Prêt à Voyager.
“Home is a Room with a View.
When I tell people I live in Paris, people generally have an idea of what it’s like, but it’s not always quite as glamorous as one would think. I spent the past two years living in a 12m2 (129sf) shoebox. While I’ve been living the life in France – and ironically working from home a lot – many of my friends in the U.S. have bought houses. No joke, in several instances I walk into their bathroom and say, yeah, so this is pretty much the size of my apartment in Paris. (Ok, in some cases it’s closer to the size of their kitchen). And as much as I’d try to explain that apartment to friends, no one really would get it until they saw my apartment. So I decided to put together a post on my blog and invite my friends in Paris to draw their first Paris apartment along with a mini explanation to help get the idea across. Who knew it’d become my most popular post ever, and will no doubt make you think twice about what you think is small.”
“Now, after spending the past 4 months in a state of what I’ve coined nomadicity, discovering various neighborhoods through my friends apartments (thankfully Europeans travel a lot!) while on the hunt for a new place, I, like Victoria, am looking forward to getting settled down. After months of searching, I’m excited to have found a new home to call my own. Even if it’s still small, I’ll have a new view of Paris.”
Here are a few lessons I’ve learned in my own Paris shoebox living:
You need far less than you think you do. Natural light is key (a view is even better). A 6th floor walk-up is cheaper than any gym. Small spaces are harder to photograph.
Anne Ditmeyer is an American designer / editor, blogger behind Prêt à Voyager (translation: ready to travel) and Design*Sponge contributing editor. As a freelancer she can work from anyway, but chooses – for now, at least – to call Paris home. Her latest endeavor is Studio/Practice, a giant curated resource of the best tips and tools for freelancers, a collaboration across an ocean with Lauren O’Neill.