Haven in Paris and Apartment Therapy’s cooking and kitchen blog, The Kitchn, recently came together to discuss the differences between French and American kitchens. We were thrilled when The Kitchn decided they wanted to feature some of Haven in Paris’ kitchens on their fabulous and oh-so-inspiring blog! Already one of our favorite reads, we’re sure you can imagine our delight in sharing our Paris apartments with The Kitchn’s wonderful readers… We’re happy to share the article with you today here. -Geneviève

Oh, Paris! How I would love to scoot over there for a day or two this Valentine’s weekend! Paris is a classic destination for lovers, and with very good reason. The light, the romance of the city, and above all the wine and food make it such a wonderful place to wander on a romantic weekend. But if, like me, you won’t be visiting Paris any time soon, here’s a bit of eye candy and some thoughts on what makes a Parisian kitchen different from the average American kitchen.

These thoughts are from Maggie, a member of the team at Haven in Paris. Haven in Paris is a lush little collection of Paris apartments for rent — all quite beautiful and tempting. We chatted a bit about Paris kitchens, and how they tend to differ from American kitchens. These are all things to be aware of if you are indeed lucky enough to spend a Valentine’s weekend in a real Paris apartment!

  1. Traditionally, Parisian kitchens tend to be separate from the rest of the apartment. Although this is changing a bit, Parisians generally do not have open kitchens, or eat in their kitchen. In fact, when a Parisian hosts a dinner party, the prep work is considered unglamorous and kept away from the view of guests. It’s also a big faux paux for a guest to even consider washing dishes for the host, because that would involve coming into the kitchen and seeing the mess. Parisians prefer for you to think the dinner arrived to the table, effortlessly, almost magically.
  2. Paris kitchens do far more with far less space. Parisians squeeze everything they can into a tiny room, often one of the smallest rooms in a Paris apartment. There is far less countertop space, but all the typical appliances (fridge, oven, range) and even a washer and dryer miraculously squeeze in under the counter. With less space comes a lot less light, but Parisian cooks still manage to turn out such fabulous meals, you never could have imagined they were concocted in a closet-sized space.
  3. Paris kitchens are filled daily with super-fresh food due to tiny fridges. Full-size (American-style) refrigerators are less common in Paris. Sure, there are exceptions, but in general, fridges are about half the size of an American fridge. Less fridge space and the abundance of daily markets means daily grocery shopping, fresh food, produce and lots of fresh cheese.
  4. Parisians get by with less gadgets. You won’t find a microwave in every single kitchen (although they are now present in most), but you will be hard pressed to come across a garbage disposal, an ice-maker or a drip coffee machine. Who needs gadgets anyway when there’s all those fresh vegetables, fruits, and bread. Did I mention the cheese too?

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Article by The Kitchn with thoughts by Maggie Battista and the Haven in Paris team. View the original version of this article here. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.


The Kitchn

The Kitchn is for those who care about the quality of their food, and how it affects the health of themselves and the planet. It is also for those who want to cook more, but are shy in the kitchen. It’s a place to dive in deep, and embrace the joy of one of our basic needs: food. The Kitchn is part of the Apartment Therapy community, helping people make their homes more beautiful, organized and healthy by connecting them to a wealth of resources, ideas and community online.


  1. I love looking at the kitchens, but I agree with Charolette. I was in France in 2013 and those kitchens were ridiculously small with no counter space. I can’t image hosting a large party and working in such a small space. The cook would be exhausted for lack of adequate working space. I’m all for fresh foods, but those little refrigerators are a joke. It’s inefficient to shop everyday. The part about not having a drip coffee pot, well as expensive as a cup a coffee is in France, I would be running to the store to get one and buy the best coffee so that I could invite all my friends over for pastries and drinks!! Our kitchens are large and now that I have seen some French kitchens in person, I really appreciate mine.

  2. hi!
    i need help in deciding what color to paint my kitchen.i like the french
    look and have blueviolet granite countertops. i want a warm color.
    i am fond of vivid colors such as coral and deep buttery yellow.
    floor ceramic tile is white with light blue veining. any suggestions?

  3. Love this website, but disagree. Mabey Parisians,(and New Yorkers)dine out. American kitchens have always been where the action is. They are big to fit in everyone and are usually where people gravitate for parties, best place to be. It is a matter of gratitude that people offer to wash up, and is up to the hosts discretion. These kitchens seem loveless like nothing but toast has been made in them. But once again I love your site.

  4. It is so wonderful!! I have so many friends in France right now!

    Come and enter my luscious Giveaway for Bath & Body!!

    Art by Karena

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