The International Furniture and Design Association hosted an interesting talk yesterday in New York. See my posting of September 28: “Things To Do and See This Fall” for more information.

The two speakers were Hermine Mariaux and Patty Bouley, both veteran trend watchers, and here they were reporting on all they had seen at Maison et Objet earlier in the month. The talk was SO informative, thoughtful, organized and FULL of visuals.

As to COLOR:

  1. Mustard is HOT: This is yellow with a green cast, often mixed with neutrals, gray, and even blue.
  2. Poppy with Punch: A fuschia and gold mix for real punch! 
  3. Deep is Ink:  remember that couch I saw with deep indigo silk and small jewel “constellations”? 
  4. Nostalgic Mauve: yes, all that I had noted and more. Think dusty and rosy. 
  5. Silver is Gray: Seen in warmer shades and often textured and pitted.      

  1. To Russia With Love:  folkloric, use of embroidery, oversize paisleys, textured
  2. Roughing It:  This is the “Luxury Chalet Style”. Yes, luxury is still with us! Use of affluent ski resort “names” as in embroidered pillows; then there is the associated “Campaign” type furniture, a la Hemingway. 
  3. Material Matters:  use of wire and metal in everything from placemats to garden accessories to a new open work in furniture. Along with this is the use of zinc; then in wood, the “scruffier” the better. Often wood is left untreated, awaiting the elements of a home…
  4. Victorian glass bell jars: these were seen with all sorts of found objects on view inside. Also seen in the garden category where topiaries, bonsai and palms were under glass bell jars… Related to this were fake topiaries, made of fabric, on view at the show and in stores in Paris. 
  5. The Art of Seduction: again. luxury reigns. In bedding, look for large scale florals. Bling is alive, although smaller and less obvious. Tailored lace embellisments; use of real fur (!) in furniture and accessories. 

   But, what I found to be almost the most interesting part of the session, was the discussion at the end. Here we all discussed the role of the retailers, and buying habits in general. The overwhelming feeling was that retailers simply control too much of the “game”; by not taking any chances at all and putting a new item or trend out on the floor for consumers, they are not benefitting anyone.” Put is out there, and the customer will come”  was the attitude yesterday. And, by having the gift and trade shows here only open to the trade, we stifle any consumer input we might get.  This, combined with our country’s “dumbing down” and “lowest common denominator” buying habits, is making for a very very bland, simplified offering in the stores. 

     I could go on. But you get the idea! I loved each and every minute of it!

Next on the agenda for a day in the Big Apple: a walk through the D&D Building, lunch at “David Burke at Bloomingdales”.  Happened to walk by and it looked very appealing. Well, not only did I have the “lobster bisque with green apple essence”, but it came with a fresh-from-the-oven popover!  Perfect lunch…before heading over to the Paris Theatre to see “Coco Before Chanel”. I most definitely recommend it!