Interior Designer Kevin Gray recently visited the most famous flea market in Paris – and the world!- with his friend Philippe Mevel, art consultant and advisor, and the FleaMarket.Paris team. Porte de Clignancourt, officially called Les Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, is known to everyone as Les Puces (the fleas) and is the largest antique market in the world with 120,000 to 180,000 visitors each weekend.
Reprinted and photos from Flea Market Paris
KG is an architect & interior designer from Miami. His work, regularly presented on American TV, The summer is for him the opportunity to start a journey through Europe to select objects. After Germany and Holland, here he is in Paris for a visit of the old flea market with the FleaMarket.Paris team.
We find KG at the terrace of a café where a singer has just finished a show, performing old French songs. It’s enough to make you feel nostalgic for this old Paris.
KG lives in Miami where Philippe Mevel met him years ago. Interior decorator and designer himself, KG presents us with a lamp that he created himself: a lamp with simple and pure forms in which we can perceive KG’s taste for the pure forms of the 50s and 60s.
A walk through the old flea market
The visit starts with the Serpette market where we know a few antique dealers who can meet the expectations of KG’s clients. In the middle of August, few antique shops are open. As soon as he enters the market, KG spots a set of lamps from the 60s. The antique dealer has 4 pairs of these wall lamps. Perfect to create a bright atmosphere.
Pushing a little further, it is on a pair of black consoles that his glance stops. The piece of furniture, composed of two leaves, has two leather fasteners on the front. And these four chairs in front? Maybe for breakfast in an elegant house on the West Coast…
Continuing our journey through the maze of antique stores, we reach spaces not easily accessible to visitors who are not familiar with the flea market. Hanging, two superb Murano glass chandeliers: one, very colorful, by the famous designer Gio Ponti; the other, spangled with gold, probably created by Alberto Donà.
After observing a rare and magnificent chandelier by Marc Lalique, it is suddenly a revelation. Next to a floor lamp by Maison Baquès, the iconic Lotus lamp by Carlo Nason is in front of us. “You can never go wrong with an object from Baguès. As for this table lamp, I’ve never seen it in person !” exclaims KG. “I might be able to find you a second one”, replies the dealer.
This rare find is completed by a few pieces of furniture, including a sideboard and some magnificent armchairs by the designer Joseph André Motte.
Despite the summer period, the day was rich in discoveries of hidden treasures. Paris being an inexhaustible source of inspiration, an appointment was made the next day to visit the Palace of Versailles for the exhibition of the Lalanne sculptures.
A walk through antiques of Versailles
To go to the Palace of Versailles is to take the time to travel the few kilometers that separate the capital from the residence of Louis XIV.
Walking the aisles of Versailles can lead to introspection. In the garden, here and there, animal sculptures by Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne create an unusual universe in the gardens where Queen Marie-Antoinette liked to withdraw from the world and enjoy nature.
The exhibition, scheduled to run through the fall of 2021, is a source of inspiration for KG. A source of inspiration that he also finds within the walls of the Palace of Versailles and of course under the chandeliers of the famous Hall of Mirrors.
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