Paris in January? Well, when it's like fashion week, but for interior designers, then yes, Paris in January. For the past 5 years I have joined a group of fellow interior designers and product specialists for viewing the current trends in furnishings and fabrics, months before they hit the US market. Of course, that's during the day, in the evening there are parties, dinners and wonderful conversations with people I often only see once a year.
The two main events are the Maison et Objet show and then Deco Off. Maison et Objet is a show that fills 8 exhibit halls. This show displays vendors from all over the world and encompasses everything from high end furniture, fabric, wall coverings, lighting, accessories, bedding, table top and retail gift lines. While this show is twice a year in Paris, I enjoy going in January as it overlaps with Deco Off, which is focused on the fabric houses. The showrooms in Paris are in individual shops near the left and right bank of the Seine. I enjoy visiting my favorite shops and seeing the new lines coming out. Having a private viewing of product teaches me so much more about the construction and the design intent of the design director. I love knowing the story behind the inspiration of the fabrics. Then when I see them arriving in the US, they have greater depth for me and I'm more likely to try something totally new when I know the person who created it.
My time in Paris each year is all about inspiration. Sometimes directly from seeing something new, other times from going to the flea markets or antique stores. The window displays alone in Paris are something to appreciate and study. For me, it's 5 days of eye candy that satisfy my every design craving. That's Paris in January!