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Fifties Furnishings

The smell of woodsmoke catches your nose from blocks away. A knock on the forbidding steel door just beyond the grizzly Renault repair shop produces a Moroccan manservant with a gentle smile.

Lounging around the fireplace in the soaring, hectically furnished former garage is Alan Grizot--a minor legend in France for giving the country back its taste for fifties furniture--as well as what seem like six of his best friends. They are, in fact, customers who gingerly made the excursion to Come In My Loft, Grizot's completely fungible shop and home near the Marché Paul Bert antiques market. They arrived hoping to bag one of Roger Capron's highly collectible biomorphic dishes, which they did, but not before accepting a glass of rather good Bordeaux and having the maître de maison proudly show off his bathroom. Poised on the lip of the freestanding tub are the most mignon Yves Klein painting and a cartoonish illuminated resin clamshell, both very much for sale.

Having helped revive the reputations of such mid-century designers as Jean Prouvé, Serge Mouille, and Jean Royère—names now routinely preceded by great—Grizot seems to wish he'd been a rock star instead. He is a man of a certain age who always wears black, and who always unbuttons that one extra shirt button. A mirrored Ian Dury badge adorns his lapel. It's seven euros. 45 Rue Anselme, St.-Ouen; 33-1/40-10-93-08; open Saturday and Sunday, 11-7, or by appointment.

House Wares: Nine More Apartment Shops (and services)

Custom Dresses The tradition of the back-street Paris couturier is all but extinct. Julien Cristofoli remains bravely at it, in a building constructed for Napoleonic army officers. 16 Rue de Lancry, 10th Arr.; 33-1/ 42-49-37-48; by appointment.

Redesigned Vintage Michele and Olivier Chatenet sell women's ready-to-wear out of their sprawling loft in an Art Deco commercial building. The couple's ruse: reworking a sixties Ungaro blouse and wedding it to, say, a seventies Valentino skirt. E2, 15 Rue Martel, Apt. E2, 10th Arr.; 33-1/47-70-15-14; by appointment.

Home Furnishings In Mary Shaw's homey Haussmann-era flat, everything dangles a price tag, including antique patchwork wall hangings from Rajasthan, linen voile by the yard, and traditional Irish tweeds in bright colors. Sequana, 64 Ave. de la Motte-Picquet, 15th Arr.; 33-1/45-66-58-40; open Monday- Friday, 10-6, or by appointment.

Antiques Behind a tiny door in a verdant courtyard is Pierre and Dominique Bénard-Dépalle's shop, where—thanks to some brilliantly poetic merchandising—every basket, wineglass, and piece of marbled Apt faïence recalls an emotionally charged story. Vivement Jeudi, 52 Rue Mouffetard, Fifth Arr.; 33-1/43-31-44-52; open Thursdays, or by appointment.

Embroidery In an hôtel particulier where Robespierre is said to have hidden out, Lesage, the First Family of French embroidery, sells extravagant cushions, drawstring purses, and fabrics. Jean-François Lesage, 207 Rue St.-Honoré, First Arr.; 33-1/44-50-01-01; by appointment.

Cooking Lessons Laurence Guarneri shares her culinary expertise in a kitchen converted from a tannerie. Sample class: magret de canard; celery root purée; tarte Tatin. Astuces et Tours de Mains, 29 Rue Censier, Fifth Arr.; 33-6/81-64-10-75; three-hour class (instruction in French) $68, including dinner.

Hair and Beauty Salon An elegant enfilade of boudoirs in a private apartment leaves clients cooing. Charlie en Particulier, 1 Rue Goethe, 16th Arr.; 33-1/47-20-94-01.

Shiatsu Back-pain sufferers praise Odile Varnat's thoroughness—and the way the windows of her salle de traitement frame Paris rooftops. 11 Villa Pierre Ginier, 18th Arr.; 33-1/45-22-22-76; $60 for one hour.

Concerts Take a seat on a ballroom chair for one of the jazz or classical music performances held in this 18th-century apartment on one of the loveliest streets in Paris. Arpeggione, 35 Rue de l'Université, Seventh Arr.; 33-1/45-48-11-55; $15-$30.

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