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  • Writer's pictureExquisite France

In search of Parisian style

à l'étage noble

Classical design is timeless. Contemporary design, by definition, changes over time. 

Quite naturally, most of us are more or less torn between the two. We express our personalities at their intersection, in our choices of how to blend the new and the old. 

Jeff and Jenn were demanding. That is a fact. They pursued the iconic expression of both classical and contemporary with the same fervor that Americans pursue happiness. As Americans, I suppose they were pursuing both. My job was limited to the apartment criteria, but my satisfaction extended to their happiness.

What do you think they intend by classical Parisian style? 

  • High-ceilings? VERY high ceilings (at least 3,2 meters)

  • Moldings? Moldings to adorn EVERY room.

  • Tall windows? The very TALLEST, and with shutters.

  • Herring-bone parquet? Yes, but sturdy like a dance floor!

  • Marble fireplace with a mirror? Yes, and grandiose.

  • Stately building entrance and stairwell. 

What did they intend by contemporary?

  • A sleek, state-of-the-art kitchen.

  • Nuanced modern lighting.

  • Bathrooms with fine materials and modern showers

  • Built-in A/C.

  • Walk-in closets.

Where would we find an apartment meeting such demands? The 7th and the 16th were good choices, but Jeff and Jenn didn’t like those areas. Too residential. They wanted more of the bustling city vibe. Too many tourists in the Marais. Saint-Germain des Près? Too expensive, with so little to choose from.

For certain, wherever it might be found in Paris, it would have to be on the étage noble (the prestigious floor). Until the end of the 19th-century, prior to the use of elevators, the most prestigious apartments were reserved for the second floor (or elevated first floor).

We honed in on the 1st, 2nd, and 8th arrondissements, and with a strike of luck ended up right next to the Tuileries and the Louvre, just around the corner from the famous Hôtel le Meurice. 

That was many years ago, and the apartment did its job of making a dream come true. Life situations change (nothing is more certain than change), and now the very same apartment–an exemplary blend of classical and contemporary design– is ready for a new owner. 

Here are some photos to give you a sense.

See a full presentation of the apartment here, and contact me ( if it might be right for you.



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