Philippe's Book-Filled Top Floor Apartment in the North of Paris

Philippe's Book-Filled Top Floor Apartment in the North of Paris

Fabienne Ayina
Jan 16, 2016
(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)

Name: Philippe
Location: Haut de Belleville — Paris, France
Size: 45 square meters (484 square feet)
Years lived in: 32 years; Owned

Philippe's luminous and book-filled apartment is located on the top floor of a typical Parisian building hidden in a courtyard. Philippe, a writer and former director of the archives at France's National Audiovisual Institute, has been working and living here for over three decades. As a result, the habitat is very cozy and personal.

(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)

When he first bought the apartment, Philippe decided to break through the wall that was in the middle of the principal room to make the living area bigger. Filled with souvenirs, pictures from his ancestors, photographs of loved ones, books, flying notes, and an Egyptian rose that doesn't require much to stay alive, the apartment depicts a life story. The guitar, desk, and coffee table are some of the first items Philippe bought when he was still living with his parents.

He managed to keep the apartment as a private atelier through a few weddings and the births of his kids; now he lives there full-time, and the flat is also where he's working on his new novels and writing projects. Working from home is a challenge, and IKEA shelves and organization systems keep the files and paperwork under control. Because he is the only resident on the fourth floor, Philippe kept his entrance interesting with a mirror and a few plants which make his home very welcoming. Surrounded by his muses, favorite quotes, and improvised mood boards, this Parisian writer can keep his ideas floating.

(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Rustic chic

Inspiration: Natural palette. Wood.

Favorite Element: Water.

Biggest Challenge: To make a small space looking bigger than it is.

What Friends Say: This is nice.

Biggest Embarrassment: I never fixed the fireplace.

Proudest DIY: The closet in the bedroom.

Biggest Indulgence: My painted portrait.

Best Advice: Make your living place very personal.

Dream Sources: Venetian Murano glass mirrors.


(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)


  • Curtains: made with fabric bought at the Saint Pierre Market
  • Rug: travel souvenir from Morocco
  • Buffet: bought online
  • Toad and Voltaire chairs: flea market
  • African mask: Anthropos
(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)


  • Chairs and table: Habitat
(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)


  • Baskets: travel souvenirs from Morocco from Philippe's daughter
  • Boards and closets: IKEA
(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)


  • Shelves: IKEA
  • Boxes: IKEA

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Thanks, Philippe!

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