Emerging Design Trends from Paris and High Point

Paris and High Point Design Inspirations

We kicked off 2017 taking in the beauty and creativity of Maison & Object—Paris, the annual design showcase in the City of Light.  This year’s show celebrated the appeal of Silence, offering attendees “a soothing invitation to contemplate the beauty of things.”  Here’s what the event’s Inspiration Book had to say about the need to embrace Silence in our lives and in our surroundings:

“A permanent state of cacophony reigns as we are relentlessly bombarded with noises, sounds, words, information and an incessant flow of images. …Silence has become necessary to well-being.”

In response to this this, emerging design trends in the Paris show featured lighter shapes, less material, lighter hues, and objects and textiles with an airiness or transparency to them.  One exhibition room included a stunning display of works created by members of the Ateliers d’Art de France, arranged to highlight four distinct design themes:  pure white, ultra black, super light (meaning luminous, airy or transparent) and sweet colors—the soft, happy color palette of favorite candy confections.

Three months later, April found us in High Point, North Carolina, for the spring market.  We saw some of the Paris themes mirrored on this side of the Atlantic—while other themes were reinterpreted for the US market.   Let me give you an overview of each of these fresh, new design themes, beginning with Sweet Colors.

A Confection of Color

This Paris display of dinnerware exemplified the Sweet Colors design theme.  These are the colors of a confectioner’s decorating tubes, or a box of ribbon candy (if you are old enough to remember that mouthwatering treat).  There is more depth to these colors than you find in their paler pastel cousins.  But the effect is still light, airy.  And, we have to add, happy!

This is a palette that prompted a smile, and a feeling of simple contentment, no matter where we saw it applied—from this beautiful assortment of candles to these inviting bedroom textiles.


Three months later, at High Point, we saw these happy colors again.                                            

Letting the Super Light Shine Through

These light fixtures on display in Paris struck us as the quintessence of the Super Light theme—-open and airy, illuminated and luminous. The lightness of being that underpins this design concept was interpreted in many other ways, and with a wide variety of materials at the Paris show.  For example, these woven throws and pillow covers create the same light, airy aesthetic.


The translucence of this beautiful faceted glass bowl is another interpretation of the theme.  The feeling evoked by Super Light is calm, pure, clean—a simple kind of luxury.  We didn’t see this design theme featured as prominently at High Point—the beautiful light fixtures seen in Paris have not yet arrived, although loose, open textures were on display in pillow covers and other textiles.

Ultra Black Celebrates the Silence of the Night

Ultra Black is the deep, velvet darkness of a night in the woods:  no lights, no stars, deep silence.  We saw this design concept interpreted at the Paris show in beautiful ceramics, featuring strong and simple shapes.  

Or consider this room, which blends the deep repose created by Ultra Black upholstery with the Super Light transparency of a glass decanter collection displayed on a glass occasional table.  At High Point, the look was not black alone.  Instead, we saw Ultra Black mixed with white—for example, the balance of this beautiful room.

The Fresh Feel of Pure White

Perhaps the antithesis of Ultra Black is Pure White—a design concept that celebrates the clean and pure statement that white can make in our surroundings.  Look at the rich variety of color and texture achieved in this still life of books, candles, voile fabric and pillows seen in Paris. 

The feeling here is fresh, peaceful, serene.  There is no clutter in pure white.  It is calmness and order.  Another celebration of silence.  At High Point, this design theme was expressed a bit more conservatively, but still evident, as you can seen in this photo.

We have hundreds more photos, samples, and inspirations to share from the Paris and High Point shows.  Please contact us to discuss how these emerging design trends can bring your home design ideas to life.