During my January trip to Paris, I found some delicious tabletop items while attending Maison & Objet and visiting Bernardaud’s Rue Royale boutique. If you’re looking for the newest tabletop releases you’ll find anywhere, take a look at these beauties—some so new, they are not even shown among the manufacturers’ products featured online yet. Stay tuned for a future post when I’ll be dishing about my trip to Bernardaud’s Limoges factories. For now, I will just say what a moveable feast it was!
Setting a Trending Table
Let me know if you have a favorite among these products that came across my radar. And if you decide you can’t do without any number of them, please snap pics of your adorned table and share with me on social media, would you?
Vista Alegre at Maison & Objet
Dutch designer Marcel Wanders is at it again. The visionary has created a new collection of porcelain for Vista Alegre, a manufacturer founded in Portugal in 1824. Called Blue Ming, the pieces in the collection dance with floral patterned motifs, his take on the century-old tradition of Delft Blue.
“Vista Alegre has a long history of crafting porcelain with the highest quality and functionality standards,” Wanders says. “We’ve created an entire set of iconic pieces that is elegant and versatile. By re-imagining the traditional Delft Blue we have harmoniously combined tradition and modernity.” The new collection will be available for purchase on the Vista Alegre website soon.
Rosenthal Meets Versace at M&O
The La Medusa tea service, a limited edition set from Rosenthal meets Versace, has been produced in only 49 pieces that exude a fresh take on geometry. The iconic Greek key motif runs along the set’s most commanding handles while one of the most powerful goddesses, Medusa, claims the center of each piece as her dominion. She makes an encore appearance on the lid of the teapot.
Choose a classically clean white set for a mythic afternoon or tap the black and white combo with gold accents for an extra bit of bling.
Bernardaud’s Sunny Disposition for the Table
When I visited the Bernardaud boutique on Rue Royale, I opened the door to take in a sumptuous room with a resplendent array of porcelain. Holding court in the center of the shop was a table set with the Sol pattern of porcelain glinting in textural gold, the prominent centerpieces, new this year, bringing an entirely new meaning to the idea of holding court, particularly the ones crowned with white tulips.
Also new this year, the pattern debuts in four lovely colors that I’m declaring would set the tone perfectly in every season. Choose the Sol Printemps, a lively chartreuse, for a springtime table; Sol Lazuli, an ardent blue will reflect summer’s early evening skies; Sol Cajou, a sophisticated shade of light brown, to usher in autumn; and Sol Myrte, a crimson-leaning red that will brighten a winter table and segue perfectly into the holidays. Intermingle the Myrte with the luxuriant gold for a more formally festive feast.
Materials Matter with CoBALTUM
Designs by CoBALTUM were among my favorites at Maison & Objet, the company’s fine bone china a fabulous example of bringing a contemporary spin to time-honored materials. Based in Stoke on Trent, England, the company is a newly launched design brand with a focus on traditional craft, artisanal values and truth in materials—catchphrases for this region where England’s pottery industry resides.
This newest collection, Exemplum, was designed by Rebecca Hogg and has gilded detailing to accentuate an intermittent pattern that teases the eye.
Vanessa Mitrani’s Talent Surfaces
Though I wouldn’t want to meet the subject of Vanessa Mitrani’s Mangrove vases in real life, I was truly enamored with how real her alligators in miniature felt even with their physiques rendered somewhat abstractly.
The artisan captured so mesmerizingly how these ancient creatures look as they rise to the water’s surface, the ice blue color of the glass adding to the buoyant feeling. The vases, which also come in clear glass, would be powerful conversation pieces if used as a centerpiece for a spring or summer brunch. Might I suggest seafood as the main course?
Raise a Glass to Miranda Watkins
Miranda Watkins’ Martini Cocktail Set, a hit-the-road helpmate for drinks, was commissioned for Wallpaper* Handmade, an exhibition curated for and a special issue published by the magazine. Handcrafted by A.R. Wentworth of Sheffield, the ensemble is made of pewter and cork. The Victoria and Albert Museum has acquired this stealth travel mate for it’s permanent collection, and though it is a savvy globetrotting accessory, it would bring ample cheer to any dinner party gleaming on the bar.
Valerie Objects Cuts a Kicky Profile
Belgium-based manufacturer valerie_objects tapped avant-garde Dutch designer Maarten Baas and Japanese designer Koichi Futatsumata to envision two cutlery collections. The sketchy shapes of Baas’ design have a childlike feel to them—the knife, fork, tablespoon and teaspoon seeming to spring directly from sketch to the factory.
“There is often a great deal of beauty in a rapid sketch,” Baas notes, “but those spontaneous lines often get lost in an industrial process.” A characteristic feature of this cutlery set is the irregular zigzag edge of the knife—a supposedly simple intervention that is the most difficult aspect of the production.
Serax Brings Two Winners to M&O
Paper Vases, designed for Serax by house designer Marie Michielssen, are made of up-cycled bottles, pots and tin cans, the recycled throwaways pretty examples of giving refuse a new lease on life. The inspiration for these playful decorative elements was 19th-century silverware and metalworking.
Also among the new Spring/Summer 2016 introductions is Paola Navone’s Fish & Fish tableware collection. The Italian designer’s inspirations for this kicky assortment were her travels and products made during the Great Depression in the 1930s. The platters, jars and bottles in this service collection are made of pressed glass, and are available in Jadeite (green), Milk Glass (white) and Depression Glass (transparent).
Seeing the shear number of themes one could choose to set the table was one of my favorite aspects of the Maison & Objet fair. Bon appétit, everyone!
Text of Setting a Trending Table © design blogger Saxon Henry, all rights reserved. Saxon Henry is an author, poet and journalist, whose books include Anywhere But Here, Stranded on the Road to Promise and Four Florida Moderns. She also maintains The Diary of an Improvateur as a platform for her literary travel and design adventuring, and is a columnist on Architizer. Saxon will be leading a workshop at the Design Bloggers Conference in March titled “How to Make Your Writing Sing.”