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The 40+ Best Things We Saw at IMM Cologne and Maison & Objet 2019

Our trend-spotting needle hasn't exactly gone haywire in the first few weeks of this year — and we, for one, think that might be a good thing, considering how frenetic the pace of trends has been of late. IMM Cologne and Maison & Objet, the first two big furniture fairs of the year, have also traditionally not been the first places you might go to scout for said trends, whether owing to their spot on the design calendar (just before Milan) or the regional peculiarities of each host country (Cologne, to this day, always has a preponderance of Bauhaus-inspired pieces). And yet, scrolling through our picks this year, you'll see a few things that look just different enough that they might be harbingers of things to come.
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Five Rooms, Five Ways: From ’80s Brushstrokes to Meditative Minimalism

Hundreds of design lovers will find themselves in Provence this week on the occasion of the Villa Noailles Design Parade. But one of the coolest things can actually be found a scenic, 90-minute drive from Hyères in the small town of Grasse. There, in a 300-year-old farmhouse owned by design patron Silvia Fiorucci-Roman, is the 5Rooms project at Moulin Des Ribes, for which five design studios were each asked to create a bedroom with ensuite bathroom, with every detail inspired by the colors, crafts, and traditions of the surrounding region.
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Design Parade, a Festival in the French Countryside, is the Anti–Design Fair

Each spring, as we're challenged to survive the Milan fair, New York Design Week, and Design Miami-Basel in rapid succession, life really does start to feel like one big, annoying, never-ending design parade. And yet funny enough, the festival of that same name, which takes place in early July at the Villa Noailles in Hyères, often feels like the antidote — a charming anti-design-fair in the French countryside where creativity, not commerce, is the only thing on the agenda.
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These Ceramics in a Former French Salon Are the Exact Amount of ’80s Nostalgia We Need Right Now

When Italian designer Valentina Cameranesi and curator Matylda Krzykowski first saw the former hairdresser's shop in Toulon, France — where the interior design portion of the annual Design Parade festival is held this year — its windows were plastered with the word "Féminin." Perhaps it was fate, because the word is an apt reference to Cameranesi’s work, which is on view in the former salon in her first solo exhibition until September 24.
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The “It” Colors of the Season, According to AD France

A new AD France photoshoot, created by creative director Thibaut Mathieu in collaboration with photographer Peter Langer, focuses on this season's color palettes — which, according to them, include "soap bubble" shades, dense blues, golden hues, intense reds, and copper. It was too good not to repost here.
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Designers Interpret the Classic Tolix A Chair

We aren't quite sure how we missed this project — considering both our affinity for the classic Tolix A chair (we might own seven (!) of them ourselves) and our affection for the designers involved — but in Milan last month, the French company celebrated its 80th anniversary and in doing so invited eight design studios to reinterpret its most famous offering.
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ECAL Takes Over Apartment 50 in Le Corbusier’s Radiant City

Since it was renovated in the early 2000s and restored to its original 1952 condition, Apartment 50 in Le Corbusier's famous Cité Radieuse housing complex in Marseilles, France, has played host to a rotating cast of designers — Jasper Morrison in 2008 followed by the Bouroullecs, Konstantin Grcic, and, perhaps most successfully, Pierre Charpin. But a group of Swiss design students may have just completed our favorite intervention yet.
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French Illustration Duo Atelier Bingo

Someday, when someone writes the definitive book looking back on how the internet changed life in the 21st century, they'll include stories like Atelier Bingo's: After living in Paris for two years post-graduation, Adéle Favreau and Maxime Prou decided on a whim one day to leave their burgeoning graphic design careers behind for a life in the countryside, and guess what? It didn't make a lick of difference. The pair now run a bustling illustration studio from a converted factory in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre owned by Favreau's uncle, and thanks to the magic of email, it hasn't stopped them from selling prints online and working with clients like Vogue, The Plant, and Wrap Magazine, plus companies they did graphic design for back in Paris, now three hours away.
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Alma Charry, Illustrator

The ____-a-day trope — wherein a designer sets quotidian goals for him or herself in order to achieve maximum work efficiency and output — has reached epic proportions lately, and you know what? We're okay with that. The latest example we've come across is an advent calendar by Parisian illustrator Alma Charry, called 24RAPIDO, where the designer produced one drawing a day, each day leading up to Christmas (as well as some cute bonus GIFs). We like Charry's work in general, which is a mix of Society 6–ready patterns, freeform ink-washed drawings, and figurative prints.
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Pool at Interieur Biennale

Vase Trophé ©POOL Here's the truth: We haven't visited France in nearly a decade, and though we know there's a scene there full of wonderful young talents on the verge of something huge, we'd be hard pressed to dissect it with the same kind of intimate knowledge that we bring to the players on our own soil. That said, if there's one studio we've kind of been obsessing over lately, it's Pool — the Paris-based duo of Léa Padovani and Sébastien Kieffer, who met while working for designer Noe Duchaufour-Lawrence. As Pool, they've created products for La Chance, Petite Friture, and Gallery S. Bensimon, and in Kortrijk this week, at the Interieur Biennale, they're gathering their best work together under one roof. The exhibition Walk the Line, on view until Sunday, includes previous favorites, like their hammered copper and painted metal Maillet lamp, as well as never before seen works like the green Trophé vase at the top of this post. Go see it if you're in the area, and if you're not, keep an eye on this page for great things coming down the pike and read on for even more fantastic images.
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