Welcome to Paris:  the home of Maison Objet and the biggest interior design fair in the world.  You’ve joined us for another exciting week of design inspirations with Caesarstone – let’s go and explore the latest lighting design ideas.   Maison Object has been described as a multicultural crossroads of contemporary living. With thousands of exhibitors travelling to Paris from around the globe, this massive exhibition gives visitors a comprehensive overview of the latest interior design trends. Trevor King (Caesarstone South Africa): I think attending Maison Objet is just an experience of a lifetime for anyone who has the slightest interest in design. Everybody and everything and every product that you can imagine from an interior design point of view is here. And the variation is just huge. The scope of what’s exhibited here is absolutely magnificent and the inspiration exceptional. With the living area and kitchen being integrated to form one multipurpose living space, designers are showing an increasing responsiveness to expressing the individuality of the homeowner. One way to express your uniqueness is through creative feature lighting. No longer just a functional part of designing a living space, lighting is being given its own platform to shine, bringing personality and atmosphere to the interior. Whether applied as hanging pendants, wall-mounts or lamps, “Edison bulb”-inspired light design came through strongly at the show. With a nod to the ever-popular industrial look and feel, forsaking lampshades for strong, direct light is definitely one of Caesarstone’s design inspirations for this year. And if you’re wanting something a little bit different for the bedroom, try these low-hanging pendant lights instead of a traditional bedside lamp. Oversized wicker and straw lampshades were prolific at Maison Objet. Sometimes carrying a distinct African flavour, this type of light fitting helps to create an authentic, artisanal atmosphere. These designs are perfect for incorporating into a beach house, rustic interior, or even an outdoor, undercover boma. Moving from the relaxed to the grandiose, international designers seemed fascinated by metallic lighting. Moroccan-inspired patterns, organic shapes, and geometric metallic frameworks that formed modular chandeliers, characterized many exhibitors’ stands, drawing the eye upwards through each space. While metal was a big design inspiration for many of the Maison Objet exhibitors, it wasn’t the only star of the show. Ceramics, felt, textured materials, cork, glass and even timber were inventively applied to create, new lighting designs, with many of the lighting schemes communicating a down-to-earth aesthetic. And finally, our last feature lighting design inspiration: low-hanging pendants above the table. As long as this type of lighting is high enough that seated guests can easily see one another, you can dare to go as low as you like with your favourite, oversized fittings. Trevor King: The inspirations and the trends that we’ve seen here will find their way down to the South African market and from what I’m seeing here we have so much to look forward to. Lisa Aspeling: While it’s no surprise that the magical city of Paris plays host to Maison Objet, we hope you’ve captured a little magic of your own to add a touch of inspiration to your interiors.  Until next week, au revoir. For more information about Caesarstone, visit www.caesarstone.co.za 

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