On Tour: Paris Design

A few weeks ago when travel writers Lara Dunston and Terrence Carter came through Paris they asked me to take them on a little design tour of Paris. I have a handful of visitors lately and more coming in the next few weeks, so I thought it’d be fun to put together a little map-guide of some of my favorite places right now.

  1. The Lazy Dog bookstore and gallery – for the latest in design titles and graphic design themed gallery shows from contemporary independent designers
    25 rue de Charonne, 11e
    2 passage Thiere , 11e
  2. Merci – the premier “concept” shop in Paris at the moment featuring the best of today’s designers (clothing, homewares, furniture, garden, etc) with a philanthropic focus donating 100% proceeds to benefit women and children in Madagascar
    111 Blvd Beaumarchais, 3e
  3. Bon Ton – the kid-friendly version of Merci, just a few doors up, complete with a mini sweets cafe and hair salon (but fun for adults too)
    5 Boulevard des Filles du Calvaire, 3e

  4. Le Petit Atelier de Parishands down my favorite place to shop for gifts in Paris, I always end up walking out with my own handmade porcelain ware along with one for a friend – this place is the complete package from the elegant simplicity of the shop design to the small touches to wrap your purchases [check hours before visiting, as they are only open a few days a week]
    31 Rue de Montmorency, 3e

  5. Marche des Enfants Rouges – named for the former orphanage, this covered marketplace is the perfect place to grab a quick, yet delicious lunch and some fruits for the rest of your journey
    39, rue de Bretagne, 3

  6. Galerie Impaire – this gallery run by Creative Growth features monthly exhibitions featuring renowned outsider artists (it’s set to close it’s doors in July when the lease is up, so look for new creative locations where their shows take place)
    47 rue de Lancry, 10e
  7. Le Jemmaps – a friendly bar along Canal St. Martin with cheap drinks and good food – skip some stones like Amelie as you cross the canal
    82, Quai de Jemmapes, 10e
  8. ARTAZART – fantastic creative bookstore that is a designer or photographer’s paradise (you can pick up a Diana camera here too)
    83, Quai de Valmy, 10e
  9. Antoine et Lili – one of the more colorful stores in Paris, several storefronts line the canal here with fun clothes and homewares
    95, Quai de Valmy, 10e
  10. Point Ephémère – a laid back artsy bar, restaurant, art space and music venue, perfect for sitting next to the canal and sipping a cold beer
    Quai de Valmy, 10e (down along the cobblestones -#200?)

  11. Bar Ourq – because you never need an excuse to sit down and have a beer or tea and snack in a fun place where friends meet along the canal (also home to expos and concerts)
    68, Que de la Loire, 19e

  12. Le 104 – a former funerary hall, this magnificent space has been transformed into exhibition space, artist studios, a restaurant, bookstore, and Emmaus [French equivalent of a “Goodwill” store] for an off the beaten track look at the Paris design scene
    11 Rue Curial, 19e

  13. Mama Shelter – this Philippe Starck designed hotel may be a bit off the central track of Paris, but will give you a fresh and stylish look at the city
    109 Rue de Bagnolet, 20e

  14. Everything in between and around the corner – you can never go wrong wandering the charming shops of the Marais, discovering the bohemian neighborhoods of Belleville or the bars in Oberkampf, and of course the magnificent parks – a contemporary style at Parc de la Villette, the Temple of Love at Buttes-Chaumont, views of the Eiffel Tower from Parc Belleville, or a romantic walk through Pere Lachaise cemetery. Remember, it’s ok to get lost!


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