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All in the Details

Paris Déco enchants and inspires

Every year, the design world descends on Paris for Déco Off, where the world’s top fabric and wallcovering companies take over 100-plus showrooms along the Seine to showcase their new collections. We asked local designer Danielle Balanis for her impressions of this year’s event.

From a designer's perspective, what is special about Paris Déco Off? 

It’s unlike anything else I have ever attended. Being set in Paris definitely doesn’t hurt their cause, but something about the crowd, the culture, and the camaraderie set it apart. I had the privilege of not only seeing brand-new lines and being introduced to companies that are so exquisite and special but also meeting the individuals behind the brands. Everything felt so personal, so bespoke. 

Were there showrooms you were particularly excited to visit?

de Gournay was spectacular! They redecorate every year before this event. The space, which lived like the most exquisite flat, was so inspirational and inviting.  I was also blown away by the rockstar presentation that Pierre Frey launched, it was in a Napoleon-era theater, and at any moment, I was expecting Mick Jagger to appear. They really had all the energy, zest, and passion. You can say Pierre Frey is the home team regarding Déco Off. I was completely charmed by the Sanderson/Zoffany/Harlequin crowd and enchanted with The Vale’s lovely new offerings. New for me, I am completely mesmerized and found magic in the showroom of Flora Soames. When sophisticated Vogue contributing editors are popping in you know you are in the right place.

Were there any dominant themes or trends you noticed throughout the event?

Dedar and Noblis’ exquisite textural offerings. I think all senses should be aroused by design and they gave the gift of touch and feel in their collection. Of course, Pierre Frey offered all things that are exhilarating to the eyes and truly make a room sing, while de Gournay keeps reinventing classics and never ceases to amaze me. 

What ideas did you glean that you'd like to incorporate in your own home or an upcoming project?

Pleating and delicate French details- I need more of that in my home. I obsessively layer in my own interiors, but the intricate details- the way buttons are perfected and corners pleated and flanged…. It was delicious to take in.

What would you advise for trade members (or design enthusiasts) who are interested in attending next year? 

If you are going to Paris for Deco Off I highly recommend reaching out to all your ADAC reps and showrooms in early Fall. Start collecting invites and make a spreadsheet. I was so lucky to have Elizabeth and Janie of Hundley Hilton give myself and Mary Lauren McBride the advice and wisdom from their prior experiences at Decoff. It truly is an enchanting experience and if you can afford the time to go it’s a must! 

Any goodies you came home with and are particularly excited about?! 

I did unearth some amazing finds in Fortuny which I was able to bring back for jobs I am working on here in town. I also have an image catalog of fabrics, art, framing, and much more that will carry me with inspiration for years to come. On the last day, Mary Lauren and I stumbled on this darling left bank art gallery which had the most incredible and well-priced pieces. They ship across the pond, making it another great resource when compiling ideas and curating projects. On a personal level, I found the most dreamy chocolate turban while shopping late one afternoon on Saint Honore. Every time I put it on I will think dreamily of Paris….

“The first thing to do is arrange to be born in Paris. After that, everything follows quite naturally”

― Diana Vreeland