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…

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…

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…

Taxes, Fees and Hidden Costs (The Boring Stuff)

When budgeting for an apartment in Paris, there is more than just the asking price to consider. I got together with Frank van Zelst, from ParisScarabee Househunters, to get the low-down on the extra costs associated with buying a property in the City of Lights. Frank advises that as a general rule of thumb, budget…

Parlez-Vous Français?

Do I speak French? Well I ought to. I studied it for ten years, clocked up a year in the South of France and am a regular visitor to Paris. But can I say with honesty, “oui, je parle français“? Not really. When people learn that you studied languages, or lived in another country, they typically ask,…

Why Paris?

Paris has been seducing visitors and dreamers for centuries. It has a timeless elegance, a frenetic energy. Importantly, it has a stable real estate market and an insatiable demand for central accommodation. What is it about Paris that captures so many hearts? There is the obvious: the iconic architecture; the cloud-scraping Eiffel Tower; the leafy…

Renovating a Paris Studio

Reality TV and a couple of bestselling books have given French builders a bad rep. The internet is alive with tales of renovating property in France. Some are comical – cavalier carpenters who disappear for a three hour, boozy lunch – some are horror stories of mould, rot and soaring, unbudgeted expense. My own experience was a good one. We…

Buying an Apartment in Paris

What does 100,000 euros get you on the Paris real estate market? A dark, ten square metre hovel with leaky taps and suspect neighbours, that’s what. But for 200,000 and a little more? A beautiful, beamed ceilinged studio in the heart of the historic centre. It was Ernest Hemingway who convinced me to buy something in Paris. His beautifully…