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Top Design Shops: European Furniture & More

These European concept shops offer everything from avant-garde fashion and high-design furniture to chef-driven restaurants and barista-made lattes.
Top European Design Shops: Merci in Paris


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Tom Dixon Shop & Dock Kitchen, London, England

British design star Tom Dixon got one of the city's hottest restaurants as his company canteen when his showroom became home to chef Stevie Parle's Dock Kitchen. The furniture—including Dixon's iconic lighting—is all for sale in Dixon's shop downstairs. Lunches include a Swiss-chard-and-lentil soup favored by Dixon; dinners are themed around the kitchen team's recent travels.

Graanmarkt 13, Antwerp, Belgium

Last February, Ilse van Geloven and her husband, Tim van Geloven, turned three floors of their grand manor house into a store. Now, when van Geloven can't find anything to wear in her closet, she can go downstairs to browse clothes from designers like Isabel Marant and Maria Cornejo, mixed in with items like ceramics from Wonk:Ware and housewares from Nymphenburg. And when she doesn't feel like cooking, she can go to the basement-level restaurant, where one of Belgium's best young chefs, Seppe Nobels, prepares dishes like beef carpaccio with foie gras.

Merci, Paris, France

In the 1990s, the Parisian store Colette reinvented retail. Merci is the new Colette, but with a charitable bent: The three-floor shop, which focuses on furniture and fashion, gives all profits to groups fighting child poverty in Madagascar. Designers like Marni and Stella McCartney help by donating exclusive pieces.

RA, Antwerp, Belgium

"We help establish designers and artists," says co-owner Anna Kushnerova. The store sells one-off pieces, like Joshua Ben Longo's fabric sculptures and dresses by Australia's Narelle Dore. It also hosts themed events, like its Thursday homestyle dinners named for Pippi Longstocking's Villa Villekulla.

VOO, Berlin, Germany

The gritty design of this new Berlin shop sets off the fashion—from vintage Missoni to jackets by edgy hometown label Don't Shoot the Messengers. A tiny café sells local, artisanal foods like Smaromi spices and Kaiser honey, plus outstanding coffee.

OpficioJM, Prato, Italy

The wine philosophy of terroir inspires actor John Malkovitch's new shop in Italy's textile capital, Prato, just 35 minutes from Florence. Everything at the store—the furniture, the fashion (including Malkovitch's Technobohemian label), the ingredients for the restaurant's seafood panzanella—is produced or procured exclusively for OpficioJM by Tuscan artisans, fishermen and farmers.

Friday Next, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Interior design duo Paulien de Vries and Esther Blaffert fill this 3,000-square-foot space in Amsterdam with new Dutch pieces and vintage and modern finds from abroad, like woolen poofs from Belgian brand Casalis. Designers hang out at the store's café, brainstorming over crayfish salads and perfect barista-made lattes.

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Published July 2011
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