To get to our apartment, walk straight through the entry hall of this old 19th Century building then past the concierges door until you reach the courtyard.
You will emerge into a sunny oasis of tranquility with an expansive courtyard, tall trees, flowering gardens, benches and, here and there, table and chairs.
The apartment is in the courtyard building, one flight up.
When you come into our apartment, there is an open area and all rooms are off this entryway.
This is very advantageous if you are using both bedrooms as it means that no one need disturb anyone else when they move from room to room, giving you the utmost in privacy for your stay.
In 2005, the flat was completely renovated, keeping faithful to its original charm.
The old hardwood floorboards were taken up to level the floor, which was on a serious slant, then carefully replaced.
The original ceramic Prussian stove that once heated the apartment was polished and left in place.
New windows were installed with a style making them indistinguishable from those in other apartments.
At the same time, the apartment was modernized and equipped with all the amenities you should need.
The original kitchen became a new state-of-the-art tiled bathroom with twin sinks, a deep tub with shower, a separate shower stall plus a heated towel rack.
The kitchen was then placed in the former bathroom area and opened up into the living area.
This style is known as a ‘Cuisine Americaine’.
The kitchen appliances are all new and there is a full sized fridge with a large freezer area.
We have a stove top, oven and a microwave to make cooking a breeze.
We are sure you will enjoy the food shopping along rue Lepic or south on rue des Martyrs.
The backsplash is finished with the same Paris Metro tiles as the bathroom.
For your convenience, we have installed a combination washing machine with dryer in this area as well.
The main living area which the kitchen looks over is a combination living room and dining room area.
There is an antique dining table with chairs so you can enjoy a meal for four.
The buffet beside the dining table houses our dishes.
It also has the entertainment system on top of it in case you would like some music to add to your dining experience.
The music collection varies from the old (Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel, Barbara, Django Rhinehart) to the contemporary (Gypsy Kings, Francis Cabrel, Raul Barboza, Keith Jarretts Paris Concert).
Please enjoy the collection we have in the apartment but do not forget to leave the discs there for our future guests.
We have taken particular time to collect unique artwork to adorn the walls and make our apartment your home in Paris.
Light floods in through this room via tall French windows from two different exposures.
The master bedroom has a queen sized bed with a large wall of closets making ample space for your belongings.
This room also has the television in it should you wish to lie in bed and watch a favourite movie.
The second bedroom has a double sized bed and is where the charming Prussian stove is.
There is also ample storage space in here with wall to wall closets.
The furniture throughout is a mix of the brand new (beds and sofa) plus the antique (big mirror in entry, dining table and chairs, night tables, secretary.)
Colourful rugs and framed artwork enhance this apartment to give it a very Parisian, homey atmosphere.
Both of us used to live in Paris and our daughter spent several years of schooling here.
We have tried to take our Parisian experience and put it into this apartment making it a place you look forward to coming back to at the end of your day exploring the city.
If the idea is to be on a quiet street (let alone in a courtyard building) in the middle of a vibrant neighbourhood, then rue Houdon is the place to be. Just a block long, this street provides a sort of side entrance to old Montmartre. At the bottom of the hill is the busy Place Pigalle, with its Metro station, bus stops, taxi stands and late-night shops and clubs.
At the top of the street, just past the live jazz club, Cafe Houdon, is the storybook Place des Abbesses, which boasts an original Hector Guimard Metro station, a classic Paris kiosk, a Wallace fountain and a childrens carousel, a vest-pocket park all in flower, an unusual brick church and the start of the climb up to the Sacre-Coeur basilica.
We are in Amelies quartier, for those who saw the film. The Marche de la Butte, the picturesque produce shop where she hung out, is right off the Place des Abbesses. Down the street is the rue Lepic, Montmartres best market street. Just off Abbesses in the other direction is the rue des Martyrs, another famous neighborhood market street.
If you want to steep in a Paris experience, you cannot do better: prize-winning, artisanal boulangeries and patisseries, flower shops, cafes, restaurants, boutiques, bookstores, cheese shops, wine stores, all in endless supply.
A few blocks away, at the foot of the butte, is Paris’s most famous fabric district, Marche St Pierre, including Dreyfus, six floors of every imaginable material, colour and design.
The neighborhood is also full of guitar stores. Down a side street off Houdon is a modest atelier where a master craftsman makes harpsichords.
Just on our little block-long rue Houdon are found the following: a cafe at each end of the street (one with jazz), an antique store, a music store (mainly guitars), two local-designer womens clothing boutiques, a beauty salon (male & female), an internet cafe, three restaurants (Indian, Thai and the wonderful Chez Grisette), a little grocery store and, across the street from no. 14, the neighbourhood ecole maternelle (public pre-school). The ATM is around the corner.
Upper Crust in Montmartre! In May 2011, Pascal Barillon, the baker at Au Levain d’Antan, the closest boulangerie to our flat at 14 rue Houdon, was named the 1st prize winner of the Meilleure Baguette de Paris for 2011. Located at 6 rue des Abbesses, where rue Houdon meets Abbesses, Au Levain d’Antan (translation: Leavening of Long Ago or Yesteryear’s Yeast) has the honor for 12 months of exclusively supplying the presidential table at the Elysee Palace. 2011 was the 4th year out of the last 5 that Paris’s Best Baguette award was won by a baker in Montmartre. The winner in 2011 was Djibril Bodian at Le Grenier a Pain Abbesses, 38 rue des Abbesses.
Tranquility Amid a Vibrant Neighbourhood