Parisian style certainly extends into one’s home, and careful attention to furnishings is important. Furniture must be practical, comfortable and stylish – and fit into the overall decor of the apartment. Even students on minuscule budgets will somehow buy, haggle for or find needed furnishings that look good and work well in tight studio spaces. On the other end of the scale, the antique shops of Paris provide sumptuous tapestries and Louis XIV furniture for those whose homes are one part museum, one part palace. The large middle section of the Parisian population falls in between. Buying a mix of humble and more luxurious pieces from large chain stores and smaller boutiques, their homes are very often carefully composed combinations of comfort, practicality and style. It is not unusual to see a mix of antiques (inherited or otherwise) and very contemporary pieces in French homes. If you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for in the many stores, boutiques or flea markets of Paris you may always have pieces custom-built. The 11th arrondissement is the traditional carpenter’s quarter.
As with all other products in Paris, furniture and accessories for the home come in all styles and price ranges. Even if you are renting a furnished home, it is likely you will need to pick up a few odds and ends. Remember to have a look in the popular FUSAC (http://www.fusac.fr) and on http://www.craigslist.fr as many expatriates sell the entire contents of their apartments when they leave Paris.
- IKEA, http://www.ikea.fr, known world-wide, has many locations right outside Paris. Their furniture and household accessories are inexpensive and practical. You may shop online or by catalogue and delivery and assembling services are available. Check their websites for locations and hours.
- Habitat, http://www.habitat.fr, is a chain that offers moderately-priced furniture and tableware. Check their websites for locations and hours.
- Roche-Bobois, http://www.roche-bobois.com, is a French company with several up-market and expensive stores throughout Paris with a wide array of styles, from classic to contemporary. Check their websites for locations and hours.
- Maison de Famille, http://www.maisondefamille.fr, has three locations in Paris as well as branches in the department stores. Their furnishings and decorations range from old to new, French and exotic. Prices also range from reasonable to expensive. Check their websites for locations and hours.
- The Conran Shop, 117, rue du Bac 75007, 01.42.84.10.01, http://www.conranshop.fr; A British company offering casual, but pricey, furniture and kitchen accessories.
- Depot Vente Alesia, 123, rue d’Alesia 75014, 01.45.45.54.54 and Depot Vente de Paris, 81, rue Lagny 75020, 01.43.72.13.91 are interesting options for used furniture.
- Galeries Lafayette Maison and Printemps Maison are both specialty departments of the large stores (See “Shopping Centers”).
- Ligne Roset, http://www.ligneroset.fr, has been in existence over 150 years and may provide some interesting finds.
- Sauvel Natal, 25 rue Desnouettes 75015, 01.42.50.47.47, http://www.sauvelnatal.com, was founded in 1950 and is the go-to store for everything baby/early childhood including furniture, highchairs, strollers and more. They discount their products, so they usually have the best prices in Paris for the same brand name products found elsewhere. Try to go during the week as the weekends are sometimes unbearably crowded.
The following stores may vary in popularity, but the quality is sometimes questionable.
- Conforama, http://www.conforama.fr, provides furniture, decoration, electric appliances, stereos, etc.
- BUT, http://www.but.fr, has a bit of everything for your perusal.
- Fly, http://www.fly.fr, is a French chain of furniture and household accessories.
- Alinea, http://www.alinea.fr, is the French equivalent of IKEA, however there are only 22 locations throughout France.