squatters paradise

2 Jun

After my boyfriend and I finished our graduate school courses, we decided to stay in Paris for a couple of years, he working a corporate job here, and me, blogging, writing and developing my jewelry collection.  Phew.  One decision made!

the lovely little floorplan (we have the smaller part on one floor, outlined in red)

After having committed to staying for awhile, at the end of March (2011), we signed a 3-year lease* and moved out of the small studio apartment that we shared during business school and into a one-bedroom apartment in a beautiful neighborhood not too far from where we were living before.  What really sold us on this place was its balcon (balcony) that stretches the entire front of the apartment.   The apartment looks out on a park below and gorgeous, well-kept Haussmannian buildings on the other side of the park.  Our new building is, itself, an old beautiful Haussmannian marvel, and our apartment has, in addition to the balcon, a (theoretically) working fireplace and gorgeous molding.  Yay!  Great!  Two decisions made!

This lovely little apartment is also UNFURNISHED, which in France means that the kitchen is also unfurnished.  In other words, we have only a sink in the kitchen – no cupboards, refrigerator, stove, countertops…  Thus, many home projects ahead of us.  I’m taking the next couple of months to transform this space from a “squatters paradise” to a beautiful, comfortable home for us.  Below are the “before” photos.  We’ve done some work and added some furniture, which I’ll post soon.  Once the blog is “up-to-speed”, I’ll post updates in real time.

Here’s our little diamond in the rough:

the front door of our apartment. very early 20s Parisian

living room: fireplace and one of the two balcony doors

living room: far wall with balcony doors

bedroom: with its own door to the balcony

kitchen: ah yes...old, drab and bare. we've got some work ahead of us...

view from balcony: that's Les Invalides in the distance (final resting place of Napoleon Bonaparte); this picture is from March, before we had leaves on the trees and the sun appeared for spring/summer

So there it is.  Follow the progression from empty walls to cozy retreat.

*Petit conseil (tip): For unfurnished apartments in France, a 3-year lease is standard.  Such a lease can be broken with 90 days notice or with 30 days notice with proof of a change in employment status (unemployment, a transfer to another city, etc).  For furnished apartments in France, a 1-year lease is standard, and only 30 days notice is required to break a lease.

Cheers,

k.

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