Sunday, December 06, 2009

apartment tour

Procrastination. It's a problem for me. It's why I didn't even think about trying to get a Christmas card photo while we were here until about two weeks ago (very little success). It's why I'm posting about our apartment the night before we leave Paris, when it should have been one of my very first posts... and I took the photos months ago, even. sigh. Nothing like leaving it to the last minute!

Anyway... hopefully better late than never.

Our building is located in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. It's a wonderful location and we love our neighborhood. We have a metro stop right outside our apartment door, 5 different buses in close proximity, a grocery store across the street, a bakery right nearby, and lovely Rue Cler just a block away.

Our apartment is on the first floor, right above a book/stationery store. (I wish I had taken this picture when they were open.)

Lucas waving to me from one of our four front-facing windows.

Eva going out the front door. {Photo by Jill}

Our apartment dates from the end of the 19th century and has so much potential. It's got great bones. Unfortunately, it has been furnished piecemeal and on the cheap -- a little here and a little there, and most of it is IKEA from about 10 years ago. We have tried to spruce it up during our visits, but our improvements never seem to last. The darling upholstered chairs we bought at the flea market have since been thrown away.

When my parents visited in 2002, Mom brought some floral and accessories from her store for the apartment. We bought things at the flea market, too, and while she was here, we arranged many, many cute things on the mantels and walls.

The whole apartment was recently repainted and we were told not to hang anything on the walls. The red toile wallpaper that Marc hung in the master bedroom was stripped and now it's back to bare walls. Most of the things that Mom brought have disappeared. It's so sad. But no one from BYU seems to care, and even the other Study Abroad directors don't seem to want to make any improvements to speak of.

Entryway. When the weather turned cold, our coat rack was majorly overloaded. The tiny video screen lets us see who is ringing to be let into the building, and unlock the doors for them if they are invited guests.

Old armoire in the hall that houses the canister vacuum, a couple of tablecloths, and various shopping bags. Shopping caddy to the left. Ferns, flowers, and containers supplied by Mom in 2002 (some of the few things that survived).

W.C. (water closet), at the end of a long hall. The French really seem to be into colored toilet paper. And lightly scented. While it's annoying to have only one toilet, it is kind of handy to have it separate from the bath/shower. But it is kind of annoying to have to go to a different room to wash your hands. Also, the toilet is so old that it never looks clean, even when it is (I promise).

One view of the tiny kitchen. Small, European-size refrigerator. One small cupboard for pantry supplies. Easy-bake oven whose temperature fluctuates wildly. Gas stove whose lighter no longer works. Good thing I got over my fear of lighting matches! Cupboard doors that you can't close all the way or you can't open them again.

Another kitchen view. I can't wait to get back to my garbage disposal!! But at least we have a dishwasher now, I used to spend a lot of time washing dishes here. Really, really hot water, due a small in-kitchen water heater. Tiny table with two chairs.

view from the kitchen window

A section of the dining room ceiling. Sometimes I sit in there, or in the family room, and just stare at the ceiling. The moldings are that beautiful.

Dining room/guest room. So classy. Married couples love to sleep on bunk beds... our guests were very gracious about it.

Bookshelf in the dining/guest/cello practicing room. Flowers courtesy of Mom circa 2002.

The bathroom. The ceiling has been redone since our last stay, and now looks really nice instead of daring you to remain in the room. The mirror on the medicine cabinet is too high for the kids (or my mom) to see into without standing on a stool. The shower surround has sliding glass doors that collect water in the troughs and are nearly impossible to clean. Joy.

Another view of the bathroom where you can see our drying rack and the new washer that was installed just prior to our arrival! (We also have a dryer not visible in this picture.) Another thing you can't see: the bidet hiding back behind the shower. Never used it, in case you were wondering.

The desk in our bedroom. Always covered with Marc's laptop, books, receipts, student papers to grade, etc.

I could swear I took a picture of the new bed Marc bought with charcoal velvet upholstered headboard, but now I can't find it anywhere.

view from our bedroom

The one and only closet (and we consider ourselves lucky to have that!). Marc, Michelle, and Max's hanging clothes, two old rugs, an old iMac that may or may not work, warranty information on all of the apartment's appliances, and various other things like some sad little Christmas decorations and electrical stuff in the bins on the shelves.

The kids' bedroom. Max on the top bunk in a queen-size bed, Lucas in a queen-size bed sitting underneath, Eva on the separate twin. The boys didn't love sharing a room with Eva, but she really loved being in with her big brothers. Nighttime fears gone!! (Crossing my fingers that they will stay away when we get back home.)

Family/living room. The remaining items left from Mom's contributions and the chandelier we bought at a flea market in 2002. (Incidentally, the only light fixture in the whole apartment. All others are dangling bare bulbs.)

The family room. Lucas and Eva playing on the computer we brought from home, because there isn't a viable one in the apartment. That was a major pain. I guess I never took a picture of the broken red couch that has been needing a replacement for at least two years.

I love the windows and the geraniums!

View from the family room, looking left.

View from the family room, looking right.

The view straight ahead, tonight. Farewell, Eiffel Tower!

Tomorrow we leave at 7:00 a.m. for home.


Francie said...

Thank you so much for blogging about Paris. I'm not sure if I'll ever get to Paris but I enjoyed so very much your blog these past few months...quite lovely.

crystal said...

Noooo! You mean the Paris photos will be coming to a stop??? Sniffle.

But more than a few peeps will be so glad to have you home again

Marie said...

Wow. So beautiful. With the exceptions of the tiny fridge and no sink beside the toilet, this apartment was everything I'd hoped in my little romantic heart that a home in Paris would be. Chandliers, amazing moldings...

Susan said...

Indeed, the apartment has the best bones!!

My designer instincts go full circle when I am there, wanting to make the best of it. But, just being in the city and spending time with you as my personal guide makes it home.

I still think you and Marc and I need to solicit BYU for an extreme makeover!! I'm all for it.

Safe travels.

Melinda said...

I can't believe you are already coming home. The time went so fast! You can tell the apt. has great bones. The ceilings are amazing.

Robyn said...

So the big question is... if you were going to rent this apartment, how much would it cost per month in USD? I'm so curious. I don't know how you functioned in that kitchen! For someone who is a great cook/baker it must have been a challenge. Also, I never understand why the WC has to be away from the SINK! It drives me nuts. (we had one like that in Oz) I get that it's convenient to have it separate from the shower/bath, but I firmly believe that where a toilet goes... a sink should follow!

{natalie} said...

i have really loved all your paris posts. do other people live in the apt while you are gone? i hope you get home safely!

Amy said...

How I would love to see that apartment all gussied up! It would be so beautiful!

I can't believe you guys are coming home!!!!!!! See you soon.

Diane said...

I have loved following your adventures in Paris...Makes me long to go back again. It's a place that will always make my list of things to see in Europe when people solicit ideas.

Elizabeth said...

I can't believe your views. What a great place!

Durham said...

Delurking to say thanks for your Paris posts. Reading them has made me want to travel! You take such lovely pictures and I love how you write about the good and the bad. Hope you have a safe journey home.

jenn said...

I'm so happy you are coming home! You probably ARE home as I type this comment!! Hooray! You have been missed!

rebekah said...

I'm so glad you were able to post this apartment tour. The place does have great bones, and it is huge! I can't understand why people would toss out those lovely additions. I am saving the picture of the mantel in my design inspiration folder.

Jill said...

I'm glad you got around to documenting your Paris abode. It's such an interesting place, and oh so different from any other place I've ever been.

It's funny that the bidet is in the shower room and not the water closet isn't it?

I'm so glad you're home!!!

Amie said...

Welcome Home!

It is fun to see where you have been living. I am just in awe at how well you documented this whole trip. Awesome. What a cool, tangible thing to have instead of "just" the memories.

I hope you get adjusted back to normal life easily.

Amanda L. said...

What a great way to remember where you've made so many memories. The views from the family room almost make up for that tiny kitchen!

I love the high ceilings and the architectural features like the moldings.

Claudissima said...

Hey, want a wonderful european huh? I was thinking of my stay in Barcelona, even though it was a brand new townhouse in a relatively new area of Barcelona, there are still many things you go without for sake of space, but the most beautiful thing of it all is that it is different to home living there, instead of visiting you see the differences immediatley. Love love the tour and if your mum, does get that contract, I will have to invite myself to come and help! that would be amazing! I can start to feel her charming charm upon those walls....

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