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Our Paris Apartment: "Before"

We are moving into our new apartment today. I have great plans for this place but I thought I should post some “before pictures” and talk a little bit about it. While we were looking my wish list for my dream Paris apartment was this:

-Located in Central Paris
-Has windows/gets good light
-Has a Balcony and some kind of view.
-Two Bedrooms
-Near a Metro Stop
-Wood Parquet Floors
-Partially Furnished

We ended up with 5 out of 7. The apartment doesn’t have a balcony and is a ten minute walk from the metro stop but other than that we are happy with it. (With the kids we take buses a lot more than the Metro since it is so easy to get on and off. You can even leave them in their stroller!) Honestly, if I was going to do it again I would probably just get an unfurnished place since the apartment we ended up in is on the second floor and it wouldn’t be a big deal to get furniture up. But that isn’t something I would know until we actually found a place. Also the idea of buying a fridge intimidated me (unfurnished apartments here usually don’t have them) but Paris refrigerators are itty bitty and it wouldn’t have been that big of a deal to find one used or even buy one new.

The main room is quite large. It has a dining area and a living area that are connected. There are lots of windows and architectural details and the space gets great light. Some of the furniture isn’t my favorite but it could be worse and the sofa turns into a bed, which is useful.

There is a long hallway that all the rooms are attached to and the layout is actually really nice which can be hard to find in Paris. (Another apartment we saw had an awful layout, which was so bad I went straight back to this apartment to give him a deposit.)

The boys’ room is first. There is a crib (not in a closet!) and we opted to get a queen size bed instead of a twin because we are expecting visitors and it will be easy to have Moses crash in our bed when guests come. It is really nice having a second bedroom, after so long in a one bedroom we feel so lucky to have a space just for the boys.

The master bedroom is also pretty big. We’ll probably put a small office in there so when someone needs to crack down and work they can shut the door and have some privacy. Besides we never hang out in our bedroom besides at night so it will be a more efficient use of the space.

The bathroom we don’t have pictures of but it is very small and across the hall from our bedroom. It does have a bath, which is nice for kids.

Which brings us to the kitchen, which is TINY! It is essentially a hallway that fits: a sink, a stove, a small dishwasher, a washing machine/dryer, and a fridge. Apparently most Paris kitchens keep the washing machine in the kitchen. And even though our dishwasher is the size of a drawer we just feel lucky to have one. This is the first place we’ve lived in our six years of marriage that has had a dishwasher or a washing machine in our apartment. The luxury!

All in all we are very happy with the apartment. I am really anxious to get in there and make it pretty and cozy. I didn’t think we’d end up in the 7th Arrondissement but we are happy to be there. We are a block from the big grassy area in front of the Eiffel Tower where everyone picnics so we’ll be able to go all the time and we are just a few blocks from Rue Cler and the lovely food shops over there. Mostly I’m just happy we have a place to live, it doesn’t hurt that it is in Paris.

The pictures above were all taken from our street.

  1. Jane Flanagan

    February 28, 2011

    Gorgeous! When I go home I always have a big wake-up call with kitchens and bathrooms. European plumbing is not to be envied. But, other charms more than make up for it in the end! I can't wait to see your amazing style applied to this lovely canvas!

  2. Full House

    February 28, 2011

    Oh wow what a beautiful spot you are in. Makes me excited for my first trip to Paris this summer.

  3. Ashley

    February 28, 2011

    What a beautiful, light-filled apartment, Jordan!

  4. jodi

    February 28, 2011

    absolutely fabulous!

  5. elissa @ faucethead

    February 28, 2011

    beautiful! when i lived in rome for awhile our kitchen was about that size. you learn to make it work!

  6. caitlin wilson

    February 28, 2011

    oh my gosh. i'm drooling with envy.

  7. The Time Is Now

    February 28, 2011

    Yay! I'm so excited for you! I was waiting for pictures to get a sense of the place, of your adventure. This is amazing! Can't wait to see what you do with it.

    I might have missed it, but why did you move to France and is the move permanent?

  8. Tara

    February 28, 2011

    The light streaming in through the windows is gorgeous!

  9. Heather

    February 28, 2011

    It looks perfect! Avez vous un bon temp! (Did I get that right?)

  10. Kate {domestikatedlife}

    February 28, 2011

    It has great bones, love those harwood floors! Can't wait to see what you do with it!

  11. Tiffany

    February 28, 2011

    Incredible! I love all the natural light and those fantastic floors.

    I am a rare commenter, but long time reader. I'm taking my first trip to Paris at the end of this month and all of your Paris posts just leave me giddy. So, thanks!

  12. Lara

    February 28, 2011

    I think you did pretty well! I too look forward to seeing what you do with the great light and bones of the place.

  13. Stephanie Sabbe

    February 28, 2011

    this place looks awesome!! better than my apt in Boston. I want to do a year in Paris as well, my husband will be directed towards this post for sure! thanks for sharing!

  14. Lost In Cheeseland

    February 28, 2011

    It's absolutely lovely! You'll be loving it in no time, promise. Even the tiny kitchen!

  15. Katherine in Paris

    February 28, 2011

    Your apartment looks lovely. We've been searching for an apartment in Paris for the past few months and you lucked out. There are some pretty depressing apartments out there. Also, I'd say that the bus is way more practical for getting around Paris with children – especially if you have a stroller. Of course the 2 stroller rule for the buses is tough. Happy decorating!

  16. sya

    February 28, 2011

    This is lovely, Jordan. Happy decorating and I'm sure you'll do a great job at it. This makes me so excited about my first ever trip to Paris in November. Conveniently, we're renting an apartment in the 7th too, located at rue de l'universite. I just can't wait!

  17. Charlene @ Sweetchic

    February 28, 2011

    Oh my gosh, I am so envious of your beautiful Paris apartment, congrats!!

  18. Jenny

    February 28, 2011

    how lovely!

  19. A Certain Vintage

    February 28, 2011

    what a perfect looking paris apartment! the floors, the windows, good luck! can't wait to see how you decorate it. I am longing to return to Paris soon!

  20. Iman

    February 28, 2011

    Looks great! Can't wait to see what you do with it.

  21. MMW

    February 28, 2011

    we always stay in the Rue Cler area when we visit Paris. It's a great location! What a fantastic apartment you found!

  22. Sarah

    February 28, 2011

    I am in awe of this adventure you are taking on. Makes me want to go back soon. Love the apartment.

  23. Anonymous

    February 28, 2011

    Based on those pictures, you live on the same street (or very nearby) the American Library in Paris. I can't recommend this place highly enough.

  24. Mackenzie {Design Darling}

    February 28, 2011

    Jordan, it's amazing! Parisian homes are definitely tinier so you totally lucked out. And I ADORE Rue Cler — easily one of my favorite spots in the city! Looks fabulous. Amusez-vous bien!

  25. alexis maia

    February 28, 2011

    I love the dressing-table in your bedroom. Even though it's not really my style and it probably takes up valuable real estate — it seems to Parisian to have one. 😉 We are planning a 3 week trip to Paris in October and reading/seeing your process gets me so excited to find a rental for our trip.

  26. pepper

    February 28, 2011

    Jordan it's lovely, congratulations!

  27. Louise

    February 28, 2011

    This is a gorgeous apartment!! And the main rooms are a decent size. I do sympathise with the galley kitchen, but it is very traditional in Europe to have a washing machine in the kitchen – and really convenient too!

    I am so thrilled for you – cannot wait to see your decorating finishes and details.

  28. Nicole Marie

    February 28, 2011

    such beautiful pictures of paris! love your new place!

  29. Bryan and Sarah

    February 28, 2011

    I love the new place! It's awesome!

  30. Sara

    February 28, 2011

    Oh Jordan, it is lovely. I can't wait to see what you do with it!

  31. Emily

    February 28, 2011

    Great apartment! I'm excited to see how you decorate it. I'm so glad you have a dishwasher and a washer and dryer. :) Your kitchen's bigger than the kitchen we had when we were first married. :)

  32. Kayla

    February 28, 2011

    it's so fun to live vicariously through you guys. keeps the great pics coming!

  33. Julie-Inspired

    February 28, 2011

    Beautiful…so much potential for complete loveliness!!

  34. Anonymous

    February 28, 2011

    I keep trying to convince my husband that we need to put the washer/dryer in our kitchen when we remodel and he thinks I'm crazy! Nice to see that I'm just European. 😉 Great looking place. The snoop in me wants to know what the going rate is for a 2-br in Paris, but I know that's a little personal. Still – if you don't mind sharing, I can start daydreaming my escape to Paris now!

  35. Lydia

    February 28, 2011

    Lovely! Welcome home!

  36. Griffin and Gretchen

    February 28, 2011

    OH! You are living my dream! I would love to take my little family to Paris to live.
    Congrats on the new apartment. I love the big long windows! It's in a fantastic spot!

  37. lizziefitz

    February 28, 2011

    I adore Paris! I am so happy you found a new home for your family.Cheers!

  38. The Maltese Kat

    February 28, 2011

    How exciting to have a sun drenched apartment in Paris. I can't wait to see what you do with it. How fun are those picnics going to be…

    *{Maltese Kat}*| Le Blog

  39. Rebecca

    February 28, 2011

    You are so lucky! That is a really charming neighborhood! I spent a lot of time there as a student (around Invalides) and again as a nanny for a couple that lived in the 7th. The Champs du Mars is a great place for walks and playing and you must eat at Les Cocottes on the rue st dominique!

  40. Grace

    February 28, 2011

    Oh gosh so perfect!

  41. Di

    February 28, 2011

    It looks amazing! I would love to have windows like that in Paris! I do have amazing windows, but in Dundee, Scotland it's not quite the same!

  42. lesley

    February 28, 2011

    it is gorgeous! i am insanely jealous, and i can't wait to see what you do with the place.


  43. rubi

    February 28, 2011

    my husband and i are moving to paris in a few months and i can't look at your blog because it makes me go kind of stir crazy with excitement/anticipation.

    i'm so so excited and glad to see that you guys are enjoying it so much. :)

  44. rubi

    February 28, 2011

    p.s. i think it's so funny that you guys ended up living a block from the eiffel tower. it makes me think of this cliche animated video. picnics at that park will be so awesome.

  45. Anonymous

    February 28, 2011

    this is so funny – I was strolling your street yesterday (we enjoyed a weekend-trip to Paris but stayed at 18th arrondissement) and admired exactly the house you pictured (on the right/upper line)…

  46. Sara @ House Bella

    February 28, 2011

    Gosh, I still can't get over your view. And that's the smallest little fridge! I guess you get used to it?

  47. stylelinx

    February 28, 2011

    Love your blog and your Paris post! Great apartment–congratulations! Makes me want to go back…

  48. size too small

    February 28, 2011

    oh it's so fun! i love following your progress in paris. can't wait to see the after pictures.

  49. Mrs

    February 28, 2011

    Stumbled on to your blog and I have to say its fabulous! Its been a big dream of mine to live in Paris! So inspiring to see someone making it work! Congrats on the lovely apt. =)
    -Yvett (Greetings from Southern California)

  50. lizzie

    February 28, 2011

    it looks beautiful! can't wait to see what you touch it up with, it's a stunning fresh start!

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