Little Luxuries: Fanny Laugier ceramics

I have to confess to finding Maison et Objet completely overwhelming – it was my first visit to the show and the sheer scale of the exhibition was a bit of a shock. How people manage to see the entire show is beyond me – I think even visiting every stand of just one hall (of the eight on offer!) would be a week-long endeavour. As we wandered (rather aimlessly I have to admit) around however, there were for me some stands that always caught my eye, and they were the ceramics ones. One in particular really stood out; French ceramicist Fanny Laugier.

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I absolutely love handmade ceramics like this – especially pieces that play with preconceptions of texture. The chalky finish of the bowls made them look like they were made from material – stiffened cotton perhaps, almost papier mache like in their delicacy. Yet when you picked them up they had a comforting weight to them that proved they were, indeed, made from porcelain.

There were many other up and coming ceramicists exhibiting at Maison, but unfortunately the vast majority I approached were not happy about having their work photographed, which is a real shame.

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Fanny Laugier trained in Paris at the National School of Applied Arts. She says her pieces are inspired by abstract paintings and the architecture of the 1950s. Her designs have a wonderfully freeform feel, and you imagine that when working on each piece she just goes wherever the porcelain takes her…

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What I love most about these pieces is that they are, in fact, works of art. Their fragility makes me feel protective of them, and they are just the sort of thing I love to sit and admire in my home. I love that something so delicate stood out to me amongst the crazy hustle and bustle of the exhibition. My definite highlight of Maison et Objet 2015.

Take It Or Leave It: Paint-dipped Art

Paint-dipped art: really cool, or really disrespectful? This is the question we’ve been asking at Decorum this week, after stumbling across an article on Elle Décor, naming paint-dipped art as one of 2015’s hot trends.

Between the team, we can’t decide whether or not we think it’s a trend we like. Or we can’t come to a unanimous decision, anyway. Let’s take a look at some examples, so you can help us decide:

paint dipped art by oliver jeffers on daily decorumThis piece, by Oliver Jeffers, is oil on canvas, dipped in enamel. We can’t deny it’s quirky, and that it would be a great talking piece should a guest come over to visit. But do we like it? The colour chosen for the dip is beautiful, yes, but we can’t help but wish we could see what the rest of this lady’s face looked like…

daily decorum oliver jeffers paint dipped artAnother piece by Oliver Jeffers (who seems to be the master of this particular art form) – we actually quite like this one. With a more casual approach to the dipping, the addition of enamel to the face of the gentleman in the piece looks like a deliberate art choice, rather than a rebellion. Maybe that’s the answer? Less straight lines, more edge?

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And then we have this piece, from Hello Lidy, which really raises the question of respect. Should we really be painting over half of another artist’s creation? Do we have that right? And, when it looks this unique, does it matter?

What are your thoughts on paint-dipped art? Would you ever update a piece in this way?

Decorum Explores: Maison et Objet

Paris in January can only mean one thing – our first trade event of this year – Maison et Objet. Having visited briefly last year, this time we took the opportunity to see familiar faces, discover new designers and indulge in some éclairs.

We were delighted to see more and more British companies exhibiting at the show, growing their international presence and promoting excellent UK design. Our favourite halls by far were 7 and 8 – with hall 7 presenting luxury brands ranging from furniture and lighting to tableware and floor coverings, and hall 8 filled with contemporary design from international companies. For us, hall 7 felt similar to Decorex International and hall 8 to Tent London.

But as we’re all familiar with the UK companies (or we hope you are, having followed DailyD for a while!) I’d like to share with you my top five international finds from the show.

Lalique & Damien Hirst

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I have a problematic relationship with both of the above brands. I wrote my university dissertation of Mr Hirst, having discussed him with Peter Aspden, Nicholas Cullinan and Julian Stallabrass. While I don’t think much of his ‘art’, his ability to make money has to be admired. And then comes Lalique, which to begin with I did find rather kitsch with its shapes and colours. The brand has grown on me though, and is one of my favourites now when it comes to art glass and crystal.

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It’s not surprising then that as soon as I saw the Lalique Hirst collaboration, I was automatically drawn to it.  And truth be told – these crystal panels are beautiful. The pastel colours are subtle, butterfly shapes delicate and the pieces bring an enchanted atmosphere to an interior when lit up. There’s one question though: how much of Damien Hirst is in those pieces? I would have at least expected for butterflies to be adorned with miniature skulls. At least!

Missoni Home

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Missoni Home had one of most remarkable stands at the show – thanks to its size but also its design. The brand enclosed its latest collection inside the stand, inviting you to explore it, rather than take a peek and walk past. Inside the stand, you could admire the latest pieces from its Lilium Multicolor collection, all about florals interpreted in a more ‘abstract, symbolic way’. As you would expect, the stand was filled with colour and pattern on pattern – the rug in picture below is my favourite, and yes, I would have it at home.

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Thierry Laudren 

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The strangest discovery of Maison & Objet was Thierry Laudren, with its Alice in Wonderland furniture and female-shaped chest of drawers. Partly art partly furniture, these designs caught my eye for their delicacy, theatrical feel and the fact that they are visibly handmade. They would make a quirky addition to a boutique hotel.

Bocci

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73 is a new design from Canadian studio Bocci, branded as a lamp made of glass but resembling fabric. Personally, the design reminds me much more of clouds or rocks, rather than a piece of fabric. What triggers the comparison though, is the process of how the light is made – glass is blown into a ceramic fabric, which gives the material its permanent shape. I like it for its irregular and organic shapes – you feel like the individual pieces have just dropped from the sky.

Stian Korntved Ruud

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My final favourite from Maison & Objet was the Daily Spoon Project from Norwegian designer Stian Korntved Ruud. I could suggest that Stian is the Norwegian equivalent of our Sebastian Cox, but no one likes comparisons!

Stian is a designer fascinated by wood and its qualities. He is still working on his Daily Spoon project, carving a spoon a day, aiming to have 365 of them at the end of the project. Each spoon is handcrafted using traditional tools and Stian’s Instagram account is a true inspiration and a log of his craft progress.

There were many more companies and brands we saw at Maison et Objet and surely many more to be seen in the rest of the halls – we’d need extra days for these! What were your Maison & Objet highlights?

Decorum Loves: No 11 Pimlico Road

Beautiful interiors and beautiful meals are two of my favourite things, so when I was invited down to have lunch at No. 11 Pimlico Road, I jumped at the chance. Describing itself as ‘an evolution of what has been termed over the last few years as a gastro pub’, the restaurant promises to ‘bring a fresher palette and a recognition of true all-day demand from morning coffee to nightcap and everything in between’.

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My first impressions were overwhelmingly positive. The space is light, bright, relaxed and buzzy. It reminded me a little of a less-moody Riding House Cafe – no squirrel taxidermy here, but the same easygoing feel, making it the kind of place that can transition easily from breakfast meeting place to Sunday brunch venue to afternoon tea and after-work drinking haunt. The interiors were designed by hospitality specialists Fusion, who worked together with owner Mel Marriott to create a welcoming atmosphere that would work for people of all walks of life.

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The design team looked to global trends – such as the relaxed all-day eateries in Australia, and the separate lobby areas in New York which protect guests from the cold – when envisioning the space. They also worked hard to make sure that the details – from the spindleback chairs to the zinc-topped tables – had a residential feel, making it a true home away from home. ‘The aim was for the look to be a reflection of the home, to create somewhere comfortable, somewhere not too prescribed and not cookie-cutter.’ Indeed.

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The result is undoubtedly a success. Not sure what to expect, I had dressed up a little for the occasion, but didn’t feel out of place amongst the families and the young couples coming in for a cup of tea after a morning’s run. This might be Chelsea, but there’s no hint of snootiness in the air. Which is an achievement in itself.

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Supporting the relaxed feel, the furniture is a mixture of restored and reclaimed. Fusion and Mel sourced a number of chairs, the waitress stations and sideboards from eBay, while local design guru Christopher Howe also provided elements as did The French House, an antiques shop in Parsons Green.

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But what of the food, I hear you ask? I’m happy to say that it more than lived up to the interiors. I indulged in the most perfect Sunday brunch avocado, bacon and spinach sourdough bruschetta, while my other half went the whole hog and had a roast beef dinner. I tasted a bit of his beef and was jealous – this is definitely a restaurant that takes its food just as seriously as its ambience. All in all, I highly recommend it – it’s a charming place and you’ll find it suits your needs whatever time of day you choose to drop in!

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