Parisian Apartments : Styles

The following pages will give you an idea of the type of apartment you are likely to find in the Paris area.

Old vs New :Interiors

Old vs New
The decision to rent old or new style apartments is more than just a question of taste and romanticism. You must also consider the practical aspects of such a decision.

Apartments Paris
Apartments Paris
Apartments Paris

Medieval Style
In the centre of Paris, the older arrondissements of the 3rd 4th and 5th, feel like a real step back in time and offer some of the most charming apartments. Beautiful buildings with exposed wooden beams, low ceilings and traditional fireplaces. These apartments are normally in, or close to some of the liveliest areas as the charm of the districts lend themselves to tourism.

Practically you need to consider that the small streets, low ceilings and structure of the buildings often make them quite sombre.–. The buildings are OLD – space is generally limited, stairways and doorways are not large, the apartments are generally less insulated, communal areas may be in a poor state of repair (stairways, courtyards etc.) and they rarely have elevators. Some may suffer from damp and will not have been built with modern safety standards in mind.

Rental Apartments Paris
Apartments for Rent Paris
Paris apartments for Rent

Haussmann Style
Baron Haussmann was the town planner who created the buildings that conjure the traditional images of Paris. Haussmann style buildings (also referred to as pierre de taille or cut stone) were designed to accommodate several families of varying class. They usually have from 5-7 floors (étages).

The ground floor (rez-de-chaussée) was designed with commerce in mind and the first floor to house those who ran the commerce. The second floor or étage noble was for the wealthiest families (high enough from the road to avoid noise and dirt but not too many stairs to climb! – there were no elevators in those days). The highest ceilings and balconies are found at this level.

As you climb the ceilings get lower and the presence of balconies and other luxuries depend on the architect who designed the building.

The top floor was reserved for servant staff and is a warren of small independent rooms (chambres des bonnes) with shared water facilities. The staff often had their own stairwell.

Many also have musty cellars and practically none have parking.

Today these Haussmann buildings have been dramatically altered. Many have had elevators installed, and as such the higher apartments have become the most sought after. Noise pollution and better natural light being the principal reason.

Some have kept their original charm with decorative finishes, wooden floors, and fireplaces. Others have been given a total make over internally to make them more appropriate to modern lifestyles.

Many of the buildings today are having an external facelift to remove the stains of modern pollution, internally they are refait a neuf or redecorated – which generally means a lick of white paint to freshen up.

The variety is huge and quality depends on the time and money invested in the upkeep over the years. The trend these days has been to bring these apartments into the modern era without loosing their traditional charm.

Rentals Paris apartments
Renting apartments in Paris
apartments Paris

Recent Apartments
This encompasses buildings that were constructed in the post war period of the 50’s 60’s and 70’s. These buildings tend to lack charm and offer the basics of practical living. Their age and mediocre construction often shows, but more and more they are being given a make over to compete in the market.

They were often built with community in mind and schools and local amenities are generally close at hand if not integrated into the buildings lower levels.

Madern apartments in Paris
Modern Apartments in Paris
Apartments in Paris

Modern architecture has developed on the sites of old industry and replaced older residential buildings. Although attracting more purchasers than rentals, they do offer very comfortable modern living and are designed in a way, which is harmonious with the local environment.

These are ideal carefree properties that provide comfort, security and the best of Paris but you need to be an early bird to catch one!

Town Houses
Town houses are almost impossible to find on the rental market – they are always charming but generally at the higher end of the market. If this is your hearts desire then you must start looking well before you arrive.