Post from Paris: The BHV

Post from Paris: The BHV

Maxwell Ryan
Apr 4, 2007

(Welcome to Kristin, Parisian resident, who is testing the waters with us of an AT:Europe and blogging all that's good in Paris. Let us know what you think!)

This is the Holy Grail of Parisian home improvement. Since 1856, Le Bazar de l'Hôtel de Ville, across the street from city hall, has been the most democratic of Parisian department stores.

There is something for literally everyone here and Saturday pilgrimages are a Parisian tradition. Jacquard napkins? Lighting fixtures for every budget and taste, strikingly organized by color? Tassels for your made-to-order curtains? The perfect shade of paint? An appliance for even the tiniest of kitchens?

It's one-stop shopping to kit out your pied-à-terre or just a great source for domestic souvenirs with Parisian flair -- linen-lined breadbaskets, French sheets, wine cellar accoutrements, every kitchen utensil known to man.

But the real goldmine is the basement -- a Parisian answer to Home Depot that is part hardware store and part inspiration. There is a gadget for every domestic conundrum plus modern and vintage reproduction hardware and a dizzying selection of solutions for the home and garden.

If you feel overwhelmed, take refuge in Café Bricolo (short for bricolage, the French word for DIY), designed to look like an old French atelier with vintage accessories, distressed walls and wooden tables stacked with French decorating books and magazines.

- Kristin Hohenadel blogging from rue Vieille du Temple, Paris, France

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