Tuesday, 27 October 2009

It's 'great' too! Introducing our latest venture:
The Canal Apartment Paris

Yep, we've been hiding things from you. With the Great Apartment going pretty well (can't complain) we were unexpectedly presented with the opportunity of getting another place to renovate and rent out. It was an offer we couldn't refuse, and although we had always thought that we would eventually look for another apartment (after a couple of years), we really didn't think it would happen quite so quickly.

We signed off on the place in August 2009, work started almost immediately (there was a lot to do as it hadn't been touched since the 1950s) and the now it's ready to rent! We've called it The Canal Apartment Paris. Because it's by the canal. Sometimes I really think we should have worked in advertising.

The Canal Apartment is markedly different from The Great Apartment. To start off with, it is twice as big (35m²) and has a proper bed instead of a sofabed. Although the kitchen is fairly small, we've been able to fit in a washing machine and a dishwasher, neither of which was possible at the Great Apartment.

The style of the place is less, er, purple, and more home-y than designer. There's quite a lot of restored furniture, old traditional French objects and - of course - a hint of kitsch. Here's a quick tour..

The living room is big and bright and has a sofabed so that the apartment can sleep four people if necessary. There's a surround sound system, just like in The Great Apartment, except here it has a Blu-ray player. Woo-hoo! There's also a proper sit-down table for eating dinner and even a working fireplace (we plan on providing wood to burn when the weather gets properly cold).

One wall has a selection of various images on it (it's a work in progress), and the striped wallpaper on one wall glows in the dark! (Don't worry, it's safe...) Oh, and I've piled some of my old vinyl in there with a miniature record player. If you like early nineties divas and deep house, you'll be in heaven. If you don't (understandable) you can always use the iPod dock that's integrated with the stereo system.

The bedroom has a proper double bed with smart reading lights (and bed head that we found and stained grey) and wallpaper that we fell in love with as soon as we saw it. We eventually ordered it from the Netherlands: half the price, even with postage included! France is expensive for almost everything...

The stone tiles were hidden under concrete, which was itself under a carpet (much as the parquet at the Great Apartment was hidden too). We had it restored and I think it looks kinds regal. The lamp that looks a little like a tree adds a nice touch in the corner, and the chairs were restored using fabric we chose.

This is the tiny entrance to the apartment that includes an art déco coat rack that we brushed off and varnished. It's really sweet.

This is the kitchen, pretty packed as I mentioned before. The lino has wine corks printed on it and the plaques on the far wall have been re-purposed from the Hôtel Ferrandi, currently closed for renovation.

The bathroom has two doors, one from the hallway and one from the bedroom, so when you're sharing the apartment with others (a friend, a child...) you don't have to disturb them by going through their room. The bathroom was finally my chance to display the 3D Alsation and rabbit picture I bought at a flea market in Brussels years ago. Cost me nothing. Looks great. Dey so cute!

The apartment also has free broadband access, cable TV, central heating and double glazing. Hopefully, you'll be really comfortable.

And what about the area? Well, it's just off the canal Saint Martin, meaning you get all the benefits without the noise. In the summer it's a wonderful place to stroll, especially on Sundays when the surrounding area is pedestrianised. There's also a large park nearby, loads of great restaurants, and for some reason the nearby streets have filled up with designer clothes shops in the last few years (including a cavernous Agnès B, large American Apparel, APC, lots of other shops beginning with the letter A...). There's also a wicked boulangerie that won the award as Paris' best last year (in the GaultMillau guide). You can have a look at it here.

This is the view from the window followed by a few shots of the canal. The first photo is a bit soft focus on the right. I was trying to trick the eye into not seeing the lines of bins placed on the pavement for emptying, but I think it has the opposite effect; you look at it and think 'why are all those bins out of focus?'

And here's what the apartment looks like when you're chilling out in the evening. We were lucky enough to spend a few evenings there before the first guests arrived, and I have to say it was rather lovely.

And that's The Canal Apartment Paris! We already have several bookings for November, and there's been a lot of interest and kind words about it. When the Great Apartment is full and we have to turn people away, hopefully they will consider this one. Prices are pretty similar: as low as 97 euros per night if you stay a week.

The one thing the Canal Apartment doesn't have is... a blog: I don't really have the time for the moment, even though I would love to tell you all about the great area the apartment's in. There is however a presentation page at www.canal-apartment-paris.com that contains a full description, more photos, links to the map and - as always - simple and secure online booking with an availability calendar and prices. Check it out and tell your friends, OK? We've tried to make another apartment that has character and charm, and we hope you'll love it as much as we do.

See you soon at The Canal Apartment Paris or The Great Apartment Paris!

BONUS! Here's the video tour with the wonderful Erykah Badu as the soundtrack...

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