Our apartment was a great find and we are very pleased with it. A newly-arrived friend from Laura’s office had looked at it and passed it on to us as soon as we arrived. It fit our requirements and was pleasing to the kids. As an extra bonus, it was right around the corner from the family helping us to adjust to our new life in Germany (our sponsors) and the school bus stop was right in front of our house! The house was under rehab construction, so we needed to wait for its completion before moving in but got to make some choices in the kitchen. German custom has the renters providing all light fixtures when they move into an apartment. We were able to negotiate having the landlord provide and hang them for us if we would do the legwork to choose and purchase them.
We had several phases with this apartment – finding and renting it, moving in with Army-furnished furniture and boxes we had pre-shipped, receiving our furniture and household goods but not sofas, renting a sofa set for our living room. This post is more of a pictorial than anything showing you the different phases of our move in. The apartment was under rennovation when we saw it so we are its first tenants in several years.
German custom has been to rent apartments without the kitchen cabinets and renters buy their own setup for their apartment so it is to their liking. That custom is changing, I’m told, and our landlord already planned to put in a kitchen. We were not going to rent an apartment without a kitchen. He is a flexible landlord so he let us specify the kitchen, which room it went in (there were two options – a more German option and a more American option) and the layout. They thought we were making a big mistake putting the peninsula in and didn’t understand the desire. Definitely not a German thing! Splitting up the room like that seemed counterproductive to them. As they told us many times, the German tradition would be to put a long table in the kitchen (or the room we were using as a kitchen) to use for entertaining family and friends. We explained that Americans just stand in the kitchen together. :-)We were also allowed to specify some paint colors for some of the rooms, but not the main kitchen/living room which is way too white for Laura.
Here’s our “front” but it is in the back of the house. We’ll have a cover over the front stoop and the ground will lift up quite a bit, closer to the first concrete step:
Welcome to our home!
Here’s our house when we first moved in. This is the Army furniture we were provided. Notice the shrank (wardrobe) under the stairwell (which is to the top landing, terrace and attics). We get to keep the shranks for the tour since most homes don’t come with closets.
The move into the apartment was exciting. We discovered nuances about the home. The bath off our bedroom did not include a toilet. How did we miss that?! It actually makes sense if you understand the bathrooms on the bedroom floor are provided for all. There is no master bath. So one bathroom is a water closet – a half bath – and the other provides shower, bath, extra sinks, and laundry. Our apartment includes a rooftop terrace so, ignoring the weather, we had some of our first few meals up on the terrace to enjoy the simplicity and the view of the city.
Love the old (but new!) keys that were left in every door!
Speaking of old and new – this is the prettiest window in the house. It is at one of the turns in our curving stairwell. I love it!
Here’s the mess we made with our move in! That was fun! Note we’re never far from our laptop! Haha! Aren’t the big windows nice?
These are the views out the front and back. Note we’re on a busy street. That was part of the fun for us — city living for the short time we’re here.
The Lodge we had stayed at when we first arrived was located within a few blocks of the schools, so once school started, the kids walked to school each day until we moved into our apartment. Once we moved in, it was just as easy to get to school! The kids walk across the street to catch the bus and the bus drops them off at our driveway after school. It doesn’t get any better than that!