Outside In

Maison & Objet is a big show. So big that it’s held twice annually. Stretched over seven halls at Paris-Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre, the September edition encompasses five shows under the M&O umbrella: scnes d’intrieur, now! design vivre, Maison & Objet Outdoor_Indoor, Maison&Objet Projets and Maison & Objet muses. Wandering halls one through six, you can find just about everything and anything for the home. From wall- coverings to toasters, from soap to incredibly over-the-top Christmas decorations, it’s all there. It’s a little overwhelming and hard to know what to look at. Until you hit hall seven, home to the Outdoor_Indoor show.

Perhaps it was the blustery weather, or the impending short-lived Canadian fall awaiting me at home, but the show left me with a new-found appreciation for outdoor living. The mood at Outdoor_Indoor was refreshingly laid back, a relief after the frenzy of some of the halls I toured on my way to number seven. Many of the booths were a more than a reasonable facsimile of an outdoor room, making it easy to forget the windy and chill outside, despite a little roof shaking.

Still, many showgoers did brave the outdoors long enough to try out some of the furniture in its natural habitat. Those in transit between halls were drawn to Blofield’s inflatable sofas that were placed around the grounds. And when the weather let up on my final day at the show, there were plenty of lurkers in the Extremis outdoor space, waiting to pounce -literally -on the BeHive lounge, which could perhaps best be described as a grown-up version of a bouncy castle. Should you get the chance, I’d highly recommend giving it a whirl.


Sywawa’s new Hole in One umbrella stand is a great way to hold up one of their shake-and-shimmy “dancing” umbrellas. An alternative to a larger, full-height table or a wobbly stand, the table’s three legs can be filled with sand or stones for greater stability. An additional stabilizing option offered is a plate, in a shape that mimics the table’s natural shadow, which attaches to the legs and further ensures the whole works stay in place. The textured steel Hole in One is available in chestnut brown and ice white. www.symo.be


Extremis has introduced a new barstool version of its Bronco seating, as well as a coordinating version of the Corral table, to its collection of unique outdoor furniture. The saddle-inspired stool will feature the same leather strap drink holder seen on the original version, as well as a new foot support detail that resembles stirrups and can be personalized with a metal insert. The Corral table accommodates seven of the stools and all are made of durable rotation molded polyethylene. www.extremis. be


Ego’s Tandem collection, by Thomas Sauvage, is designed for sharing a little quality time in the great outdoors. The collection includes a variety of seating and tables, but the Sunlounger is the centrepiece. The perfectly paired chaises offer a variety of cozy seating arrangements that allow each user personal space for books or drinks. Constructed with a lacquered aluminum frame, the lounger is available in 16 colourways, as well as in deck options of teak or Corian. www.egoparis.com


Swedish designers Erik Nyberg and Gustav Strm may have created the ultimate in leisure with Wave. Going way beyond your typical hammock, Wave is built to imitate the feeling of lying under the canopy of a tree in a defined natural space. It’s made from electro-polished stainless steel and two kinds of perforated fabric; the material on the upper roof is semi-transparent to let light shine through, yet blocks 86 per cent of the sun’s harmful rays. Measuring a mammoth 12 by 8 by 9.5 feet, there’s room for you and a few friends. www.wave. st


Blofield’s chairs and sofas are an inflatable version of a classic, tufted, decidedly indoor look. Manufactured using the same durable PVC and vinyl used in emergency rafts, these pieces are inflated in five minutes, with the incorporated electric pump. One-, two-or three-seat versions are available, in three colors: stone white, midnight grey and earth green. Designed by Jeroen van de Kant, Blofield comes packaged in a trolley bag, so it’s easy to roll out for extra seating – outside or in – whenever it’s required. www.blofiled.com


The Leaf Hammock from Gaeaforms transforms the basic idea of a hammock, turning it into an actual furniture piece that can be used inside as well as out. Manufactured from a composite shell and Dacron, a 3-mm sailing rope, Leaf is flexible, yet sturdy enough for two people to comfortably sleep in. Designed by Pinar Yar and Turgel Gvsa, the product features a unique interlocking weave that allows individual ropes to be replaced, ensuring a long life. www.GAEAforms.com1–LOOP

Coro’s Loop is a chaise longue that is both comfy and convenient. Designed by Gala Wright, this collapsible chair is simply designed, using two lightweight stainless steel hoops and a bit of plasticized mesh, which unfold into a rocking lounger. The gentle rocking motion can be enjoyed by placing the chair on a hard surface, like a deck or balcony, but the base is stable enough to use on softer surfaces like grass or sand. www.coroitalia. it


Dutch company Teak & Garden has introduced Sail, a new outdoor shower. The actual shower is composed of a powdercoated aluminum frame with a batyline “sail” that also functions as a screen. The base is in teak and the same aluminum, with a tray in teak, or ceramic. As the Sail shower could be fixed to a solid surface, the base is optional and each component can be purchased individually. www.teak-garden. eu


Passion is Art’Mely’s line of tables, which feature a centrepiece of two stainless steel boxes. The boxes can be filled with just about anything, whether it’s decorative (like goldfish) or functional (like ice and drinks). Perforated covering plates are included, making it easy to utilize the full surface of the table for serving, or to arrange flowers. Available in oval and rectangular shapes and over 20 colours, the table itself is made of a fibreglass and resin composite that offers resistance to extreme weather. www.art-mely.com


RP Design’s Grumo is perfect for shedding a little light on spontaneous outdoor get-togethers. Designed by Stphane Joyeux, this is a prettier take on the portable lamp. Each of the three shapes offered are constructed to hang, from a strong aluminum hook, or sit on the ground. Suitable for any weather, the lightweight lamps are easily transported and are environmentally friendly, using fluocompact lightbulbs or LEDs. www.roger-pradier.com


Crinoline is the new Patricia Urquiola collection from B&B Italia. Built to stand up to the elements, the pieces feature a slightly more delicate look than much of the outdoor seating we’re seeing today. Inspired by the designer’s study of 3-D texture, the collection of seating is in black-white and black-bronze dual-coloured polyethylene with natural fibres and bronze string, woven into soft, sinuous designs. www.bebitalia. it