Joie de Vivre: Paris Déco Off

The baby sister to Maison et Objet, Paris Déco Off celebrated its tenth anniversary. It’s free (as in free champagne) and libre (as in free-spirited — imagine a street party that is also one of the best schools around in decor). On a chilly January afternoon, we were lucky to have a popular and seasoned host, Lisa Staprans lead us quickly through the pop-ups and tours. Wending our way on the left bank under enormous fabric lampshades by Masters of Linen, we stepped into the welcoming Ancien et Moderne pop-up curated by Beth Dempsey. Her “Orient Express” theme was reflected in the George Venson’s Voutsa train trunks and grand bed by Savoir. We were mesmerized by the cabinet by Rinck and sample after sample of wall coverings by Fromental — especially designs inspired by traditional Chinese painting manuals.

Katie Storey (storeydesign.co) and Lisa Staprans (stapransdesign.com)

Katie Storey (storeydesign.co) and Lisa Staprans (stapransdesign.com)

Festivities continued at an art and antique tour hosted by Rocky Lafleur of Kneedler|Fauchère where, at his wife’s gallery, we were met with champagne and sent off into the VIIth arrondissement on a local tour. We selected “porcelains” at random and went from one shy and passionate gallery owner to the next. Pieces ranged from fourteenth century Asian vases to French royalty-commissioned Sèvres porcelains to two large vases owned by Maria Callas. Each piece had a story, and the owners seemed genuinely pleased that we wanted to listen.

Festivities continued at an art and antique tour hosted by Rocky Lafleur of Kneedler|Fauchère where, at his wife’s gallery, we were met with champagne and sent off into the VIIth arrondissement on a local tour. We selected “porcelains” at random and went from one shy and passionate gallery owner to the next. Pieces ranged from fourteenth century Asian vases to French royalty-commissioned Sèvres porcelains to two large vases owned by Maria Callas. Each piece had a story, and the owners seemed genuinely pleased that we wanted to listen.

The marché aux puces saw us working the next morning, but it was punctuated with Toma Clark Haines and Aspire Design + Home’s sixth-annual Paris Flea Market Champagne Brunch at Marché Dauphone. Among the endless flea market shops are purveyors serious about their wares. Again, asking about any piece is a free education in craft and furniture. Ten years in, Paris Déco Off lets textile and wallpaper producers, antique dealers and art dealers, and designers from around the globe gather to enjoy as well as to promote their work, and teaches attendees to delve deep into history and craft.

Meg Withgott