My dear Local Hideaway friends, Zahia and Marc, divide their time between their incredible Hideaway in Taroudant, Morocco- Dar Zahia- and their artistic abode in Paris. This enables them to create the best of both worlds for themselves: a cosmopolitan life in the French capital combined with the stilled mystic life in Morocco. Dar Zahia has been a part of my collection for quite some time now. But during their time in Morocco, Marc and Zahia rent out their home in Paris, and this is where Local Hideaway comes in again, for I was recently invited to stay here. And I have to say that I agree whole-heartedly that this place, once again, is a true Local Hideaway.

Right in the middle of the lively Montmartre neighbourhood, behind an old façade, is this hidden treasure: Cité de Fusains. Early 20th Century, it was an artist’s complex, where artists such as Derain, Bonnard, Ernst and Miró lived together in the main house, their studios nestled in the lush garden behind it. These studios were built using recycled building materials previously used for the construction of pavilions in the 1889 Universal Exhibition (for instance for the Eiffel Tower). Zahia and Marc occupy one of these studios.

You would certainly miss it if you didn’t know it was there, for it can hardly be seen it from the street. But once the gate closes behind you, it’s a different world: one of times gone by, where you can still feel the creative spirits of the famous painters roaming around. It is easy to see how, under the influence of absinthe, they came to create the most beautiful, free-spirited creative expressions. But it is also a lush oasis in the city, full of a gorgeous variety of plant and flower species and the constant chirping of birds….. a true paradise in busy Montmartre.

This is the enchanting location of Marc and Zahia’s studio, very comfortable and fully equipped, a perfect base for your explorations of Paris. The ground floor features a spacious living room and open-plan kitchen (complete with dishwasher, washing machine, cooking facilities and fridge) and a large dining table. It is an intimate and attractive room, decorated with some beautiful ‘objets trouvés’, collected by the owners themselves. A narrow spiral staircase leads up to the first floor, ingeniously added to this old studio –the beautiful old large windows of the façade continue all the way up. Here, a large double bed,  a pretty bathroom and a separate toilet are overhung by a suspended mezzanine, on which Marc has created his office. The many inspiring objects, books and other things that give this studio character and are such an important part of Marc’s and Zahia’s personalities are present here as well. An added bonus: it is lovely to relax in the garden of ‘Les Fusains’ in the warm summer months.

Marc and Zahia will make sure you won’t lack anything during stay, if desired they will stock up the fridge completely, and of course they will leave you with some wonderful tips for restaurants, shops etc. to visit! Zahia’s sister, Faouzia, lives just around the corner, nice to know in case of calamities. But the best thing about this Local Hideaway is that it allows you to live like a local. Who knows, the artist hidden inside you might even awaken….and if not, there are lots of wonderful places to discover and things to do in this great city: “Paris is always a good idea! N’est-ce pas?!“ 🙂

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