Rent or own: Rent
Size: 430 sq/ft
Years lived in: 5
Marianne works in a law office, but she lives in the 1 % of French public housing that's funded by corporations, meaning that she lives in an incredibly cheap rent-controlled one-bedroom apartment in a 1958 building in the 11th arrondissement. She's cheered up the simple space with white paint, bright fabrics, simple furniture and a taste for old French memorabilia.
"I love French culture," Marianne says, pouring San Pelegrino into a Coca-Cola glass, and pointing out that she painted the wooden wall slats in her Parisian apartment white, because it reminded her of Nantucket. She takes photos in her spare time, and her Nantucket-inspired walls are covered with romantic black and white photos of Paris.
Her furniture is a mix of IKEA and street finds, and she has built shelving and painted artwork to blend in with the decor. Her bathroom has a beachy feel. "I like to take time to get ready," she says, "For me, the bathroom is a place to relax."
In the kitchen, she's drilled a bunch of wooden wine crates into the wall to make shelving. She's decorated the walls with a jumble of old restaurant signs found on the street, and plenty of nostalgic French café memorabilia that you'd normally find in the home of a Francophile, not a Parisian. "I love France, I'm a real fan," Marianne says. "But I also love Massachusetts, to go to the brocantes in Nantucket as much as in Paris."
- Kristin Hohenadel blogging from rue Vieille du Temple, Paris, France. If you have an idea for a European house tour, please write kristinh @ apartmenttherapy . com