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Bear tiles by Laura Carlin
£88 for four tiles; thenewcraftsmen.myshopify.com
Bert & May Artisan Encaustic Zorita Tile
£9 per handmade tile; bertandmay.com
Rory Dobner White Question Mark Tile
Haveli Thunder by Neisha Crosland
£21.60 per tile, neishacrosland.com
Signage, Fired Earth
£394.99 for the 17-tile panel; firedearth.com
The line-up: French connections
One of the incontournables of Paris’s home-furnishings emporia, Caravane, opened its first London shop last week with an edited collection of its in-house line.
Created in 1995 by interior designer Françoise Dorget, Caravane already has four stores in Paris and is known for its bright, stylish souk of handpicked fabrics (block prints from India, Italian linen), beautifully made up as bedlinens, quilts (£245 each) and curtains, complemented by sofas, lighting and tableware.
Dorget sold the business in 2011 to Véronique and Jack-Eric Piedeleu, who bring expertise in marketing, design and DIY. The couple have sought to modernise the somewhat “sleepy” company, and the UK expansion is due to be followed by an online retail operation later this year. Véronique wants the brand to be “shopping friendly” but the prices reflect the superior quality.
In Paris itself, the English-bred Habitat brand continues to trade (the French arm is now owned by Cafom) and last year opened a pop-up shop, “Habitat 1964”, in the Saint-Ouen flea market just beyond the périphérique. The shabby-chic space sells vintage Habitat furniture and other pieces from past collections, all verified as originals.
For more French inspiration, the recently published La Vie est Belle: The Elegant Art of Living in the French Style, by Henrietta Heald, gives enticing photographic tours inside some rather gorgeous French country houses, with a useful directory of where to buy similar pieces.
Caravane, 38-40 New Cavendish St, London W1G 8UD, 0207 486 5233, email@example.com
Habitat 1964 opens on Saturdays and Sundays, 10am-6pm, Marché aux Puces Saint-Ouen, 77-81 rue des Rosiers, 93400 Paris, habitat.fr/vintage
‘La Vie est Belle: The Elegant Art of Living in the French Style’ (Ryland, Peters & Small, £25)