Friday, September 30, 2011

Chez Nous

Pardon my absenteeism. We have spent the last week plus without "weefee", as they say here, and so posting any news has been basically impossible. Last Tuesday, to our great delight, we moved from our temporary housing to our rental house. The house is quite different from our Seattle house, a renovated 1930's row house, bumped out in back to add twice the space in ultra-modern terms.

    Main floor, looking toward front door with back to yard.

    from kitchen doors that look out onto dining area and living room to back yard. Black orb is fireplace, 
    reminiscent of The Mod Squad?

    Entry and stairs standing in living room looking through glass doors.

It is beautiful, with a long garden in back that butts up to a very nice park, complete with restaurant and all weather ping-pong tables, zip lines and trampolines during summertime. It was a nice boost to move in, but there is much yet to do here to finish things up, not including wifi installation. The painters were here daily until just yesterday, the tiles in the basement bathroom were finished today, the chimney makers put their final stamp on fireplace construction, the floor people were here yesterday making repairs on the polyurethane coated concrete floors, and the terrace builders just finished reconstructing the three terraces on Friday after concluding they were not sturdy enough. Thankfully that was concluded before we spent to much time out there!

    Kitchen, white and stainless with original chandelier, looking out to street.

My favorite thing about the house is the kitchen, although that is perhaps because I spend so much time in it. Nonetheless, it is beautiful and functional, drawers open and close without squeaks and sawdust shavings, there is ample storage and good lighting. Fun to test drive a completely different beast. The other favorite part might be the skyscraper type windows that face our garden and slide wide open. It feels like a tree house, especially now with our beautiful weather.

    Kitchen shot of stove top, oven and fridge.

    The unfinished yard.

    Our big sliding glass windows.

Our landlords are native "Luxembourgers" who live nearby (in a house that is incredible as well!) and who bought and refurbed this house as a kind of dream house. It is too nice to be a rental and certainly too nice for us! The kids, of course, would not agree with my last statement and are reveling in the fact that there is a bathroom for every room and a sauna in the basement. They can walk to school and the park is at their fingertips, literally. Oliver seems happy too and we are happy to have him back with us. Nico has the ultimate bachelor pad, complete with Garfield Bulldog purple bathroom, and he has a plan to make it as man-cavish as possible.

    Nico's loft and sky light

    Nico's loft looking toward street side of house.

    Nico's lower room, view of stairs and loft above.

    Nico's bathroom, note purple tiles.

Gabriel has the coziest room on the first floor with the master bedroom and with a little balcony looking over our street. Carmela has by default scored what is basically a second master bedroom with a bathtub to die for. She has the tree house views and is loving getting organized and imagining how it will all be arranged once our big shipment arrives. Taylor Swift and friends are already prominently adhered to her bedroom wall. Oh joy!

    Gabriel's room with bath.

    Gabriel's balcony doors.

    Master bedroom wardrobe room.

    Master looking back toward entry, right door is wardrobe door, left is bath.

    Master bath with dual sinks.

    Carmela's wardrobe on 2nd floor.

    Tree house view from Carmela's room.

    Carmela's bathroom.

    Note the nice long sinks.

    Bathtub to die for!

    Standing on the balcony in Carmela's room looking down onto yard, park is beyond to the left.

    Her big sliding glass doors are great to leave open at night to get the full tree house effect.

    All the hardwoods are original and have clear finish showing off the old beauties.

    Lastly, the ceilings throughout.
    This is how I would have finished the concrete floors, or something like this without the lights of
    course, but I love having the ceilings like this and they add that nice industrial chic I love so much.

I realize now I failed to photograph the basement which includes the usual suspects, laundry room, storage and then yet another bathroom and open area for television, couch, etc. Oh yeah, and the sauna. Pictures of all that, the soon-to-be landscaped yard and the insides of my kitchen drawers (Jorrit says this is a must for all my "lady friends" (he said that not me!)).

Hope this gives you some sense of things here and it is proof we have plenty of room for visitors!

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