trade shows | Jan 10, 2024 |
Paris hot spots designers swear by

With much of the industry heading to Paris next week for Déco Off and Maison&Objet, Business of Home tapped our network and asked 13 in-the-know designers to share the shops, restaurants, hotels and attractions they flock to while in the City of Light.


“I love the boutique hotels that Maison&Objet has placed me in over my decade as their global trend ambassador. [I have stayed] all over the city, learning about various Paris neighborhoods and arrondissements. A few I have enjoyed are Maison Mère, Hôtel Grands Boulevards, Hotel Chouchou, Les Dames du Pantheon, and The Hoxton. The [first two] have great restaurants—always a wonderful addition for any trip abroad.” —Patti Carpenter, Carpenter + Company, New York

“I think of the Hotel Costes as my home away from home in Paris. If I’m not staying there, I’m meeting friends for coffee or drinks in the hotel’s gorgeous courtyard or enjoying long dinners in the cozy dining rooms. It’s always buzzing, yet so relaxed and chic! When I’m not dining at Costes, I love to frequent the classics—Chez l’Ami Louis, Le Voltaire and Chez Georges.” Sara Story, Sara Story Design, New York

“I recently went to a fab little restaurant near the Bastille called Les Bougresses that I would absolutely recommend. It’s a small, off-the-beaten-path (but not too far) kind of place. The manager, Constantino, was a true professional and took very good care of us. The food was quite, quite good, in an environment that is relaxed and easygoing. You’ll need to make a reservation ahead of time, so plan ahead, but it’s a great way to wind down after a day traipsing all over town.” Corey Damen Jenkins, Corey Damen Jenkins & Associates, New York

Le Café Marly is a lovely spot to stop in for a glass of Ruinart and enjoy its old-world interiors as well as the amazing view of the Louvre—[especially] at night, because you can really admire how it glows. If you are in the mood for a delicious lunch and an exquisite dessert, I absolutely adore Chez Janou in the Marais. It has a lively atmosphere, the food is sublime, and they have the best chocolate mousse I have ever had. You will not be disappointed!” —Nina Magon, Nina Magon Studio, Houston

“One of my favorite places to go in Paris for a cocktail is J.K. Place. It’s cozy, intimate and chic, providing wonderful design inspiration. There’s also a little Italian restaurant called Caffè Stern that has a long and charming history, and was redone by Philippe Starck about a decade ago. Located in an arcade, you can’t miss the taxidermied wolves in the window. Order the [potato] cappuccino ‘alla Bolognese.’” —Nicole Fuller, Nicole Fuller Interiors, New York, Los Angeles and London

“I like to go to Ma Bourgogne, which is a fun restaurant on the corner by Place des Vosges. Sadly, the restaurant Loulou remains closed for renovation, but we will try Brasserie Lutetia and, after dinner, refreshments at Bar Josephine, all within the magnificent Hotel Lutetia.” —Kendall Wilkinson, San Francisco

“[My first two trips to Paris, I made the same mistake]—waiting until the last minute to eat because I’m so excited to see the things I’ve prioritized for the day. Parisian restaurants shut down completely between lunch and dinner service, and all the best places are closed. I learned the hard way that most restaurants open during the citywide break between services are not worth it. Nelson’s was the first memorable meal I experienced during my third trip. A new favorite is the restaurant Paul—less for the food and more for being conveniently located next to Déco Off showrooms [in Saint-Germain-des-Prés]. Naked Burger, a vegan walk-up, is another great option if you are in the same neighborhood but in a rush.” —Ashley Ross, Muse Noire Interiors, Charlotte, North Carolina

“My first stop is always the George V lobby. The magical florals of Jeff Leatham are a must-see, transporting me to a vibrant world and inspiring me to look at mixing color and texture in new ways. Not to mention Le Bar makes a mean George Fizz, its signature champagne cocktail, to get me in the Parisian mood.” —Chris Goddard, Goddard Design Group, Springdale, Arkansas

“I love the Crillon, with its breathtaking bar by Parisian interior designer Chahan Minassian, whose store is also a must-see. L’Hotel is a classic spot, with fancifully decorated rooms, a private circular pool and an adorable little bar—it’s also the final home of Oscar Wilde. The new wing of the Hotel Costes, the last important design project of Christian Liaigre, is an amazing experience of great modern design, and you can also get the best mashed potatoes in Paris at its restaurant! Brach is a fun new restaurant that’s vibey and high design, while Lapérouse is a classic, one of the oldest restaurants in Paris, with amazing tales of courtesans and decadent aristocrats checkering its colorful history. It serves traditional French cuisine in the very best sense of the word. For people watching and a hearty croque monsieur, you cannot beat Café de Flore on the Left Bank. Although touristy, it is still a vital part of a Parisian experience, both historically and culturally, as one of the oldest coffeehouses in the city.” —Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Los Angeles

“As an avid tea drinker, I have searched far and wide for the best, and Mariage Frères in the Marais is the finest I’ve ever found. Not only is the tea delicious, but it’s also such a treat to go into the salon, which is hundreds of years old. For a casual dinner with friends, the place to be is Kong, which is the penthouse of the Samaritaine department store on the Right Bank. You sit in a glass dome designed by Philippe Starck and gaze out over the tremendous views of the Pont Neuf and the Seine. Other restaurant favorites: Le Square Trousseau, near Bastille: It’s romantic, beautiful, great service, fantastic food. Le Fumoir, across the street from the Louvre, is a romantic brasserie with delicious food. Request a seat at one of the five tables in the back, in a space called the Bibliothèque. It’s warm, dimly lit, lovely—and not very expensive. Chez Julien, a gorgeous Belle Epoque restaurant located beside the Seine, is a must for great food, service and atmosphere. So wonderful to have a meal here, then go for an after-dinner stroll along the river.” —Garrow Kedigian, New York and Montreal

“L’Hôtel Bachaumont has a fantastic intimate bar and excellent mixologists, among the best in the city. The Experimental Cocktail Club feels like a secret, tucked away in the Marais. My son Otis, of Otis Textiles and a mescal aficionado, loves La Mezcaleria, an ode to Oaxaca in the heart of Paris. Le Silencio, a moody lounge designed by David Lynch, is made up of lots of intriguing rooms. If you’re craving classic American fare, there’s Ralph’s—Ralph Lauren’s restaurant in the 6th [arrondissement]. I like to wander around the 2nd, where there are lots of cafes for people watching. Grab a bottle [of wine], get some groceries at La Maison Plisson, and you’re all set for a fab picnic on the Seine. Then cross the Pont Royal and take a stroll down Rue du Bac, a gourmand’s delight of patisseries and glacéries.” —Kathryn M. Ireland, Los Angeles

Where to shop
“I arrive ahead of Déco Off by a few days and head straight to Le Bon Marché department store. Its home decor floors are the best in the city for furniture, lighting, accessories, tabletop and textiles. It offers an overview of what the larger global brands are showing for the season, and insight into new smaller brands that I might not see anywhere else. There are also wonderful, themed art installations by global artists in various mediums. It’s always innovative and inspiring, from the windows to the elaborately designed escalators. The entire store has incredible products that tie in with the theme, often created by luxury designers. It’s usually a feast for the eyes, and my spirit.” —Carpenter

“I always try to visit the Paris flea market (Les Puces de Paris Saint-Ouen), specifically the Paul Bert Serpette Market. It’s a bit of an adventure—several hundred stands with pieces ranging from antiques to the 21st century. It’s the perfect place to find unexpected large-scale statement pieces for a room and unique accessories.” —Story

“There are many places to get ceramics in Paris, but La Tuile à Loup is one of a kind. It’s been around for decades, but in recent years it’s become a social media darling, selling colorful and soulful tabletop from marbled trays to painterly vases. Oh, and they ship internationally, too! Galerie Kreo is one of the most respected design galleries in the world, with locations in Paris and London. The Paris space is where you’ll find the latest works from some of the leading designers working today, from Ronan Bouroullec to Pierre Charpin.” —Fuller

“For jewelry lovers, Lydia Courteille on Rue Saint-Honoré is a shrine to the most fanciful and ornate creations. Labodét on Avenue de l’Opéra crafts iPhone covers from exotic leathers, which make a great style statement and a useful, chic gift.” —Bullard

“It’s sale time in Paris in January, so all the boutiques in Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Marais! My favorite shop is Dries Van Noten on the Quai Malaquais across the Seine from Louvre via the Pont des Arts.” —Wilkinson

“My favorite area to get lost in is Montmartre, especially the maze of artist studios around Rue Pierre Fontaine. Here, you’ll find contemporary artisans such as the famed Hubert Le Gall, alongside Paris’s top creatives working in the former studios of Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí and Toulouse-Lautrec, to name just a few. You can feel the energy rush over you as you pass through these historic streets and studios. The Invisible Collection often offers guided tours during Maison&Objet. If you’re in need of a dose of French interior design at its best, I highly recommend a trip to the studio and showroom of Vincent Darré. Every time I enter his spaces, I feel as if I’ve crossed the threshold into another realm of beauty and magic. The design details are otherworldly and will leave you creatively recharged.” —Goddard

“If you are looking for good books on architecture and design, be sure to visit the bookshop and boutique of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, just next to the Louvre. This wonderful museum of design is often overlooked because of the more famous museum next door, but even if you don’t have time to visit the terrific Musée des Arts, its bookstore has a strong collection of all subjects relating to design, architecture, fabrics and furniture.” —Timothy Corrigan, Los Angeles and Paris

“In Quartier du Temple, The Broken Arm, which carries clothing by high-end designers like Raf Simons and Ann Demeulemeester, is everything you imagine a Parisian boutique to be. For vintage clothing discoveries, drop by Kiliwatch in the 2nd and Pretty Box in the 3rd. Rouje has got pretty dresses and great jeans. Oh My Cream, with locations throughout the city, offers the best beauty products and reasonably priced treatments. Next to the Bachaumont hotel, Nose is perhaps the best perfume shop in the city. Parfumier Frédéric Malle, an old friend, has four gorgeous boutiques that are the epitome of chic. On the Boulevard Beaumarchais, Merci offers a unique combination of fashion and home decor.” —Ireland

What to do
“I would love to encourage designers to take the time to see the Mark Rothko retrospective at the Fondation Louis Vuitton. The exhibit brings together over 100 pieces of the artist’s work and was curated by his son, Christopher Rothko. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see these pieces housed under one roof. The power of all the work together is bound to be extraordinary. For me, it’s the real reason to hop across the pond this January!” —Jean Liu, Jean Liu Design, Dallas

“Art is very important to me, and I am constantly visiting galleries when I travel, but I always make sure to visit museums, as well. What I love about Paris is that so many of the museums are on the smaller side, so it’s possible to see several on a short visit. A few of my favorites are Musée D’Orsay, Musée Rodin and Musée de l’Orangerie.” —Story

“If you only do one thing outside of your busy schedule of design events, don’t miss the newly opened Hôtel de la Marine on the Place de la Concorde. After a multimillion-euro renovation, this historic landmark has been totally reworked for visitors to explore the building’s history, first as the royal storehouse for the king’s furniture and then, after the French Revolution, as the ministry of the French Navy. It has the most wonderful audio-visual tour that truly is the state of the art—and the extraordinary architecture and furnishings make it a must-see. Paris has many wonderful ‘house’ museums, but the jewel box that is the Musée Nissim de Camondo is probably one of the best in the world. Situated directly on the beautiful Parc Monceau, this masterpiece of a museum houses some of the finest 18th-century furniture, and it is so fun to explore the upstairs-downstairs aspect of how the house functioned, including the original kitchen, staff dining room and glorious living rooms and library.” —Corrigan

“Who doesn’t love going to Montmartre, walking about and visting the Renoir museum? As long as the temperature remains mild, a run in Luxembourg Gardens and sitting at the Medici Fountain there do wonders for the mind and body. And I love walking from the Left Bank over to the Marais and seeing all the sights.” —Wilkinson

“I love to visit the Musée Jacquemart-André. It holds the largest private collection of artworks in Paris and is housed in the most amazing 19th-century residence. It feels more like a home tour and less like a museum, and is often overlooked by most tourists. The art and architecture blend seamlessly. I have spent hours contemplating such details as intricately carved doors, inlaid marble floors and the magnificent spiral staircase with its ornate wrought-iron and bronze balustrade. The elaborate accents and accompanying artworks truly take you back in time and give you a real sense of how Parisian society lived and entertained on a grand scale.” —Goddard

“My favorite cultural spot is the Musée National Picasso-Paris because it’s such an amazingly well-curated collection housed in a beautiful building. And there’s the shopping, of course! Waltzing through all the various fabric and antiques shops on Rue du Mail and Rue de Lille is the best way to spend the day in Paris!” —Kedigian

“For a short excursion outside of Paris, visit Château de Malmaison, Napoleon and his wife Josephine’s country estate. A never-ending source of inspiration, it offers a very personal look into the lives of France’s most infamous emperor and his beloved first wife.” —Bullard

“The collection at the Centre Pompidou is more contemporary, and the building, with its primary-colored pipes on the outside, is one of the most interesting in Paris! The grounds of the Rodin museum are spectacular—just as good as inside. For a breathtaking view of the city, walk up to the Basilique du Sacré Coeur in Montmartre. And if you go about a mile farther north, you’ll find yourself at the Clignancourt flea market.” —Ireland

A previous version of this story was published on January 11, 2023

Want to stay informed? Sign up for our newsletter, which recaps the week’s stories, and get in-depth industry news and analysis each quarter by subscribing to our print magazine. Join BOH Insider for discounts, workshops and access to special events such as the Future of Home conference.