regional roundup paris: part 2 (of 4)


after picking up a copy tables éphémères at french touche a few years back, i was instantly smitten with the work of martine camillieri who for years has making the recycling of everyday objects into magically creative projects. the book made me want to throw a dinner party as soon as i got home using egg trays for snacks, add figurines to ice cubes and wrap empty wine bottles in common plastic sponges to jazz them up (trust me, it’s awesome and the beautiful styling and photography proves it). despite considering herself a non-designer, rather than a designer, i was ecstatic when martine agreed to be one of the featured designers in the regional roundup: paris. CLICK HERE for martine’s full feature (with lots more images beyond the plastic eiffel project above), along with the beautiful work of nathalie lete, atelier r.bernier, le petit atelier de paris and sophie toporkoff. in case you missed it, don’t forget to check out paris: part 1 right here. we’ll be back later in the week with the rest of the roundup!  –anne

for these designs and more, just click “read more” below…

Martine Camillieri

1. Where are you from? Where do you live now?
I live half in the city, half in true, and green countryside. Malakoff, near Paris, and le Perche.
I grew up in Asia, then Nice (French Riviera).

2. Describe your work
Detournement du quotidien, poétique de l’ordinaire: “hijacking of the quotidian, poetry of the ordinary,”  All my artistic work aims to prevent the proliferation of objects on our planet.  It is a lot of small ecological experiments aimed at recreating daily life. It is an ecological idea of everyday design, of slow-design or eco-design. The transformation of objects which are around us which we don’t see or no longer notice, it helps to give them a certain charm, avoiding the necessity of new ones. For me the object in itself doesn’t exist, it’s nothing but an endlessly interchangeable Lego brick, it is only important when we look at it. This is my work: If we look at objects we ( beautify them, turn them inside out, change them..) the fact that they are all around us should be enough for us. Let’s stop always wanting more, making too many or importing so many: one day all these goods will overwhelm us. After the factories which produce them, the warehouses that stock them, the shops that sell them, the discount shops in the suburbs which sell them off cheaply, we have arrived at whole cities which are totally dedicated to them, you can even visit them by train!

3. How is your work influenced by where you live?
The observation of everyday life is the basis of my work, the city is important to me, it gives me a lot of information that I then divert. Amidst imagination, games and ecology. Then in my country-life, l can think in a slower way, and « prendre du recul ».

4. Where do you go Paris when you want to feel inspired?
Exhibitions, arty galleries, Palais de Tokyo, Grands magasins, fooding party…. and basic hypermarkets to compare dreamlife and ordinary life.

5. How would you describe the Paris design scene?
A little bit overpromising!

6. If you could go anywhere where would you go?
Anywhere in Norway, with my ecological house-truck.  Or may be, for one year, in Berlin, Copenhagen, or Tokyo.

website: Martine Camillieri
special projects: too-consomation-life installation, objets perdus
books: for sale on amazon

Nathalie Lete

1. Where are you from? Where do you live now?
I’ve always lived in Paris, or just near in the surburbs, but my parents are both foreigners (German and Chinese). Now, I live in the surburb of Paris, in Ivry sur Seine, in an old factory which was rehabilitated in big spaces. I live here with my husband, painter Thomas Fougeirol, and our two children.

2. Describe your work
My work is what I did ever since I was a child – a mix of paintings, drawings, embroidery, sewing dolls and ceramics, like an imaginary world in which I feel good. A patchwork of Chinese birds and folk motifs and flowers…and my toys as heroes of these stories…

3. How is your work influenced by where you live?
I’m not really inspired by other artists, and also not by the place I’m living… I’m more inspired by the memories of my childhood and the books that I read at that time.
In art I like Annette Messager, Kiki Smith, Berlinde de Brücker…and the illustrations of my friend Atak from Berlin. I’m influenced by all the popular things which I can find in markets when I travel abroad to China and India.

4. Where do you go Paris when you want to feel inspired?
I love the Museum of Art Deco.  I also like the museum of toys, near Beaubourg.
Also when I need inspiration, I go to a bookstore and buy some new art or textile books…

5. How would you describe the Paris design scene?
What I can see is that there are so many women who work now as I do, on different mediums – textile, prints, toys, ceramics and mixed media. In fact, try to do as it was before a “hobby” and transform it into a “job.”  Also famous women artist do it like this, but more professional of course, but the deep feeling is to be very near of the pleasure that you felt in your childhood.

6. If you could go anywhere where would you go?
I would love to find a place where I could build my dream house, in the middle of nature, but not too far from a big city… it could be anywhere in the world.

website: Nathalie Lete

Romain Bernier, Atelier R.Bernier

1. Where are you from? Where do you live now?
We are from Troyes, near Paris. Romain Bernier created atelier r.bernier in 2002. From the  1930’s – 70’s Troyes was the most important city for textiles.  Now it’s different. Our workshop/shop is located in an old textile factory loft. Is very nice, quiet, with beautiful architecture. Romain Bernier, the main designer lives also in a great old factory loft.

2. Describe your work
We create home accessories. We try to work with eco-friendly manufactures, and also eco-friendly products, or manufactures with eco-friendly label.  Our work is inspired by nature, so we want to respect it, and we make every attempt to do so. Lots of our collections are made with fabric (bags, cushions, wallets, lamp-shades, pendant-lights…).
Our latest collection (inspired from Iceland) is a interpretation of nature. It is how Romain looks at the world.  All our products (new collection “zig, boom” and “fleur pompon d’Islande”) are made only with one fabric. With this fabric, we cut it, and we create home and fashion accessories like bag, city-bag, wallets, cushions, stools, and also small piece of furniture (in oak, with printed patterns).

3. How is your work influenced by where you live?
Here, music is the big inspiration. There is a vintage vinyl-player, and also an iPod. We listen lot of music. In France, we say the music is good for soul. For example for the last collection inspired from Iceland, with listened to Icelandic groups and singers like Sigur Ros, Björk, Amiina….

4. Where do you go Paris when you want to feel inspired?
We prefer to go in the nature, or take trips across France, and/or Europe to see new things, new colors, and sounds. And the nature is also more present outside of Paris.  We like Paris for city-break- to take a lunch, drink a coffee, listen music groups, smoke a cigarette, and walk in the street.

5. How would you describe the Paris design scene?
I think lot of designers prefer living outside of Paris, or around Paris. It’s not always easy for work in Paris – offices are small and very expensive. So a lot of designers live outside of the city, in different parts of the France, and go to Paris to sell their collections. It is very interesting because everybody has a different point of view of the world, everybody makes different things, has different inspiration. So I think the “French style” is the “Paris style” – it is as an association of different graphic styles in a city.

6. If you could go anywhere where would you go?
Soon we will go to Reykjavik, Iceland to shoot pictures, and also for pleasure !! And also to Sweden to discover the Swedish design scene, fashion style, and the country.

website: Atelier R.Bernier

Stephane Froger, Le Petit Atelier de Paris

1. Where are you from? Where do you live now?
Jae comes from Seoul in South Korea. Stephane comes from Brittany (Bretagne) in the west side of France.  Now, we live together in the Marais in Paris.

2. Describe your work
Our creations are at the junction of design, craftsmanship, and decoration.

3. How is your work influenced by where you live?
We look for the exceptional aspect of the moment, of the object ,of gestures in our daily life.  Our inspiration comes more from the way we look at things than from what we are looking at.

4. Where do you go Paris when you want to feel inspired?
We are fond of the quietness of walking along the banks of the river seine and the alleys of jardin des plantes in Paris.  We also like looking for old things in local jumble sales or on flea markets like Portes de Vanves….

5. How would you describe the Paris design scene?
The Paris design scene is rich from its cultural diversity.

6. If you could go anywhere where would you go?
On an island, in Brittany.

website: Le Petit Atelier de Paris

Sophie Toporkoff

1. Where are you from? Where do you live now?
Born and raised in Paris. I now live in Paris.

2. Describe your work
I’m a freelance art director. My main work today is being Communications Art Director for Maison Martin Margiela. I also run my magazine Rendez-Vous, collaborate with great French and international brands (including Colette, Kiehl’s, Domestic, Gas, 2K…), artists (for Palais de Tokyo, Galerie Kamel Mennour…), musicians (lots of record sleeves)… and draw as much as possible!

3. How is your work influenced by where you live?
The most influence I get from where I live is by the fact that you have so many shows in Paris, great museums, bookshops… There’s such a great cultural environment that the inspiration is everywhere.

4. Where do you go Paris when you want to feel inspired?
Shows, bookshops, cinema… or just hanging around, looking at true street and people. I also particularly like ‘bazaars’ — small shops where you can find absolutely everything, from teaspoons to toys or weird food.

5. How would you describe the Paris design scene?
Better and better, no doubt.

6. If you could go anywhere where would you go?
L.A. !

Sophie on Myspace

  1. Julia* says:

    I am French and I live in Paris. I love your selection!

  2. Marie-Eve says:

    I love Le Petit Atelier de Paris! I discovered them lately on their website and I like the white, imperfect and sometimes funny aspect of their work. Wish to go to Paris, one day!

  3. hannamari virtanen says:

    I love your blog. What is the name of the scripted font that you use in the titles.

    Thank you.

  4. grace says:


    we use “feel script” at

    grace :)

  5. Loora says:

    “La tarte au citron de Pierre Hermé, c’est comme un mix des pages jaunes et de Fluide Glacial”.

    I love it !! I’m gonna quote that one…

  6. nichole says:

    Oooh, lovely! I live in Paris at the moment, and very much enjoyed this.

  7. fabi says:

    what a wonderful round up!!!! only now i’ve had the chance to check it! really magic! i’m waiting for the rest! (and i’m also stunned that it didn’t get more comments… well i’m REALLY loving this paris series)!

  8. anne says:

    thanks so much, everyone! glad you are enjoying it :) (now to just get everyone else in on it too…)


  9. lorena says:

    Definitivamente esta es una ciudad para enamorar, un destino romántico y apetecible no sólo para un buen plan de pareja sino además para todos aquellos que quieran disfrutar del arte, de la elegancia, la cocina, la historia… Obvio que ninguno puede dejar de visitar la torre Eiffel que evoca la pasión del mundo y que me sugiere que vale la pena estar unos días sólo allí, “la ciudad del amor”… umm!!! Acá les dejo algo al respecto


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