Creative Retail: the Paris Edition

Various chairs at Conran Shop on display along an undulating, color-charged wall.

Various chairs at Conran Shop on display along an undulating, color-charged wall.

While attending several design-specific events last month in Paris, we took some time to explore various must-see retail shops as we made our way across town. Though our San Francisco studio concentrates mostly on the home, we appreciate the ways residential and retail design can inform one another, especially from a global perspective. From big and bold concepts to subtle details, the range of creative design direction we observed in Paris left us filled to the brim with ideas and inspiration.


While grassy green was omnipresent, deep peacock blues shared the stage. We loved how this hue set the backdrop for a handprinted wallpaper at Le Monde Sauvage, and bled ever-so-slightly into the lighter overlay for a less polished, more unconstrained feel (right). Like a pair of great jeans, an assortment of patterns and textures were effortlessly layered along the blue wall. In another scenario at Maison Sarah Lavoine (below), the hue showed up bold and confident in a series of resin tabletops, grounding the multiple textures and patterns encasing the space and providing a colorful counterpart to the surrounding classic cafe chairs. 

While industrial interiors are inherently minimal and stark, we loved the way these spaces were transformed to exude warmth and character. From the cocoa-hued chocolatier Alain Ducasse, to the vibrant Roseanna showroom, both spaces harnessed the blank-slate appeal of an industrial space and worked the canvas in such a way to give their products, process and vibe a true presence. 

Playing with scale is one way to bring attention and intrigue to otherwise empty or unconsidered parts of a space. The rattan, basket-like lighting fixtures floating throughout Sessun highlighted the expansive vertical space available and, in turn, created an open and light-filled environment. What a vast improvement over boring, run-of-the-mill overhead lighting!