This summer I spent six weeks in France. The initial plan was two weeks in Paris, but somehow we kept coming back: Paris, then the Riviera, Paris, then Morocco, then Paris again. We were calling Paris “home” by the third visit.
Before this trip, the last time I was in Paris was five ago (longtime readers might recall those posts), and before that, I spent a year at school in the 7th arrondissement. One thing I’ve observed over these incremental visits is even though it’s a city of staunch traditionalists, Paris changes a lot. This time, I could no longer rely on my old list of favorites: Colette had closed, Rose Bakery moved locations, Merci is under new ownership, and Nanashi has a different chef. Mon Dieu! New discoveries would have to be made: by foot, by pastry, by any means necessary. Here is a list of my favorite design destinations in Paris, the 2018 edition.
Newly opened this month, the conceptualization of the MK2 store was in the works while I was staying with the store’s creative director, designer and director Clarisse Demory. Clarisse and her team worked with the famed French cinema and production company MK2 to renovate the MK2 Bibliothèque store. With an interior designed by Ciguë, the store is equipped with unique home goods, books, music, and objects inspired by specific films: an out-of-print Bauhaus book seen in Les Amour Imaginaires, for example, or a sweatshirt listing Gus van Sant’s filmography, or the blue French net shopping bag in François Truffaut’s Domicile Conjugal. The store is at 128-162 Avenue de France near the Seine in the thirteenth arrondissement of Paris.
This spot is mainly fashion, and partly interior decor—good for those who like both (especially if you’re a fan of quirky ceramics and Murano glass). Cristaseya is designer Cristina Casini’s slow approach to fashion (each collection, or “edition,” is available at any time and is never out of season) inspired by everything from Italian menswear to modern Japanese clothing. I’ve been following the designer for years and was excited to visit the small atelier, open on Saturdays from 11am to 6pm at 7 rue Ambroise Thomas on the second floor (the door code is 28B10).
While Paris is full of fantastic sources for 20th century antiques (I like to walk around Montmartre, and visit Paul Bert Serpette,“Home of the Rare”), this trip I came across Coin Canal. It’s a little shop in the Tenth Arrondissement specializing in Scandinavian furniture and French modernist lighting. It’s worth a visit—and across the street is the bakery Du Pain et Des Idées, also worth stopping for. Located at 1 rue de Marseille.
For 15 years Yvon Lambert Libraire & Editeur has offered art books, catalogues, rare and out-of-print books, prints, posters, and more—and their new space is at 14 rue des Fille du Calvaire in the Marais with a design by Dominique Perrault Architecture.
Above: Merci will forever be a Parisian staple, but when founder Marie-France Cohen sold the shop in 2013, we all wondered what was next. The answer? Démodé. The small shop at 5 rue des Grenelle in the Seventh Arrondissement is stocked with painterly—and painted—velvet cushions, green porcelain lights, handblown glassware, and jewelry among other things. Démodé comes across as a more personal expression than Cohen’s other past projects, but with the same intense focus and curation.
Another stop on my trip was a visit to Maison La Roche—see 12 Design Lessons from Le Corbusier’s Maison La Roche in Paris—and for more travel ideas in Paris see our posts:
- Expert Advice: An Insider’s Guide to Sleuthing Antiques and Housewares in Paris
- Expert Advice: 11 Under-the-Radar Parisian Dining Spots