Monday, July 7, 2014

Our Apartment (Part 1: The Bedrooms and Bathrooms)

Since we've finally settled into our apartment, we (Kristin) wanted to share some pictures of our place.  It feels great to have phase 1 over (the initial organization period) (note from Matt: I hope there's only 1 phase).   And now we can focus on the more fun parts of living in Europe -- like traveling and eating.

When you finally reach the top of the (too many to count) stairs to our apartment, to the left is a long hall with all the bedrooms and bathrooms.  Matt hung some photos from our favorite trips, as well as a fun light fixture.  All of the lights in our place were just bare bulbs (a German tradition), so we've needed to add a bunch of light fixtures along the way.  Matt frequently reminds Kristin that he is an electrical engineer as he is installing them.  Kristin dutifully just holds his beer.

The door on the left is to the second bedroom, the door straight ahead is to the master bedroom, and the two doors on the right are the bathrooms.  

And here is our master bedroom.  The bedrooms are a bit smaller than our last place, so we don't have a ton of room for furniture.  But we can at least fit in the bed and nightstands.  We still need to add a few more things to the walls and a nice big, comfy rug to this room. 

After a minor elbow injury in our shipping container, the Adam Wainwright bobblehead is back.

The bedroom is great for sleeping.  There are blackout shades on each of the three windows that make it a cave at night despite about six hours of "night" at this time of year (a huge bonus because most apartments in Germany don't come with any window coverings).  

Matt was adamant about getting an air conditioner, so we were able to score one for a great deal in January.  Our windows tilt out, so he found a model that has part of the contraption (Matt edit: condenser) outside and part inside (blower), with a hose connecting the two.  That leaves the window with just a slight gap that we are able to fill with temporary insulation material when we are using the AC (currently old t-shirts).  Blackout shades plus air conditioning make for good sleep during the few days a year that necessitate it here.

These bare white walls need some stuff on them.  Stat.

Part of the trouble with furniture placement and decorating in the master bedroom is the slanted roofline and these crazy poles and radiators.  It wasn't going to be easy putting any other furniture in here so we've made peace with the fact that this room will just have our bed and nothing else.  We welcome any suggestions on how to hang art and photos on slanted walls.  We haven't figured out any good solutions yet that won't look completely weird.

We're happy to give away these poles if anyone wants them.
Our guest bedroom is right down the hall.  Once we (Kristin) figured out a good system for organizing our clothes, the room felt a lot bigger. We had a clothing rack hanging out in the middle of the room for months until Kristin finally decided to handle the situation.  

The guest room functions as a big closet for us and most of our clothes are stored here.  Since Matt gets ready in this room, it makes it easier for Kristin to sleep in when he gets up early for work.

Hello bare lightbulb hanging from the ceiling.  The renters of this apartment should really do something about you.
Matt built a closet for his clothes into the nook on the left.  We found an Ikea hanging rack and shoe rack that slid into the space with about 1/4" total to spare!  It worked perfectly.  Going from the DC apartment with 4 closets (1 of which was a walk-in) down to ZERO closets was a big adjustment.  But we think we've finally figured out a system that will work for us.

Matt was able to move the mirror on the back of the dresser  (because he is super handy) so that it could work with the tricky roofline.  We were very excited to find that the armoire and dresser both fit on this wall.  (Sad that we figured this out once the movers already left so we had to move it ourselves into this room from the master bedroom.)  Kristin has most of her clothes either hanging to the left of the armoire or inside of it.  With a bunch of things shoved under the beds and some seasonal clothes in the cellar, we are now pretty well organized.  

Next up:  the bathrooms.  The Germans love to put multiple bathrooms right next to each other (usually separating all of the parts of the bathroom into different rooms).  So we have 2 bathrooms right next to each other, but they are still much more "American-style" than most German bathroom setups.  

Matt went out of town for the weekend, so Kristin went a little bit crazy with the color in these rooms in his absence.  Kristin got a couple of "what have you done" texts after sending some in process photos.

Matt was concerned.

But the bathroom is coming together nicely now.  We've got a tub and a shower, and two sinks, which is super.  Not a ton of storage, but we've figured out some temporary solutions.  We'd like to get a small cabinet for either under the sinks or under the window to hold a few things that are currently living in the clear tubs.

Hello green!

Hello neighbors!  (Usually we keep the shades on the lefthand window down.)
Out second bathroom is a half bath where we were able to put a washer and dryer.  Painting this room involved a lot of math.  And painters tape.  And a laptop for some reason (Kristin was probably watching TV while painting.  She swears there is no paint on it.)

But it now looks pretty great.  Even if Matt is not thrilled with the purple, Kristin is in love with it.  Still a few more updates needed for this room, but it is definitely coming along.  
Hello purple!
We are pleased to report that these flowers are still alive after 4 months.
We are excited to show you the rest of the tour in a few days!  We're very happy with the progress and thrilled that Stuttgart is feeling more like home every day.  

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