If yesterday’s apartment was classic Parisian, today’s surely couldn’t be more different. This maison atelier might not have luxe details straight out of a Haussmann sketch, but it is unexpected and charmingly unique. Located in the 14eme arrondissement, south of the city center near Parc Montsouris, this home is over 5100ft² (!!) spread out over five bedrooms, a double-height living room, a private courtyard, and a workshop (fulfulling the ‘atelier’ aspect). Likely because this home is photographed furnished, I’m imagining it’s inhabited by artists or world travelers. Maybe a cultural anthropologist? Gallery owner?
Whoever the owners are, they have impeccable taste; the space is inviting and not stuffy. Can you imagine having dinner in that kitchen, the doors to the garden slightly ajar, a cool night breeze floating in? Honestly, it reminds me of my dad’s apartment/art studio (though this is roughly 10 times the size).
Not that you have to, but if could pick between this home and yesterday’s, which would you choose? If you need help deciding, this might sway you: this home is listed at $8.6 million. Zut alors!
What do you picture when you hear the words “classic Parisian apartment”? Herringbone wood floors, large casement windows, scrolling iron railings, intricate moldings, sun-drenched rooms, fireplaces with built-in mirrors above them, oui? What a dream, to own such an architecturally iconic space. This apartment checks every single one of those boxes:
I’ve left out photos of the updated bathrooms and kitchen, because while they are functional and modern, they clash with the rest of the gorgeous details of the apartment. I simply cannot get over how picture-perfect it is; as if someone drew from scratch what they thought a classic Haussmann apartment should look like. This is real! We could live there! Quick, who has $5.25 million?? I don’t think I would even furnish it (I couldn’t afford to!) but rather spend my time running back and forth between all the rooms squealing in delight like a child on Christmas.
Valentine’s Day is a week away, and if you’re like me and aren’t entirely disdainful about this Hallmark holiday (okay, that’s an understatement, I love Valentine’s Day, mostly for the color scheme), here are a few presents to get you in the spirit. Whether you have a lover in your life or not shouldn’t matter. The best Valentine you could ask for is yourself, and I see no reason why you shouldn’t treat yourself to an extra special day of spoiling and adoration. And really, who doesn’t want an excuse to eat an entire bag of red and pink m&ms?
My goal this year (aside from 1. Finish the first draft of my novel, 2. Get married, and 3. Run away to Paris) is to read 30 books. Doable, yes? In January I read “The Paris Architect”, “The Goldfinch”, and “Sotheby’s: The Inside Story.” If I keep up this 3/month pace, I’ll be fine. Right now I’m almost halfway through “The Paris Wife,” a fictional account of Hemingway and his first wife and their time in Paris in the 1920s. The description of the first apartment they rent reminds me of the line “All that’s missing is the tuberculosis.” I’ve made that joke before, but I swear every attic apartment in Paris just begs for it.
Well, almost every attic apartment in Paris. This one, for sale at €865,000 ($1.17m) is more ‘loft penthouse’ than ‘bohemian attic hovel’, and the clear exception to the notion that top floor Parisian apartments are dens of iniquity and disease for starving writers. Check out that view, and that bookshelf! I don’t know which is dreamier.
Just a collection of things I have my eye on recently. And no, I don’t have any of these picks except for the Sotheby’s book. Restraint!
I could do this all day: find adorable, teeny apartments in Paris (and honestly, I mostly do, as evidenced by all these posts) and daydream about furnishing them and writing in them and swooning around pretending I’m French. Behold today’s find: this charming studio on the Rue Saint Gilles in the 3eme. People complain about the real estate market in Paris, and I can understand the financial side of their gripes (this apartment is 240ft² and is $400k!), but either I need to be a real estate agent because I have the magic touch when it comes to finding so many apartments, or there isn’t as dire a shortage of real estate as people make it out to seem. I love this one, even if I’m undecided when it comes to those ceiling beams. I love that they are historical and original to the space, but they make the room feel smaller somehow (an impossible feat, given that it’s a closet), don’t you think?
Unlike the last apartment I shared, this one is entirely unfurnished in the listing photos. A blank slate, if you will. I couldn’t resist mentally decorating it a bit. Small space decorating is infinitely more fun and challenging; everything has to be multi-use and thoughtfully arranged.
I’d stick a narrow wardrobe in the nook behind the bathroom, and keep things mostly neutral and bright, especially with that gorgeous Degas print. A desk in front of the window, and a comfy chair to mope in when writer’s block sets in, and we’re good to go. Now all I have to do is come up with $400k. Anyone feeling generous?
“How can you live in the moment when the moment changes every second? I think we deserve at least different a option, a different scale of time that is a little bit more like life.”
If you’ve ever felt like things, life in general, move too quickly and you can’t seem to enjoy the present, you’re not alone. How many of us have said “This week/month/year went by so quickly!”? That was the problem Scott Thrift, the designer of The Present, the world’s first annual clock, wanted to solve. A new kind of technology that helps us slow down, instead of being completely up to speed every single second of every single day.
The hand on The Present clock takes one year to make one full revolution, keeping you fixed in, well, the present. On a day-to-day basis, it is impossible to see the hand of the clock move. The subtle shifts in color on the clock face represent the changing seasons, starting at what we identify as midnight, but what is now a pure white strip representing the winter solstice.
It’s a truly fascinating concept, and it throws into sharp relief the reality of a full year. Regardless of it worked and I felt truly more centered and relaxed about the passing of time, it would look beautiful hanging on the wall.
It’s a snow day today! I’m working from home and hoping to also get some writing done today. Stay safe out there and have a great weekend, kiddos!
At first glance, this apartment located in the 8eme arrondissement isn’t my type: color! patterns! more color! There is a lot going on in this tiny 475ft² studio visually. But something about all of the bright colors, polished floors, and mirrored surfaces works together so brilliantly and has totally captured my attention. I am in love with the mirrored coffee table, the mirrored dressing table and room divider in the bedroom, and those gorgeous, lush turquoise curtains in front of the open closets. The black and white tile floors are so elegant, and I love the contrast of patterns between the rooms. Everything is so shiny and luxe, even the ceilings in the kitchen are patterned. It feels like a grown up apartment. And if you have $1.4 million, it could be yours. Or mine. It’s all mine.
Thank you all for the birthday wishes on Friday! It kicked the weekend off nicely, though the festivities truly started on Thursday night when Jamal treated me to dinner at Parc (and yes, there were macarons). I specifically requested IHOP for breakfast on Friday morning, because what other work day can you gorge yourself on berries & cream Belgian waffles at 9am and then go home and give in to the food coma? Why, your birthday of course!
I was off in honor of the occasion (god bless ye, flex hours!) and had a lovely lunch with my mom that afternoon. My office holiday party was that night (god bless ye, open bar!), and then of course there followed the requisite after-party where my friend Aisling bought me a delicious (and strong!) martini that tasted like Haiwaiian Punch (we were at a dive bar, and when she brought the drink over to me she said, “I asked the bartender for St. Germain, they said no. I asked for salted caramel vodka, they said no. I asked for birthday cake vodka, they said no. So here you go!” love you, Aisling!) and where Audrey roused basically half of our office to sing “Happy Birthday” to me (love you, Audrey!). Saturday morning I had brunch with my brother, sister-in-law, and nieces, the youngest of whom, when I thanked them for coming to celebrate with me, said, “Well we didn’t have anything else going on today.” Ha! I know I complained about feeling old, but seriously, when did they get so grown up?
So long story short, I was sufficiently spoiled rotten. 27 is off to a fantastic start: I ate literally half a cake this weekend, binge watched the entire season of “Orange is the New Black,” and managed to write a thousand words of my novel. Also: sweatpants. Necessary. Did I mention I slam-nom’ed half a cake?
I also had way too much fun going through all my bookmarks this weekend. After this Paris apartment popped back up on my radar, I was curious to see what other goodies I’d saved. Behold: the East Village apartment of designer John Derian. The huge space dates back to the 1850s, and in his quest to update the apartment’s habitability, Derian has dedicated himself to maintaining as much of the original character as possible. My kind of renovation.
Admittedly, I’d need to get in there with a big tub of Clorox wipes and an industrial vacuum cleaner before I would feel comfortable sleeping there (asthma), but Derian feels differently: “I wish I had spray dust or spray dirt in a can. I don’t want to lose the look of the place — I want that patina.” To each their own.
I really thought I’d written about this tiny Paris apartment before, given how frequently I pull it up in my bookmarks folder and sigh over it. Located on Rue Lambert in Montmartre, this 19m² (200ft²) studio is only €830 a month. It’s been entirely updated but is still absolutely charming.
The only thing I’d change is that awful desk chair by the window (though I am completely in love with the fact that it has a dedicated writing nook!) and maybe the duvet cover, for something more fluffy and white and neutral. And those walls are begging for some artwork, or maybe a old-school moodboard for writing inspiration. Paris apartments, even when this tiny, almost always have a washing machine. Isn’t that amazing and convenient? I’ve lived in five apartments in my lifetime between my childhood home and our current condo, and not one (NOT ONE!) had a washing machine. None of them were in Montmartre either, come to think of it…