David Merrell Creative Designer, AOO Events, Lead designdawg
INSPIRED BY: MAISON & OBJET
Paris + Textile Love + Trends
By Sharon Dexmier
Everyone loves Paris, but in January even the most beautiful city in the world is shrouded in a blanket of gray. The only bright spot is Paris Nord Villepinte, an exposition center. It too is covered by the same gray sky, but its brightness comes from within; from the design inspiration of the twice yearly show, Maison & Objet.
If you are a design junkie like me, this is the place to be. Throngs of international visitors arrive on trains from Paris ready to take on eight separate pavilions of the latest trends in furniture, tabletop, crafts, lighting and ... my love ... textiles.
So why do I go to Paris when my company is called Napa Valley Linens? Because Napa gets it's spark from France! Something about wine countries, I'd venture to guess. But also, I love fabric, and I love a fabric show. And Maison & Objet dials me into what's clicking in the entire design mix. New trends and color emerge every year and this is where they kick off long before they hit the stores, homes and tabletops of Napa, Los Angeles or New York.
The original designs here capture the most attention and inevitably are copied but there's nothing like seeing the genesis of creativity in its purest form. That's a process that continues to inspire and excite me.
By the time I leave the show my creative battery is supercharged. These ideas guide me to my selection of fabrics and colors during the year. Conversely, I'll also be aware of them as I see them emerge in other areas.
For instance, if ethnic chic (an example of which is in the above photo) has a big presence at the show, I know its influence will soon be felt in mainstream furnishings and accessories. Dark moody colors that might be seen on showroom walls will suddenly find their way into the latest design magazines and fabrics. It's a great way to get the trends BEFORE they are even a trend!
The January 2011 show was heavily influenced by Belgian design -- muted walls, honed bluestone tables, natural linen upholstery, and unstained pine furniture were accented with both a touch of metallic and orange.
The contrast of metallic elements on raw muted fabrics is a sophisticated juxtaposition of quiet versus brilliant. It was my spark of inspiration and you can see in these following photos how it made its way onto our tabletops this year at a WIPA (Wedding Industry Professionals Association) event in Malibu.
I love the use of deep orange as an accent color, especially with taupe and gray. In a way, it's almost as if these colors ARE January in Paris -- a gray sky brightened by a fire's warm glow. When this is translated back home in Napa, the colors become the gray of the weathered wood of vineyards after harvest, accented with the brilliant orange of a Napa sunset. An entire story in a simple textile ... although now you know, when it comes to finding inspiration, there is nothing "simple" about it!
About Sharon Dexmier
Sharon Dexmier is the president and owner of Napa Valley Linens, one of the fastest growing national linen rental companies. Her fresh approach to linen design and creative flair has been the driving force behind her company's meteoric rise. Sharon is the Vice President of WIPA for 2011-2012, as well as a member of Northern California ISES and a Gold Founding Sponsor of the Wedding Industry Professionals Association (WIPA).