There’s no better way to experience what it’s really like to live like a Parisian than to live with one in an authentic Bed & Breakfast, aka Chambre d’Hôte in France. There are many vacation rentals in Paris, but since so many of them are remodeled in a generic fashion to be used just for weekly tourist rentals, they are usually nothing more than glorified hotel rooms without a trace of Parisian authenticity.
Staying with a Parisian as a guest is not only totally legal (most vacation rentals are not, as we’re all now finding out thanks to crack-downs by the local authorities), it also means you get to actually meet and interact with a local, see how they really live, eat, and welcome guests into their home. There are few B&B’s in Paris because of a general lack of space, but you can find a good selection through Une Chambre en Ville, a bilingual website approved by the Paris Tourism Office and the Federation of Professional Parisian B&Bs, with many properties awarded the Eco-Friendly B&B label. With this company, you don’t need to worry about who you’re staying with and the quality of the welcome because they personally check each place and act as the go-between for the hosts and guests.
They have a few rooms listed on their website’s home page (click on one of the five areas of Paris to see more in each neighborhood), and some which aren’t listed publicly, but are shared once you fill out a request form. The prices are reasonable, and of course always includes breakfast. There are often minimum stays, and descriptions of the language(s) spoken by the host in addition to the description of the room facilities.