Even though the comparisons to Fashion Week are starting to feel a little played, the Maison & Objet trade fair in Paris is the design world’s coolest runway. If it belongs in or around the home, this is the show to find it, (hopefully) before everyone else – the international press, retail buyers, interior designers, and their well-informed clients – torch their fitness trackers searching every square inch of the fair. The convergence of furniture, lighting, accessories, and handcrafted design is equal parts inspiring and overwhelming: mostly, you long for solitude, a moment to sit, and a room with zero style after spending 12 hours on the hunt for decorative thrills. It is impossible to see everything, but distilling it all feels like savoring a really outstanding meal. I spend the majority of the flight back to the States studying hundreds of iPhone photos from the fair, which I (occasionally) take like a paparazzo because sometimes you need a volt of danger when on the design prowl.
These are precious spoils, and after scrolling through, it’s easy to give into temptation and declare which trends have emerged (an abundance of curves, for instance) for the year. But why focus on the ephemeral when there are too many good moments to report on? Here are a few standouts that resist fitting neatly into a box. And here’s to 40,000 steps.