My friend Hayley was spending her last week with us before she headed back to Australia. Ever the adventurer, she wanted to do something special in her last week, so decided to go to Paris and asked me to go with her. It didn’t take much convincing and before I knew it I was packed and on a train to Paris waving goodbye to my hubby. God I love living in London!! I was also excited by the opportunity to visit a little gem of a lifestyle boutique that I’ve heard so much about, ‘Merci’.
Merci has everything from designer brands to eco-friendly locally made products. You can buy furniture, clothing, homeware, jewellery, perfume or just hang out in their cafe watching the day go by. Or munch on some healthy offerings in their basement restaurant. The store was conceived by Bernard and Marie-France Cohen, founders of Bonpoint clothing (a gorgeous children’s brand.) The best thing about this concept store is that 100% of the profits go to charities helping woman and children in Madagascar. I love this concept!! Zero-guilt shopping safe in the knowledge that my shopping is doing some good.
As you walk though the entrance you are greeted by an intimate courtyard with a racing red vintage Fiat 500. To the right is a very cool cafe with floor-to-ceiling glass windows filled with beautiful Parisians eating and drinking. Oh, and little old me soaking up the sunshine and getting stuck into one of their books. All books are donated by customers which are then sold to people like you and me.
The shop is housed in an old wallpaper factory spread out over three levels. I walked in and my heart jumped with excitement as I explored the space. I love the open space and industrial feel juxtaposed with a large palm tree. The openness draws you in and the sunlight beams through the skylight, reflecting off the brilliant selection of products. The cash register is encased by authentic iron tiles that are common in factories and warehouses in North America which I just love. The good news is that Merci has partnered up with NLXL, creating wallpaper to mimic the look of vintage painted tiles. I’m pretty sure you can purchase the wallpaper from the online shop Rockett St George.
We couldn’t resist getting our hands on some Annick Goutal perfume. Instead of the usual fancy packaging it’s sold in simple glass bottles, although customers are encouraged to bring their own containers which can be filled with their favourite perfume with 40% off the store price.
Upstairs is where the furniture is housed and more homeware and lighting. They have great lighting from industrial style pendant lights to unusual chandeliers like the one above. This chandelier reminds me of jelly fish.
I absolutely fell in love with the Merci bed linen. The colours are a mixture of dark greys and muted pastels with a crumpled effect. I never iron so that suits me to a tee.
Stationary geeks be warned… you could spend a small fortune here. These floating book shelfs would look great in a study or lounge area.
We finished off our shopping trip with a spot of lunch downstairs. I was sitting right next to the garden where they grow vegetables and herbs, which are used in all the dishes. Can’t get fresher than that!
All in all it was a great shopping experience. There’s clearly a trend for brands moving towards a more ethical way of doing business, and Merci is a fantastic example of one doing it in style!
Au revoir x