ideas and this time he brought two of his creative team with him. Their mission was to find beautiful objects and pieces of furniture to decorate the group’s stores.


First stop was Danish company Soft Line whose ultra-modern designs appealed to Redmond: "The new Opera chair and matching sofa will add theatre to the simplest of spaces."

The colour palettes at the show also provided food for thought. "The grieges, taupes and greys of the last few years have been replaced by soft, warm palettes of calming nude pinks and powder blues that look to be about half a shade off. They come alive on walls, woodwork, ceilings and flooring. Prada colours is what I call them," he says.

The shift in lighting design also captured his imagination. “Central pendant lighting has made a comeback but this time the designs look more like installations than chandeliers. And the light they emit is warm rather than the earlier cool, so they work with the new colour schemes.”


Emily Maher

Interior designer

Emily Maher runs Lost Weekend, a decor shop in Dún Laoghaire whose principal business is its interior design service. She went to the show in search of new designers so she can offer more choice to her customers.

Bolt, a stool by Note Design Studio for French furniture house La Chance, caught her eye. “It looks great, heralds the return of raw wood to homes and it ticks the metals trend with an option to have its metal foot ring in a copper or lacquered orange finish.” Unlike many statement seats it is also, she confirms, comfortable to sit on.

In terms of trends, marble is everywhere, says Maher. In her quest to find something different she’s plumping for the Palette side table by Jaime Hayon for &Tradition. “The piece that mixes dark marbles with polished brass and lacquered wood resembles a kinetic sculpture,” she says.


Róisín Lafferty

Interior designer

Róisín Lafferty of Kingston Lafferty Design shops for clients at the show, bringing a list with her. She was on the hunt for one-off pieces she can't find in Ireland in lighting, rugs, sideboards and chairs.

Wire frame Jules lights and a Croix armchair on hairpin legs with piped detailing are retro-inspired pieces by Portuguese company Mambo Unlimited Ideas that she bought into.

The same company’s Tejo 3D tile panels offer a fresh way of adding texture and colour to bathrooms, kitchens and living-rooms, she says.

Texture on upholstery is big. Redmond loved the butter-soft leathers at Sol x Luna who offer a cool version of the classic butterfly chair, dining benches, pedal bins, sweeping brush handles and even picnic coolers, all in earthy tans, terracotta and oxblood.