New Digs


Well, I did it. After nearly ten years of living in Paris, I am finally going to have a place that I can call my own. After dipping my feet in, and checking apartments from time-to-time, I decided that it was time I went ahead and did it. So I bought my own apartment.

Hunting for an apartment in Paris is quite an adventure; there’s no multiple listing services like there are in other countries (and it’s estimated that over half the apartments in Paris get sold directly by the owners), so you need to spend an inordinate amount of time searching online, in the newspapers, and in real estate agency windows. And since each agency will only show you what is offered by their particular agency – and some real estate agents have a less-than-stellar reputation here – it’s a process that takes a combination of luck, timing—and of course, plenty of time.

Getting a bank loan is another hurdle to cross and I had noticed two major bureaucratic mistakes in the paperwork, then I was required to submit to a full series of medical tests to complete the loan, which I wrote about, but deleted, because I didn’t think anyone would believe me, because I couldn’t either. I guess I should be happy, though, because one friend of mine who was applying for a bank loan had to take a stress test on a treadmill, which fortunately I didn’t have to do…because my stress level was going through the toit.

In short, I almost had three nervous breakdowns. Well – nine, if you count the entire week of 4am conference calls when I was in San Francisco on something I’ve heard about, called a “vacation” trying to save the purchase when the first bank I was borrowing from changed their mind at the 11th hour and rescinded their offer, putting me in a tenuous position since I’d already committed to the purchase. And the mind-numbing amount of paperwork I blew through felled a record number of trees, and more brain cells than I could afford to spare.

So a process that might normally take 30 to 60 days, dragged on for weeks. Then months. Then half a year. And finally, seven months after inking the first round of paperwork, the deal was done and I got the keys to my apartment. It was once an old print shop, previously cobbled together into a living space. Beautiful old stone walls were covered in wallpaper, which is called “cache-misère”, literally meaning “hiding the misery”, which is a reference to things people to do hide something considered “messy” or “outdated.” So one of my projects is to remove all of that and refurbish the stone. Another is to clean up the tangle of wiring that while creative, probably is a good idea to replace.

But most importantly, I won’t have to churn ice cream in my bedroom – and I won’t have to explain to my housecleaner why there is caramel in my bed – because one day I’m going to have a kitchen counter larger than a tapis d’acceuil (welcome mat) – although it’s gonna be a long way before I’m going to be able to roll one of those out around here.

Godin oven

So in the meantime, I’ve been working on getting the place in shape. I’ve been doing things like explaining that Americans like windows that can open, I’ve learned that three is a maximum of number of people that are allowed to yell at me in different languages at the same time (and they are learning that I have a shorter fuse than initially first appeared), and that there are panoply of words that seemingly mean the same thing, like—say, for a sink:

1. Vasque (a really big sink)

2. Évier (a big sink)

3. Lavabo (a regular sink)

4. Cuve (still haven’t figured out that one)

5. Lave-mains (a small sink)

And plumbing catalogs don’t list by ‘type’ of item, like ‘sinks’, ‘bathtubs’, and ‘faucets’, etc but by “Collections”, with ominous names like Opus, Détente, and “Stillness” — so you have to flip through a series of square toilets (and who the heck can manage any kind of détente on a square toilet seat?) to find a normal one.

And I now know that something which is 199 by 282 by 79,5 is cent quartre-vingt-dix-neuf par deux cent quartre-vingt-deux par soixaint-dix-neuf virgule cinq, is even less-comprehensible when you’re holding up a crumbling wall,standing under a shower of plaster dust while avoiding electrocution. Plus I’m trying to teach delivery people that if they ring the doorbell, rather than just affix a delivery sticker to your door requesting that you call to reschedule the delivery, they have a better chance of completing a delivery on the first round. Oh, and I just got called for jury duty in California for next week. Needless to say, the explosion that will be heard around the world may be my head.

The good news is that you won’t have to hear my anymore bemoaning that I have a tiny kitchen. The bad news is that it’s going take me a while to get there. But after all I’ve been through, demolition and construction is a walk in le parque.

No, the bathroom isn’t functional. And the kitchen is nothing but a counter with a Godin oven, which embodies the paradox of French taste: the handmade stove is enameled in a gorgeous red enamel color, and right smack in the front is a bright-blue digital clock with large, flashing electrical numbers. (I wonder if that can be removed?) But that’s the least of my problems at this point. So the last few weeks have been spent stripping everything out to clean up the space, to see it better, and the next few weeks (or months) will be spent figuring out in which direction I’m going to take it next. But first, I need to figure out how to find a sink.

Never miss a post!


  • January 16, 2012 8:54am

    I feel your pain having remodeled my apartment as well. You will get a lot of material for your blog. I think you are off to a great start with that stove-that is beautiful.

    • January 16, 2012 8:57am
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks ~ it’s funny because I didn’t realize the stove was a good one because of that clock – so am wondering what kind of designing mind puts a bright-blue digital clock smack dab in the middle of an enameled oven, front and center?

      (And I am going to have to get a baking oven, because ovens here don’t have much space for baking sheets. Another thing to shop for!)

  • Marianne
    January 16, 2012 9:23am

    I believe you on the medical tests! I’m a canadian student and I had to go through a lung x ray when I arrived. I heard that when you work as a liberal it’s extremely complex to get a loan, but as soon as you tell them you work for the state you get it easily..

  • Lorene
    January 16, 2012 9:26am

    Congratulations! Please keep us posted on all of the renovations. It’s a bit hard now to see what the final vision will be, what with all of the renovations. Do you have to install your own central heat & air or does it come with the place? Also, will you have to buy all new appliances? I’m very happy for you that you will have a better place to cook — can’t have enough counter space! In the bathroom, will you be installing a bidet?

  • Caroline
    January 16, 2012 9:30am

    Congratulations… and I do hope you keep us all updated with your progress. The only thing better than a home improvement show is a French home improvement show. Hosted by you.

  • Alison
    January 16, 2012 9:44am

    I can’t wait to see the finished apartment!!

  • January 16, 2012 10:39am

    Finally! I never thought it was actually going to come together.
    Congratulations on your new place! And even bigger congratulations on surviving the process of buying it.

  • Kim B.
    January 16, 2012 11:23am

    Congratulations David! And congratulations on outlasting all those who were trying to stress you out– and for being able to write about it with your customary aplomb. All the best for the renovations. how exciting!!

  • Leaf
    January 16, 2012 11:29am

    Hello David !

    I am really happy for you that you get your own appartment! Congratulations!

    FYI (I can’t help it, sorry!):

    Evier = a sink for the kitchen
    Lavabo = a sink but for the bathroom
    Vasque = still a sink but in round shape and generally in a noble material (i.e. marble, stone, etc.)
    Cuve = a generic name for a sink but can also refer to a tank or a citern.
    Lave-mains (without accent on the “e”) = very small sink that is generally put in the toilets exclusively for washing your hands after, eh well… You know.

    Anyway, I hope you’ll soon enjoy your new place!

  • January 16, 2012 11:39am

    Congratulations David, that is a huge deal! And yeah, what is it about delivery people in Europe leaving notes and not ringing?

  • January 16, 2012 12:00pm

    We partially remodelled the kitchen in our hundred years old house in the Netherlands three years ago and I’m still mustrering up the courage to finish it. I did a lot of the work myself (tiles, cabinet doors) and am rather proud of it ( but the process was so frustrating I’m reluctant to start again.
    I wish you a lot of luck with your project! In the end it’s worth it…

  • Susie
    January 16, 2012 12:22pm

    Good luck. Refurbishing an apartment is painfully stressful. It shouldn’t be. “Oh to have such problems… I’ve bought a lovely apartment France and now have to make it over in my taste and to my needs”, but it still is. Between the timing hassles, the things that go wrong, the crazed building code rules of foreign countries (many of which seem to have nothing to do with safety) that force you to do things you’d never willingly chose, and, of course, the expense, it’s a challenge. That said, successfully planning a kitchen is a joy and when it’s all over you’ll wonder why you let it get to you so much. Please do post on the progress here!

  • January 16, 2012 12:35pm

    Congratulations, David! Your new space looks wonderful — unique, bright and airy. When that new kitchen is completed, those medical tests will be a distant memory (at least, that’s what I keep telling myself after our own real estate cauchemar). You own a little piece of Paris! How cool is that?

  • Jenny
    January 16, 2012 12:48pm

    Congratulations on getting your own place after so many years in Paris! I just finished a year of major construction at my place and can’t imagine completing it in another country and language — you are amazing and no wonder you seemed so stressed before Christmas! I had a weird dream about you about a month ago where I ran into you at a beautiful open house with a big kitchen in my city. You were moving in there and were ecstatic!

  • Dot
    January 16, 2012 1:06pm

    Congratulations! Looks like it’s a got plenty of potential. I’ve been using for ideas, it’s a pretty col resource for just about everything, and you can save what you like into your own scrapbook. Great iPad app too!

    This weekend was going to be macaron making, but the strawberries at the market tempted me and it was jam making! Will get to your macaron recipe soon. Looking forward to seeing you back in Sydney. Cheers.

  • Dotty
    January 16, 2012 1:07pm

    Congratulations! Looks like it’s a got plenty of potential. I’ve been using for ideas, it’s a pretty cool resource for just about everything, and you can save what you like into your own scrapbook. Great iPad app too!

    This weekend was going to be macaron making, but the strawberries at the market tempted me and it was jam making! Will get to your macaron recipe soon. Looking forward to seeing you back in Sydney. Cheers.

  • Melissa
    January 16, 2012 2:41pm

    Wow! Congratulations! I will never forget when my au pair family in Neuchatel told me they were going to be renovating their house after two months of living with them…cooking for five on a hot plate, it is, then. When it’s finished I’m sure that it will be a beautiful place full of amusing anecdotes to keep you company…’when it’s finished’ being the optimal phrase. Hang in there!

  • mary
    January 16, 2012 4:07pm

    This is such great news, David. Really exciting. I’ve been struggling to buy a house in a small French town since last October, & going absolutely nuts with frustration over all the delays. Can’t sign the compromis until the final written report on the plumbing arrives at the notaire’s office. Your story gives me hope that real estate in France can, eventually, be purchased. Many, many congratulations! Is the apartment in the same quartier or a new one?

    • January 17, 2012 10:52am
      David Lebovitz

      We had a major problem during the closing as well, mostly because the real estate agent had, um, misrepresented something (major) on the legal forms and calculations, so that had to be dealt with by the city officials before we could proceed, which cost a bunch of money and prolonged the closing time. It’s no wonder that most people here don’t use agents.

  • January 16, 2012 4:19pm

    Congratulations! I have a feeling you will find plenty of things to write about until the renovations are complete and that many of them will be about how much or how little hair you have left after dealing with contractors! Perhaps one of the design features should be a yoga mat so you can stress bust!:)

  • Deb
    January 16, 2012 4:37pm

    Bon chance!! I am currently in the middle of a kitchen remodel and it is testing my patience and my will to live. Some may think making all kinds of decisions would be fun but I am SICK TO DEATH of making decisions about this kitchen. I hope you have fun with it. I am in the middle of your book right now (The sweet life….) and it is delicious comic relief after yet another day of living in the chaos that remodeling brings. Thanks for you wit.

    • January 17, 2012 10:50am
      David Lebovitz

      It’s a lot of decisions, and at some point, you just have to say “stop” – and just go with whatever is available at the time. It’s so much easier, but hard to get to that point!

  • Jack Keifer
    January 16, 2012 4:46pm

    Bravo a place of your own, Iremember remodling my first apartment over the bait shop at northpoint pollk in sf

  • Jack Keifer
    January 16, 2012 4:47pm

    Bravo, I remember reconstructing my first apt, over the bait shop at Polk and Northpoint

  • January 16, 2012 4:56pm

    Bonne chance, Daveeed! Oh, which arrondissement?

  • Paula
    January 16, 2012 5:27pm

    I can relate to your “short fuse”
    You don´t know it´s there till you buy and remodel your own place, get a divorce, start your own business and have to hire people…
    Congratulations on your purchase, they say that there are no advancements in life unless you step out of your confort zone!

  • Mike Smith
    January 16, 2012 5:37pm

    Jury duty? Actually, it might be a nice little reprieve from the construction work, you know, if my experience has been typical.

  • January 16, 2012 6:12pm

    Congrats, I think! You didn’t mention whether you are still living elsewhere while you “update” your new home, but it would certainly be easier if you did. I went through a summer of home renovations, which I thought was a horrible experience and also thought might cause my head to explode but nothing quite to rival your travails. My worst day was arriving home from the IACP conference, knowing that a photographer was coming to shoot pictures of my garden in a couple days to find that the hardscaping crew I’d hired to refurbish the BACK yard, had jack hammered up the FRONT walk and huge pieces of the concrete were strewn all over the lawn. Dear God!

  • Dorothy
    January 16, 2012 6:36pm

    Every electronic item seems to have a digital on/off, clock, or something. The ones I don’t want to see, I put a piece of black electrical tape over them. Voila…gone.

  • david
    January 16, 2012 6:37pm

    et ben BRAVOS!!!!!!! maintenant faudra savoir a la fois gueuler et etre diplomate avec les ouvriers!!!!…Et ne fais rien faire au noir…On croit epargner beaucoup, on se retrouve dans la merde et le fisc au cul… pardon my French.

  • Kai
    January 16, 2012 6:43pm

    Hi, David,

    I think this is my first time commenting, though I’ve been reading your blog (and laughing, smiling, and cooking because of it) for years. But when I read that you’d bought your own place, I HAD to jump in to say CONGRATULATIONS! I can’t wait to hear more about how it shapes up; I’m sure it’ll be a pain some days, but I hope your sense of humor will keep it manageable.

  • Nicole
    January 16, 2012 6:55pm

    Congratulations! I can’t wait to see the transformation. I know what you mean about open spaces – but I love how the European kitchens have such cool, interesting cabinet designs to store stuff. That stove looks pretty cool – but I agree with you about the digital clock:)
    All that hard work is going to pay off and you will have a wonderful home!

  • January 16, 2012 7:19pm

    Felicitations! I’ve never heard anyone say that buying a home was easy, though it sounds like you had more than your fair share hurdles to jump in this case! Just imagine: a kitchen you’ve designed just the way you want – space for ice cream and all. Bonne chance et bonne cusine! :P

  • hag
    January 16, 2012 7:37pm

    Congratulations David! Sounds like it will be a very nice place (one day)! Looks like some really nice light in the kitchen, perfect for taking your food photos.

  • Karen Vicki
    January 16, 2012 7:45pm

    I am so happy for you!!! We Sagittarians need space. Here in NYC I still go to a laundromat and my dream would be to have a washing machine at home.

  • Aisha
    January 16, 2012 7:52pm

    Congratulations, David. I know exactly how maddening buying a home in France can be. Our bank made us take HIV tests in order to qualify for a loan when purchasing our house. It was six months ago and I’m still not over the shock. I actually spoke to a member of a French HIV/AIDS activist organization about it and he too was blown away. I love France, blemishes and all, but this is a violation of privacy that I have a hard time accepting.

    • January 17, 2012 10:57am
      David Lebovitz

      I was extremely shocked to find that banks have the right, and can and do require loan applicants to take medical tests, including an HIV test as well as a urine sample. In a country that values human and individual rights, it’s surprising how much the banks have control over things like this. (And I would think that in the country where citizens regularly take to the streets over human rights issues, this would be something that would get rectified.) But as you know, many of us are guests in this country and have to adhere to the rules, whether we like them or not. However as the activist noted, and a French friend of mine said (who agreed with was “shameful”) – I am surprised that no one seems to be able, or willing, to rectify this.

  • January 16, 2012 7:52pm

    Congratulations on your new place, David. Looking forward to seeng all the before and afters (as I ‘m sure you are too) – and all the great reipes your fabulous new kitchen will produce. Bon Chance on your renovations !

  • January 16, 2012 7:58pm

    Congrats,I’m excited for you.I also had an issue finding an apartment in Paris when I thought I was going to go to culinary school there.Everything I could afford was too small.Now I’ve decided to go to school in Cape D’adge,anyhoo have fun renovating!!

  • Susan
    January 16, 2012 7:58pm

    I gather you are still living in your old apartment while the construction is going on? That is smart, if you are. We lived in our house during a remodel with two small kids, no less, and it was a challenge. It’s been 20 years since and it still furrows my brow when think about it, but I’d do it all again (like giving birth!) for the outcome. Beware, it can become a one-up-manship game of who had the worst experience over particular phases when discussing it with fellow remodelers. The conversation at once validates your frustration and, conversely, scares the hell out of you for what’s to come..until it’s done. Keep your sense of humor and hope that your loved one can, too.

    • January 17, 2012 10:49am
      David Lebovitz

      No, but I’ve done that. And the last time I lived in a place under construction, the contractor tore out the bathroom without telling me and put a porta-potty on the sidewalk in front of my building for me. Then they stopped paying the bills on it, and so it didn’t get ‘serviced’ – needless to say, it was a completely unpleasant experience. Luckily that only went on for six months… : 0

  • Don
    January 16, 2012 8:23pm

    Congrats on the purchase. Must be exciting for you. I’m am in the process of the same thing. I thank the heavens for IKEA with my kitchen remodel.

    • January 17, 2012 10:47am
      David Lebovitz

      My experiences with Ikea have been a nightmare. They have a store outside of Paris that specializes only in kitchens, and kitchen design, so we figured we would go there. When we were “given a number” and told to wait, we were told that it was a minimum wait of 2 1/2 hours. (The man standing near us said he’d been there for four hours already!) But I couldn’t believe that it would take that long since there were only 10 people ahead of us.

      Fast-forward to 3 hours later, and they finally called our number. The kitchen planner sat with us for about three minutes, then went to help someone else, who had been waiting as well, then back to us for a few minutes…then to another person. So that part took another 1 1/2hrs (if they had stayed with us, we would have been done in 8 minutes, flat.) They only had three people helping customers with kitchen design and you would think one of the richest companies in the world would have more people to help or a better system, like the Apple Genus bar, where you can reserve online. It was a complete waste of time, and a full day. (end of rant!)

  • t.j.
    January 16, 2012 8:29pm


    And yes, jury duty only happens when it is most inconvenient. In my case, I got called the week I got married, and two years later the week I gave birth. I’m all for justice, but come on!

  • January 16, 2012 8:42pm

    BRAVO & Felicitations David!
    wonderful news! I know of an architect (American) who redid my sister’s place if you’re interested..
    No wonder there are so many squared toilets in Paris cafes – they got fed up looking through the catalogs evidently…
    Hilarious shenanigans as usual :)

  • Danielle
    January 16, 2012 8:44pm

    Congratulations on the new apartment! Good luck with the renovations! :)

  • Melanie
    January 16, 2012 8:48pm

    Congrats!!! Bonne chance! :-)

  • JimmyJay
    January 16, 2012 8:52pm

    Congratulations on getting your own place. I’m glad we don’t have French bureaucracy over here. I remodeled my place while living in it and it’s not always easy but the satisfaction at the end is great. Nothing ever goes as planned in a remodel, especially where old electricals are involved, but you’ll be happy in the end. It will be uniquely yours.

  • Maggie
    January 16, 2012 9:03pm

    I’m making your recipe for chocolate biscotti right now and just finished reading about your new apartment, congratulations! I loved that the category for this blog was “whining”. I just love your writing style, and quoted you often on our recent trip to Paris.

  • marilynr
    January 16, 2012 9:42pm

    Congrats! I hope we see the progress in the future, and it isn’t too much for you. By the way, having a short temper is a way to avoid having an ulcer. Pick the temper over the ulcer for your own sake.

    You can probably straighten out your jury duty problems over the internet. Most courts are up and running on the information superhighway.

  • Craigkite
    January 16, 2012 9:58pm

    Sounds like all the Amazon and Blogher ads on your site are starting to pay off. I have priced apartments in Paris, and unless you are in an industrial part of the suburbs…this place is going to eat up some royalties. Keep those books coming. Maybe you can pick up a shift at one of the local bistros as an aloof waiter, or your “fishguys” will pay you to sling halibut. Good Luck with the new place…2015 will be a nice year when you have it finished and settled. Maybe a brownie stall at the market would be profitable.

  • January 16, 2012 10:12pm

    This is so exciting! Congratulations and good luck with all the renovations and construction! I think all the stress and hard work will pay off in the end. I can’t wait to see all the goodies that are bound to come out of that new oven.

  • January 16, 2012 10:16pm

    I’ve drooled over Godins at various trade shows, but they are hideously expensive. If it’s not a rude question, why get one with an electric hob? The first oven I bought in France had two electric and two gas, never used the electric ones. Just can’t get the hang of them. Which is why the one I have now has four standard gas hobs and a triple couronne, which is great when using a wok.

  • Janet
    January 16, 2012 10:22pm

    Congratulations on the new apartment! Are you still in the same area or has that changed?
    The stove is lovely and something you can build a kitchen around. I like many others who have commented have been through home renovations. We lived in the house while the work was being done and I didn’t have a kitchen for almost 4 months.
    Please, please post pictures of the finished product. Thanks.

  • toddow
    January 16, 2012 10:47pm

    Hi David:

    Love your site, which I’ve learned a lot from.

    This would be a good time to ask you a question you might be able to answer:

    How hard is it for an American to get the proper visas and permits required to buy property in France? Like you, I make my money outside of France, as a freelancer, and so would not need to worry about French work visas or about taking jobs away from French citizens, etc.

    That said, I’m told that it’s STILL very hard for an American to show up in France with a bunch of money and buy property. The question is, how hard is it, bureaucratically speaking? I get the richer you are, the better?

  • MV
    January 16, 2012 10:59pm

    Is this at street level? Just curious. At least it’ll be easy to load / unload materials. Please post pictures as you progress.

  • January 16, 2012 11:19pm

    Wow, this is so exciting, remodelling an apartment. Lucky you, having an apartment in Paris is awesome. Congratulations.

  • M Dominguez
    January 16, 2012 11:43pm

    Dude, congrats! Were you able to move all the stuff in your old fridge, or did that require another permit?

  • January 16, 2012 11:52pm

    Congrats!! I can’t wait to see your apartment once it’s all done.

  • Shari
    January 17, 2012 12:22am

    Oh honey, you sure do have your work cut out for you! I wish I were there to help you, -I love that kind of work. I’m crazy that way. : ) And I see that you have the most important things up and running, -the stove and toilet. Now if you just had a sink, you’d have it made. Do you have space for a washer/dryer?

  • Gina
    January 17, 2012 12:39am

    Congratulations! Can’t wait to see what you do with the place. Here’s a link to some inspiration (or at least a place to go when you need a break from the renovation madness!).
    Good luck!

  • Liz J.
    January 17, 2012 12:51am


    Congratulations on the purchase. If you haven’t already done so get the movie “A Year in Provence”. It’s available on netflix. A couple relocates to France from England and do extensive up dates to their farm house. Memorize: C’est normale.

    I feel your pain. It’s always more fun to read about someone else’s rehab adventures than to live them on one’s own. Good luck, stock up on lots of vin…

  • January 17, 2012 1:38am

    Please do gives us updates. And pictures!

  • January 17, 2012 2:26am

    Congrats! Nearing the end of a 2 year reno myself I hear your pain. From the bank loan to demo to rebuilding to now finally picking the finishings, tell me about it, what a process! I was Canadian buying a house in SoCal when the housing bubble burst, talk about jumping hoops, what a racket! it doesn’t sound so different from your European experience, you are not alone. Again a huge congrats! Can’t wait to see it when it’s all done.

  • Ann
    January 17, 2012 3:01am

    So happy for you! You certainly deserve a fabulous kitchen!

  • Maria
    January 17, 2012 3:35am

    God Bless. You really, I though getting from Charles De Gualle airport to the Maris was adventure , But with that said, I am happy that you will have a kitchen bigger than a door mat (purely selfish reason) show photo updates,

  • Sarah
    January 17, 2012 4:20am

    So excited that you will have “room for dessert”!!!

    I think all bakers and cooks worth their weight must spend time cooking in some tiny space, like a pre-war NYC kitchen or some tiny Paris apartment. Because if you are moved to bake and cook in spite of the space you have, you must really really love it.

    Then it’s time to move into the dream kitchen….

    I know you left your incredible kitchen behind in SF to chase the Paris dream. Maybe you needed to earn your great kitchen once again… Maybe those are the rules.

    Mazel Tov!

  • dee
    January 17, 2012 4:37am

    Congratulations! Quick question – why do you have to do jury duty if you no longer reside in the US?

    Hope to see more lovely posts soon!

  • fishsticksforme
    January 17, 2012 5:08am

    Congratulations! May your new spot be filled with many friends and happy memories.

  • January 17, 2012 5:15am

    congrats, David! So exciting. I am sure you will do wonderful things – both in design and in the kitchen (with a counter large enough to hold a welcome mat-love that!)

  • Bernadette
    January 17, 2012 5:20am

    Excellent! Congratulations David! Best wishes to you! Hope you aren’t too far off from where you were before. . . breathe deeply and think positive thoughts of the wonderful outcome! We are eagerly looking forward to your progress, it will be terrific!

  • Norine
    January 17, 2012 5:40am

    Just last week I was reading about the French government assisting people in small towns with their historic property renovations. It took the couple a serious submission of plans, but they received financial assistance with the redo. Too bad you need to live in the big city :-). In any case, I too love to do this kind of work and wish I were in Paris to help you schlep and carry. Please keep us updated on a regular basis – not just the finished product. So happy for you.

  • Teresa
    January 17, 2012 5:42am

    Good luck and best wishes for your new home!

  • Norine
    January 17, 2012 5:48am

    Yes, a good electric baking oven is in order. I can adapt to most any cooktop, but just cannot deal with gas ovens, shudder.

  • January 17, 2012 6:35am

    Congrats! You are in for a roller coaster of emotions as you plan and construct your new apartment. I am an architect who does apartments in Manhattan (I did do one in Paris). I am sure you have more help and advice than you could want or need BUT If you are looking for a bit more advice send me your plan and I can give you some ideas. I woud love to help. Good Luck.

  • berit
    January 17, 2012 6:51am

    Oh my god I SO know what you are talking about. Just finding a place to rent is sending me into nervous breakdowns. Congrats on the new flat, it looks lovely so far =)

  • Sheila
    January 17, 2012 7:19am

    Congratulations on your new home! You are blessed! Love the stove and the red cabinet doors!

  • Brittany
    January 17, 2012 7:22am

    That stove is gorgeous! Now that is what makes for a wonderfully unique kitchen! This renovation will make for great blog content, as well. It’s good to hear that you will eventually be able to make ice cream in the kitchen. I can see another book in your future on your expirences with renovating; I think that would be wonderful!

  • annette
    January 17, 2012 7:30am

    Oh I can imagine a book coming out of this project. :)

  • January 17, 2012 9:55am

    Congratulations on your new place! Personally, I found buying our apartment here a horrible experience. I could not believe how incompetent everyone was, from the real estate agents to the bankers to the entrepreneurs. (Maybe it’s the same in the states, but somehow I doubt it). But like a lot of things in France, that which does not kill you makes you stronger…

    • January 17, 2012 11:00am
      David Lebovitz

      The mistakes that people made were truly astounding, namely the banks and real estate agent. (One bank made an error involving hundreds of thousands of euros.) Luckily had a great notaire and some help on my end (which I’ll write about at a later date…) because otherwise, the whole thing would have been worse than it was. But you’re right; all this stuff toughens you up and I give the French a lot of credit for having to deal with all this stuff all the time…

  • January 17, 2012 11:17am

    How gorgeous David! Congratulations! :)
    Hope you find just right sink ;)

  • January 17, 2012 11:49am

    Hi, David.

    I was a mortgage banker, but have since changed to the culinary profession. There are many steps in the U.S., and I thought we were tough as far as obtaining a mortgage. The process in France sounds really intense. Congratulations on your new home. Looks like you great lighting.

    Warm Regards,

    Jan Z. Parker

  • January 17, 2012 12:07pm

    WOW that looks like it is going to be a wonderful place, David. Congratulations on finally taking the leap and also going ahead to do a renovation. It is going to be excellent when you’re done with it.

  • Annabel
    January 17, 2012 12:48pm

    Adding to the congratulations pile! Delighted for you.

    And it’s not only in France that delivery people put notifications on the door without ringing the bell – the postman once put a card through my door, so I opened it and said, “I’m here, can I have my parcel before you take it back to the depot?” and he hadn’t even got it (to be fair, he went and fetched it for me, but he should have had it in the first place!).

    IKEA is a total nightmare – my daughter, for some reason, swears by it, but it was a bit like your experience when we had to get a replacement tap for her kitchen sink when the first one failed (and she STILL likes the place)! (Did you see that IKEA apartment they’ve built in Auber métro station with 5 volunteers living in it for a week?) Back in the day, one went to BHV for kitchen equipment (batterie de cuisine, rather than actual fixtures and fititngs); I don’t know if that still applies?

  • simona
    January 17, 2012 12:58pm

    congratulations for having gone through all this!
    Paris real estate is really crazy.
    enjoy the rest of it

  • January 17, 2012 1:06pm

    Wow, congratulations, David! Can’t wait to see the finished product! Are you still in the Marais?

  • stephanie
    January 17, 2012 1:07pm

    David….you are hysterical and I can totally sympathize with you. I am in the middle of a house purchase in Bordeaux with my husband (sans agence). It is such a crazy experience and so very different from home buying in the US. I am writing about it as I go so I can share it with my friends and family. They will think I am exaggerating, but you know the truth!

    I too was alarmed by the medical questionnaire required by the bank, but it is a little more complicated (and maybe understandable) now that I have been looking into it. Here goes:
    Banks in Europe do not like to take a lot of risk and they do not want you to take too much risk. The fact that American families are evicted from their homes is something that the French cannot comprehend. It happens every day in the US, but it doesn’t happen here. If you take out a mortgage loan in France, you are required to take out insurance so if something horrible happens, you do not lose your home and the bank does not lose money either. I am a stay at home mother of 2 young children and if my husband is disabled or killed, the house becomes mine and the entire loan is forgiven. This is a huge relief to me and while I dread the thought of losing my husband, I am happy to have this built in safety net. So it is actually the insurance company requiring the medical information and not the bank. Think of it as a life insurance/disability policy. This is required by French law and while it may seem callous, the laws are here to protect the long term economic interests of the country, its banks and its inhabitants. The bank does not have access to or control over the medical tests.
    Congratulations on owning a piece of France and I am looking forward to hearing all about your adventures in renovations!!

  • stephanie
    January 17, 2012 1:17pm

    @ toddow – the French real estate market is complicated for foreigners, but it is also complicated for French (my husband is French and I have my citizenship as well and buying a house is not easy). Foreigners who think their money is the only thing that counts are easily dissuaded and that is why I hope things here do not change. Patience, perseverence, and character are more important than stacks of foreign money and since people with a lot of money often lack patience, French property ownership is reserved for a select few.

  • melinda
    January 17, 2012 1:20pm

    YAY…..many congrats…….very exciting to actually own a piece of Paris……can u share the general location?

  • Lily
    January 17, 2012 1:50pm

    Fantastic news!!! Good luck David, and now you have bought your own place, it means we’ve got to keep you for at least another decade in Paris :0) I love reading your “adventures” and hopefully will be able to come to the signing event of the 12th so I get my sweet life in Paris dedicacee… Stay cool, it will be all worth it in the end :0)

  • January 17, 2012 1:53pm

    Congratulations! All the frustrations are par for the course – a few words of advice, if you don’t know already: Let Leroy Merlin and Castorama – and maybe even Bricodepot for certain things – become your best friends. Don’t trust any ouvrier like plumbers brandishing catalogues, they will cost a FORTUNE. Also – electricians, they have to do the wires, but you can choose your own light fittings – not from their catalogues. Also the ‘net is a useful resource – even getting stuff from the UK can be loads cheaper, and you get loads more choice, of-course. Also, there are schemes in areas of insulation, central heating systems and new windows, poeles, etc that attract crédit d’impots and even interest free loans – we got 40% off the cost of our new windows, for instance, so if you need anything like that, check it out. I know that they have reduced the benefits recently, but you may still get something. Happy to help (if I can) if you need any help – you may need a pro oven, and I know some good websites for pro equipment. Good luck!

  • January 17, 2012 1:55pm
    David Lebovitz

    toddow: Anyone (as far as I know) can buy property in Paris, but it’s very complicated and while the law favors the buyer, there are a lot of things one needs to be very careful of, as errors can cost you a lot of money. (There’s a lot of information at my friend’s site, Paris Property Group, which helped me immensely with the purchase; I’m going to write more about that sometime in the future.) However if you’re paying cash and don’t need a bank loan, that makes the purchase a lot easier.

    Re: Visa-The process here is quite, um, challenging because there are no definitive answers out there about the process or what documents are needed. I’ve posted some links in my FAQs about places to get more information.

    Stephanie: Thanks for responding. My issue is that if you have a serious medical issue, that substantially hinders your ability to buy property. I agree that the banks need to be cautious but in general, real estate is historically a good investment in the long-term and banks should indeed be prudent when making loans (to avoid problems like in the US). Yet it is the banks that require that insurance and a neighbor who is quite young (I’m guessing around 30?) almost didn’t get her bank loan because she had high blood pressure, which I think is a rather common ailment.

    It’s a complicated issue but seems odd to me to require medical issues to be disclosed to a bank for lending you money, which presumably they are making money off of. But I guess they also want to mitigate their risks.

    Annabel: Ikea can be good (ie: their kitchen cabinets) but some of their stuff is proprietary in size, which is great if you buy the sink, commode, and faucet together, they all work. But if something goes wrong, then the nightmare begins. I once bought 30 or so kitchen cabinets from them and delivered all but one. When I inquired, they said the company that makes them went out of business, so I had a kitchen with a big hole in the middle…for a while.

  • January 17, 2012 2:08pm

    Congratulations on such an amazing step! It does sound positively mind-blowing – the whole process. Wow. But you’re hanging in there. And I can’t see the finished product! Congrats again. 2012 is shaping up to be quite a year!

  • Sandra Myers
    January 17, 2012 2:32pm

    Best wishes on the new digs!! I’m sure that you have some wonderful ideas in mind about what you would like to do, but dealing with all things Parisian, will take time and patience. I’m sure that like all your wonderful food projects, this will be just as fabulous and we are all willing to wait and watch the progress of the changes. I hope that the social media people of some of the great design mags pick up on the story to follow as well.

  • Karen
    January 17, 2012 2:37pm

    Congrats-this little project should keep you busy for a while

  • Phyllis Bregman
    January 17, 2012 2:51pm

    Wow. Congratulations!! Can’t wait to read about the ongoing saga. I hope you post lots of photos.

  • Sandra
    January 17, 2012 3:39pm

    Congratulations! what a great adventure this will be and I am hoping that you will keep us all updated with the progress including pictures…… a professional interior designer and baker, I am wondering if you have a friend who is a designer there in Paris who could give you some help finding what you need? And, helping you navigate the french cultural, mystifying complications that are added to the already trying task of major renovations? Don’t lose your mind…..:)

  • January 17, 2012 4:39pm

    Simply marvelous! Those windows in the kitchen!…but you’ve convinced me to rent. I finished my total rehab here to turn my kitchen “European,” my third re-do, and can’t fathom another. But if the right French property came along, I might turn my estate agent window licking into a real pied-a-terre. How many square meters is your place? I can’t translate your measurements. As a Realtor I know it’s different over there. I look forward to the new DIY installments to go along with the recipes. Maybe a hotplate and crockpot edition? Felicitatations encore.

  • A Knight
    January 17, 2012 4:52pm

    That’s fantastic! Can’t wait to see it when it’s complete ; )
    Thank you for sharing and adding some humor to my morning.

  • Catherine Negus
    January 17, 2012 5:04pm

    Congratulations on your new home!
    My daughter recently moved to San Francisco and I flew there to visit and help her get settled. We spent a miserable five hours or so at Ikea in Oakland, with a very similar experience to yours; standing in line a very long time, after an exhausting time shopping for things, with just a few people ahead of us. Several things had to be delivered and they delivered two of some things, which then had to be returned by my daughter. Our experience, too, was a nightmare. Perfect word for shopping there.

    It’s really astounding that banks in Paris require a medical test and makes me wonder about the possible scores of people who have been turned away because of minor health issues.

    In spite of your having to deal with scary things like “creative” wiring, I wish you best of luck with your continued renovations! I hope you post photos of the end results, as that would be exciting for all of us to see!

  • January 17, 2012 5:06pm

    Wow! This is wonderful news, David! You’ve succeeded in surviving the madness that is buying property in Paris :) When we bought our place the misery came more from my French mother-in-law than any contractors – she wasn’t convinced it was the “right” place for us. Needless to say, she would’ve found something wrong with anyplace we wanted.

    Can’t wait to see your photo updates of the place! Staying in the same neighborhood?

  • January 17, 2012 5:29pm

    Wow, congratulations! What a beautiful stove, ok yes the clock is ugly but the rest of it…and what a great shade of red. Hope you keep us updated with videos!!!!

  • chickie ricciardi
    January 17, 2012 6:33pm

    I am arriving in Paris on the 28th. of Janurary for 2 weeks for a holiday. Would you like me to bring anything, with in weight reason from the San Francisco bay area?

  • JimmyJay
    January 17, 2012 6:45pm

    David, good to know about IKEA. I didn’t know about their “proprietary” sizes. In the store their stuff looks good & I was thinking of getting some items for a kitchen remodel there. Now I’ll really use that disposable tape measure before deciding. My IKEA doesn’t have the long lines that other people report but I hate that they make us buy bags.

  • January 17, 2012 7:59pm
    David Lebovitz

    JimmyJay: I had a terrible time with them once when one kitchen cabinet was missing and no one else had a replacement. My contractor said if you buy a sink there, you can only buy their faucets to fit them. So I’d check before buying anything.

    chickie: Thanks, but what I need, is much larger than is “reasonable” ; )

    Lindsey: I’m looking forward to composting, now that I have a bit more room. I throw away so many kitchen scraps that it’s almost criminal, and it’s surprising with how “green” they are trying to make Paris, all the scraps from the outdoor markets and home that just get swept up and tossed into the trash. That’s something I’m getting on once I’m settled. And sorry to hear about the in-law. Mine are great, although one said I should put the kitchen down in the cave

    Sandra: My partner is pretty well-versed in things here, we are both learning where to find things. It’s not like the US where there are ‘superstores’ that have a hundred sinks and you can choose one. So there’s a lot more running around, although the internet has made things a little easier, that’s for sure.

    Catherine: It really is something, but banks here have so much power, and I’m always surprised that no one does anything about it. The fees are outrageous for just having an account, but I think people aren’t used to getting service from their bank – I always say, if you want to see a French person blow up, ask them what they think about their bank… I’m just surprised that no one does anything about it when folks here are so pro-active and hit the streets in protest for a variety of other things and issues.

  • Warren
    January 17, 2012 8:20pm

    An apartment reno, let alone the purchase itself, is always fun and exciting. But you’re over the purchasing bit now so have lots of fun with the design work. Looking forward to reading all about it.
    Recently had lots of experience in this regard myself too. Congrats !

  • Patsy Lavinia
    January 17, 2012 9:34pm

    I love reading your posts and your wonderful sense of humor. Sounds like you have a huge job ahead of you, and, in the end, I am sure it will be fabulous!

  • Devrah
    January 17, 2012 9:50pm

    Is it just me, or could you maybe almost reach the stove from that toilet?

  • Su
    January 17, 2012 10:16pm

    Based on this post and especially your recent Twitter updates, all I can say is that you’re a stronger person than I. Yikes, and good luck!

  • January 17, 2012 10:56pm

    Felicitations et du courage, David.

  • Emmanuelle
    January 18, 2012 12:26am

    “un lavabo” is in a bathroom
    “une vasque” is a kind of lavabo (so in the bathroom) I think you would say a vessel

    “un évier” is in a kitchen, or a utility room

    “une cuve” might name different kind of things but I wonder why you would have a “cuve” in a Parisian appartment… A cuve is usually very big…

    and I think you meant “un lave-main” which is a very small sink meant to wach your hands (lave/wach + mains/hands….)

    Have fun,

  • Cris
    January 18, 2012 12:29am

    Congrats! I think that is wonderful that you perservered, triumphed over the banks, and got what you wanted.

    If I can make one suggestion – if you are moving things around in the kitchen, try for space on both sides of the cooktop and counter space next to your wall oven (if that is the way you go). Our cooktop has a sink on one side and a wall on the other – there is never anyplace to put anything down. Drives me nuts.

    Wonderful news for you! I look forward to seeing all your choices!

  • January 18, 2012 12:56am

    I look forward to seeing where you take it from here – and congratulations on making it thus far.

  • January 18, 2012 1:13am

    Oh wow, great news. Congratulations, David! I will kinda miss hearing the tales about working in your tiny kitchen (and all the antics/gymnastics that were involved), as well as seeing pics of food cooling on your roof. But I’m sure there will be tons of great new tales in your brand-new-super-big-lux-kitchen (the one with the fabulous new sink)!

  • January 18, 2012 1:29am

    Mazel Tov David!
    I’m in the beginning stages of a kitchen remodel, so these photos are actually exciting to me!
    Really looking forward to reading about the journey to completion and seeing your finished rooms.

  • January 18, 2012 1:39am

    Congratulations — I think. :)

  • Valérie Manzo-Wong
    January 18, 2012 1:47am

    I know it’s going to be grand.

    Keep us posted.


  • Martha in KS
    January 18, 2012 3:10am

    So funny – the first thing I thought of what that you wouldn’t have to churn ice cream in your bedroom! Congratulations. Can’t wait to see pix of the finished project. Many bon appetits!

  • mdiehl
    January 18, 2012 3:58am

    Having rented an apartment in the 5th for a week, with a kitchen that served well enough but was the size of a large closet, I’m looking forward to seeing the progress in yours as well as the rest of your new home!

  • Maggi Adamek
    January 18, 2012 5:10am

    OMG, David – Les numeros francais!! Why, oh, why is ninety eight – four twenty ten eight? Or seventy seven – sixty ten seven? What is up with that??

  • Terri Silver
    January 18, 2012 7:06am

    Mazel tov!

  • Pau-Lynn Lim
    January 18, 2012 10:16am

    Dear David,

    Good luck with the apartment furnishing and all. By the way, I would so gladly do your vaisselle for you if you let me tag along with you on your next grocery shopping spree / hunt. I. am. not. kididng.

    Yours truly,
    Pau-Lynn from Courbevoie.

  • Leslie
    January 18, 2012 4:07pm

    That is the first cement mixer I have ever seen in a kitchen! You could make a serious batch of bread dough in that thing. I am so thrilled for you, David. If anyone deserved a bigger better kitchen it is you.

  • jennifer
    January 18, 2012 5:03pm

    Amazing! SO much more room! Let me know if you want a good old reliable American painter!

  • January 18, 2012 8:48pm

    Oh lala, poor you, buying an apartment in paris is not easy, even for a French (although in 1999 I didn’t have to get through a bunch of tests to get a loan, maybe they reserve it for foreigners???) Anyway, on a sink department, Évier is the kitchen sink, any kitchen sink is called évier. Lavabo is the generic name for a bathroom sink. Any bathroom sink you can call lavabo.
    Vasque woluld be a “fancy” one.
    Cuve is more like a tank, or somethink you make wine in ???
    Lave main, never heard of, but yeah sounds like a little bathroom sink.
    Good luck.

  • January 18, 2012 9:08pm

    David. As for sink, check in Berlin (I know it’s a far piece away, but it’s still EU, and they ship) Berlin is the poor man’s Paris and has prices which are maybe 2/3of what you would pay in Paris and more like 3/4 of what you’d pay in the rest of the country. If you want, I can give my Handyman/contractor a head’s up. For all the Germans did to design – I swear there must be an academy of hideous furniture design somewhere near Munich – their plumbing, sinks, showers are generally divine. I haven’t done my kitchen yet, since I am over there only about a couple of months a year now, but I may do it when I spend more time there. Love the stove and the light. I am delighted for you..unfortunately my brood has moved on to Cologne, and somehow it just isn’t the same.

  • Chloe'
    January 18, 2012 9:08pm

    looks like a project! just finished the paperwork/contract for my new place…but there is sooo much work to do. I’m hoping in the end…its worth it lol. Best part it is though..the new kitchen is bigger, more open and flowy…and i painted it red!
    i wish us both the best with our projects! :)
    btw i just made the dulce de leche brownies..and u have given me one more reason to believe u r the greatest! :)

    chloe’ <3

  • January 18, 2012 9:09pm

    Forgot to mention – It’s lovely that the cement mixer is color coordinated with the kitchen. Nice touch. Still the Marais?

  • david
    January 18, 2012 9:56pm

    Si tu veux trouver du beau carrelage a tous les prix et avec un tres bon service, je te conseille

    PS Sur la photo, ta cuisiniere est tres pres du mur…Non….De plus si tu as achete ancienne imprimerie appartement doit etre en rez de chaussee. si ouverture vers exterieur, tres bien, si ouvertures sur troittoir…Pas bien securitaire…Bon moi j dis cala hein…Bonne continuation…

  • January 18, 2012 10:28pm

    Felicitations!!! Going to be a fun ride remodeling your new place. Love your blog, laughed out loud at the delivery part. Can totally relate, if we are expecting anything delivered, and I mean anything, my job is to keep a look out the window for the delivery man and chase him down when he ‘attempts’ to make his delivery by driving up to our gate, looking around for a second then pulling away. Can’t tell you how many times my neighbors see me in sweats running down our street chasing a car and shouting in ‘franglish’….. must give us Americans and even better image;)

  • January 18, 2012 10:29pm

    The handle on the oven matches the drawers – nice, never seen that before. It seems almost like the oven is custom made.
    I wonder if the bureaucracy is to discourage foreigners from buying property and pushing up prices

  • Hillary
    January 18, 2012 10:38pm

    Congrats! I do enjoy the color-coordinated shovel, cement mixer, and stove. If it was an old print shop I imagine the floors must be very sturdy – perfect for an old Aga!

  • January 18, 2012 10:39pm

    Very many congratulations! And welcome to my world of dust and upheaval. Thankfully we are nearly done – only the evier to go as it happens. Btw I think you will find a cuve is a deep sink, like a laundry tub. We have a vasque in the big bathroom, lavabo in the small bathroom, evier in the kitchen (still in its box…), a lave-mains in the toilet and a cuve in the buanderie – I think.

  • Gudrun
    January 18, 2012 10:44pm

    Congratulations on your purchase.
    I know this is awful of me to say, because buying and renovating is so out of this world stressful, but this was the funniest post I’ve yet read on our blog.

    We bought and renovated our pied-a-terre in Paris while having our first baby and not even living in that country anymore, and we did it.
    At the end of the day only the outcome counts, and it will be beautiful!!!

  • January 18, 2012 10:48pm

    Congrats on your new home! I can’t wait to finally do the same thing myself, although your post has me a little nervous now ;)

  • January 18, 2012 10:56pm

    Have the neighbors brought over a house-warming gift yet? I just made my new neighbors a spinach lasagna with lots of béchamel. Do they have such quaint traditions in Paris?

  • January 18, 2012 11:00pm

    Yay space! I can’t wait to read about all of the delicous creations that come out of that kitchen!

  • Patricia
    January 18, 2012 11:08pm

    Congratulations on the new and larger quarters. Will be watching for updates.

    P.S. Having to churn ice cream in the bedroom does save you the trek into the kitchen to get a bowl of Salted Caramel Ice Cream.

  • January 18, 2012 11:21pm

    Congratulations, David! I can’t wait to hear about your adventures – I can see this transformation being incorporated into your next book. Chin-chin!

  • shandel
    January 18, 2012 11:22pm

    mazeltov dear David,

  • January 18, 2012 11:30pm

    exciting! terrifying! amazing — all at once. enjoy the process. :)

  • nina
    January 18, 2012 11:32pm

    Mes felicitations, David!
    I am dying to know, what is a “Cul de Poule”( besides the obvious ), in culinary equipment terms?

  • January 18, 2012 11:43pm

    Congratulations David! Been following your blog for a year now, came to see you at Omnivore in SF last year. Love the tidbits you share about your life – hope you have fun gutting the place and redecorating. And the next time a delivery guy threatens to shake your sanity, remember “THIS TOO SHALL PASS!”

  • January 18, 2012 11:45pm

    With 142 comments, you don’t need mine…but I’m so very happy for you–that you have a place not only to hang your ice cream maker (to say nothing of your hat), but TO CALL HOME. Bonne chance! (Made some of your ice cream Monday night..a very dear friend’s birthday dinner. Perfect as always. I just got the 2qt Cuisinart — couldn’t find another 1 qt, though I loved my old/broken one terribly.)

  • Carol
    January 19, 2012 12:08am

    How wonderful! I hope you post pictures of the process as your home takes shape. Congratulations.

  • January 19, 2012 12:27am

    Congrats David. Bon chance avec la reste…mais je pense que le cauchemar est fini.

  • January 19, 2012 12:42am

    Wow, what a process! But congrats. It’ll be worth it in the long run. Once you get settled in. (and not When or If) :)

  • Gary J Moss
    January 19, 2012 12:50am

    Best online French-English dictionary I have found (that’s not saying much) shows this:

    As far as I can tell, unless it’s something particular to Paris dwellings, une cuve is a cistern or a tank.

  • Michelle
    January 19, 2012 12:51am

    Congratulations! Can’t wait to see your progress!

  • karin
    January 19, 2012 12:55am

    Shopping for plumbing fittings is about the same in France as in the USA. Go in person to the plumbing showrooms or bricolage and point at what you like.

  • Maryanne
    January 19, 2012 1:09am

    Congratulations, David! What fun you’ll have designing your own apartment. Don’t worry too much about the cost, because it will be well worth it in the end.

  • Joy
    January 19, 2012 1:18am

    Mazel tov! I’m looking forward to the photo essays to come.

  • James in Seattle
    January 19, 2012 1:49am

    Congrats David! I can’t wait for the book, “Where the Ink Stops, Pastry Begins”

  • Aude
    January 19, 2012 2:59am

    Let’s face it: it’s going to be darn hard, and our famous French service (French what?) will not help. But at the end you will have what YOU want, and that is just awesome to say “it’s “chez moi” !”
    Good luck, Congratulations, Bon courage… well all that :)

  • Michael Duffy
    January 19, 2012 3:49am

    Mazel Tov! We’re also right on the edge of purchasing. It’s a scary thing, but when you start making changes in a place that you OWN, it’s a terrific feeling. I hope you’ll keep us up-to-date on the changes and improvements.

  • January 19, 2012 4:07am

    You’re going to do great things with this apartment! Best of luck! :)