The Relevancy Read

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A Sampling
A Sampling

Paris Design Week

September 19, 2023

Homemaking is white hot. Think: domesticity as design direction.

It's coming up cake stands and candlesticks as renewed interest in traditional home life commercializes “homemaker” activities and aesthetics. A new lifestyle brand to keep an eye on, Mas Creations debuted with a living room scene fit for Don’t Worry Darling or Mad Men. Italian glassware from Mario Luca Giusti and Ichendorf Milano set the stage for retro garden parties, and an exhibit of artistic ashtrays signal smoking's fashionable resurgence. Minval Living’s sculptural tableware gave us a feeling for a return to collecting silver. Participating in Design Week, department store Le Bon Marche curated an exhibition of Spanish brands transforming homes into surreal fantasy spaces—To:From caught our eye emulating retro kitchens and canned goods.

"Polished playfulness" is the next frontier for maximalist, mood-boosting interiors.

It started with tufted rugs, wavy mirrors, and saturated color palettes as people sought interior design pick-me-ups during the pandemic. Now, sophistication and subtlety smooth out the design sensibility that reads more mature than trendy. Timothée Leclabart, one of Maison & Objet's "rising talent" selects, stood out with refined whimsiness, presenting a new collection of colorful chairs that look like cute friendly ghosts. We were smitten with Addison Ross’s bubbly pepper mills, Lily Juliet’s pastel marble serving pieces, and did a double take at Jonathan Adler, who seems to be toning down his flashy factor with playful takes on proper home design in delicate pop colors.

Our report, Consumer Dynamics: Aesthetics Pivot, projects creative & aesthetic direction shifts 2-5 years out.

Good office design beats Millennial amenities.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: it’s time to return to classic, comfortable office spaces. Environments that take themselves seriously simply make people feel important and productive. Exiting the era of Millennial tech-worker benefits like bottomless kombucha and mid-day yoga, we expect to see the investment reallocate to better office design, furniture, and décor. To coax the WFH-inclined off the couch, might we suggest an ergonomic “healthcare chair” from Noogi that trades polyester and padding for wood and moveable seat panels, or acoustic “negotiation rooms” from Evävaara Design. Nodding to the good ol' days of business and the current romanticization of print, Bigso Box of Sweden’s classic file boxes caught our attention.

A micro-mobility movement inspires new gear and gifting.

Another rising talent awardee, Athime De Crecy’s designs rethink everyday habits like getting around and moving stuff. His prototype for a lightweight electric bike struck us for its ability to carry luggage, which had us thinking: as micro-mobility designs like e-bikes advance, outfitting will follow. Also exhibiting at Maison & Objet, Tomo makes clothing and gear for urban riders, marrying style and function. Out and about in Paris, we stumbled upon a gift shop showcasing bike gear from Thousand—expect to see chic helmets and gloves topping gift wish lists in years to come.

Minimalism may have a second act.

While color and clutter prevail, Minimalism quietly makes its case for a second coming. Shape and texture breathe new life into plane-Jane style. Bulbous, blobby, and buoyant features give muted, neutral presentations a punch in the arm. 101 Copenhagen’s “Sumo” vase brings amusement to minimalism in a nod to Japanese wrestlers’ voluptuous form. British brand Toogood showcased a “Dough Ceramics” collection, presenting as soft, lighthearted, and anti-bland. Giobagnara adds dimension through texture, blending weighty materials like leather, marble, and wood. Rule of thumb moving forward: don’t be boring.

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