Over the centuries, Paris has given us a lot to be thankful for. And now, for design lovers, there’s one more reason. Merci (that’s me telling you the name of a store, not saying “thanks”).
A ten-minute walk north from Place des Vosges, Merci is the new hotspot for contemporary design. It’s mildly easy to miss given that it’s tucked down a short alleyway and courtyard, but the stylish sidewalk-fronting cafe/restaurant of the same name is an easy cue. Once you’re inside the store (vast by Parisian standards) it’s impossible to miss all of the cool and beautiful stuff inside. You’ll find a mod ping-pong table, walls of monochrome linen sheets, clever and practical kitchenware, lots of creative lighting solutions (in everything from cardboard to cement to ceramic to silicone), and plenty of classic yet full-of-character chairs and tables. The general aesthetic is clean and modern, fun and approachable. They have clothing as well, but it’s too avant-gardey (and too-pricey) for my taste.
However much time you plan to spend in the store, best to double it. Filled with light, spacious and vibey, Merci has a knack of catching your eye with something curious by the minute. Besides, if you need to catch your breath, just return to the sidewalk and fortify yourself in the restaurant—then go back for another helping. You’ll be doubly thankful.
Charlie will walk a mile over hot coals if there’s promise of finding a cool store on the other side. Merci is his latest favourite in Paris, but he’s got more in his bag of tricks. Call him if you want to know more.