What if I told you that what I know about Paris could be summed up in a single sentence: Your Living Space is everything. Parisians live both a private and interior life, as well as the more public lifestyle of cafes, restaurants, museums, shops all part of their daily experience. That is why when the “Attacks” happened, it was an assault on everything a Parisian holds dear. But, I digress. A Paris apartment is not only a place where you can connect with a particular neighborhood, its also part of your identity, in some ways. It expresses your style, your essence, and in a perfect world, suits you to a “t” if you are lucky.
Now, not every apartment is perfect, but when you find it, its not only a little place of heaven, but your whole life will change. I know mind did. I stayed in 5 apartments while I was working on a project for a real estate company. I was being moved from one place to another, changing venues each week; from the 4th Marais to the Isle St. Louis, to the Ave Montaigne, Rue Montergeuil, all in a short period of about 2 months. The moves were sometimes logistically challenging, but in the end, it was all worth it. I got to know the various neighborhoods of Paris. I have stayed in Edith Piaf’s neighborhood in the 18th in a top floor studio and lived steps from the Parc Monceau in the 8th near the most ultra luxurious shops and cafes. I have rented a top floor in a grand building in Neuilly in an updated version of the maid’s quarters that looked out over the rooftops. I have stayed on the Left Bank near the St. Germain de Pres where the museums, literary history and ultra boho chic shops reside. Through it all my French lover was patient; lifting the luggage up the stairs, piling it up in elevators and carrying it up from the Metro. He graciously opened our bottles of champagne, brought me flowers and breakfast in bed, and never complained because the adventure was worth more than the temporary hassle of carrying my suitcases up the narrow stairways of my latest abode.
When we finally arrived at the next place we looked at each other and realized we had finally found “our” real place. It was an apartment that really reflected our true style; a 17th century upgraded flat with just 2 bedrooms, located in a historic building on the Quai Bourbon. All the features of the apartment had been updated much like a 5 star luxury hotel with all the amenities. Here we could wake up to the sound of the bells from Notre Dame; I would throw open the beautiful silk draperies that swept up the floor and peer out through the shutters to the streets below. The empire antiques were luxurious and beautifully upholstered in a refined, very restrained sort of way; a large Golden floor to ceiling mirror in the Salon was nothing short of sensational as the centerpiece for the room. The furnishings were all creme beige, well appointed and arranged to suit the intimate space. The large antique coffee table was the center of the conversation area and was perfect for setting up intimate dinners by the well appointed fireplace.
It was a heavenly retreat from the noises of Paris. The Isle St. Louis is at the center of Paris famous for both an architectural history of elegance and also the quiet. This was the setting for a unique and heartfelt romance I hope that every woman can experience. There was no need to rely on the typical restraints of the strings or complications or demands that often make love so difficult. The apartment and our romantic lifestlye inspired us. Our mutual love for food, comfort and conversation mixed with ultra luxury sustained us as we went on this lifestyle adventure together. Eight weeks of my life I will never forget for both its perfect timing and the inspiration it later gave me.
Editor’s note: See luxury apartments for both purchase and short stays at twww.vingparis.com