You know, I never did a home tour post the entire time we lived in Michigan for a couple of reasons.
1) I don't have a DSLR and my photography skills do not extend to making a house look good.
2) While I loved our little rented home and the rainbow colors I painted each room, I never felt that it was anything particularly special that anyone else would want to look at.
In our new home here, both of these facts are still true (except the rainbow colors, I can't paint this one). Our new home is not a majestic triumph of interior decor--but it's practical, it's clean (post 24-hour cleanathon when we first arrived), it abundantly meets our needs, and it's our home for now.
A home tour has been requested, so in spite of my lack of photography skills and home decor resources, here you go:
Look up, and you see that blue shirt hanging inside the bars? That's our balcony. This is the back view of our apartment building. In case I haven't mentioned it before, as part of our contract with the school, we are provided with housing that we don't have to pay for, it's part of our compensation package. Many foreign teachers in our area are housed in dorms on their school's campus, but we're housed off-campus. We live in building #21 out of a huge complex.
Here's the front gate to our little stairwell. After you unlock this, you just climb up to the 3rd floor, and you're at our home (And no one should pity us for being on a 3rd floor walk-up--these buildings are 8 floors with no elevators...if you lived on the 8th floor, you'd either have to be a hermit or in really good shape).
Here's our front door! More bars, and locks. We are very safe.
Just inside the front door there's a dining area. The apartment is actually much bigger than we expected, and bigger than many of the apartments others in the program have received. We estimate it's between 600-700 sq. ft., but they make efficient use of the space.
My kitchen, complete with a fridge, microwave, and 2 burner gas stove (hurray, I love gas stoves!)
I placed myself in the kitchen for size comparison to the fridge. By the way, in case you have been under the impression that I'm a giant all these years...I'm not particularly large.
Cozy living space next to the dining area. The couch has holes so I came up with the idea of covering it with the brand-new comforter our school gave us. We don't feel the need to use a comforter when it's over 80 degrees at night. The tv has so far been pronounced unfixable by the very nice workmen who came by to fix the wifi, standing water in the kitchen that was there when we arrived, and the bedroom air conditioner.
Living room decor. I'm so predictable. This is on the wall of the tv. This wall, like many other in the house, has the ugly remains of yellowed adhesive from previous foreign teachers' posters all over it. So, as is my habit, I stuck a bazillion photos all over the wall, strategically covering yellow tape spots. AND I used a kind of tape that actually comes of of the wall and neither removes paint nor leaves yellow marks. I'm a genius.
On the little shelf in the living room--Angel set this up. This is really all of the "home decor" we have, so even though the nativity scene and snowmen are supposed to be for Christmas, I'm thinking of leaving them there. The sign with the Bible verse is one of Angel's most treasured possessions, and these other little bits are all special to us. I bought Angel the Swarovski cat to commemorate our Narcan, who died last Christmas. The snowman frolicking in popcorn represents me because I always frolic when there's popcorn around, and the snowman with the cat represent Angel petting Morphine.
Here's our balcony. We have a washing machine (hurray!!!) and a bar to hang clothes on to dry.
Our bathroom--in my experience this is a very normal design for a bathroom in this area and I actually love this bathroom design because they are easy to clean (American style bathrooms, while easier on the eyes, frustrate me come cleaning time). Basically, there is no shower area so when you take a shower the entire bathroom gets wet. The water drains into a little hole in the floor next to the toilet. You can't store anything in the bathroom unless it's something that can get wet. This is pretty similar to the bathroom in my family's home when I was growing up, only their home had been renovated recently so the tile was in better condition.
The spare bedroom! Now who wants to come visit? I'll even put a sheet on the bed for you if you do.
The other spare bedroom. But, as you can see, this is mostly a storage room. We were told that we have to keep all of the appliances in the house, even if they are broken, but we can put them in this storage room. So stored in the wardrobe are a broken toaster oven...broken speaker system...etc. This tv also doesn't work. There's no airconditioner in this room which makes it more of an ideal storage room than bedroom.
The master bedroom. I'm not the biggest fan of flags as decor--I think they look a little more like dorm room decor than adult home decor, but Angel's put them up temporarily until I get some wall hangings I like for this room, which also suffers severely from the yellow adhesive problem I mentioned before. The school provided us with brand new sheets, one set is a purple and pink pattern and the other set is blue and red so we can switch out between girly and manly sheets. :)
The wardrobe on the wall at the side of the bed. Yes, yes I did steal the larger section of the wardrobe for myself and yes I did put Angel's clothes in the tiny section. That's only right, isn't it?
I thought these shelves next to the wardrobe were perfect for my little shoe collection.
And that's our home! It's hard to say whether it's "average" or not--it's very "average" for our apartment complex which contains about 30 apartment buildings that look identical from the outside. Like anywhere, homes in this city vary widely--from huge, palatial mansions and extravagantly gorgeous apartments to tiny rooms in high rises where people are crammed into unbelievably small spaces and shacks on the sides of fields constructed out of sheets of metal. We're already falling in love with our new community.