Have you ever dreamed of owning a slice of heaven in Paris? I did! And if you’ve been following us for a while, you may remember this historic first renovation in Paris, several years ago.
It came after a long and exhaustive search which we shared with you on the Artful Lifestyle, and you witnessed the roller coaster ride of making offers to apartments from across the ocean. Buying an apartment is never easy, and it seems that when you’re looking in Paris for a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment in an A+ neighborhood, that gets light and has a view, and you’re doing this from a different time zone, you’re especially doomed. That was the case for us, and it took three long years of searching, googling, waking up at 4 a.m. to catch the new listings before the Parisians could beat us to them, and making blind offers (that were too often too late), to find the perfect place. But we did!
The longer story is that we kept this charmer happily for six wonderful years, and then decided to sell it when a couple of other opportunities popped up. Now it’s for sale again, and the new owners are selling it as a fractional. (I wish we’d been this smart when we sold it and we could have kept it for several weeks ourselves!)
Of course it didn’t look like this when we bought it, and to this day, it is one of our favorite Huff Harrington renovations. When we first visited it, it was rented to four university students whose decor (and other standards) left something to be desired. But, seduced by the view, the bones, the floors, the moldings, the mantels and the amazing location, we knew it had the potential to be beautiful, and we set out to make it so.
The biggest challenge was the kitchen. We quickly realized that a kitchen, located about 40 feet from the dining room and on the back side of the building, was not only impractical but also undesirable. We figured that if we replaced the kitchen with a bathroom, and tapped into the existing bathroom for a water source, we could “easily” move the kitchen to the front of the building. (Of course there is no such thing as “easily” when renovating in general, but multiply that times four when doing it in Paris!)
The key was to make the new kitchen pretty and compact, so that it could double as a dining room seen from the living room. In Paris, they call that a “cuisine americaine” and in the last few years, it’s become a trendy buzzword in real estate lingo. We decided that one of the prettiest features in the apartment was the existing fireplace and mantel, so we built the kitchen around it. We added matching chandeliers and sconces, and using a favorite trick of the trade, installed large mirrors that reflected each other across two rooms, multiplying the space and creating endless reflections of chandeliers. Finally, using inspiration from the pretty painting on the counter, we highlighted the grey green color with pink checked chairs.
The furnishings were the easiest part of the renovation since we are antique store and flea market addicts, with a base of fine Parisian vendors from whom to buy. A more challenging step included the purchase of wall-coverings, drapes and pillows, all hand-carried from the U.S. in various gigantic golf bags, as we prefered to work with our familiar Atlanta based work-rooms. And of course the art was the icing on the cake, since that is our passion and the soul of our business.
We sold the apartment furnished, although our one stipulation was to remove some of the art, because for us, art belongs to our heart. The new owners have made a few changes along the way, all of which were surely warranted and I imagine, very tasteful. But for us, this apartment will always be a favorite: for its warmth, its layout, its convenience and its elegant charm.
Beaune, as it is known, will be available on a shared ownership basis with each share representing 4 weeks’ stay per year. Paris Perfect is handling the sale of this apartment, and other than providing you with the back story of its origins, we are completely removed from the process, But I will tell you that as an owner of a similar type of fractional apartment (in N.Y.), where we have the luxury of spending many weeks a year in a beautiful apartment in a great location with none of the usual worries of home ownership, we are big fans of the fractional concept. And it’s hard to imagine a prettier apartment than Beaune in such a fabulous Paris location for a fraction of the price of full ownership !
If you’re looking for a pied-a-terre in Paris, you could pound the pavement for three years, in the hopes that the perfect pad would pop up. I did it and loved it, but that’s not for everyone. Or, you can own a fraction of this apartment – for a fraction of the effort and worry. Just contact Paris Perfect directly or email them at Sales@ParisPerfect.com and tell them that you’d like to own a slice of heaven for a fraction of the price!