The Biggest Trends at This Year’s Maison & Objet Design Fair
Trend forecaster Elizabeth Leriche talks about her Elements of Nature exhibit and looks at the emerging trends
This year, in a complicated situation where a number of exhibitors were unable to attend or to come out with a new collection, the trend forecaster and founder of her eponymous style agency chose to unite the trends under the theme ‘Elements of Nature’. “[This is] a trend that’s already entrenched, a clear value in our interiors, which we look to for comfort in this troubled time,” she says.
An Ode to Nature
Elizabeth Leriche’s iteration of Maison & Objet’s annual What’s New exhibit, entitled ‘Elements of Nature’, revolved around three themes. We can draw on these decorative worlds to breathe new life into our homes and boost our spirits.
- Contemplative nature emphasises a lightness and transparency in response to our need to rediscover the essence of things. Soothing blue is at the core of this decorative universe, where we look for the fluidity of water in transparent furniture, tableware glazes or the draping of light fabrics.
- Essential nature highlights the rustic, artisanal and local. Thanks to the contribution of digital artist Riccardo Fornoni and his talent in 3D design, Leriche represented this theme through the likeness of a contemporary farm lost among golden wheat. Natural fibres such as linen and wood, and colours anchored in the earth, from terracotta to sand, come together to help us through an uncertain future.
- Sculptural nature grounds itself in a mineral, almost brutalist universe. This colder, contemporary theme appeals to the strength of materials such as marble or travertine, the sculptural aspect of furniture in totemic shapes, and a telluric (of the earth) experience, where colours emerge from the art of fire, from white to black, passing through anthracite or even dark red.
The Big Trends for 2022
Even for a seasoned forecaster, identifying this year’s trends was far from simple. “When summarising the trends and creating each of these decorative worlds, I always tried to reach the visitor on an emotional level, because it goes back to the universal,” Leriche says. “I close my eyes in search of emotions and sensations and try to imagine the feeling of the materials and colours in order to be connected with the visitors, who will be in contact with these objects at the fair.”
Nonetheless, she can fall back on more than 20 years’ experience in style agencies, where she analyses the buzz in the worlds of fashion, décor, design and technology. She likewise draws on her work as consultant at La Redoute Interiors, where she orients every collection of furniture, decor and textiles.
1. Mauve breakthrough
Leriche therefore has an unparalleled view on what our homes will look like in the coming months or more long term, as she draws up trends well in advance. “Ten years ago, I proposed rose-coloured sofas, at a time when beige was the most sold. We had to wait for 2020 for apricot, terracotta, khaki and eucalyptus to finally dethrone beige.
“In beds, the best-selling colours are still blue and mustard, and Art Deco motifs, which we proposed five years ago, are still loved by the general public,” she continues. “From this season onwards, there’s a notable increase in pastel colours, in particular [on the] mauve to violet [spectrum],” she says.
2. Vintage, colours and curves
“The biggest trend is to anchor the home in the authentic and essential, which makes it easy to borrow from nature,” Leriche says. “For the same reason, vintage speaks to people in their thirties who have an appetite for the 1970s, second-hand shopping and recycling.
“Alongside this return to origins, we observe a more optimistic and regressive current, marked by the return of colour and curved patterns. It’s a fantasy that almost tends towards transgressive luxury as evoked by trend forecaster Vincent Grégoire as a theme for this edition of the fair, which he entitled New Luxury.”
3. Mix and match
Leriche points to how our relationship to trends has evolved. “Boomers from a certain social background are still using trends as rules, but millennials take the liberty of creating their own style,” she says. “I said that today there’s no longer a diktat of trends. It’s the end of the total look and the advent of mix and match.”
She cites decorator Laura Gonzalez as a prime example of this trend. Gonzalez is an aficionado of eclectic style, where uninhibited, on-trend fantasies collide with old traditions in an explosion of colours.
4. Our love of unique pieces and natural materials
Besides eclecticism, Leriche sees bohemian style and a love of linen and other natural fibres going strong. So too is our attraction to minimalism, with a preference for the quality of unique pieces of artisanal art rather than frenetic consumption. “In an increasingly digitalised society, materials and ceramics in particular have never been so attractive,” she says.
What About the Future of the Home?
We also asked Leriche about how she sees the home emerging over the next few years – a difficult question given that we seem to be at a turning point.
Streamlining essentials in our interiors “It’s up to us to have gratitude that we have a home,” she says. In this disquieting time full of uncertainty, Leriche points to the recentring of priorities in our interiors. “We prefer a healthy and comforting home that includes products whose origins and supply chains can more easily be traced and a reinforced connection with nature,” she says.
Leriche also notes a recent tendency for some families to move to the peripheries of towns, anxious for more nature as well as self-sufficiency or energy independence.
She likewise sketches the portrait of a home that is at once a “cocoon and porous” and a “protection without disconnection”, imagining that technology will have a big role to play in allowing us to remain connected to the planet. She emphasises “the aspect of facilitating connectivity and private home automation to simplify our lives”.
Leriche also bets that working from home is here to stay, which will impose the necessity of including the best possible office in the home. She also stresses “flexible, rather than set interiors”, capable of addressing the needs of different generations living under the same roof, creating homes that adapt to different people at different points in their lives.
She leaves us with the keywords for writing the future of our homes: “Comfort/consolation and inventiveness/creativity.” Let’s make good use of them!