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My Paris Apartment

by habituallychic

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. 

25 Comments
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  1. Alison Fauls July 21, 2014 | 11:07 am

    Love how you can look up from your computer to see the trees in the park through that huge window. So glad that you finally wrote this post. I know we’ve all been curious to see this space that serendipity graced you with. Now I am curious about your new book with Eleanor. Any hints?

  2. Coulda shoulda woulda July 21, 2014 | 11:09 am

    So pretty and love the light coming through! It seems so homely and comfy already and shows that you don’t need a lot to make a home. You are very lucky to have found such a flat in that area tho!

  3. Jessica Orlowicz July 21, 2014 | 12:02 pm

    That window <3 <3 And I love the clothing rack!

  4. Lumen Drops July 21, 2014 | 1:01 pm

    Great floors, light and bright…perfect!

  5. Elma in Cape Town July 21, 2014 | 1:27 pm

    You have already turned this space into a home. The French Post Offices sell easily made up boxes with which you can send as much as 7 kg. The price of the box includes your postage fees but remember that you may have to pay import duties once you collect your parcel in the US. All you need are scissors and a roll of box tape and the job is done. I have sent these parcels to South Africa on more than one occasion and it works perfectly.

  6. ArchitectDesign™ July 21, 2014 | 2:03 pm

    Lovely little home, thanks for sharing with us! Love the pair of french doors and moving the table to the center of the room was the right move!

  7. The Swan July 21, 2014 | 2:29 pm

    HERMES Orange, Yves Klein Blue, Laduree Green…these colors float in your White Box. I love all this for it reminds me of youth, a room near the Hollywood sign, and a garden so private…what more does a gal need when alone and on a Journey of The Soul – well music from Hotel Costes is great for the background track of Life!

  8. Monica Brown July 21, 2014 | 3:19 pm

    Thanks for sharing!

  9. Splendid Market July 21, 2014 | 4:33 pm

    I love the tour of your sweet apartment, what a great find, the LIGHT is everything! I adore all of your brocante finds, they make it yours. So special.

  10. Nora Chisnell July 21, 2014 | 4:49 pm

    Thank you for finally sharing, Heather. We are moving from our suburban Georgian house to an in-town midcentury modern, so while the house has been on the market, we have been living with the cleaner, simplified design required by real estate agents everywhere.

    And now I am used to fewer decorative items, and as we settle in, I imagine we won’t have so many of them in the new space.

  11. InspiredAtelier LettiDLG July 21, 2014 | 5:00 pm

    A perfect little place for paris. Very chic Heather:)
    Thanks for sharing.

  12. Karena Albert July 21, 2014 | 5:26 pm

    Heather I absolutely love your new place, it is so light, bright and airy! What a chic find!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

  13. Beeta @ Mon Petit Four July 21, 2014 | 5:44 pm

    Yay! I’ve been waiting for this post. Your apartment is stunning Heather! I positively love all your touches. My favorite thing about your apartment is the brightness and airiness! I love the big windows and neutral color scheme. And what a fabulous location! Looks like you’re enjoying yourself! xo

  14. noreen July 21, 2014 | 5:55 pm

    love the look in your Paris apartment, you just reminded us that you only need a few fabulous well curated pieces to live a luxurious life! Waiting to devour the next post!

  15. Dean Farris July 21, 2014 | 6:01 pm

    Have some stationery printed with your Rue de Babylone address!
    Long after you’ve left, you’ll cherish finding these cards and envelopes in your NY desk drawer!
    (or displayed in a holder on top of the desk!)
    Dean

  16. Lana Manis July 21, 2014 | 7:03 pm

    Lucky you! Thank you for sharing this part of your life. I’d love to visit Paris someday…

  17. Shallow Gal July 21, 2014 | 10:51 pm

    I’ve been dying to see this. Thank you so much for sharing your private space. It is utter perfection and inspiring on so many levels. I wonder if you were fluent in French when you decided to make this move.

  18. Lily L-M July 22, 2014 | 1:00 am

    Wow, doesn’t look too shabby! I’m very jealous!

    x Lily
    whilemyboyfriendsaway.blogspot.com

  19. GCF July 22, 2014 | 9:55 am

    Hello Heather, I was tickled to read where you are living. I have very fond memories of sharing a drink with my husband at that Bistro/pub just outside Le Bon Marche. I also recommend just about everything on teh Rue de Cherche Midi, which is close by, especially the Italian restaurant.

  20. KatrinaG July 22, 2014 | 10:30 am

    Love it, Love it, Love it!! I need to tide my home too!

  21. m.e.w. July 22, 2014 | 3:39 pm

    So lovely! Thank you for sharing. Less is more and being liberated from stuff is a wonderful feeling, especially when you can go back to it eventually :o) That too is comforting.

  22. Lauren Behfarin July 22, 2014 | 4:58 pm

    Living in Paris is a dream, love all the white rooms
    http://www.bornandbreadny.com

  23. zinamin July 22, 2014 | 5:43 pm

    Heather, your apartment looks lovely! I’ve really enjoyed your Instagram photos and posts on Paris. Thanks for sharing your journey and inspiring me (us) to live out our dreams!!

    Zina

  24. Brillante Interiors July 22, 2014 | 6:01 pm

    I wish I was there! Actually I can’t complain since I was in Paris a month ago for a tour of contemporary art and we had splendid weather. What a great find Heather, the apartment is luminous and elegant, your personal touches make it even better.