Inspiration in The Magic City

We closed out the year on an artistic note as we headed to The Magic City for Miami Art Week and all of its art and design events. Growing up in Paris and being immersed in global sensibilities from a young age has always stayed with me, and I continue to approach my projects today with European interior design principles of scale and form. So when hundreds of galleries from around the world take over Miami this time every year and bring emerging and established artists with them, I can’t wait to discover new talents and rediscover familiar ones. 

While I travel to Paris every year to glean inspiration and find hidden gems for my clients (in fact, I recently purchased an apartment in the 8th arrondissement between the Seine and the Champs-Élysées, and now Laure Nell Interiors officially has a Paris atelier), Art Basel and all of the satellite art and design shows that come along with it bring Paris, Europe, and the world right to our own backyard.

I especially loved Scope, Design Miami/ and, of course, Art Basel this year, which each had a refreshing approach to their exhibits, and I’m sharing some of the standouts from these art and design events with you below.

Design Miami/: Where Art and Furniture Become One

Design Miami/ never disappoints and is one of my favorite interior design events I attend all year (aside from Maison & Objet, of course). Seeing this global collective of artists, designers and brands give a sculptural twist to furniture, lighting and accessories always reinvigorates my creative process for our interior design projects.

I’ve been a fan of fellow local designers Moniomi since we designed spaces alongside each other at Design on a Dime in Miami a few years ago. And I was blown away by their debut installation at Design Miami/—Altis Ornamentum, a chic space for sophisticated play. 

I fell in love with Southern Guild and Zizipho Poswa’s powerful sculptures during last year’s Miami Art Week, and I couldn’t wait to see what the gallery had in store this time. Poswa was back thankfully, but Andile Dyalvane’s “iBubu (Flock)” also was a delight to see.

Sarah Myerscough Gallery had a gorgeous display titled Material Shores that featured works by Angela Damman, Christopher Kurtz and Fernando Laposse (and won an award for Design Miami/’s Best of Show). The entire Design Miami/ fair had an undercurrent of organic forms and materials inspired by nature, and this exhibit was no exception. 

But since we’re currently working on designing a new Japanese restaurant coming soon to Boca Raton, I was especially drawn to Extreme Surfaces: Cutting Edge Kogei—a ceramic showcase of 21 innovative Japanese artists by Ippodo Gallery and a ceremonious teahouse by Shigeru Uchida.

Andile Dyalvane “iBubu (Flock)” Southern Guild Design Miami Miami Art Week
Sarah Myerscough Gallery Material Shores
Ippodo Gallery Ceramics Design Miami Miami Art Week Japanese Artists

Scope: International Emerging Contemporary Art 

Scope is always a fun art and design show since it’s set against a backdrop of the ocean. Making the long trek down the sandy walkway to the exhibition tent was well worth it as I instantly fell in love with two Parisian galleries. (Clearly I have a type…) 

Galerie Carole Kvasnevski highlighted the awe-inspiring photographer Angèle Etoundi Essamba. She lives in Paris now but was born in Cameroon. Her stunning portraits explore the identity of African women and play with light and contrast in a way I haven’t seen.

And the other artist here who caught my eye was Thandiwe Muriu, represented by 193 Gallery. The Nairobian photographer is also a fashion designer, and her vibrant photographs incorporate clothing, accessories and backdrops made with local textiles that depict her African heritage and culture.

Angele Etoundi Essamba Scope Photography Miami Art Week
Thandiwe Muriu Fashion Photography Scope Miami Art Week Design Events
Thandiwe Muriu Fashion Photography Scope Miami Art Week Design Events
Oren Pinhassi Edel Assanti Art Basel

Art Basel: Emerging and Established Artists from Five Continents

And last but certainly not least, there was Art Basel. While this global art fair held in the Miami Beach Convention Center is always daunting, I ventured in to continue my search with eyes wide open.

Gina Beavers’ “Drama Queen Lip,” on view through Marianne Boesky Gallery, immediately captured my attention. Oren Pinhassi’s monuments sculpted from sand and steel for his installation about mourning—I Would Talk About the End, on view through Edel Assanti—stirred my emotions.

And Devan Shimoyama’s mixed-media “Self Portrait With Braids, Doubled” from Kavi Gupta (made using oil, colored pencil, glitter, collage, yarn, fabric, enamel, rhinestones, jewelry, and Flashe on canvas over panel) had me doing double takes.

Paris+ Par Art Basel: Art Basel Goes to Paris

After salivating over all of the European and global art here in Miami, I was super excited to hear that Paris+ par Art Basel will debut next year at the Grand Palais Éphémère in Paris. That’s music to my ears for this French interior designer, and I’ll be sure to report back. 

À bientôt.

Devan Shimoyama Art Basel
Gina Beavers Lips Art Basel
Image credits, from top: Altis Ornamentum, via Moniomi; Andile Dyalvane, “iBubu (Flock),” Southern Guild, via Design Miami/; Angela Damman chandelier, Christopher Kurtz Skipping Stone table, Christopher Kurtz Drinks cabinet crafted from hand-carved Tulipwood, Fernando Laposse Sisal Pup seat, Sarah Myerscough Gallery, via Design Miami/; Kodai Ujiie, Extreme Surfaces, courtesy Ippodo Gallery; Angèle Etoundi Essamba, “Renaissance Florale,” Galerie Carole Kvasnevski, via Scope; Thandiwe Muriu, 193 Gallery, “Camo 49” and “Camo 36,” via Thandiwe Muriu; Oren Pinhassi, via Edel Assanti; Devan Shimoyama, “Self Portrait With Braids, Doubled” (oil, colored pencil, glitter, collage, yarn, fabric, enamel, rhinestones, jewelry, Flashe on canvas over panel), via Kavi Gupta; Gina Beavers, “Drama Queen Lip,” Marianne Boesky Gallery

FAQs on Interior Design Events and Art Fairs

What are interior designer trade shows?

Interior design shows are events that showcase the latest trends, products and techniques in the world of interior design. These events can be hosted by trade organizations, design firms, or other industry professionals and usually feature a variety of exhibits, demonstrations, and presentations.

What can I expect to see in an interior design show or art fair?

Interior design shows typically feature a wide range of exhibits, including furniture, lighting, fabrics, flooring, and other home decor items. You may also see presentations and demonstrations on design trends and techniques, as well as talks by industry experts.

Where do interior design trade shows take place?

There are some shows—including Art Basel, Maison & Objet in Paris and Salone del Mobile in Milan—that not only take place in a city’s main convention center or fairgrounds but also inspire satellite shows throughout the city center that are overflowing with creative energy.

Who attends interior design shows?

Interior design shows are typically attended by professionals in the design industry, including interior designers, architects and homebuilders. However, many shows are open to the general public and are a great opportunity for homeowners and design enthusiasts to learn about the latest trends and products.

How do I find out about interior design shows in my area?

There are many ways to find out about interior design shows in your area. You can search online for events in your region, or check with local design organizations or trade groups for information about upcoming shows. You can also sign up for newsletters or follow design-related social media accounts to stay informed about upcoming events. 

What’s your favorite local interior design show?

I like to stay current and will always share sneak peeks of the trends and products I’m finding. One of my favorite local interior design shows is the Kips Bay Decorator Show House in Palm Beach, and I can’t wait for the next iteration in February.

Is there a cost to attend an interior design show?

There may be a fee to attend an interior design show, depending on the event and the location. Some shows are free to attend, while others may charge a ticket price or require a trade organization membership. Be sure to check the details of the event before you plan to attend.

How do I get invited to interior design events?

This is where I can help you. I love taking my clients with me on treasure hunts through design shows like High Point Furniture Market, Atlanta Market and the International Contemporary Furniture Fair. And in the future, I plan to host buying trips in Paris so I can share some of my favorite under-the-radar shops, flea markets and galleries with you.