My Paris Apartment
07 . 21 . 14
Someone just emailed me asking if I had any secrets for finding a rental apartment in Paris. The ones they saw were either not very chic or terribly expensive. This was the case for me as well so I consider myself very lucky to have found a great place through people I know here. A store owner asked me where I was living and I said with friends but I needed to find a place for June 1st. Turns out they had an apartment they rent out to friends. It wasn’t open until June 15th so I ended up staying with my friend Eleanor and her family for a month but it was worth the wait.
The apartment is on rue de Babylone, just down the street from where Yves Saint Laurent used to live and a stone’s throw away from Le Bon Marché. The Grande Epicerie is my neighborhood grocery story. I sit on the border of the 6th and 7th arronsissements so I have the best of both worlds.
It’s a large studio that sits on the top floor of an elevator building so there is a lot of light. The white walls make it a perfect blank slate. I had already bought a few books at the bouquinistes along the Seine and I displayed them along the shelf to add some color and art. I ordered the chair from Ikea because I thought it was strange there was no where to sit and read or look out the window in that corner. The storage baskets are from Monoprix.
The mirror behind the bed adds more light too. As Tommy Smythe pointed out, the Eiffel Tower lamps mean I’ll never wake up and forget where I am living. I thought about buying new ones but I already spent enough money on other necessities so I just left them. C’est la vie.
One thing I had to get used to here in Paris are the low beds. There were some nice linens in the apartment but I was very excited when Stephanie Betts of Josephine Home offered to send me a set of her luxury bedding to try out. She supplies some of the world’s top hotels and I can understand why after sleeping on them. I love that sateen stays cool since there is no air conditioning anywhere in Paris. I picked out the Classic Silver Egyptian Bed Linens with Grosgrain Trim to match what was in the apartment. I’m going to have to get another set when I get home since the European sizes won’t fit my American bed.
Everyone asks me how I’m getting everything home and that’s a good question. I think I’m going to have to mail a box or two or buy another suitcase. I will also leave things I will need when I return to Paris to continue work on my book with my friend Eleanor.
I found the rose picture at the brocante de la rue de Bretagne the weekend I arrived for 10 euros. The gold object holds matches. I spent more than I should have on it but I just loved the shape. The bracelets were bought at Lanvin on a trip to Paris in 2009.
All my favorite objects sit next to the bed including the dish from the Royal-Monceu I found at the brocante and a necklace I bought at Delphine Pariente in the Marais, scented matches from Buly 1803, a book from a bouquiniste, and my Cartier travel clock.
The mirror, painting, and lidded jar were all found at the brocante de la rue de Bretagne in May.
The work/dining table was originally by the wall in between the windows. It left so much open floor space that it looked like a dance studio so I moved it out into the middle of the room.
I had to buy a garment rack for my friend’s apartment at the BHV so I made sure it looked chic. The entire right wall of the apartment is storage but mostly shelves. There is one small side with room for hanging clothes but I it also holds the vacuum and my large suitcase so I decided to set up the garment rack by the windows.
The apartment reminds me a little of mine in New York since it also has two large windows facing the street and sits on the top floor. While it’s weird not to have any of my things here, it’s also quite liberating. I am appreciating the less is more situation and can’t wait to get home and clean out my apartment in New York.
I will leave my chairs from the brocante with my friend so I will have them for my return trip. I will then have Camard pack them up and ship them to New York.
The tree was left by the last tenant.
When you have less, there is less chance for things to get cluttered which I am enjoying.
I love French windows but the lack of screens means you have to be prepared for unwelcome visitors on occasion, especially since I over look a park with lots of trees.
There is a little kitchenette built into the wall of storage. You can close it off with a door if you want to hide it. The box on the wall is a little weird. It hides the electrical box and the phone to let someone into the building. I decided to use it as an inspiration board.
Every time I visit a museum or place of interest, I buy a post card and add it to the box.
The color inside the kitchen and cabinets matches the color I have in mine in New York which makes me feel at home.
The kitchen doesn’t have an oven but just like New York, Paris has a million places to eat. Unfortunately, they don’t deliver which is only a bummer when it’s cold and rainy.
I bought the little painting from an artist outside Giverny and the Sal de Ibiza from Le Grand Epicerie because it matched the kitchen.
There are so many shelves, I haven’t even used them all. I won’t show you the ones with all my clothes because they aren’t as neat and tidy as they could be.
The bathroom is a little weird and modern but not completely terrible. If I owned the place, I would paint the orange and red cabinets white but since I don’t, I decided to work with them. The chrome soap dispenser doesn’t work so I bought soap from Hotel Costes. It smells so great that it was worth it.
All in all, it’s not a bad place to call home while I live in Paris.
Photos by moi.