SOCIAL MEDIA

19 June 2015

Our 3rd Home

 



I think it's my favorite yet.

Our first home was a farmhouse built in the late 1800s, full of quirks and character. Sometimes the "quirks" were mice and the "character" was a bat--but hey, we ended up with great stories...and hilarious videos of Angel catching and releasing bats. It had a huge yard, and I loved having so much space when we had parties and bonfires, but Angel's no fan of yardwork, so we didn't appreciate the opportunity to landscape as much as other people might. We loved eating outdoors in the summer, but during long Michigan winters, neither one of us enjoyed shoveling the long driveway, although I always tried to mentally frame it as "exercise." Our last winter there, we finally broke down and hired someone to plow it on a number of occasions because the snows were so heavy.

Our 2nd home was a highly efficient 3rd floor apartment in a building with eight stories and no elevator. We often thought about everyone who lived on the eighth floor and how strong their legs must be. We had 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, a tiny kitchen, and only the barest necessities as far as appliances and conveniences go: wifi, a rice cooker, a fridge, microwave, stove. The couch was extremely uncomfortable, and this was a somewhat grievous offense for two people whose shared favorite hobby is cuddling up on a cozy couch and watching a movie. I loved that cleaning and dishwashing took so little time--having minimal cupboard space motivated us to stick to keeping only 4 plates. It doesn't take long to wash 4 plates, and it doesn't take long to mop 600 sq. ft. either. There was no heat in the apartment building, so during the mild ShenZhen winter we wrapped ourselves in blankets, cuddled up with a hot water bottle in bed (old school!) and sat directly in front of a little electric space heater. It was only in the 50s, maybe occasionally 40s, outdoors, but it was chilly inside!

Which brings us to the 3rd home, the one we haven't yet lived in for a week. It's about 1000 sq. ft., a nice medium-size in between the spacious farmhouse and the efficient China apartment. We've got 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms (and you can tell now that it's also very efficiently designed, in order to make that much use of the space. For example, there are no bathtubs, because bathtubs take up much more room than a showerhead on the wall.). We've been running around this whole week, shopping and cleaning and trying to set everything up to make it truly "liveable." It didn't have a washing machine or a fridge or internet service when we first moved in, but we acquired those within 3 days and so we're living quite comfortably. The house is currently furnished with a combination of Ikea furniture that my parents purchased for us as gifts for last year's birthday and Christmas (this has been a long-desired move), along with hand-me-down and borrowed furniture from Mom and Dad's house and office. I'm having so much fun arranging and rearranging everything just the way I want it to be (is there anything like the feeling of walking into a totally empty house and knowing that you have the freedom to set it up exactly as you'd like to?). I've got a kitchen with more cupboards that I can even fill--no complaints about a kitchen with lack of storage here, that's for sure!

There's still much to be done. My jewelry is still jumbled up in the plastic bag I've kept it in for the last year because I haven't decided how I want to organize it yet (we shouldn't put any holes in the wall, so I'm trying to find a good option that doesn't require that. The master bedroom has neither a closet nor a built-in wardrobe, so my clothes are currently taking over the built-in wardrobes in the small bedrooms until we can decide what sort of wardrobe to buy for our room. Right now, the two small bedrooms are occupied by my brother and my cousin, there will be 4 of us living here until they return to the land of college and candy (how we affectionately refer to the USA) in August. After they leave, I plan to keep one bedroom as a bedroom, but set up the other as a computer/education room.

I tried to take a few pictures of the new place this morning, but I learned that I have no idea how to take good pictures of a room. The camera can't see the whole room the way my eyes can. I don't think the photos do our new place justice. I'm looking forward to really settling into this new home of ours! Right now it's probably the cleanest it'll ever be, since we've been cleaning all week and still have very little in the way of "stuff" to clutter it up, but I think even when it gradually becomes a little more cluttered, it'll be a very nice place to live, indeed.

p.s. See that silver and black stick right next to the washing machine? It's awesome. That's how I hang up my clothes to dry. After being washed, I put the clothes on hangers and use that handy stick to lift the hangers all the way up to the bars on the ceiling where I hang up the clothes to dry. So far, I think this is just the coolest. At this point, one of my favorite things to do in my new home is wash clothes in my very own washing machine and then use the stick of awesomeness to hang them up on the ceiling to dry. This negates the need for a clothes drying rack that takes up floor space. How clever--whoever designed this place was smart!

27 comments :

  1. Congratulations on your new home! Home is truly where the heart is.

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  2. Yay, congratulations! Hope you get settled in soon, moving sucks but it's so worth it most of the time.

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  3. It sounds like you have a great place! I agree that photographs don't do a room justice at all - I think that's why many real estate agents use fish-eye lenses to fit the whole room in, which also makes it look so much larger, but I don't think that's ideal either.

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  4. Congrats on your third home! Great description of your places. :)

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  5. Congratulations for your new home! It does look lovely. Hope you'll have great memories in your new place. :)

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  6. Yay, I'm glad you think that this will be your best home yet. I'm moving right now, too...Good luck with getting everything in order.

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  7. You're inspiring! I'm in the process of buying my first home. I'm going from a 950 sq foot apartment with two bedrooms and one bathroom to a 1050 sq foot house with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, but it's NOT efficiently designed at all. It's a tiny 2 story bungalow and the bedrooms are itty bitty and it's very compartmentalized. It's going to be an adjustment, my apartment felt so roomy!

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  8. Congrats on the new home! It is very cute and nicely decorated!! Good job!

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  9. Congrats on getting moved into your new place. Sounds like you guys found just the right spot. I can see how not sharing your space with bats or having to walk up 8 stories might make life a little easier. Enjoy your new space!

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  10. It seems a lot nicer than your apartment in China. How close are you to your parents, now?

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  11. Looks great!! How exciting!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

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  12. I laughed at that first paragraph of having the quirks and characters of your first place as little animals... hahaha. A bat, huh?

    And I would have never guessed what that silver and black stick was for. I thought it was a weird tripod. I was totally wrong. So glad you're moved into your new space!

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  13. Your new place looks and sounds fantastic! I'm so excited for your new adventure!

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  14. Your new place looks and sounds fantastic! I'm so excited for your new adventure!

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  15. It looks so luxurious, Rachel! And I love love love the "stick of awesomeness." I live in the land where clothes dryers are the norm, yet ironically I prefer to have my clothes air dry and would totally love one of those...

    Anyway, congrats on the new place, and I hope you do find a way to adequately photograph it, because I'd love to see more!

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  16. That is so awesome!! I've been totally into the small house movement lately - mainly because the creativity is astounding! Drawers under steps, homes on wheels, compostable toilets, tables that double as wall art... it's fascinating to see what people can do with such a small space! I think it's even more incredible that you get to witness it in another country!! I remember in Germany they had so many interesting efficiencies - I kept thinking "why don't we do this in America??" Congrats on your new home :)

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  17. I totally agree that pictures just do not do justice to a room. But congrats on your new place! I'm glad you love it. There is something really fun about having an empty space to decorate however you want.

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  18. That's awesome! Congrats on your 3rd home :) Having a washing mashing is soooo useful in the home! It saves me so much time with laundering <3 The apartment my bf and I share is my favorite ever - everyone that walks in here ooh's and aah's over it's great touches.. It'll be hard the day we decide to leave but that day will be for a home so it will be worth it. :) Have a great one and enjoy your new home Rachel! -Iva

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  19. Your new place looks cute! I imagined that you would be living somewhere tiny at all times in China so it's cool you have 3 bedroom and bathrooms. And I agree, it's impossible to take photos of rooms. I don't know how people do it.

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  20. Congrats!!!! I have a 'stick of awesomeness' too (mine's not quite so high-tech!) and they are truly Mighty Awesome! Hoping you have a comfy settee...I never understand the point of buying a settee that isn't comfy!! (BTW....I didn't know they had IKEA in Malaysia......!)

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  21. looks like a lovely new home!

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  22. New homes are always exciting! Love the idea of overhead drying. I could have used that idea in France.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  23. Your new place sounds so great, and how wonderful that you get to be close to your family again. That stick would be handy for hanging clothes, and so smart that they do it up higher, so they're not in the way when they're hanging.

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  24. What are you going to do with all those bathrooms??

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