Monday, January 4, 2010

Paris concept store: Merci

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue . . .

If you find time after visiting the patisseries and sightseeing, visit Merci in the historic Marais.

Located at 111 Boulevard Bonmarchais, Merci is a 16,000 square foot concept store stocked with extremely thoughtful, well-designed housewares and clothing for every budget. The profits for all items (minus the cost of production) go to a children's charity.

The store has skylights, polished concrete floors, and a charming urban loft vibe. You'll find stacks of randomly sized and styled vintage letters, create-your-own lighting fixtures with fabric covered cords and fun bulbs, smart gardening tools, three-in-one ceramic dinner plates where the main, salad and dessert plates are cast all-in one piece like moons orbiting a planet, used books, and designer clothing for grown ups and kiddies too.

Obvious consideration has been paid to the design and functionality of all the products in the store. You'll find real linen dinner napkins, linen tablecloths, and linen duvet covers in the kitchen department. A rustic table covered with a beautiful terra cotta linen tablecloth was delightful. The linen duvet covers (in twin size only) is a bit impractical, bringing to mind the sad phrase, "wide is my world, narrow my bed" from the Frank Loesser tune Never Will I Marry.

When you depart through the charming Merci cafe, decorated much like a cozy Sherlock Holmes library, you may want to say "au revoir" to everything you've ever purchased for your home and start over.