The Genteel
December 12, 2017
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A buyer at Osborne and Little, St Germain des Pres
 Photo by Chere Di Boscio 

In Paris, it seems there is simply no escape from high fashion, even for the home. From January 19 to 23, the French capital was teeming with interior decorators, buyers and journalists as they packed into the crème de la crème of interior design shops around rue du Mail on the Right Bank and rue Jacob on the Left. Over canapés and champagne, the latest in home decor samples were admired, photographed, and most importantly, purchased.

The decorative items on display will not be seen only in shops and homes, but also in commercial venues around the world. Yuka Matsudo, a buyer from Japan, explained that she was purchasing cabbage rose printed cotton textiles from Osborne and Little to hang on the windows of an English-themed chain of tea houses in her home country. Decorator Andrea Tomba planned to buy some glittering gold-on-scarlet wallpaper for a private members' club in Rome, but also bought some opulent black and gold striped fabric to adorn the sitting room of a "big client in the Middle East."

However, while clothing trends are usually quite specific and fleeting, interior trends are more general and enduring.

Like haute couture pieces, the wallpapers and textiles shown at Paris Déco Off are created by renowned design houses from the finest materials - silk, wool, leather - and are often hand painted and crafted by specialised artisans. However, while clothing trends are usually quite specific and fleeting, interior trends are more general and enduring.

What appeared with some frequency this week are a few key themes that should endure over the next few years: vivid colours, from berry brights to sunkissed tangerine, aquamarine blues and suburban lawn greens pattern, including graphic natural prints like clouds, grass, butterflies and flowers; Victorian and Baroque designs texture: glitter, reptile skins and velvet.

Minimalism is clearly out for indoors this year, and graphic design and colour are firmly in. Some of the more memorable prints included the Chinoiserie fabric from the Voyages collection at de Gournay; textured black and cream cloth by Edmond Petit, apparently inspired by Coco Chanel's drawing room; the bordello-red faux fur throws from Sonia Rykiel Maison, and the large metallic block leather textiles from Studioart.

 Photo by Chere Di Boscio

 After ingesting so many inspiring decor ideas, it's tempting to rush home, completely gut each room of the house and start anew. But as with fashion, a few small changes can make all the difference. Maintaining key, quality staples is essential: a comfortable sofa, solid bookcases, a classic coffee table, and then the updating is in the accessories (bursts of colour in throws or cushions; a graphic print on a feature wall; a textured rug).

Perhaps interior designer Nina Campbell said it best when she stated: "I treat cushions, trimming, lampshades and other accessories as the shoes and handbags of the home. And the right shoes can really make an outfit."

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