Bloody HSBC France

I’m at the stage where just hearing, saying or writing those four letters – HSBC – makes me want to hurl something across the room. I’m tempted to start trolling them on facebook; I could set up a fake account and post antagonistic comments in the middle of the night just to let off some steam. I could strive to…

The Tiniest of Paris Apartments

Eyes widen when I tell people that our Paris apartment is only 18 square metres. It feels larger, I tell them, especially in summer when the windows open up onto the 7m2 balcony. Actually, I like it. When you say you own a pied-à-terre in Paris, people make assumptions about wealth and privilege. I temper…

The Cost of the Keys to Paris

After years of living in Oslo and then paying the insanely high square-metre price for an apartment in Paris, I thought there was very little (cost-wise) that could shock me. I once paid €18 for a glass (not bottle) of house wine in a piazza in Venice. In Oslo, I regularly fork out the equivalent…

Pros and Cons of Buying in the Marais

When people ask where in Paris our apartment is, I know they probably won’t recognise the majority of addresses, but the chance of recognition is higher when you say, do you know the Marais?  East bank, across the river from Notre Dame?  Home of Place de Vosges and the Picasso Museum? No? The old Jewish…

5 People You Need for Your Paris Property Hunt

Once you have your heart set on buying your own place in Paris, there are five key people you need to help you to realise your dream. 1. A Property Finder It’s not that we couldn’t have made our Paris dream come true on our own, but the process would have been so laborious, stressful…

First Impressions? Who Cares, It’ll Sell Anyway.

Want to sell your home at a great price? Make sure it sparkles. Tidy it from top to bottom, get rid of clutter, fill it with fresh flowers and brew a pot of coffee. Sell a lifestyle others aspire to be part of. That’s what real estate agents, lifestyle TV, magazines and blogs tell you to do…

Don’t be Scared of Going to Paris

These days, I often get asked if I feel safe in Paris. The city is on high terror alert but I force myself to think rationally. The attacks in Paris targeted our freedom and I sit firmly in the camp that believes that if we give in to fear, the terrorists have won. Of course I was…

A Little Piece of Paris – One Year On

We bought our little piece of Paris in April 2015. We got the keys in June and spent our first night there on a blow-up mattress on the floor. In November we finished the renovation and were able to start using it properly. That is what I consider to be our real anniversary. One year on and there are no regrets. There…

Paris Weather – Expect the Unexpected

Paris can be freezing cold, scorching hot, and everything in-between. What I have learned is that the weather is never guaranteed. Expect it to feel colder than you think in winter and either hotter or colder than you would imagine in summer. Any season can produce an unexpected cold-spell, or an Indian heat-wave. One thing…

A Professional Photoshoot

Photography, like decorating and cutting hair, is one of those things where the final result is just so much better when it is done by a professional.  A photographer friend who specializes in homes and interiors, offered to come in and take photos of our little piece of Paris. Here are the results. As photography…

The Furnishing Touches

Once the renovation of our Paris studio was complete, the fun part began – making it our own. When an apartment is only 18 square metres, everything in it has to be perfect (well, as perfect as your budget allows). In a tiny space, there is nowhere to stash plastic storage boxes, no space for…