Narrowing down the highlights and standouts at Maison & Objet is overwhelming—the fair is diverse, expansive and full of hidden treasures ready for their debut. In our second round-up of products and companies at the Parisian design trade show (see part one here), we spotlight everything from practical plants for the office or home, playful door handles, and many other innovative products designed to make life a little more fetching.
Dutch design company Pikaplant has developed three separate products that all bring the outdoor inside. As we noted last year, their Pikaplant Jar is an upside-down twist on the terrarium fad, with hand-picked plants creating a mini eco-system inside the jars. A little bigger is Pikaplant’s Tableau (now in pre-order), a minimalist self-watering planter consisting of three ceramic pots and a glass water reservoir (which gets refilled around once a month). And the vertical garden “One” is Pikaplant’s chef-d’œuvre: an entire wall of greenery that also waters itself via a passive ebb-and-flow irrigation system. All of the above is perfect for those who want green surroundings, but weren’t blessed with green fingers.
Despite its subdued hues, Belgian design house Ethnicraft’s Universo Positivo collection stood out at this year’s fair with its clean look. The brand was first introduced at Maison in 2013, yet still feels ultimately fresh. Simple shapes and lines are offset by splashes of color and contrasting metal details for a coherent collection. Among the new pieces for the season are the functional, yet stylish, oak and metal Orb coffee table and Gabbia chair—we also liked Universo Positivo’s accessories, especially the Scandinavian-style cone lamps.
Among the slightly left-of-center products at Maison were French company Bonnemazou-Cambus’ decorative door handles. The brainchild of interior architects and designers Bonnemazou Manuel and Agnes Cambus, the company created a range of handmade brass handles that would liven up any door. The playful cloud and star shapes are definitely the most attention-grabbing, but Bonnemazou-Cambus’ simpler designs—like a black cut-out plate that resembles a garden trellis—also pack a mighty first impression.
With tech products such a big part of our everyday life, the way you protect your phone, laptop, tablet, et al has become not just a practical choice, but a way to express individual style. Native Union founders Igor Duc and John Brunner grew tired of the plastic covers that dominate the mass market. Instead, they’ve created luxurious, unusual iPhone covers and docking stations made from materials including marble, wood and waxed canvas. The company’s new Leather Edition iPhone cases with Native Union’s signature black-and-white charging cables made their debut at Maison, and are a suitably upmarket addition to the current collection.
One of just two bike stalls at Maison, Dots Object received a lot of attention. Dots’ bikes are made in Thailand (where the company is based) from oak, teak and walnut wood that’s been developed and proven for outdoor use. The resulting vintage-style “Plybikes” are beautiful products that are handmade in a limited number and retail from $2,000. Dots Object also showed a selection of accessories, including sunglasses and rucksacks, and for those who want a touch of the company’s style at a lower price, it’s possible to buy the wooden bike handlebars separately.
Pikaplant, Universo Positivo and Native Union images courtesy of respective brands, all others by Cajsa Carslon