It’s been a fun little blogging journey, but as much as I’ve loved sharing the ups and downs of a Parisian renovation, and as much as I’ve appreciated your kind and encouraging comments along the way, the truth is that the Paris apartment is now done. Finished. Fini. And so today, after three years of dreaming the dream, and a full year of long distance renovations, I am happy to unveil the last of the before and afters, and a little sad, because I don’t want it to end! Thank you for coming along for the ride, and for all your kind support along the way.
As I mentioned, when we first saw the apartment there were three American students living there. Luckily, the bones of the apartment were good … but everything else needed a change. The front hall was the easiest, and all we did was add a little ceiling molding and some wall paper which was hand carried in a ubiquitous big bag from Atlanta, that, thank goodness, always eluded the customs agents at CDG!
The living room bones were all good too, and we made very few structural changes here. Just a little decorating ….
Ikea was traded in for some divine antiques from the Paris flea markets.
Our new curtains in the living room were actually the same ones I have in Atlanta, that have followed me from house to house. They are Pottery Barn silk in clay … and we just doubled the width and double lined them to make them fuller. Again, merci to the big suitcase!
Here is a view of the living room looking in to what became the kitchen.
When we first visited the apartment, one of the front rooms was used as a bedroom for the three American students.
When her stuff was moved out, I almost wanted to keep it empty and open!
But this became the perfect room for the kitchen.
Originally we were going to mirror the doors between the living room and the kitchen/dining room. It was a huge expense and one that Sam Jones, my partner extraordinaire in this renovation, nixed almost immediately. It wasn’t the first or last time I thanked her for saving me a boat load of money!
I love glass doors, and I’m so happy we kept them the way they were.
This lone little fireplace became the cornerstone of the new kitchen.
And of course here are the infamous chairs with the pink check silk backs, for which Sam Jones practically mugged a pregnant woman in the remnants aisle of Lewis and Sherron fabric store (see our pretty in pink blog).
We were pretty excited that some shots from the kitchen were featured in one of our favorite blogs, Cote de Texas.
But I was a little surprised when I read the readers’ comments about our sink. After all, the sink seems perfectly adequate to me. What was the big deal, I wondered. And then I looked at the picture, and sure enough, the sink looks minute! The last time I was there, I measured it to see if the comments were justified. The truth is that the photo makes it look smaller -- just as the photo makes some rooms look larger! The sink is not huge …. but it’s very deep and so it doesn’t feel small. And I guess that’s just one more way the Europeans make use of tighter spaces.
Here’s the view from the kitchen in to the living room, with our little paint samples dappled on the wall.
Sam and I debated long and hard about putting a rug in to the living room. Luckily for us, nobody lives underneath us, so that is one more reason why we didn’t have to. And as I’ve said from the beginning, I am in love with the Pointe de Hongrie parquet floors, and it just seemed a pity to cover the up.
We’ve already covered one bathroom renovation in the previous before-and-after blog. We really hesitated about renovating this one because it had just been done by the previous owners. I actually like the tile … in small doses. But this was overkill and there was no way of salvaging some of it without looking like it was half done.
So we kept the same structure, and just tiled right over it.
Even without my morning coffee, this bathroom had a little too much energy for me!
We’re happy we went ahead with the renovation, but I did have a tough time giving up the cute little sink above!
Finally, some discerning readers have noticed that we replaced a pillow in some of our pictures:
With a monogrammed pillow:
And they asked us the significance of the B de V monogram in such a prominent place.
I’m happy to say that when we are not using the apartment, we have entrusted it to the care of an outstanding rental company in Paris called Paris Perfect. We have checked out Paris Perfect’s apartments first hand on several occasions, and loved every experience. So we were delighted when they whole heartedly embraced our apartment with the wonderful name, Beaumes de Venise. And I was so thrilled because it makes for such a nice monogram. (There is a little fun French snobbery attached to any monogram that contains the word “de” – known in French as a particule, and a way of setting apart the true aristocrats from the riff raff! Of course ours is purely made up, which makes it even more fun.)
So if you’d like to continue the little journey, and visit the rest of our apartment online, you will find it listed under Beaumes de Venise in the beautiful Paris Perfect website.
And while we may bid adieu to the Paris apartment series, we are not shutting any doors to antiques, fine furnishings and all the fun stuff we were exposed to during this Parisian journey. In fact if anything, we are busier than ever with doors opening very soon! We’ll give you a little holiday break and then tell you where these doors are leading us to, right after Labor day.