Material Monday Industry Special: Trends spotted at Maison & Objet 2018

Material Monday Industry Special: Trends spotted at Maison & Objet 2018

Posted 29 January 2018 by Katie Kubrak

Over the course of last weekend we had an opportunity to enjoy another vibrant and inspirational Maison & Objet. This years edition was filled with eye-catching and material pushing projects. Having a close look at all of the pieces featured and launched at this event we can observe a range of trends emerge that will shape and inspire our approach to colours, materials, finishes, interiors and overall idea of design in the months to come.

The most interesting leads can be attributed to two dominating trends that, through what they represent, stand in opposition to one another – ‘Opulence’ and ‘Naturals’. While ‘Opulence’ reflects the need for visual status and premium expression, we observe ‘Naturals’ embodying simplicity and desire for serene authenticity. These mega trends are complemented with ‘Liveliness’, ‘Fluidity’ and ‘Vertical Garden’. In mentioned market frame, ‘Liveliness’ represents the fading interest in millennial pink and growing interest in the lively and vibrant red, ‘Fluidity’ speaks of designers who explore materiality and production techniques, while ‘Vertical Garden’ describes changed attitude, with which, we begin to implement greenery vertical in response to our space-constrained indoor and outdoor living.

Please enjoy a brief sum up of our favourite trends spotted this year below:



Opulence of colours, materials and finishes was brought to us by their bold and unapologetic combinations as seen in product ranges exhibited this year at Maison & Objet. In this trend, indulgent fabrics with gallant patterns are set against shimmering metal frames and complemented with classic aesthetic of form. We see this glamorously creative endeavour as something that will shape how we approach premium luxury and how we portray it through the physicality of objects around us.

Key colours: Emerald Green, Sapphire Blue, Gold Yellow

Key materials: Velvet, Leather, Metals

Key finishes: Gloss, Polish, Foil, Lacquer

Key sensory output: Visual, Tactile



Naturals seek the inspiration within the chaos of politics, technology overload and consequential feeling of disconnectedness. Being rooted within the elements that make us uncomfortable this trend aims to bring the opposite. Through the selection of authentic materials, sourced in the most humane and responsible way, it brings about an environment that builds connectedness, comfort as well as sense of purpose and belonging. We forecast that this trend will continue to gain momentum throughout the months to come as we all will continue to seek materials and products that make us experience slow living, feel more present and content with day-to-day reality.

Key colours: Off White, Cream, Nude, Beige, Various Pastels

Key materials: Linens, Wools, Light Woods, Ceramic

Key finishes: Matte, Unfinished, Natural

Key sensory output: Visual, Tactile, Aroma



Liveliness represents a transition from millennial pink to clay browns, earth tones, ruby reds etc. It stands as a visual testimony of maturing market that exhibits a growing passion for reconnecting to lively organic matter. As designers continue to apply this trend in their work, we will be able to observe how the gentle warmth and vibrance of energy released by shades and tints of aforementioned colours will shape the powerful perception of and dynamic response to products and spaces.

Key colours: Clay browns, Earth tones, Brick Red, Ruby reds

Key materials: Terra cotta, Jesmonite, Copper, Brass, Dark Woods

Key finishes: Tactile, Matte, Unfinished

Key sensory output: Visual, Tactile, Audible



Fluidity of shape and convergence of form was an area explored in the materiality of many products throughout the exhibition. This included: panels made out of natural stone inseparably bonded to  a composite aluminium honeycomb as well as glassware collections from the contemporary design practice Zaha Hadid Design titled ‘Pulse’ and ‘Duo’. This exploration of materiality and production techniques was furthered by Almajiro (who introduced skilfully woven sliced veneer strips made from carefully selected natural woods) and Corvasce (whose display featured a collection of furniture made out of recycled cardboard and MDF wood with linen and leather grey finishes). With our natural interest in materials, we are extremely excited to observe the aesthetic impact it will have.

Key colours: Varied

Key materials: Glass, Wood, Composite, Metals

Key finishes: Varied

Key sensory output: Visual, Tactile



During the show, were also interested to notice further, yet still slow, expansion of vertical garden trend that we touched upon in our series on scent in space (please see the article here). We firmly believe it’s only a beginning of this trend, and we will see much more of it across architecture, interior and product design in the years to come. The reason behind our opinion is due to year on year increased costs of public green spaces and accommodation. In effect, there is no other way than for the infinitely expensive horizontal panes of greenery to evolve into vertical masterpieces of gardening and engineering.

Key colours: Greens

Key materials: Moss, Metal, Stone

Key finishes: Varied

Key sensory output: Visual, Tactile, Aroma



Good design and production is more than just tactile and visual experience. It can also comprise of audible, gustatory and aromatic features.With scent being a super powerful sense, it could be used to create not only more memorable consumer experiences but also a more holistically refined perception of spaces. In effect, olfaction is an element that was extensively explored with many brands releasing their signature scents. Projects that caught our eye the most included ’10 minute aroma’ by Hibi, ‘Light & Scent’ by Lladro and PorousQuartz by Jean-Pierre Baquere. You can read more about this trend and how brands are applying in ‘Series 2’ of our ‘Material Monday’ features here.

Key colours: Varied

Key materials:Varied

Key finishes: Varied

Key sensory output: Tactile, Aroma


If you are interested to find out more about some of the other trends we are closely monitoring for 2018, please feel free to get in touch and explore our material library for seasonal/project inspiration!