‘La Rentrée’ – as the French call ‘Back to School’ – doesn’t just signify the start to the scholastic year but also, for us grownups in the design world, demarcates that time of year when we flock to Maison&Objet to get a surge of inspiration after the slightly slower pace of summer. Much like a Dubonnet, it kicks in right away, leaving you no time to ease into it. Maison&Objet is one of the world’s best design fairs to attend, showcasing the most forward-thinking brands with their new introductions, from furniture to candles to lighting.

“We are experts at creating fairs and experts at showcasing trends,” explained Caroline Biros, Marketing and Communications Director for Maison&Objet. “We are lucky that we have some very talented people around us to help us present what’s fresh – in the form of materials, colors, finishes, and societal trends.” Besides perusing Maison&Objet’s captivating exhibits, you can get a feel for where the industry is going by walking the show and seeing repeated themes. While almost every design era was represented at this year’s event – even the ’80s are making a comeback – it is undeniable that the Parisian Art Deco look has become immensely influential in the contemporary design world today. ENOstudio, a French brand, had one of the best examples of this type of design, with a stand that exuded elegance and simplicity. The mint green walls, with 20 ft tall burgundy velvet curtains, and opalescent pendant lights created an atmosphere of glamour and transported you to another place.

But although we were at one of the most celebrated design events in Paris, with, in some ways, an undeniable French presence, Maison&Objet was also a place to discover brands from around the world, and even those close to home. This September’s Rising Talent Awards focused on US-based designers that are pushing the envelope and creating ground-breaking pieces for the home. Selected by a panel of industry leaders including Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat of WantedDesign and Jerry Helling of Bernhardt Design, the selected designers certainly brought originality to the table. “We’re putting a spotlight on a country that some international designers might not expect to be on the frontlines of the design world,” shared Caroline Biros. “These young American designers are leading by bringing new trends for the next generation, such as craft and sustainability.”

While walking the show can help you discover new brands, trends, and products in just a few hours, by the end of the day you’re ready to head back into the city center to see Paris Design Week in action. Paris’ Le Marais neighborhood has numerous events scattered around its buzzing streets. Who can say no to a crisp glass of champagne and innovative design? Pas nous!

Check out our slideshow to see some of our favorite discoveries from the show!