⪧ We left our life in New York City to make a new one in Provence ⪦

September 10, 2008

Demolition Chez Nous

The fun has begun. We are officially the new owners of the catastrophe on rue du Faubourg St. Martin! Take a look:

Quite seriously though, the apartment is going to be magnificent - 'going to be' is the most important part of that claim. We signed last Wednesday and started destroying immediately. We found the guy who is doing all the work rather serendipitously - he was the person who did all the work on the apartment we are renting now before we moved in and we have continually thought his work was splendid. So, we called him up to do some work of our own this time.

I will keep adding photos to document the work on the apartment because it will go quickly; you see, our move in date is October 15. Given the evidence from the photo above, you might say that is an impossible and fool-hardy target, but then, you don't know Xavier Joly. (Remember, speed everything up by 200% - even the motions of people he has employed to help him).

But first, I will take you to the apartment from afar. We are the blue and black bulls-eye on the map of Paris below. (Definitely to scale).

More specifically, rue du Faubourg St. Martin in the 10th arrondissement.

We will start with the stairs. The long trek up: 6 flights.

But there are beautiful things to see along the way:

Almost there:

Ah. The front door, which, like the rest of the abode, will get a facelift (and some plants potted in that planter).

We've arrived.

The plan is to knock down as many walls as possible and have an entirely open living room/kitchen. This picture features Juan - the great guy doing all the damage. He is really incredible. We came on Monday and walls were still up. When I walked in this morning, I was shocked. He knows how to use a hammer.

Here is the view from the opposite side of the apartment, looking back at the door from the windows.

And with the help of a modern miracle, here is what will become the kitchen:

The view still knocks your socks off:

So, that is the first floor - the kitchen, the living room, a small bedroom (to be constructed), and the bathroom (not featured, but in which we plan to use Parisian subway tiles - more on that promised). As for the second floor, here we go...our lovely little stairs leading up:

And, this space has remained untouched thus far.

The view from one bedroom window:

And the other:

And the tremendous skylight:

And then a feature of the apartment that I particularly love. "Les tomettes." The floor. Aren't they yummy? They are warm and cold. They are all sorts of reds. They are well-known in France but not in my brain. They are everywhere in the apartment.

And one more. I love the little balcony - we shall have a planting festival out there when this mess is all cleaned up.

Let me just add that Xavier is remarkable at getting things done. Gas lines, electricity, no problem - a guy is there within hours. Tiles to be ordered: one discussion of what I'd like - ordered the next day to be delivered. Some people would deliberate for hours about what type of tiles should go in a bathroom. We concur that that sort of thing is a waste of time. Our impetuosity has gotten the better of both of us at various moments in our lives; not this time. With our powers combined, this will be the shortest and most efficient demolition/decoration/move-in job in history. Just plowing ahead. Especially Xavier. He is a go-getter. I'm lucky to be the main beneficiary.


Xavier said...

I love you babe

Julie said...

This is incredible - I can't wait to see the final results. Joyce and I are here in my office at school and we wish we were in Paris with you - it looks like a real dream. Nice job once again, Xavier.

J and J

Jill said...

Thanks for all the pictures. It's fun to see what you see! When Mike and I renovate our next house we will be hiring Xavier as foreman. The biggest problem with any construction job is just getting the work done in a timely manner. Your apartment is going to be beautiful! I did not however see the guest room where Mike and I will be staying when we come to visit? I also wanted to comment on the fabulous shoes you are wearing in the 'floor' picture. Love them!

emilie said...

jill, never fear - we will have three total bedrooms in this one and when you visit, there will be all sorts of space for you. now, for dates...when can we expect you? seriously, we would love you to come.

Aralena said...

Oh, this is so exciting, Emilie! Thanks for all these pictures, and now I want to see it live. I'll bring my chisel. And my cute construction shoes, because yours, my dear, are to die for!

I'm so happy for you two. Your place is going to be gorgeous.

Cindy said...

Thanks for sharing the process Emilie...you have an incredible way of making us feel as if we are really there! And if your shoe choice is any indication, your new abode will truly be styling! Cindy

Jill said...

We would love to come! The trick is when, and what shall we do with the children? It is my dream and goal though. Hopefully some day. Thanks for being so willing to be hostess.
I thought of you often today. Do you remember that we spent the afternoon together on 9/11/01? It was a bad day but made better by being with you. Love you Em.

emilie said...

i do remember jill. i'm glad i have you. i miss spending time with you. give those kids hugs and kisses for me, and bites and licks.

la_sale_bete said...

This house is a dream come true! What a fantastic place. I am so excited to come visit (hopefully some time in 2009). Le toot!

Lucy-Lucie said...

Hey, thought I'd catch up on your life à Paris... Y a du mouvement (et du boulot!) Looks great...
I'll be back for a week at the end of the month... fancy coffee, drinks or dinner to swap holiday/house/life anecdotes?

Snobber said...

wow! that is some serious construction!

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