Baccarat crystal faucet handles with built-in glowing LED lights, textiles in mesmerizing 3D patterns and swimming fish, blooming flowers and flying birds projected onto surfaces to create a living interior are just a few of the amazing creations offered at this year's Maison & Objet Paris.
Houston-based interior architect Anne Breux, champion of all things artistic, was on the scene again at the international event held in the French capital, this year celebrating its 20th anniversary with the theme, "Make."
Breux shares her latest experiences at the market showcasing haute couture furniture, textiles, accessories and more with the presentation, "From Paris with Love," on Feb 10 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at The Houston Design Center. Her talk on new trends in the art of living is part of the center's ongoing lecture series, "2nd Tuesday," presented by Luxe Interiors + Design. Bruce Padilla, U.S. Baccarat director of stores, joins Breux for the continuing education program.
Breux offers some of her favorite finds from the Paris show:
"Baccarat decided to join hands with designer Remi Tessier for this amazing collection," Breux says of the faucet handles. "Not only are they of fine crystal, but they come in many different colors and also have an LED light inside."
Made by THG with Baccarat, the line should be available in the U.S. market in late spring, Breux says.
Ateliers d'art de France
Following the show's theme of "Make," this design house creatively put its artists to work. In many booths in the group's showroom, the talented men and women constructed objects in front of marketgoers. An artist creating vessels caught Breux's trained eye.
"This artist chiseled stone to make a perfect classic shape," Breux says. "He used the finest of materials, Carrara marble, which is a rich and old marble. He did this by chiseling away the quarried slats. Aterliers d'art continued this observance of fine craftsmenship to booths with artists working with tapestries, pottery, leather and much more."
Even though most of these pieces won't be seen in the U.S. for at least nine months, the collaboration between artists and companies is a welcome trend in the interior design world, Breux says.
Already on the Houston Ligne Roset howroom floor are furniture items originally envisioned by the late furniture artist and interior designer Pierre Paulin, who Breux studied under when she was a young student in Paris.
"After he passed away in 2009, many drawings he had done and were not developed were found," Breux says. "Ligne Roset decided to follow these designs, creating the cleanest line of tables, chairs, couches and more from his renderings. I must say I am happy to see that Ligne Roset is taking care of such a great designer like this."
Another example of company-and-artist in concert: Lalique's butterfly collection.
"These are all cut crystal and in many different colors by Damien Hirst," Breux says. "The panels are about 18 by 18 inches and are introduced as a very limited edition in tribute to the Monarch butterfly. These could be hung on a wall or placed on a table with a light underneath. The black and silver panel is unbelievable."
Breux says the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, where she volunteers as a senior docent, owns a Hirst piece, "End Game," an installation of glass, stainless steel, human skeletons and medical equipment exploring mortality.
"Textiles with a lot of texture is an important trend," Breux says. "You'll see patterns upon patterns everywhere. They are very beautiful."
That texture influence extends to fabrics in 3D prints, which gives even more dimension to the coverings, draperies and textile-based products.
Food and Drink
For the first time ever, Breux says, Maison & Objet Paris dedicated an entire pavilion to studio cook+design, where food and drink vendors shared their delicious concoctions at this gastronomic celebration.
"Breads to honey to wines, anything you can think of, were presented as the best of the best," Breux says. "These were all new food and drink concepts and produced in very controlled ways. Recipes were offered to everyone."
Visitors to this pavilion were invited to sit for a banquet at a gigantic table, probably 25 feet long and 10 feet wide, to be "served" a feast of Team Lab's latest dish — technology the Tokyo-based company has been cooking up for more than a decade.
"From a projector, images of fish swimming, birds flying, flowers blooming and other Asian-inspired landscapes appeared on the plates," Breux says. "The video also projected scenes from the four seasons on a wall. It was technical and yet mystical. So much came together to give us a wonderful environment.
"It showed that we are opening doors to extraordinary decor we never thought was possible."
To register for "From Paris with Love," call The Houston Design Center at 713-864-2660 or fill out the registration form online by clicking here. Attendees will also be treated to a light luncheon, desserts and champagne.