| Jan 31, 2011 |
The "rendezvous" of design, Paris Déco Off steals the show
By Staff

As part the design industry’s pilgrimage to Paris for bi-annual home fashion show Maison d'Objet, interior designers and editors added days to their chock-a-block schedules with appointments at a new show in town—Déco Off, which took place January 20-24.

Now in its second year, Déco Off is growing beyond what began as an intimate affair, featuring 70 showrooms that are literally and figuratively part of the fabric of Paris—accessible directly from the streets of the Rive Droite and Rive Gauche.

Déco Off information center and press room.

"This is a show that is primarily about French style.  How much better is it to see the products in the heart of Paris, as opposed to an expo center by the airport?" remarked Kim Huebner, Marketing Director of Pierre Frey. "Most all of the main American magazines are represented there, and more and more American designers are coming from all over: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Texas."

Veranda’s Decoration and Design Editor Carolyn Englefield and her team spent equal time at Déco Off and Maison d’Objet. “It’s refreshing to be outside moving from one showroom to another,” said Englefield. “It seemed well attended and well planned—and I noticed a lot of designers from California this year.”

Los Angeles-based interior designer Joe Lucas spent one third of his shopping time at Déco Off. "It's a great way to see the new collections while being constantly inspired by your surroundings in Paris. Paris makes EVERYTHING look good! I found some really beautiful silks from Colony and I discovered Dominique Picquier's incredible line of prints and wovens at her gem of a showroom in Le Marais. We are hoping to carry it in Los Angeles at our showroom Harbinger."

New York-based interior designer Kristen McGinnis’ first stop on her Paris trip was the Rue du Mail showrooms on the Right Bank. “It was refreshing to be able to split my time between Maison d’Objet, antiquing and visiting some of the oldest fabric houses in Paris.”

Showrooms on the Rive Gauche.

Some showrooms have permanent showrooms and others take a temporary space for the five-day event. Many of the participants are also founders of Déco Off, such as Philippe Parent Studio, Houlès, Rubelli, Declercq Passementiers, Pierre Frey, Dominique Picquier, Lelièvre and Nobilis.

Courtyard of showrooms of Rue du Mail on the Rive Gauche.

Armed with a mobile app, a printed map, and a dedicated bus route, attendees had no trouble navigating the show. In addition, participating showrooms were marked with a Déco Off flag, a red carpet, and an artistic interpretation of the bicycle—the theme of this year’s show—for its storefront.

Bicycle showcased in DeGournay storefront on the Rive Droite.

“In all major capitals of the world there are bicycles,” said Carole Locatelli and Hughes Charuit of Organisation Paris Déco Off. “As with decoration, the bike is part of our universe so it is the link between all the showrooms and a real thread to the press and visitors. It also highlights the creativity of the participants."

Press preview in the 14th-c. basement of the Pierre Frey showroom.

From press previews to parties, designers and editors found plenty of inspiration to bring home.

“On my first day, I was invited to see Patrick Frey unveil the new Pierre Frey collection in the 14th-century basement of their spectacular showroom on the Rue du Mail,” said McGinnis. “As Pierre Frey has been a long-time favorite showroom, I was so touched by the opportunity to experience part of their family history and legacy.”

Dedar showroom display on the Rive Droite.

“I always find Dedar to be very inspiring. It’s a small showroom and not a huge line but it’s always very innovative and the presentation of the showroom was attractive,” said Englefield.

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