Before & After: 200 Square Foot Paris Flat Brought to Life

The Color Cure

If you've ever dreamt of living in Paris, this romantic, cozy space might just be what you had in mind. Working with only 200 square feet, these newlywed dwellers makeover their Paris flat with rich color, popping textiles and simple décor. Head below the jump for one of our sweetest Before & Afters yet.

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The Color Cure: How long have you lived in your home?
Ashley: We have been living in our petit palais since March, 2011.

The Color Cure: When did you overhaul the space?
Ashley: One of the reasons we moved into this flat in the 7th arrondissement (from the 11th) was because we felt like being in a foreign city we really needed to make our house a home. Therefore, there was piscine on the wall (that sounds dirty) before we even moved in.

The Color Cure: How long did it take?
Ashley: Thanks to my wonderful husband/slave, the painting was done in about two days. I did a grand job of supervising and buying pizza. The accessories and furniture followed for the next two months.

The Color Cure: Where did you find your color and design inspiration?
Ashley: Living in France and not speaking French has been quite daunting. I knew that my paint would be coming "off the rack" as there was no way I was capable of asking for a mixed color. When we went to Castorama (kind of like a French Home Depot), we initially chose a darker aqua as I was channeling Tiffany blue due to our wooden ceiling beams and red accent pieces salvaged from our former apartment. However, upon returning home when I held the container up to the wall, it seemed like it would be too dark. I am now guessing that returning the paint may have actually been less difficult than having had the right color mixed. Luckily there was a softer blue (piscine, meaning pool), and off we went to create our new space.

The Color Cure: How much planning did you put into the project?
Ashley: Although we didn't have much time to ponder the overall project, we did have a month for my husband to listen to me obsess about pillows. What really became the amusing component to our décor, was trying to work with IKEA.fr. I now lay in bed every night thankful that they finally figured a way to get our bed/couch up the stairs. Once the furniture was assembled and the paint dry, it took another month or so to buy curtains and have my coveted pillows arrive from the States (Jonathan Adler should really consider going global). We also see our home as a mini-showcase for our travels so we are also collecting pieces as we go along. As I am a reorganizer par excellence, I am sure new improvements will always be on the horizon.

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The Color Cure: What was the most challenging part of the project?
Ashley: I wanted it all to be done the day we moved in. However, there was definitely the issue of feeling like it all needed to be perfect due to the size of the space, and having only my vision dictating what to buy ahead of time. The only decorating issue we ran up against was the slanted walls that compost one half of the room. I hadn't realized this when planning out the space, and it looked too monotone without anything on it. Luckily we found planters that were a perfect fit for slanted walls and really pop against the piscine color. Getting them in a straight line was definitely a job to do sober.

The Color Cure: Did you learn a new skill during your home improvement project?
Ashley: As one of the components of this project was the utilizaiton of 200 square feet for our living/dining/storage/bathing needs, I think I have learned the difference between necessity and excess.

The Color Cure: Are you happy with the outcome?
Ashley: We are thrilled to come home to such an uplifting space. We felt that our first apartment in Paris was too dark and unwelcoming. When I look around this tiny space, I have many memories of not only building it with my husband, but also of numerous wonderful adventures we have been on together. It is amazing what you can fit into a cary-on if you know it would look fantastic on your wall or floor.

The Color Cure: What, if anything, would you do differently next time around?
Ashley: Due to my need for cleanliness, the white couch is a bit of a sore spot (no pun intended). But, overall, we are quite content and happy with how quickly we were able to streamline the process. Many thanks to my in-laws who sherpa-ed all my initial "visions" from the US to Paris.

The Color Cure: If you had one piece of advice for Apartment Therapy readers, what would it be?
Ashley: Be proud of your space. We have such a small space, but we have chosen color to make it inviting and our own. Paris can be dark and gray, our home is an oasis and a UV-free dose of Vitamin D. With color, you can really transform a space and your well-being.

Thanks for sharing, Ashley!

Do you have a Before & After or a Color Inspiration Story to share with The Color Cure? Go ahead and get your entries in soon—The Color Cure ends next week. We can't wait to hear from you!

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Landis is a ceramic artist who hand-makes heirloom-quality pottery for the kitchen, table, and home. She writes about tabletop design and entertaining for The Kitchn and lives in Maplewood, NJ with her husband and toddler.