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An Insider Guide To Paris For Interior Design Enthusiasts

An established name in the world of high-end design, The Invisible Collection showcases the best in contemporary European furniture and homewares.

Realising that “many beautiful site-specific pieces are created by interior designers and architects for private projects around the world, without ever being offered to the public”, The Invisible Collection proffers these confidential, and otherwise inaccessible, pieces to design amateurs and collectors around the world.

Sold online and through pop-up exhibitions in Paris, Miami, Milan, London, and New York, co-founders Anna Zaoui and Isabelle Dubern-Mallevays are well versed in rounding up the most notable design-centric spots in any cosmopolitan city. Here, they zone in on the City of Light.

Few places juxtapose the old and new quite like Paris – it’s enough to make a design lover weak at the knees. From must-visit culture spots to cutting-edge hotels, below you’ll unearth the most noteworthy of the lot.


We have 48 hours in Paris; where should we eat, stay, and shop?

Anna: I would always choose to sleep at home, lunch at Le Flandrin – designed by Joseph Dirand with the most divine food – and shopping at Le Bon Marché, of course.

Essential items to pack?

Isabelle: Always blue or black for winter, one blazer, one caban, one long coat, one pair of jeans, one pair of Michel Vivien boots and one cashmere pullover from Barrie. For summer it would be long, coloured pieces – dresses and a chic handbag.

Anna: Blue and black are essential colours for me too. Flats for meetings and heels for the evenings.

The best time to visit Paris is…

A: I love the evenings in Paris, the city is so magic and alive with lights!

I: September, May, or June.

Our first pitstop should be…

I: A green tea at the terrace of the Hotel Montalembert, near rue du Bac on the left bank. I met my husband there and I love the area, nestled between the antique shops and bookshops of the district.

A: The Bristol at any time – lunch, tea, cocktail hour, or dinner.

Your favourite hotel to check-in at is…

I: I would actually like to try the new JK Hotel rue de Lille, on the left bank.

A: I dream of a stay at the Crillon Hotel, with the magic touch of the Lebanese architect Aline d’Amman.

For an early morning workout head to…

I: The garden of Luxembourg. Such a fond place for me, filled with memories of my children. You can play tennis by booking online or simply run around the gardens.

A: A walk in the Bois de Boulogne.

Where should we go for breakfast?

I: On the terrace of The Flandrin or Carette, or the terraces of La Reserve, Plaza hotels… Failing that, any good bakery sat at the bar counter. Everywhere where the bread is good (which isn’t hard to find in Paris).

A: Le Flandrin for me too.

Courtesy of Loulou

How about for a long, lazy lunch?

I: I love the bar at Le Meurice – the service is impeccable and it’s one of my oldest son’s favourite Paris spots. It’s become a ritual for us.

A: Loulou’s at the Museum des Arts Décoratifs.

Your favourite restaurant in town (based on its interiors)?

I: Oh, there are too many addresses to name! If I had to choose – Le Grand Véfour in the Palais Royal Gardens and Le Grand Colbert rue Vivienne, or Ogata an incredible new Japanese restaurant in the Marais.

A: Isabelle and I are so in sync! Le Grand Véfour for me too, designed by Jérôme Faillant-Dumas in the gardens of the Palais Royal.

The culture spot to rave about…

I: The Camondo Museum, Rodin Museum, Cognacq-Jay Museum, the Museum of Hunting and Nature.

A: Thaddaeus Ropac gallery, Louis Vuitton Foundation.

Best places around the city for interiors inspiration…

I: Of course a walk from one bank to the other one, with all the antique shops and the Flea Market during the weekend.

A: And of course, the hotels – as they are designed by the best decorators – the Crillon, Brach, and the Vendôme…

For great shopping head to…

A: Le Bon Marché.

I: And La Grande Epicerie for the incredible food hall.

The one place only locals know about….

I: Pâtisserie gems… Hugo and Victor, Yann Couvreur, Cédric Grolet, Les Merveilleux for their brioches, Le Chat Bleu for their chocolates.

A: Non Solo Cucina for its delicious Sicilian food.

 

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For a change of pace try…

I: I’d recommend a stroll in the Tuileries Gardens before a quick visit at the Museum des Arts Decoratifs.

A: A long walk in Le Marais, Place des Vosges, Rue des Rosiers and a visit to the Picasso Museum.

Great day trips include…

I: The Château de Courances, for its incredible gardens and family atmosphere – it fills me with joy, and a hint of nostalgia.

A book to read before we go (or while we’re there)?

I: Before… some beautiful, heavy books on the architecture of Paris and the historic buildings that you can discover on Galignani, my favourite bookstore in Paris.

A: During… “Habiter l’aube” by Rémy Oudghiri.

How should we spend the final day of our trip?

 I: A facial at Biologique Recherche spa or Joëlle Ciocco spa; a hot chocolate at le Café de Flore; send flowers to friends or family from Eric Chauvin; visit one of my favourite galleries, Kamel Mennour, Jacques Lacoste, or Thaddeus Roppac.

What’s your Paris secret?

A: Martine de Richeville massages – the beauty secret behind every Parisian girl.

I: The secret garden off Babylone, just behind Le Bon Marché, is hidden behind high walls with a garden potager and lessons for kids for gardening.

In a word, Paris is…

A: Glamour!

I: Home.

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