For those who draw vicarious pleasure out of leafing through glossy, high-end interior and décor magazines, can now visit some of the world’s iconic and exclusive stores or high-concept stores by curating a travel itinerary based on recommendations of celebrated interior designers. That’s where the pundits go shopping, each iconic concept or boutique store, has become their Mecca, spread across top destinations like London, Paris, New York, San Francisco and even beyond to Copenhagen, Reykjavik and more.
Internationally, Paris is a top draw. This is what famed US based designers Grant K. Gibson, Suzanne Kasler, and Martha Angus have in common. A love for the Parisian flea and antique markets.
While in Paris, Grant Gibson goes décor shopping and loses himself at the local flea markets, and Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen et Clignancourt, finds a favourite spot in his heart. Here, décor hunters are spoilt for choice with all that is on display. Marché Paul Bert comes highly recommended for French and Italian furniture.
Inside Marche Paul Bert
The charm of Marche aux Puces de Saint-Ouen
Gibson has yet another preferred haunt and it’s the Le Marais—again teeming with vendors, art galleries, and artisans. Galerie Patrick Seguin finds a mention for the best selection of art from Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand, and Pierre Jeanneret. And, the departmental store, Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche is great for furnishings and accessories.At Rue Bonaparte, furniture stores, bookshops, galleries, and fabric showrooms, such as Nobilis, for the latest trends in fabrics are a treat for the designer.
Suzanne Kasler recommended Paris flea markets
Designer Suzanne Kasler, from Atlanta, US, too finds Paris a happy hunting ground for all that is considered inspired shopping. The items are very original, and unique – best for fabulous antiques, objects, and accessories. Right from 17th– and 18th-century one-of-a-kind chairs to beautiful benches and wonderful artwork. According to the designer, her output has made a mark, thanks to the unusual pieces she adds whiling designing for clients. Shops and boutiques along the Left Bank in Paris sell wares with an eclectic mix of vintage, antique and modern.
Everyone’s favourite shopping destination: Marché Paul Bert,
Paris -the world’s largest antiques market.
Martha Angus, from San Francisco finds Paris the destination for shopping for furniture and décor. The quirkiness of the pieces makes them unique and interesting and they include case pieces, seating, lighting, and other décor objects. She recommends Marché Serpette inside at Rue des Rosiers and Rue Paul Bert. It’s a treasure trove for chic furniture and accessories, as also vintage Hermès bags. Marché Paul Bert, is regarded as the home for international trends. The furniture hails from the ’50s through to the ’80s designs.
DESTINATION NEW YORK
From the Upper East Side (pictured) to SoHo, New York City
offers some of the world’s greatest shopping delights.
Bay Area interior designer Lauren Geremia prefers to shop within the U.S. The East Coast, New York City specifically, is her chosen destination. According to the designer, “It’s one of the more international cities for design and art in the U.S.,” Best for salvage and vintage pieces, as also, the go-to place for contemporary art and furniture designed by new designers. The International Furniture Fair, and the Frieze art fair are Lauren Geremia’s annual ‘must visits.’
Her recommendations are stores such as the Egg Collective, known for contemporary furniture made with high-quality materials that will last a lifetime. Patrick Parrish store for artistic accent pieces, both vintage and contemporary. Matter, again for contemporary furniture designers. The Future Perfect offers a great resource for lighting designers and interesting furniture pieces and accessories. Olde Good Things is a great destination if looking for salvage lighting, furniture, and architectural elements.
One of Timothy Whealon’s favorite stops is Alfies Antique Market,
Church Street, Lisson Grove, London
New York-based interior designer Timothy Whealon tells us his favourite city in the world to shop for furniture and decor is London, on account of the vast gamut of styles of furniture. Right from English antique pieces, to 20th-century pieces, to contemporary design furniture, is all there. London is an ideal destination if on the look out for old textiles. The designer on of his trips was able to procure a beautiful early 20th-century multi-colored crewel-embroidery piece.By the way, the crewel technique is at least 1000 years old, a type of embroidery using wool and a variety of stiches.
Timothy Whealon shops in Alfie’s Antique Market, along Church Street. He browses around at Pimlico Road, for new bespoke, contemporary to classic English antiques. The designer’s other favoured shops are Hemisphere, Rose Uniacke – the luxury interior designer, Jamb for antique fireplaces, Howe for furniture and especially antiques, Christopher Hodsoll for fine interior stuff that blends antique with the contemporary.
London-based interior designer Abigail Ahern , a shop owner, finds London the place to shop for an entire range of interior and décor items from vintage markets to high-end stores to independent retailers, on offer. Her haunt in East London is “the coolest design hub with lots of start-ups and markets”, where the designer picks up choicest statement lighting to a cool sofa, all things vintage as also contemporary.
Kempton antiques market, Pimlico Road, is dotted with individual retailers, galleries, and antiques stores, for all things inspired on-off pieces. Ochre, located in the Pimlico design district, ranks high in her list for their little tables with leather finish, chandeliers etc. Bert & May is her choice and is famous for flooring and tiles, kitchens, and bathroom designs. There is Labour and Wait is a must visit for quality everyday products like beautiful glasses or saucepans, beeswax candles. Abigail is elated about Petersham Nurseries, calling it the ‘coolest nurseries on the planet.’ Apart from plants there’s a Michelin-star restaurant and a fine selection of antiques, home effects, books, and scented candles.
Inside Petersham Nurseries
Bonds Hackney, London
Bonds Hackney – a concept store borne out of an old carpentry workshop in East London is a concept boutique set up by designers Niko Dafkos and Paul Firmin to display and retail their scent-based candle brand ‘Earl of East’. The space has a rustic accent with exposed red brick walls and an aged wooden floor. The establishment has been made multifunctional with its shop and adjacent studio doubling up to hold candle-making workshops to life-drawing classes. This has allowed Bonds’ concept store to expand for a fully-fledged lifestyle brand.
Inside the Bonds Hackney store
DESTINATION LOS ANGELES
Celebrity interior designer Jeff Andrews’ favourite shopping destination is Los Angeles. L.A. is a hub and has a history of furniture manufacturing of a high quality. Jeff Andrews’ selection consists of accessories, decorative accents of all kinds, and Art. At A. Rudin you can see excellence in workmanship of upholstered custom pieces. The store is also famous for handmade pottery. And LA based artist Adam Silverman, makes beautiful ceramic art pieces.
Garde is one of my absolute favourites for decorative objects, art pieces, and beautiful textiles. Their well curated shop supports the best of both international and local finds.
Garde Summerland Store
TableArt is a go-to stop for everything that is tabletop, especially the glass and crystal and organic tableware and flatware. Blackman Cruz has an exceptional collection of artistic vintage finds, and all that is new in statement lighting and furniture. Twentieth offer modern styled lighting and furniture created by local and international designers.
Blackman Cruz display
Krista Schrock and David John Dick from Disc Interiors say Hay is a must-visit store in, while in Copenhagen. L.A.-based Disc Interiors duo, shop at the Danish capital for interesting vintage pieces from Scandinavian designers, like Børge Mogensen, Axel Einar Hjorth, and Kaare
Chair design by Kaare Klint
Another Disc Interiors favoruite stop is The Apartment. It offers a high-concept shopping experience that showcases 20th-century furniture (new and vintage), contemporary art, and design. It is housed in a restored 18th-century apartment in a charming Danish neighbourhood of Christianshavn. Klassik is the best on the designer’s list for vintage Scandinavian designs. Illums Bolighus is another high-concept shop where everything is arranged as if one lived there—a mix of contemporary design and reissued pieces from preferred designers.
Designs by Illums Bolighus
For contemporary and stylish Scandinavian designs, its Hay. Shop here for gifts, accessories, and rugs. The space is on the top floor of a gorgeous 18th-century building with a wonderful view of the pedestrian square, Storkespringvandet.
The Apartment, Copenhagen
Geysir store interior
Georgia-based interior designer Brian Patrick Flynn has named Reykjavík his favourite shopping destination. Reykjavík is excellent for small items like throw blankets, pillows, accessories, and modern art. Furniture designs are awesome. Tartan blankets made from the wool of Icelandic sheep have organic textures and vibrant bright colours. Geysir is a favourite store with the designer, suited to the aesthetic of the modern-day design enthusiast. Their blankets, and leather goods are worthy of mention.
Products on display at the Geysir store
Aside from where and what our celebrity interior designers love to travel and shop, these are high concept stores, that are destinations in themselves. One can never really tire oneself out, and they straddle the globe from west to east, captivating customers and fans alike even in today’s day of online shopping. These are experiences never-to-be-forgotten and a ‘must have’ on a designer’s/shopaholic’s bucket list.
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