Food, healthcare, aging with grace: The French seem to do everything better. They also know what's what in decor and design, so we're constantly looking to them as leaders in the space. Here, 13 inspiring French brands we stalk on Instagram:
1. Merci, @merciparis
Parisian concept store Merci sells all sorts of things, but they do have a rather large emphasis on home decor. They tend to create many products in-house or in exclusivity with other brands, and the one-offs are always unexpected, yet totally necessary. Definitely check out the range of linen sheets.
2. The Socialite Family Shop, @thesocialitefamilyshop
The Socialite Family began as a site dedicated to documenting the lives of design-minded European families. They've more recently expanded into retail with a small, self-designed collection of furniture, bedding, and accessories. What they offer feels both classic and ahead of the trend curve: furniture sports caned details and pillows come in jewel-toned velvet coverings.
3. Papier Tigre, @papiertigram
Specializing in original stationery and desk accessories, Papier Tigre (translation: paper tiger) is a great one to remember for unique gifts. Otherwise, their Instagram is great to follow if you're looking for some graphic design inspo.
4. Olivia Pellerin, @oliviapellerin
Olivia Pellerin's ceramics are unlike anything we've seen before. Many of her wares are more like works of art, simulating nature-inspired textures that remind us of lichen, pebbles, and coral.
5. Monoprix, @monoprix
If you ever go to France, you must go to Monoprix, which is sort of like a grocery store that has everything —cheese, shoes, sheets. You know, the basics. (If we had to make a comparison, it's like Target but one million times better.) Their Instagram, of course, features a bit of everything, but they've got an aesthetic that's delightfully double-tappable.
6. Empreintes, @empreintesparis
A newcomer to the exciting Marais style scene, Empreintes is a concept store that focuses on artisans whose goods are handmade or entirely unique. Their Instagram is a great place to discover new French designers.
7. Démodé, @demodeparis
The founders of Merci recently embarked on a new endeavor called Démodé ("outdated"), which is very concept-oriented: It's a decor pop-up shop as well as a revolving gallery and online store. They're currently working with artist Gaël Davrinche, who has created romantic designs that appear on tableware, pillows, and stationery.
8. Roche Bobois, @rochebobois
Roche Bobois is one of the leaders in avant-garde design and luxury furnishings. (Read: We will never, ever afford anything from here.) But, their Instagram is a treasure trove of modern interiors that are guaranteed to make you daydream.
9. Slow Galerie, @slowgalerie
A gallery in the bustling 11th arrondissement, Slow Galerie features up-and-coming artists, with a large emphasis on colorful illustration. If you're ever in Paris, check it out for some seriously affordable art. In the meantime, their feed is what you need to brighten up your day.
10. Colette, @colette
The original Parisian concept boutique, Colette has always been a game-changer in the fashion industry. They're known for their (oftentimes) wacky or borderline ridiculous collaborations (how about some Pharrell-designed sneakers that will cost more than a home downpayment?). But in terms of innovation in design, they're oftentimes doing things that are very unexpected and pleasing. Get it while you can, however: Sadly, after 20 years, the boutique is closing its doors this month.
11. Jamini, @jaminidesign
With a focus on gorgeous textiles, Jamini is all about the fusion of French and Indian culture.
12. Selency, @selency
Selency is something of a platform — it's essentially an online flea market curated by design professionals. Their Instagram is a mix of new products and straight-up decor inspiration, which you know we're all about.
13. La Redoute, @laredouteinterieurs
La Redoute is one of the more popular French retailers for clothing and home decor. The reason? So many choices, Target-like prices, and design that is always current.
Leonora Epstein is Hunker's Senior Director of Content. She has previously served as Executive Editor at HelloGiggles and as BuzzFeed's Deputy Editorial Director. She is the co-author of "X vs. Y: A Culture War, a Love Story" (Abrams, 2014). Feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.