Trailblazer Patti Carpenter on Changes & Trends at Maison & Objet

Patti Carpenter, Global Trend Ambassador for the Americas, discusses the changes at Maison & Objet, and some of the major trends she’s seen at this upscale trade expo.

Patti Carpenter is a lot of things. She’s a color expert. She’s a design forecaster. She’s a business owner. And here at Maison & Object, a biannual high-end interior design trade show based in Paris, Patti is the Global Trend Ambassador for the Americas.

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Patti is known throughout the interior and product design industry for her ability to predict style trends years before they hit a mainstream audience. It’s her attention to detail, through world travel and maintaining a keen eye on macro-level happenings, which helps Patti forsee what’s next.

 

During a special interview with Patti, House Tipster was able to learn more about her work and the trends she noticed at the September Maison et Objet expo.

 

A New Maison

 

Patti has worked closely with organizers at Maison & Objet for close to five years, helping to fine-tune this carefully curated show. She tells us that once every few years, her team looks for ways to improve the show’s layout and make it easier for attendees to shop and exhibitors to showcase their work.

 

For September’s show, they came up with a solution where the Maison (“Home”) showrooms were separated from the Objet (“Object”) ones. There was some pushback at first, but if you talk to anyone walking the showroom floor now, there’s virtually unanimous agreement that this was the right call.

 

“As I cover this show, I find it’s easier to locate like things together. This show is so large, but the new layout helps,” Patti explained.

 

What’s New & What’s Cycling

 

Maison & Objet isn’t your typical trade show.

 

It’s meticulously curated, and twice a year, organizers bring on anywhere from 500-600 new vendors. “Some of them are well-established businesses from countries that have never shown [at Maison] before. And sometimes, these are brand new designers; those who have the potential to be influential later on,” she told us.

 

This session, Patti has seen some wonderful items and trends that captured her imagination. But one of her biggest takeaways was the cyclical nature of design.

 

Yes, it’s obvious that styles that have long gone come back eventually, sometimes with a vengeance. But it’s Patti who notices the intricacies of these cycles.

 

She noted that mid-century modern continues to be a massive trend around the world. Consequently, Nordic countries-- places where the clean simplicity of mid-century modern is infused in the culture’s design, have an ever-growing presence at events like Maison & Objet.

 

Aside from mid-century modern, Patti also noted the resurgence of the 80’s retro-look. “We’re seeing the 80’s retro glam, but it looks different. There are new surface designs and ways of adding color, and some materials now have a focus on sustainability and ecology,” she noted.

 

As trends continue to evolve, Patti anticipates seeing a fusion between the minimalism of mid-century modern and the maximalism of the 80s. “Younger consumers don’t want things; they want experiences. They’re looking to bring items into their spaces that mean something,” Patti explained.

 

What will this look like? Patti believes that we’ll see a lot of maximalist decor and accessories in minimalist settings in the upcoming year.

 

Is the European Marketplace That Different?​​​​​​​

 

As we closed out the conversation, we wanted to get Patti’s take on the difference in the designs between North American and the United States. As a New Yorker with international design experience, Patti was quick to note that Europe is ahead of the curve, particularly when it comes to the use of natural materials.

 

Fabrics made of pineapple fibers, sugar, and hemp are just the starting point. Algae-dyed fabrics and sand mixed with resin are also gaining in popularity over here. “They think outside of the box,” she concluded.

 

We are so pleased to have had the opportunity to, once again, speak with Patti Carpenter. She’s a trade show expert, an industry influencer, and we’d like to think she’s become a good friend of House Tipster.

 

Thank you, Patti Carpenter, for giving us insight about Maison & Objet. We’ll see you at HPMKT!

Next: One World Interiors: Recycled, Reused, Remarkable