7 Interiors Trends from the Maison&Objet 2023 Design Fair
From tending to our own wellbeing to showing a greater respect for the planet, this year’s theme was Take Care
We asked Vincent Grégoire, consumer trends and insights director at trend forecasting agency NellyRodi, who developed the Take Care theme for the show, and trend forecaster Elizabeth Leriche, who curated the inspiring In The Air exhibition, to highlight the latest trends.
1. Care for ourselves and the planet
Take Care, the theme for Maison&Objet’s January 2023 edition, was as much a reminder to care for ourselves and those around us as it was a command to consider the future of the planet. The motto was reflected in many individual trends, from the use of eco-friendly materials to an emphasis on feel-good furniture.
“We can’t continue to consume like before,” Vincent Grégoire says, highlighting two major trends in current consumer behaviour. “On the one hand, home trends reflect a shift towards slowing down in order to be fairer, more ethical and mindful. But there’s also a new, fast lifestyle that’s more sensational and aims to grab attention on social media.”
2. Bold contrasts and peaceful coexistence
“We’re in the era of simultaneity,” Grégoire says. Accordingly, 2023’s colour trends seem to reflect societal tensions by mixing two opposing shades – “neutrals and vibrant colours bordering on extravagance and virtual reality. It’s two rooms with two environments,” he says.
Elizabeth Leriche’s exhibit In The Air also featured two contrasting-coloured spaces, one based on soft blue-green and the other on strong red-yellow tones (along with a third, neutral space).
The coexistence approach also tied in with another major development for the year: many specialist interior brands are designing furniture ranges featuring exciting pieces that can be used both indoors and out.
3. Wellbeing and relaxation
The growing trend for greater self-care was evidenced by the emergence of new products designed for wellness and relaxation, such as the Nuage armchair (pictured).
“The focus on mental wellbeing was new,” Grégoire says, pointing out the boom in massage chairs and even comforter seats claiming to help combat anxiety. He highlights Norwegian furniture brand Stressless for its innovative work over 50 years, establishing itself as a major force in the comfort and relaxation product market.
On comfy sofas in soft fabrics, such as bouclé and corduroy, neutrals including beige, ecru and comforting greys were still very much in evidence. For walls, limewash paints are in the spotlight for 2023.
“Since the pandemic, people have been looking to recentre themselves at home, as if in their ‘cave’,” Grégoire says.
“We need to take a deep breath to cope with the stress of huge megacities,” Leriche says in reference to the theme, Take Care. In her tour of trends in three stages, she opted to start with a completely light interior. Immersing the home in an aqua ambience fit for relaxation, she curated the space with transparent furniture and lighting fixtures resembling soap bubbles (not shown). “It’s my favourite trend,” she says.
4. Ecological commitment
A reassessment of company values could also be seen at the show. Many brands are embarking on a CER (Corporate and Environmental Responsibility) strategy to offer more sustainable products.
Noma, which specialises in recycling, stands out as a leader, with its brand-new B Corp certification, an international seal of excellence in recognition of its positive impact on the planet.
Meanwhile, some 30 French home product brands have signed up to the country’s Eco Impact initiative to reinforce their environmental commitment, including Furniture For Good, which produces chairs from plastic waste.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done to make recycled materials more appealing; the composite finish isn’t everyone’s cup of tea,” Leriche says.
She used Drop Paper by Procédés Chénel in her installation, a recycled architectural material made from scraps of fire-resistant paper. We also spotted several initiatives turning waste into new materials, including Le Pavé panels (pictured).
Natural and organic materials are also being widely reintroduced into manufacturing processes, increasingly replacing synthetic materials. Many brands are highlighting these in their production this year.
French brand Temps Libre, for example, works exclusively with natural materials sourced in France and Europe, such as acacia, oak, beech or ash, cotton and sheep’s wool.
5. Artisanal and locally produced pieces
Better consumption also means turning to local brands that preserve heritage and know-how, such as Reine Mère, a furniture designer working exclusively with wood from the sustainably managed forests of the Jura. Others include Cristel, which still makes its saucepans in France, and designer Samuel Accoceberry, who celebrates Basque creators.
“The [show] saw an upsurge in young French designers working with wood and natural materials, with great attention to detail,” Leriche says. She sees it as “an opportunity to consume less but with better quality, encouraging contemplation, meditative breaks and slowing down”.
6. An ethical mix of cultures
This fair also invited us to reflect on new travel ethics, reconciling our wanderlust with responsibility for the environment, particularly with François Delclaux’s exhibition space, Slow Hospitality, which was all about slowing down.
Opening up our interiors to different countries is part of building a more inclusive future for varied communities and cultures. The trend welcomes this mix, respecting equality and rejecting cultural appropriation.
“Manufacturing halfway around the world is fine, but knowing that the people making the products are paid properly and have access to education is better,” Grégoire says.
Maison Château Rouge is among those who share this value. The brand was founded on responsible values in Paris with the aim of sharing African culture.
Another example is Ay Illuminate, which provided the recycled washi paper lacework for the backdrop in Leriche’s more meditative, completely neutral second exhibit (pictured).
7. Fun and exuberance
The tour ends with more warmth, lightness and exuberance. “People have a desire to be more cool, to lounge around and enjoy themselves,” Leriche concludes. Her vibrant third exhibition space, which was very popular among visitors, was based on a punchy palette of red, orange and yellow.
Another fun trend, confirmed by Grégoire, is for all things inflatable. As an example, he mentions the giant inflatable sculpture of artist Yayoi Kusama peering over the roof of Louis Vuitton’s Champs-Élysées store for Paris Fashion Week, and design brands such as Italian company Fuoriluogo Chrome, which followed suit with inflatable furniture and accessories.
“Inflatable pieces are in the spotlight,” Leriche says, “with extremely rounded chairs as well as fresh and fun tubular and spherical creations with a very 1970s style.” Those joyous years continue to inspire us today.
Which of these trends do you identify with? Share your thoughts in the Comments.