Oh la la Paris, literally. Known as the city of amour (that’s love for you & me) – where everyone is a fashionista – with architecture that just oozes elegance & charm and home of the iconic concept shop. To say I have a love affair with Paris is an understatement, it is one of my all time fave cities (after NYC of course) and a city that I typically eat my way through (think croissants, baquettes, macarons, steak frites) and where drinking red wine before noon is completely acceptable. #winning
Earlier this month, I hit Paris with my sister during Paris Fashion Week. We soaked up the atmosphere, we peeked into pop-up showrooms and we squeezed into cafes between stick thin models. She was incredibly patient as I promised “can we visit just one more design shop?!” Between coffee & wine, we racked up some serious steps as we ventured to the city’s best design shops.
I hear ya, let’s get to the good stuff. Concept shops. I’ll say it, concept shops are the BEST shops ever. A collection of the “best of the best”, a highly curated edit of must have interiors, décor, fashion, beauty, stationary and sometimes a café all rolled up into one full on inspiring, lust worthy, designed up space. Paris totally rocks the concept shop. Here are my Top 5 MUST SEE Parisian concept and design shops.
An icon in Paris and sitting beautifully on the edge of the Marais, Merci is celebrating its 10th anniversary and is best known by its jungalow lush interior courtyard with industrial windows and a vintage red mini cooper. Stop and soak it all up. It sets the vibe for what is unmistakably an inspiring retail experience from its interior design with industrial glam vibe to its highly sought after curated collection. Over the years, Merci has worked its charms on me in the form of jewellery, endless notebooks, perfume, sexy leather clutch, Christmas decorations, candles, disposable cutlery, table cloths and throws, oh so trendy trainers and I’m sure more. Insta: MerciParis
My top picks (clockwise): Roly Poly chair by Faye Too Good €490 with Suspension brass pendant chandelier €768; Unit with Hay design foldable colourful crates €12; Bon Parfumer €38; Recycled throw €35; Merci x Serax La Nouvelle Table dishware collaboration.
A collection of 6 stores dotted along Rue Sainte Croix de la Bretonnerie in the Marais. Is the best of both worlds, each store front has a speciality from lifestyle, jewelry, fashion, furniture, children, and ‘nothing too serious’ so if you are interested in just one, you don’t need to wander the entire shop. To access the interiors shop, walk through the main shop to a secret passage to the best designs. Insta: Fleux
Top picks (clockwise): Floor rug or wall art, you decide; Perhaps the softest bed linen; Crazy fun vases by Rosenthal Fast Porcelain vase €107 to €207
In the Bastille, an ex Merci interiors buyer recently launched Ailleurs. It’s a perfect blend of Boho x Scandi x Industrial vibes. A self professed lover of glassware, you’ll find that various drool worthy glass collections are dotted throughout the shop but there is so much more to entice you. A big shout out to Dee Campling for putting me onto this beauty. I even left with a pair of hand blown reeded glass tumblers from Murano, Italy. There is so much to fall in love with at Ailleurs. Insta: AilleursParis
Top picks (clockwise): Perched on the cosy sofa is a coussin Vincent cushion €220; A mesh glass x black steel coffee table Verre Arme peeking out behind the bowls €295; Carved Plateau Fin Teck wooden bowls €47 varies; Plaid turn around throw in green & blue €175; Amber or Green Jug €35 and €45.
In St. Germain this mid-century gem, down a sleepy street, is bursting with personality and a dream come true. Furniture, art, lighting. Looking for an original vintage Scolari, you’ll find it here. On the hunt for inspiration in the best Art + Lighting + Chair combos, you’ll see it here. Take your time as its packed full of vintage icons, look up & down, side to side. Insta: Latelier55_officiel
Top picks (clockwise): Vintage weaved cane armchairs by Le Corbusier & Pierre Jeanneret with Angelo Brescianini stainless steel & yellow canvas artwork; Corbusier & Jeanneret vintage chairs x Edoardo Menini mixed techniques painting in black; Playful Ben Lithograph “Is everything art?”; Medea wood chair by Vittorio Nobili alongside vintage Gastone Rinaldi dining chairs in white; Can you find the vintage Sciolari ceiling brass and glass lights?
An icon in interior design and architecture worlds, India has designed some of the most jaw dropping and original spaces across the globe from restaurants to hotels to shops to residences. Exotic, playful, dramatic are some of the words to describe her projects from The Gallery at Sketch in London, Ralph Pucci NYC-LA-Miami showroom, Hotel Condesa in Mexico. She has graced the pages of Architectural Digest countless times and has a brilliant eye for colour combos x pattern mash ups and perfectly blends styles. Her St. Germain showroom is perfect place to see her latest furniture, rug, lighting designs and her wee shop down the block is packed full of her must have lust worthy accessories. Insta: IndiaMahdavi
I visited on a Monday and nearly had a melt down with full blown tears when the shop was locked up. After searching high & low, I finally found a very discrete brass door bell and rang it like a geeky teenager headed to my first school dance. What I didn’t know is that they closed for lunch from 1-2. So having rudely interrupted someone’s lunch and further tormenting her with my broken French, she very kindly suggested I return at 2pm. #americaninparis
Top picks (clockwise): Is everything an acceptable answer?! Jardin d’Interieur wool rug (my fave is the yellow colour way) especially paired with this sofa in a collab with Pierre Frey; Rameau wool cushion €240 amongst many other equally lust worthy designs perched on the green velvety bench; The iconic Bishop stool & table in a rainbow of colours; The iconic Charlotte chair in velvet & brass (starting at €950); Too many lovely things to choose from in the shop, especially the Don Giovanni Lamp in coloured glass and brass €2,200 (my fave is the pink & yellow combo or the pink & green combo).
So that’s my top 5 design shops in Paris. The shops you MUST visit, the shops that will inspire & delight and have you skipping or dancing down the street. Now, of course there are so many other brilliant design shops, it is Paris after all. My other top spots include the below line up. Definitely pop in while you are gallivanting around town.
I’m also pulling together a list of “up & coming” design shops, but that will be saved for a different post along with my “Interior Design Student guide to Paris”. There is so much inspiration in Paris just walking the streets, whether you have a day or a week, you must visit.
Now that’s a wrap on Inspiration Monday. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post as much as I’ve enjoying writing it. If I’ve missed a shop that you LOVE, please leave a comment or DM and I’ll share. All of the content, views and photos are my own. Merci, au revoir. See below for address details of each store.
Merci. 111 Blvd Beaumarchais. Marais
Fleux. 39 Rue Sainte Croix de la Bretonnerie. Marais
Ailleurs. 17 rue Saint Nicolas. Bastille
L’Atelier 55. 8 rue des Saints Peres. St Germain
India Mahdavi. 3 rue las Cases. St Germain
La Tresorerie. 11 rue du Chateau d’Eau. Canal Saint Martin
Caravane. 19 and 22 rue Saint Nicolas. Bastille (other locations in St Germain & St Paul)
Nordik Market. 13 rue Charlot. Marais
Empreintes. 5 rue Picardie. Marais
Centre Commercial. 2 rue Marseille. Canal Saint Martin