Paris is a huge town, with thousands of delicious small stores that are too many to cover in two weeks. The taste is decidedly traditional, but the vivid color they prefer will sway you and there is a stripped down contemporary mix going on. It's all about the small shop. You won't find many chains here. Here are our top picks on our virgin trip. The stores below are all deserving of a visit (most are available online as well). Everything • Habitat (4th arr - mult. locations) Furniture & accessories from Terence Conran. A few rungs up from Ikea, with designs you've not seen. • BHV (Pont Neuf by Hotel de Ville) Wonderful everything department store. Check out the basement for endless French housewares and hardware, including emameled French signs.
Furniture & Housewares • Noblesse Oblige (27 Rue de Bellchasse - 7th arr)) Small, high-end store selling exquisite European handmade furniture and glassware. • Sentou (Marias - mult. locations) Hip, modern shop that will wow you with color and curves. Very MoCo Loco. • Galerie Triff (35 Rue Jacob - 7th arr) Stunning kilims and ancient textiles...and the prices weren't bad. • Les 2 Mille Feuilles (59 Rue des Francs-Bourgeois - Marais) Super colorful French textiles & accessories that will make you happy.
Kitchen Supply • A. Simon (45 Rue Montmartre - 2d arr) Too much fun restaurant supply. Find the real glasses and pitchers that grace the Paris bistros.... • E. Dehillerin (18 Rue Coquilliere - 2nd arr) Insane French cook's restaurant supply. Find one-of-kind copper pots, knives and all other cooking utensils inside this old two story landmark. • Argenterie (19 Rue de Turenne - Marias) Antique silver and silverplate shop filled to the brim. Find old placesettings in classic European patterns.
Small Things • Papier Plus (9 rue du Pont Louis-Phillipe) Paper & notebooks in bright French colors. Good shopping for cheap thrills. • Monastica (11 rue du Pont Louis-Phillipe) Artisanal products from French monasteries, including cups, bowls, bags, candles and honey. This is a very peaceful and beautiful store.