La Maison De Montreuil

It’s 12:33 p.m. and I’m starving. Last night, my uncle warned us that my aunt had a meeting in the morning so she would be up earlier than normal – meaning we might hear her earlier than normal. The meeting, it appears, is being held here, in her studio, which is just off the kitchen of the house. After peeking down over the edge of our lofted bedroom, it also appears that the meeting involves a film shoot. Now, I’m afraid to go downstairs.

So, while we’re stuck up here, I’ll take a little time to fill you in on exactly where we’re living.

We’re living in Montreuil, which is in the inner ring of Paris suburbs. It is a lively city with a mix of cultures, but we’ll talk more about Montreuil in another post.

My aunt and uncle live in a converted warehouse that looks fresh from the pages of Dwell. Their house is one of a few residences tucked back from the street in an overgrown garden. Most are owned by artists of one sort or another. The space itself is a creative minimalist’s dream full of modern artwork and items they’ve collected from travels in Africa and other places. They’re both creative types (she’s a graphic designer, and he’s an architect), and they designed the space themselves. And we feel pretty damn lucky to be living here.

One of the reasons my aunt and uncle wanted someone they knew to live in their house (besides the fact that whoever lived here would be using their stuff) is that they share a wall and a patio with their longtime friends Fred and Julie (and their adorable kids Leon and Angel). There’s even a door between their houses. (Don’t worry, it closes.) So, they needed someone who was comfortable with this situation and who Fred and Julie would be comfortable with. We were happy to fill the open position.

The video shoot ended about an hour ago, and we rushed downstairs to shove some food (bought fresh from the local farmers market we discovered!) in our faces. Turns out Margy is helping a small town with a project that’s the biggest thing to happen to it in maybe forever. So they sent a film crew to document the process. All in a day’s work for her, I suppose.

We have three weeks left of sharing the house with Margy and Olivier before they take off for five weeks in the U.S. followed by several months in Cambodia. We’re doing our best to make ourselves comfortable but still catch ourselves tip-toeing around a bit. Fortunately, Margy and Olivier keep reminding us that it’s our home now too.


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