Tag Archives: Maison et Objet

What colour to paint…uplifted basics.


I can’t lie, I get a strange satisfaction from peeling up to 7 potatoes so have come to appreciate the benefits of a good peeling tool. My current favourite has a ceramic blade with a standard looking black handle – plain, boring and peels like a dream.

BUT, have you ever seen a potato peeler and excitedly thought, ‘that would look GREAT in my utensils drawer’?

If so, it would appear you are not alone. ‘Uplifted basics’ was a key theme I noticed over the September design festivals. Simple, forgettable, everyday objects given an injection of the special whilst retaining their functional properties.

A few seasons ago the humble paper bag from French company Perigot (https://www.perigot.fr) was given a facelift with a block white stripe and upgrade to Tyvek (an incredibly durable paper used by the likes of couture designers like Hussein Chalayan). My uplifted basic of choice was to be found at Maison et Objet ; a shallow fruit crate with gold tinted mirrored sides – have a look at top right image in the tile above. The uplift can be achieved through colour, material and/or shape. Joseph Joseph, Aktion and Seletti are just a few of the bigger companies getting involved.

Following the economic crisis over the last few years we currently feel anything we spend money on should be an investment or a treat. This has encouraged designers to think about basic everyday items and add beauty to previously function driven products like the simple frying pan. Using a considered beautiful product makes the owner feel special so if it means I start to slightly enjoy mundane chores I’m not going to argue!


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What colour to paint…Paris design week – the best bits.

Planes, trains, buses, boris bikes and my faithful feet have all taken a beating as I trawled the shows and events at Paris Design week and London Design Festival with a little bit of London Fashion week thrown in for good measure!

This is the first post of several bringing you my best bits.

Let’s start with Paris.

I love visiting Paris, as soon as I stepped off the train I got my favourite Paris feeling – the one where the extraordinary is suddenly more likely and magic actually exists. After eating my own weight in croissants and that delicious french bread with strawberry jam I felt ready to take on Maison et Objet, from there I headed to Perishing Hall off the Champs Elysees for a presentation. I scoured St Germain and made my way to the docks to see Now!Le Off, a small show full of emerging design talent.

Below you will see two of my favourite examples of elastic storage – as seen at Now!Le Off, these two pieces combined natural pale wood with neon/bright elastic to give flexibility and support for any objects you wish to store.photo[5]photo[6]

The strength of the digital world’s influence is evident in this piece of furniture where craftsmanship and tradition meet pixels! photo[8]

I saw this inky pattern on anything and everything, especially in this season’s appropriate inky blue! This is a step on from the painterly water colour trend we’ve seen over the past few years. It also represents a softening in some of the graphics we’ve been experiencing.

Marquetry. Where did it go? Not that it matters…..because its back! Seen below with strong geometric shapes, the age old craft has returned and is being used in new and interesting ways. The honey tones and hues of the wood being key in order to create maximum impact through complex patterns. photo[4]

I saw a real trend for up lifting basic objects (eg. potato peelers made from gold) but this example turned that theory on it’s head giving the classic chandelier, a comic and fun twist – colour and material playing an obvious roll in the transformation.


These images represent about 0.1 % of the wierd and wonderful pieces I saw but fear not! Design Junction, Tent, Decorex, Focus and much more still to come!

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