This weekend Paris will be flooded with interior designers, interiors bloggers, interiors enthusiasts and design students. Me, I’ll be in Edinburgh lusting after everyone’s Instagram stories & posts, plotting my adventure next year. Yes, I have a serious case of FOMO. So I’m just imagining that I’m sitting in a stylish cafe soaking up the cool Parisian vibes.
As an aspiring interior designer, Maison et Objet has always been a goal of mine as I imagine it is for other wanna be designers too. Sometimes, the timing doesn’t work out and that’s okay. If you find yourself in Paris the other 360 days of the year, this blog is for you! I’ve pulled together a guide of the top Parisian showrooms to visit in the incredibly glamorous and fashionable area of Saint Germain (aka one of Paris’ Interior Design Districts). Saint Germain is completely dreamy, at every turn you’ll see buildings that will make your heart sing (such a geek) – just look at those shutters, the arches, the slate roof line, decorative iron faux balconies and all that greenery.
Paris as a design student. Is there anything better? Back in October I had a luxe weekend in Paris with my sis and on the Monday I did a speedy tour of some interior design showrooms. My first piece of advice is that a lot of design showrooms are closed on Mon, so if you are planning a trip around a weekend, it’s best to hit them up on Friday. I was eager to see the latest collections from textile and furniture brands, so I skipped the super trendy areas of Paris and zoomed in on one of the traditional design districts, Saint Germain.
If you are looking for full on inspiration, then you might want to check out my Top Five Parisian Concept and Design shops blog. This will take you to the trendy Marais neighbourhood. I have a real obsession with Concept shops because they perfectly blend every aspect of life under one roof in a drool worthy edit that makes you want to buy up the entire shop. READ HERE.
So back to the refined & elegant Saint Germain design district. It is literally flooded with every type of interior design showroom imaginable. Take the Metro to Saint Germain des Pres stop and head to Rue Bonaparte. See the below map and follow the purple dotted lines for the must see streets.
Start your adventure on Rue Bonaparte and don’t miss Rue du Bac, Place Furstemberg, Rue L’Abbaye and Boulevard Saint Germain. These are a must.
Assouline. The icon of statement making design coffee table design books. These are a must for every room and cover art, fashion, travel, architecture and so much more. 35 Rue Bonaparte.
Nobilis. A mecca for all things texture. Think wallpaper, rugs and fabric to cover chairs, sofas, curtains, cushions, pouffes, lampshades that wow. The two storey showroom will have your head spinning with ideas for upcoming projects. 38 Rue Bonaparte.
Original BTC. This British Lighting brand has a two floor showroom packed with the latest trends for interior & exterior lighting. Think smoked glass, reeded glass, brass and matte black finishes. 32 Rue Bonaparte.
Turn right onto Rue Jacob to check out home décor shop Caravane and peek in the window of Sylvie Johnson to see if she is inside designing the next great rug for Merida Studio. Then turn right again onto Place Furstemberg to see the legendary La Maison Pierre Frey.
Pierre Frey is a textile legend who creatively blends classic designs in a contemporary way. Fabric, wallpaper, rugs and even furniture. Inspirational is an understatement. The company was founded in 1935 and is creator of many much loved trends. I’d happily take everything in the window, please. 1-2 Rue de Furstemberg.
Bonus: Visit the legendary Musee National Eugene Delacroix which is set in the artists stunning former home and gardens. It is tucked away in a small rue off Place Fustenberg. 6 Rue de Furstemberg.
Continue on to a Parisian home furnishings fave, Flamant.
Flamant. The interiors showroom of Flamant is one you shouldn’t miss. One step inside and you know this place is bursting with traditional-modern designs for every room in the home. It is an eclectic mix that is perfectly curated. Located on 8 Rue de Furstemberg with an entrance on Rue L’Abbaye too.
Now head back to Rue Bonaparte and if you need some energy, make a quick stop in Laduree maracon shop. You can thank me later. Continue along to
Little Greene. Another British great, a visit to Little Greene paints is sure to put a smile on your face with the array of colours dating back 300 years. Have you seen their National Trust collection of lush Greens?! 21 Rue Bonaparte.
Dedar. Super luxe hand painted wallpaper. They are the maker of perhaps the coolest Hermes wallpaper (Jardin D’Osier) that I’ve fallen in love with and am hoping to use one day. Dreams are made here. 20 Rue Bonaparte.
Pause. Take in the architecturally stunning Ecole Nationale Beaux Arts along Quai Malaquais. French buildings are just so romantic.
You have a decision to make now – turn right to Rue de Seine or turn left to Rue des Saints Peres for high end antique shops, art galleries and vintage shops. Both run parallel to Rue St Bonaparte. My favourites are on Rue des Saints Peres:
L’Atelier 55. A dreamy oasis of all things vintage mid-century. You’ll find Eames, Arne Jacobsen, Hans Wegner, Marcel Breuer, Verner Panton designs all here along with other furniture and lighting design greats plus accessories and art too. 8 Rue des Saints Peres.
De Gournay. Elegance and sophistication sums up De Gournay. Their bespoke hand painted wallpapers celebrate Chinoiserie and are full on luxurious. They also have an Antiques shop next door. 15 Rue des Saints Peres.
Next, I’d say swing by a couple interior designer shops. There is Maison Sarah Lavoine on 28 Rue du Bac and then walk over to AD100 icon India Mahdavi showroom and accessories shop on 3 Rue las Cases. Her love of colour and pattern is sure to inspire and delight you. You can read more about India Mahdavi in my blog about Top 5 Design Shops in Paris HERE.
Side distraction: Walk along Rue de Bellechasse to spy on Yves Saint Laurent HQ which dates back to 1671. Originally a convent then used by the ministry of French armed forces, this spectacular building is worthy of a walk by. 37-39 Rue de Bellechasse.
CONTEMPORARY FURNITURE BRANDS
To tick off some of the greats in contemporary Italian and European furniture design, take a stroll along Boulevard Saint Germain. You can find these icons.
Armani Casa. 195 Boulevard Saint Germain.
B&B Italia. 35 Rue de Bac.
Cappellini. 242 bis Boulevard Saint Germain.
Cassina. 236 Boulevard Saint Germain.
Kartell. 242 Boulevard Saint Germain.
Missoni Home 242 Boulevard Saint Germain.
PoliForm. 33 Rue du Bac.
Poltrona Frau. 29 Rue du Bac.
Roche Bobois. 197 and 207 Boulevard Saint Germain.
Silvera. 209 Boulevard Saint Germain.
ANTIQUES & ART GALLERIES
If you prefer the art scene or one of a kind furnishings that are over a century old, then you are best focusing your time on Rue de Seine – Rue de l’Echaude – Rue Bonaparte – Rue de Beaune – Rue Saints Peres. I’m sure there are loads of other streets in Saint Germain packed with luxurious must have antiques and famed artists but these are the ones that popped out to me. Please share if you have some other gems!
TEXTILE SHOPS – Fabric/Rugs/Wallpaper
After art and antiques, Saint Germain is all about textiles. Here is a more extensive list of textile brands that you can find sprinkled throughout Saint Germain. If you have time, you might want to pop into a few of these as each has a different aesthetic. I’m sure I’ve left many off the list but these are the ones I spotted:
Besson. Fabric. 29 Rue Bonaparte
Braquenie. Fabric and Rugs. 1 & 2 Rue de Furstemberg.
Holland & Sherry. Rugs, Wallcovering, Fabric, Art. 17 Rue de L’Echaude and entrance on Rue de Furstemberg too
Elitis. Wallpaper showroom. 5 Rue Saint Benoit
Jim Thompson. Fabric. Rue de Furstemberg.
Manuel Canovas. Textiles. 6 Rue de l’Abbaye
Metaphores le Crin. Rugs. 5 rue de Fürstemberg
Nobilis. Textiles, Wallpaper, Rugs. 38 Rue Bonaparte
Pierre Frey. Textiles. 1-2 Rue de Furstemberg
Simrane. Traditional French textiles. 23 & 25 Rue Bonaparte.
Sylvie Johnson. Rug designer for Merida Studio
Zuber & Cie. Wallpaper. 36 Rue Bonaparte
KITCHEN & BATHROOM SPECIALISTS
If you are on the hunt for the latest in kitchen and bathroom inspiration, these showrooms are sure to reveal some unexpected designs. These aren’t your typical kitchen or bathroom.
Bains et Deco. Some seriously sexy faucets, sinks and cabinets for kitchens & baths. 212 Boulevard Saint Germain.
Casade Hi Tech. A high tech bathroom showroom. 50 Rue de l’Université.
Cesar Kitchens. A kitchen and bathroom design specialist. 220 Boulevard Saint Germain.
Design & Bains. A bathroom showroom with everything from taps to towel rails. 11 Boulevard Raspail.
Miele. The “go to” for kitchen luxe appliances has created an “experience centre”. 30 Rue du Bac.
Perene. Contemporary kitchen and bathroom designs. 9 Rue de Villersexel.
Porcelanosa. Best known for their luxury tiles, now they offer luxury kitchens, bathrooms, tiles and taps. 45 Rue du Bac.
SMALLER INTERIOR BRANDS
If you prefer to hit up some of the smaller brands, give these a try:
Asteri. Largely a lighting shop with some furnishings too. 7 Boulevard Raspail.
Cinna. Best known for their iconic chairs. 189 Boulevard Saint Germain.
Lago. An intimate showroom featuring storage solutions and furnishings. 197 Boulevard Saint Germain.
Tectona. Outdoor furniture with contemporary clean lines. 36 Rue du Bac.
Moissonnier. The art of French cabinet making (think ornate luxe). 52 Rue de l’Université.
A couple vintage gems to check out:
L’Atelier 55. A dreamy vintage shop all about mid-century furniture, lighting and art. 8 Rue des Saints Peres.
N’oblige. A sophisticated vintage art and ceramics shop with furniture too. 27 bis Rue de Bellechasse.
To be honest, you can find these brands everywhere, but sometimes it’s nice to visit something familiar.
Farrow & Ball on 50 Rue de l’universite
Little Greene Paint on 21 Rue Bonaparte
By now you are probably exhausted, I am! My best advice for the Saint Germain area is to just enjoy wandering around. It is one of the most breathtaking neighbourhoods in Paris where every street has architecture to drool over. Take time to admire the ornately grand doors and in contrast look up to spot the latest street art (that I’m sure will make you smile). If you have time, pop into my fave museum Musee d’Orsay. It’s a 100+ year old train station and houses some of the world’s prized impressionist and post impressionist masterpieces. While my last pic isn’t in Saint Germain, I had to include the Saint Laurent street poster that was too risqué for Insta. Yikes.
Phew. I hope you enjoyed this sprint through one of Paris’ design districts. You have earned yourself a celebratory glass of bubbles or a robust glass of red. As always, if I have missed anything that you feel is a MUST SEE, please message me. I love hearing about design shops and adding showrooms to my must stalk list.
Hope to see you at Maison et Object next year! (Fingers crossed)