Françoise Labro knows a thing or two about navigating the city’s labyrinthine flea markets and myriad design stores in search of, say, embroidered fabrics or perfectly aged vintage end tables. As Ralph Lauren’s right-hand woman in Paris, she oversees his company’s entire home division in Europe, Russia, and the Middle East. So it stands to reason that for Labro (formerly editor in chief of Elle Décoration, Vogue Décoration, and Maison & Jardin), shopping is like a treasure hunt: “There’s always something to find or uncover.”
1. Modern & Contemporary
At Sentou, owner Pierre Romanet always has new discoveries and commissions: furniture, lighting, textiles, and tableware by established names and emerging designers. It’s an ideal shop not only to find the unexpected gift—for example, convex mirrors in different shapes and colors (from $70)—but also icons like Isamu Noguchi paper-lantern lamps (from $140), Jean Prouvé chairs (from $840), and Alvar Aalto vases (from $70). 26 Bd. Raspail; 33-1/45-49-00-05.
Although there is a shop in Paris, it’s worth the 20-minute trip to Sèvres to tour the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres, the archive and factory of the famed porcelain company founded in 1740. The store there sells reissues of classic pieces, new designs by contemporary artists, and limited editions of previously unreleased patterns. A personal favorite is the exquisite Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann–designed cup and saucer from 1933 ($840). 2 Place de la Manufacture; 33-1/46-29-22-00; manufacturedesevres.culture.gouv.fr.
A secret address shared by top interior designers, Decour Décoration has an exceptional choice of fabrics, especially from France, Italy, and the UK. The shop also creates bespoke textiles as well as custom handcrafted furniture and wallcoverings. $ 9 Rue Copernic; 33-1/53-65-17-60.
4. Window Dressing
Importing its textiles directly from East Asia, CMO specializes in fabrics woven from natural fibers like pineapple, banana, palm, and hemp. They’re perfect as blinds and screens, which the shop makes to order, in addition to selling material by the meter (from $50). $ 5 Rue Chabanais; 33-1/40-20-45-98; cmoparis.com.
5. Midcentury Scandinavian
Of note at Galerie Dansk—which presents a large selection of Danish furniture and lighting from the fifties through the seventies—are the classic curvilinear upholstered pieces by Finn Juhl, and The Chair (right, $4,920), by Hans Wegner, the wood-and-woven-rattan piece that arguably started the craze for Danish Modern in 1949. $ 31 Rue Charlot; 33-1/42-71-45-95; galeriedansk.com.
Georges Le Manach has made its fabrics in the same Touraine factory since 1829. Two picks: the Concini pattern ($170 a meter), which re-creates a Louis XIII print and has been in the inventory for more than 50 years, and the custom-made Les Blasons ($250 a meter), which takes its design from a client’s coat of arms (and is available in 50-plus colors!). $ 31 Rue du Quatre Septembre; 33-1/47-42-52-94; lemanach.fr.
7. African Style
Valérie Schlumberger—a part-time resident of Ile de Gorée, off the coast of Senegal—brings African style to Paris at her fair-trade bazaar CSAO (La Compagnie du Sénégal et de l’Afrique de l’Ouest). She carries traditional and modern crafts, furniture, jewelry, and accessories from West Africa, including bogolan, an intricately patterned mud-dyed fabric from Mali (from $17 a meter). $ 9 Rue Elzévir; 33-1/42-71-33-17.
The designer Veronese is renowned for its whimsically colorful glass chandeliers—like the one at the top of page—which are made using traditional techniques in Murano, Italy (from $2,800). 184 Bd. Haussmann; 33-1/45-62-67-67.
At Vis à Vis Danie Postel-Vinay creates highly refined work—mostly flora, fauna, and abstract designs—on linen, organdy, and sateen tablecloths and bedding (from $250). She also does special orders and custom pieces. $ 20 Rue St.-Nicolas; 33-1/46-28-56-56.
10. Ethnic Decor
Françoise Dorget keeps a house in Morocco and travels constantly, bringing back exotic treasures. As a result, her shop Caravane has a truly bohemian spirit, with everything from furniture to one-of-a-kind handmade fabrics and antique rugs (from $1,000). 6 Rue Pavée; 33-1/44-61-04-20; caravane.fr.
$ Establishment accepts no charge/credit cards or accepts cards other than the American Express Card.