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Maison & Objet Asia 2014: An overview

Maison & Objet, the authoritative interiors trade fair held biannually in Paris, had its first ever session in Asia this month. It was a great excuse to head over to Singapore and see what was on offer.

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Some 270 exhibitors, mainly from Europe, displayed their offerings to 10,000 plus visitors during the course of four days. Having heard so much about the Paris fairs over the past few years, I realised in hindsight, that had unrealistically high expectations. I had thought that it would take me a couple of days to ‘do’ the fair, by that I mean, see what was on offer, talk with the manufacturers and assemble information. The truth is that my 3pm on the first day I was pretty much done. Despite this, I discovered some gems.

The most interesting and inspiring overall stand was Design Philippines which showcased some gorgeous pieces by an array of Filipino artists including Kenneth Cobonpue, who was named as Maison et Objet Asia’s Designer of the Year. For me the one stand-out piece of furniture of the entire fair was the Gregoria chair by Ito Kish. When I strolled over to the display, I found myself chatting to the charming Kish. It was wonderful to talk directly with a designer, who ironically are usually not present at trade fairs. We chatted for sometime about working in South-East Asia, his designs, influences and manufacturing processes. Stay tuned, I am sure that the Gregoria chair in white will find its way into a project of mine sometime soon.

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Above: Ito Kish’s Gregoria Chair, Santamaria Stool in synthetic black and white rattan which doubles as a lidded storage basket (r) , Basilisa Geometric Stool (l)

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Above: Detail of Ito Kish’s Gregoria Chair

It was also a delight to meet Inga Lukaukiene, the owner of the Lithuanian company, LinenMe, who produce superb quality linens. Despite Linen Me only being established in 2007, Inga is the 3rd generation working with this versatile textile. Her training at London’s KLC School of Design is evident in the stunning array of colours, textures and thicknesses designed for a variety of purposes from home to clothing. I am looking to use these linens for a beach house project, on which I am currently working, as well as for curtains in my own bedroom.

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Ochre, a perennial favourite of mine, presented a corner of a room. It was elegant and the dark walls showed-off some of their designs beautifully, especially their Seed Cloud Chandelier, which is even more stunning in real life. Each rain drop is individually lit creating a subtly beautiful effect.

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Ochre at Maison & Objet Asia

Serax, like most other companies represented at Maison & Objet Asia, mainly showcased their range of home wares. I would have loved to have seen more of their furniture and was delighted to stumble across the Vintage Chair by Casa Honore, which I have loved since featuring Anne Geistdorfer’s apartment back in August 2012 and did not know whose design it was. 

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Above: Background Vintage Chairs by Casa Honore for Serax

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Above: Concrete Lamp by Renate Vos for Serax

The gigantic vases and glassware by German company Guaxs combined colour, texture and light and looked incredible. It’s difficult to fully appreciate the scale of these pieces as they are shown here and its their size which is partly their attraction.

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Besides these gems there was a keynote by Tom Dixon and a Q&A with Paola Navone, who has since become my favourite designer. More about these two events soon . . .

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