WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS

Paris is always a good idea . . . and I always make a stop when I am back in France visiting family and friends. I lived in Paris for seven years before moving to Sydney six years ago, and while I immediately fell in love with Sydney and decided to make it my home, the City of Light will always hold a special place in my heart.

It goes without saying that Paris is a haven for design lovers and fashionistas, but there are a few places that I absolutely adore and must visit every time I go back. Returning to Sydney after my recent trip abroad, I decided I could no longer keep these treasured places a selfish secret, because seeing is believing and sharing is caring, and I know you will love them as much as I do. So, join me on my recent journey through the streets of Paris as I visit my favourite concept stores. Be prepared to fall in love . . .

MERCI

My walk through the streets of Paris always leads me to my first stop, the most trendy concept store in France, MERCI.

MERCI 01.png

This three storey store offers an incredible variety of unique goods for all budgets, from interior design to fashion. The range includes luxury bed linens, indoor and outdoor furniture, wallpapers, light fittings, decorative objects and a gorgeous selection of ceramics. If you need a coffee fix, I highly recommend you stop by the very charming Merci Book Store Café. 

  Merci  111 Boulevard Beaumarchais

Merci 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais

HOME

My second stop is HOME, Autour du Monde. Serge Bensimon’s first shop located in Le Marais opened its doors back in 1989. It’s a small concept store that offers a carefully selected range of rare and beautiful objects from all over the world with iconic and colorful Bensimon tennis shoes as well as stylish clothes.

  HOME  Autour du Monde, 8 Rue des Francs Bourgeois

HOME Autour du Monde, 8 Rue des Francs Bourgeois

FLEUX

I continue my journey to FLEUX’ – a huge and must go-to destination with four different stores on the same street. The perfect place to find inspiration as well as a range of design furniture and light fittings, home decoration and original gifts. You can easily spend a couple of hours (like I always do!) in these stores as they offer a refreshingly different selection from any other shop in the world.

  Fleux ’ 39 Rue Sainte Croix de la Bretonnerie

Fleux’ 39 Rue Sainte Croix de la Bretonnerie

KAOLIN

This visit, towards the end of the day, I came across a store I never heard of called KAOLIN. When I saw the gorgeous and luxurious accessories, furniture and lights showcased in the window, I couldn’t resist stepping inside. Authentic furniture and objects made with natural and carefully selected materials, the small shop boasts a unique collection of limited-edition objects and furniture that I absolutely loved! Even an old local like me can find new love and surprises in Paris!

  Kaolin  17 Rue du Temple

Kaolin 17 Rue du Temple

STAURE

Last but not least, my love for timber, traditional and handmade furniture brings me to the amazing workshop STAURE run by two brothers who truly care and respect old techniques, detail and original materials. Together, they restore antique finds but also create new and unique pieces. Their collection is timeless and features meticulous details and elegant lines. Bravo!

  Staure  95 Rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine

Staure 95 Rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine

All images via ©Alexandra Kidd Design

DENFAIR'S SYDNEY DEBUT

We could not contain our excitement when it was announced that 2018 was the year DENFAIR was finally coming to Sydney! 

The long time Melbourne-based event has historically drawn some of the most innovative national and international designers. This year the annual design event was held over three days from 16 - 18 August.

This year at the Hordern Pavilion at Moore Park, 50 exhibitors showcased their designs including hardware, furniture, art, objects and much more. On Friday we escaped the studio for a few hours to immerse ourselves in the design feast that was DENFAIR Sydney.

Here are a few of our favourite things . . .

  Casa Mia display showcasing their new Aver lounge #LOVE

Casa Mia display showcasing their new Aver lounge #LOVE

  Savage Design showcased their expanding hardware range alongside some new furniture pieces.

Savage Design showcased their expanding hardware range alongside some new furniture pieces.

  A rainbow of basins a Nood Concrete’s stand!

A rainbow of basins a Nood Concrete’s stand!

 One of our favourite Australian lighting Designers – Anaesthetic.

One of our favourite Australian lighting Designers – Anaesthetic.

  We have added a new favourite supplier to our books! We just love the look of the hardware by Spark and Burnish.

We have added a new favourite supplier to our books! We just love the look of the hardware by Spark and Burnish.

 More covetable hardware from Spark and Burnish. 

More covetable hardware from Spark and Burnish. 

  The Lounge. A large-scale installation by Arthur Koutoulas for DENFAIR which attracted hundreds of weary design addicts.

The Lounge. A large-scale installation by Arthur Koutoulas for DENFAIR which attracted hundreds of weary design addicts.

  The beautiful leathers from NSW Leather Co – we just adore their metallic finishes!

The beautiful leathers from NSW Leather Co – we just adore their metallic finishes!

All images via ©Alexandra Kidd Design

AKD ON TOUR IN MILAN: THE MAGICAL MADNESS

Every year designers from all over the globe travel to Milan to experience the design week madness that is Salone del Mobile, and this year I was one of the lucky ones!

From the moment I touched down I quickly learned that no amount of planning or organisation can prepare oneself for the Salone del Mobile experience – it is pure chaos, in the most exhilarating way. The whole city comes to life with countless creative ideas captivating the eyes and minds of designers, year in year out.

Thought-provoking installations could be spied in every nook and cranny throughout the city, the crowds literally busting out of the old Palazzo’s and spilling into the surrounding streets, and local delis were dressed up in Hermes wallpaper just for the occasion!

It’s universally known that Italians are a passionate bunch. They truly have a genuine foundation of belief in everything they do. Regarding design, they live for the detail, the craftsmanship, the history and the future. It was incredibly exciting being at the centre of it all this year and my heart is skipping beats even now as I relive the highlights:

FIRST STOP – BOFFI

The very first stop on my tour was the Boffi showroom, where I was gratefully offered my much-loved (and needed!) morning coffee, until I made a rookie error of insulting the nation when ordering my usual soy cappuccino. I’m sorry to say that I ended up drinking espresso for the rest of my trip!

As I bounced off the showroom walls I admired kitchens designed by Piero Lissoni, focusing on a modular concept, where the kitchen is treated more as a piece of furniture. Minimal joinery was ever fixed to the wall, and was always balanced by open shelving, raised legs, split finishes and unexpected texture combinations.

  Piero Lissoni kitchen, featuring Salvatori marble clad doors

Piero Lissoni kitchen, featuring Salvatori marble clad doors

  Balanced kitchen storage and display at Boffi

Balanced kitchen storage and display at Boffi

  A furniture-like kitchen design at Boffi

A furniture-like kitchen design at Boffi

NEXT STOP – SALVATORI
 

Salvatori marble is a favourite in the AKD studio, and this year they released brand new textures to their collection to resemble timber called ‘Stone Parquet’. Their showroom also featured furniture collaborations with architect John Pawson and lighting designer Michael Anastassiades.

  Infinity room installation of Salvatori’s gorgeous book matched stone

Infinity room installation of Salvatori’s gorgeous book matched stone

  The new ‘Stone Parquet’ finishes on display at the Salvatori showroom

The new ‘Stone Parquet’ finishes on display at the Salvatori showroom

  Love me, Love me not table by Michael Anastassiades in Salvatori stone

Love me, Love me not table by Michael Anastassiades in Salvatori stone

NEXT STOP – DIMORE STUDIO

Designer duo Dimore Studio created an installation ‘Transfer’ in which they blurred the boundaries between art and design. In each room of a pitch-black Palazzo they installed tents illuminated only by candle light. The tents had little peep holes to peer through revealing the curated and collected object and furniture within. To add to the drama, each room had its own specific eerily nostalgic music playing.

  The entrance to the ‘Transfer’ installation clad in mirror

The entrance to the ‘Transfer’ installation clad in mirror

  A striped tent illuminated by only candles

A striped tent illuminated by only candles

  One of the tents decorated decadently in a Moroccan style feast for the eyes

One of the tents decorated decadently in a Moroccan style feast for the eyes

NEXT STOP – POLIFORM

This year Poliform exhibited old favourites dressed in new materials and textures. On trend are rich decadent colours like plum, chocolate and burnt orange sitting gorgeously with more neutral blushes and nudes. Poliform exhibited new brushed metallic and glass finishes for their wardrobes and kitchens which I can’t wait to get my hands on!

  New ‘Emperador’ marble to Poliform’s existing ‘Wall’ storage system

New ‘Emperador’ marble to Poliform’s existing ‘Wall’ storage system

  Leather drawers to an open robe display section

Leather drawers to an open robe display section

  New ‘Home Hotel’ table on display with inset stone lazy susan

New ‘Home Hotel’ table on display with inset stone lazy susan

NEXT STOP – POLTRONA FRAU

Another favourite from the fair was Poltrona Frau with their forever classic leather pieces. This year they introduced two new glass pendant lights – one by Neri and Hu and the other by GamFratesi. The palette was so inviting, with layered rich textures, they featured polished plaster as an understated feature. The colour combinations on display were very successful, bold yet elegant.

  The ‘Soffi’ pendants by GamFratesi on display at Poltrona Frau

The ‘Soffi’ pendants by GamFratesi on display at Poltrona Frau

  The new ‘Byron’ chaise in a divine chocolate toned leather

The new ‘Byron’ chaise in a divine chocolate toned leather

  Velvet cushions on a leather base is a winning combination

Velvet cushions on a leather base is a winning combination

NEXT STOP – LOCAL DESIGN ABROAD

Then I was off to admire some fresh new pieces by our beloved Australian lighting designers Christopher Boots and Volker Haug. Set in an amazing old Palazzo with vibrant layered colours, the space in itself was an inspiring mix-and-match of fabulous Italian architecture

  Christopher Boots’ new Verdigris finish on display at the Local Design exhibition

Christopher Boots’ new Verdigris finish on display at the Local Design exhibition

  The lovely layered spaces that housed the Local Design exhibition, curated by Emma Elizabeth

The lovely layered spaces that housed the Local Design exhibition, curated by Emma Elizabeth

 ‘ Sculptural Oddments’ pendant by Volker Haug

Sculptural Oddments’ pendant by Volker Haug

NEXT STOP – HERMES

Hermes’ display of new homewares and objet took colour blocking to a whole new level where they created a monolithic Moroccan glazed tile maze! The most delicious rich and vibrant colours were layered gorgeously and lit so they glittered as you moved through the installation.

  The glazed tiles at the Hermes display were gorgeously reflective

The glazed tiles at the Hermes display were gorgeously reflective

  The new Hermes fabrics were innovatively displayed folded

The new Hermes fabrics were innovatively displayed folded

  Some of the maze forms were wrapped in stairs

Some of the maze forms were wrapped in stairs

LAST STOP – GUBI

Last but certainly not least was the fabulous Gubi display which was set in the most impressively Italian building I had even stepped foot inside! There is something so beautiful about the juxtaposition of super modern furniture in a very elaborate old building. There was a sense of luxury within the history of the building that can’t be replicated pseudo nor converted into words.

  A stunning lounge setting by Gubi

A stunning lounge setting by Gubi

  The new ‘Satellite’ pendant by Gubi

The new ‘Satellite’ pendant by Gubi

  The comforting nostalgic feeling at the Gubi   display

The comforting nostalgic feeling at the Gubi display

So I came, I saw, I conquered. And I have the blisters to prove it!

Until next time Milan. And there will be a next time . . .

All images ©Alexandra Kidd Design