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January Events in Paris: Les Soldes, Street Art, Toro Y Moi and More

Salon de la Lingerie

Fashion

January 9 – February 12: Winter Soldes: Making good on New Year’s resolutions is in full-force at this time of the year and perhaps a wardrobe update is on your list? Even if it isn’t, tackling the winter soldes is a must! These nationwide sales happen only twice each year – in the winter and summer – so brace yourself for the crowds and hit your favorite shops during these few weeks!

January 19-21: Salon de la Lingerie at the Porte de Versailles: Paris is a city of many names, and for me it’s always been the queen of beautiful lingerie; decorative, carefully-crafted lace and silk wares that are true investment pieces. For a few days this month, Paris will formally become the Capital of Lingerie with a giant exposition at the Porte de Versailles entirely dedicated to beautiful under-garments. And guys needn’t be shy, menswear is au rendez-vous as well.

The Sales are happening January 9 – February 12 in Paris (Melle Bé)

Art

Through January 20: Impressionism and Fashion at the Musee d’Orsay: I had never really thought of the Impressionists as illustrators of modern fashion, but this exhibition at the Musee d’Orsay has changed by mind. Pieces by the greats – Monet, Degas, Renoir, etc. – are shown to highlight the fashion and beauty trends that were popular during their day. Continue Reading »

Posted in Events | 4 Comments »

Apartment Makeover: Before & After in Erica’s Montmartre Studio

Hip Paris blog friend and fabulous resource on all things Paris, Parisien Salon, recently stayed in our little Montmartre studio and published this article about our very own Erica Berman and her amazing job renovating Pilleux, Haven in Paris’ cozy Montmartre studio. We are pleased to share the story and the before-and-after shots here.

Paris Pilleux Montmartre Studio ViewView from Pilleux Montmartre Studio

Erica Berman has a gift. She can look at a crumbling shell of a hovel and see its potential as a beautiful apartment. This gift has served her well over her 18 years living in Paris, as she’s renovated upwards of 15 apartments that started out as “blah” (at best), only to be transformed into “wow.”

Pillexu far wall after renovations
Pilleux Wall before renovations Pilleux Studio – Murphy bed with antique doors, after and before

Her most recent project really put her abilities to the test, as she and her partner Alain renovated a small studio overlooking the Cimetière de Montmartre. Having stayed in what is now a fantastic apartment, I was stunned when Erica shared the story of its evolution.

“There was nothing there but the bones when we bought it,” explains Erica. “Just a shelf.” Looking at some of the “before” photographs also reveals peeling walls, unremarkable floors and an enclosed bathroom that cut the space dramatically. “There was nothing in there we wanted to keep,” she adds.

Erica and Alain worked with an architect to determine the best way to use the space. Once they agreed on the layout, they got to work with a contractor. Continue Reading »

Posted in Design, Homes, Parisian Living | 13 Comments »

Rosa Jackson stays in Erica’s Haven in Paris Montmartre Flat

Rosa Jackson, the fabulous food writer and chef, is based in Nice where she conducts market tours and succulent Provençal cooking classes. She travels to Paris frequently (as one must) in order to keep up with the restaurant scene. Last year, she stayed at Haven in Paris’ very own Houdon flat. This lovely write-up ensued on her blog

Vacation Rental Paris Montmartre Houdon

I have a vision of my perfect Paris apartment. It would be high up – stairs don’t scare me – with a small balcony and a sweeping view over the zinc rooftops, punctuated here and there with church spires and glimmering domes. There would be parquet floors, big windows on both sides (east and west, ideally) and a sunny kitchen that opens onto the living space. Oh, and it would have central heating.

When I first laid eyes on Erica Berman’s apartment just south of Abbesses Métro station, I felt slightly breathless. That might have had something to do with the five flights of stairs required to reach it, but it also came from the certainty that this was my dream apartment. I loved the antique table and mismatched chairs, I loved the contemporary paintings and well-tended plants, and I especially loved the vintage wooden pâtisserie sign above the kitchen, which Erica found at a market in Provence.

Vacation Rental Paris Apartment Montmartre Houdon

It’s no surprise that Erica’s flat should seem so effortlessly tasteful, given that she is the owner of the hippest apartment rental agency around: Haven in Paris. I first met Erica when she came to do one of my food tours in Nice, and I immediately realized that we had many things in common: our love of Paris, Provence and Italy (especially Liguria), our fondness for off-the-beaten track bed-and-breakfasts, and our insatiable curiosity about new Paris restaurants.

When I dropped by her Paris apartment before a meal at the nearby bistro Le Cul de Poule (here is a report on the Haven in Paris blog), she beckoned me onto the balcony for a glass of Italian wine. Erica has lived in Paris for 17 years and there is almost nothing she doesn’t know about the city, as proved by her frequently updated blog. We chatted about good and not-so-good meals she has had in the Pigalle and Montmartre area: her current favorites are Le Miroir (94 rue des Martyrs, 18th) and Guilo Guilo (8 rue Garreau, 18th), the second run by a renowned chef from Kyoto.

Vacation Rentals Paris Apartment Montmartre Houdon Continue Reading »

Posted in Homes, Parisian Living, Travel | 8 Comments »