Hidden Paris: because you know you want to know what’s behind those beautiful Parisian doors

Hidden Paris Book Review

What is this about?: Paris! Beyond the facades and the history you see outside walking these streets, this is about what’s on the other side, and in some cases on the roof.

What else is this about?: Lovely glossy pictures of interiors. And also Paris!

Blurb: A peek behind closed doors in the City of Light.

Go on a photographic tour of a side of Paris few have ever seen, created from the vast archive of glorious imagery belonging to the French interiors magazine Côté Paris.

Hidden Paris reveals the capital city’s unique architecture and fabulous interiors in a range of styles, from classic French to retro, contemporary, bohemian, industrial and more. How to make a Paris rental apartment one’s own? Go with the author behind closed gates, through the courtyards, and into people’s stylish homes and chic apartments to learn the answers. Here are myriad examples of Parisians embracing what they have while demonstrating clever and effective ways of coping with the existing structures and architecture that they cannot change, to make beautiful spaces of their own. 

Stars:

Paris. 

There was a meme – a Tuesday meme done within the last couple of weeks about the type of book that you will always pick up. And Suzanne over at the Bookish Libra mentioned in her post that she would always pick up a book about Paris – and I could not agree more! 

Paris is to most people a cliché, I think. Somehow it’s become cool not to like Paris, or to dismiss it as too touristy (or some such thing). Then there’s the whole “French people are rude” – which no, that hasn’t been my experience at all, so I don’t quite buy that. 

I don’t quite know how to describe my fascination with the city – with the buildings and the architecture and the museums and the cafes and the bakeries and Notre Dame, except to say if you don’t feel it when you’re there, I don’t think you’ll get it. I could walk the entire city and still find something new about it. 

Is it an entirely romantic view of the city and probably not close to reality? Probably, but how sad is it not to have place in the world that does that to you? 

And all of that? 

Is why I love this book.

This is a history of Paris, in it’s architecture and the interiors it depicts. There are bits on living in small apartments and living in converted warehouses. There are staircases and libraries, because yes, the French do that well too. 

For me, there’s something to be said for seeing the history in the buildings around me, which is why the photos of the older kitchens and interiors are the most welcoming, especially with the walls are scarred from years and years of wear and tear. 

Of course, there are interiors that are utterly ridiculous to my eyes and aren’t exactly comfortable… and I may have sniggered, but I still wondered about the people that live there.

And I wondered about the people who cultivate a lush oasis of green on their rooftops, so there’s something else in their world of concrete. 

There are interiors that looks like they’re out of the 1800s, saved only by the modern touches of appliances that show exactly when they are. And living rooms with the most comfortable of couches that you can sink into and look outside over the rooftops of the city, Other pictures depict insides that are nothing but an explosion of colour that make your eyes hurt, but… but… you know eventually make sense.

There’s an election happening there right now that’s going to change everything about the country in general, I think. I feel sad when I think about it, because above all else, the French were always wonderful to me there — blundering around and asking questions in English of very patient Parisians. I can’t help but wonder what will happen when I go there again.

For now though, books like this give me a little touch of Paris at home.

13 Comments

  • Angela says:

    Ahh, this sounds beautiful! I have always wanted to go to Paris! I love architecture, and it would be so interesting to see the interiors of these amazing buildings.

    • Verushka says:

      Paris is beautiful, it really is. My heart just swells every time I’m there and I swear I would dance down the street if I could 😉

  • Greg says:

    Ooh Paris! Sign me up… 🙂

  • I have been to Paris once when I was in high school and I LOVED it. I would love to go back. WIll have to check out the book!

  • Kelly says:

    I’ve never been myself unfortunately, but I’ve always had a fascination with Paris and the French Revolution, the history, architecture, Parisian art, the people. Especially the history of the revolution though. I think the mixture of Paris and interior design is something I’d absolutely adore, a great one of the coffee table. Brilliant review Verishka <3

    • Verushka says:

      It’s beautiful, Kelly. I just love it, I love walking in it and exploring and I swear, I always feel like there’s something more to find in it.

  • Sounds like a nice coffee table type of book. My sister has been to Paris – and a couple other places in France – but I have not! It’s somewhere I DO hope to visit someday.

  • Well, you know me and my fascination for all things Paris. This sounds like a perfect read for me. 🙂

  • Silvia says:

    I’ve been to Paris and I don’t buy that either, I personally had a good experience (except for the last couple of days when I couldn’t leave the hotel because of high fever, argh!). Glad you loved this book so much 🙂

  • oh Paris, Paris, Paris one day! pffff I don’t care if it’s cliche of not. Seriously we, people, an be something. 🙂 “French people are rude” I heard ALL version insert “Americans” “Spaniards” “Portuguese” etc. we human beings have an issue liking each other LOL! I bet the pictures in this book are out of this world. ONE DAY Paris! ONE DAY I’ll visit you and your “rude” inhabitants who I will adore 🙂

  • Coffee table books with glossy photos of interiors will always be a must for me! And maybe it’s because I’ve never been, but I think Paris is pretty damn cool, hahaha. I’d love to stroll around the city someday!

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