Design trends from Paris

London brands wowed interior designers in Paris at Maison & Objet. Britons were on every aisle - confident, assured and pulling in the punters.
In 2005, only seven fledgling design firms showed on a group British stand at the biannual festival. This time there were 37 firms, and making substantial solo splashes were Ercol, Anglepoise, Case Furniture, Tom Dixon, Russell Pinch and many more.
 
"Europe and America are loving British makers," says Clapham-based Pinch (pinchdesign.com), cheerfully showing off the workmanship of perfectly poised dressing tables with six different types of wood joint.
 
London's shops, decorators and web merchants are speedily offering the new designs and themes of the show - pale wood, copper, pastels and a sense of fun were keynotes.
 
In central Paris at the separate Déco Off event, the big fabric houses had re-papered their showroom walls with gusto, adding lavish drapes and trimmings. Here again Britain excelled, with stand-out collections from Coles, Sanderson, Osborne & Little, Zoffany and Designers Guild. You couldn't miss the butterflies and big botanical prints, plus the patterns conjured from our inimitable British archives.
 
Osborne & Little (osborneandlittle.com) even won the prize for the best window display, pipping all Europe to the post with an "underwater" trimmings extravaganza that is coming to its King's Road shop soon.

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Light shades covered in new Sonia Rykiel Maison Frivole fabric, in Blanc, Or and Mastic colourways (lelievre.eu/collections-tissus.php)
 
PATTERN POWER
British pattern was indeed the talk of Paris. Designs were underpinned by impressive artwork - you could clearly see the influence of our countrywide art colleges. Kristjana Williams now floats her trademark butterflies from intricate fine art prints over urban walls, courtesy of two new Osborne & Little wallpapers. Designer/artists at Zoffany (zoffany.co.uk) have hand-painted the bountiful bouquets bursting out from their new Woodville collection.
 
In contrast were neat, sharp geometrics - crisp and modern, often on ceramics - washes of dipdyed indigo and exotic tropical brights for a quick colour fix. Explore Sanderson's Voyage of Discovery.
 
In the hands of painter Jo Bound of boeme.co.uk, cushions are almost art; it's that watercolour look again. And a spate of new rugs are a clever upgrade for a downtrodden board floor or part-worn carpet. This year, rugs by a bevy of international designers at Ligne Roset (ligne-roset.co.uk) are especially cool - visit their shops in W1 and E1.

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LEFT: polished brass pitchers by Alex Meitlis by Hazorfim, from £1,714 (meitlisbyhazorfim.com); RIGHT: Zaha Hadid's vases for Lalique launch in London
 
MATERIAL WORLD
The emphasis is on shapely objects including vases, dishes and jugs. Zaha Hadid's vases for Lalique - dubbed crystal architecture - stood stately on spotlit plinths.
 
More affordable is simple glass tableware, mouth-blown and handincised by Norwood's Michael Ruh. The delicate vessels of Pia Wustenberg, meanwhile, combine materials and crafts from Finland, the Czech Republic, England, Austria and Germany (visit utopiaandutility.eu).
 
Taking the copper crown is Tom Dixon. But, though inspired by Birmingham heavy engineering, his new eco-candlesticks are made in Indian brass-plated aluminium.
 
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Sonia Rykiel Maison sofa covered in Arty fabric (lelievre.eu/collections-tissus.php)

COLOUR HARMONY
Those ubiquitous pastels - apricot, vanilla, sky and lemon - rub along happily, a pretty antidote for the small, dark room. Designers Guild showed fabrics washed with watercolours and inspired by Japanese kimonos. "Over-dying" is a new idea - an extra layer of colour that adds a faded, aged feel.
 
Many young designers from London bravely fronted their own stands and did it very well, getting a global audience for their fabrics, papers, ceramics and glass. Kirath Ghundoo (kirathghundoo.com), celebrating her Indian heritage, has transcribed soft fragments of the Taj Mahal and other buildings on to pastel papers. Katja Behr, trading as ellipopp.co.uk, conjured feathers, fronds and butterflies into pale, surreal panels of shimmering silk.
 
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Crystal bottles, £235 each (cumbria crystal.com)

GET INTO SHAPE
Furniture forms have polarised. On the one hand are those wafer-thin but super-strong chairs and tables. By contrast is slump-happy, oversize upholstery - such as Bill Amberg's fat leather armchairs, like posh beanbags. Ligne Roset's radical Prado seating is a large lounging platform with chunky weighted cushions you can put anywhere. On a fun note, Maison was barking mad with dogs, cats, birds and woodland creatures on cushions, lamps and tableware.
 
MAKING GOOD
Designers use computers to implement patterns and control machines. London-based Cristian Zuzunaga (cristianzuzunaga.com) is besotted by pixels and bitmaps. And now a hi-tech, high-definition, multicolour Brintons loom in Kidderminster turns them into rugs, yielding every detail over huge panels.
 
At the same time, craft is flourishing. Studios and small workshops are very professional, making in batches to sell at keen prices in stores rather than galleries. Furniture-maker Russell Pinch has the last word: "Technology and craft can happily co-exist." 

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