Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Our Xmas decorations are up!

Couldn't have the apartment looking all gloomy for the holidays, now could we?

I braved the cold (and psychotic Xmas shoppers) to get a bit of tinsel in, and recycled our very own camp-as-Christmas Christmas tree for y'all to admire. Ever seen anything so pink? May be slightly distracting if you're trying to watch telly (as in "agghhh, my retinas are on fire").
I'm not a great fan of fairies on trees, so we went the kitsch way and added an Indian deity instead...
There are also a few sparkly reindeer sweeping majestically through the front room...
...and even more pzazz near the window box. Now if all that doesn't get you in the mood for binge drinking, over-eating and shameless consumerism, nothing will!

Happy Holidays to all our guests, and all the rest of you too!

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

New (great) photos by Jérôme d'Almeida

I'm no slouch with a camera, but I'm nothing like a professional photographer. Thank goodness then for Jérôme d'Almeida. We've known Jérôme for a few years now. He's always been mad keen on social network sites, right back since the days of Friendster, enjoys a night out at the club (a real party boy), and is also a talented photographer.

After living in Paris he's now moved to New York for a while, and after his spectacular shots of the Hôtel Paris Rive Gauche hotels (a gig he got via Friendster actually) we asked him to take a few of our great apartment too. And during a visit back to Paris, he said yes! Hurrah!

I have a soft spot for the photo at the top here, taken from the front door (great perspective), and also the moody kitchen shot below...

Of course with a quick flick of a switch, the kitchen comes back to life...

You can see the rest of the shots he did for us here. And do have a look at his really lush website. Some great work on there....

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Meet our great architect

As soon as we had bought the apartment, we knew that we would need an architect. Fitting everything in was going to be a problem, and it all needed to be precisely done. It's also useful to have someone to liaise with the contractors so you don't have all that hassle.

After asking around, we finally opted for the colleague of a friend of a friend. From the very first meeting we got on really well. Please meet... Dorothée Février !
This is the only photo of Dorothée that I have: her doing a monkey face, reflected in the microwave with a plastic bucket behind her. Not the most glamorous shot ever, but she declined to give me anything else, so it will have to do!

Dorothy works as an architect, but occasionally takes on personal projects to help people out. She was incredibly patient and understanding while we changed our minds, argued amongst ourselves, etc. She was available when necessary, even for Saturday shopping trips for certains items. She also took it very well when we rejected her first proposed layout for the apartment, realising - as we did - that it just wouldn't leave us enough space.

I asked Dorothée a few questions by e-mail about the apartment...

What was the biggest challenge in the apartment?
Arranging the kitchen and bathroom, definitely! Fitting them in to a 7m² space together with the entrance gave me some tense moments.

Anything that you would have done differently had it been your apartment?
I'd never really thought about it before, as the idea was to meet your requirements, not mine. The differences would have been more in the ambience and colours than the way the space was laid out, as that's more or less dictated by the architecture.

An element that you didn't think would be any good but turned out well?
Keeping and restoring the original parquet. Jason was right to insist on it and the contractor did a good job of it (and lots of other things too!)

A lesson learnt during the work?
I learn something on every project, but here it was handling the space problems, both from a technical and organisational point of view.

Original floorplan of the empty apartment.
There wasn't even a toilet! It was on the landing...

And that's it! Short but sweet interview. It was a really good experience working with Dorothée, and if the apartment looks as good as does to day, we partly have her to thank for it.

Coming soon... an interview with ournotoriously shy contractors, Véli and Boris. Wish me luck!