Some Odd Things About My New Home

I was going to post photos of my super-cool, if quirky, new penthouse apartment. It’s the top two floors of an old house. But right now, it’s sort of a mess, what with my office being on the dining table, cardboard boxes being used for various purposes everywhere, and a bunch of ugly furniture awaiting pickup by GSO. So, for now, just a few pics of the things that strike me as odd now, but will probably seem perfectly normal in a few months!

First of all, it should be explained that our bedrooms are on the bottom floor, and the living room, kitchen etc. on the top. We actually have a little elevator that lets out directly into a hallway on the bedroom floor, then you go up spiral stairs to the living room. This does have some liabilities when it comes to bringing groceries home. But we have a personal elevator–how cool is that? I feel like I am entering the Batcave every time I come into the apartment!

So, here’s a couple of odd things about the all-Ikea kitchen, tucked into a corner under the eaves (aside from the ugly wallpaper border and bright orange shelf left by the previous tenant–these are going on the GSO list…)

Check out the dishwasher!  I couldn’t find where to put the silverware at first. But it actually works really well.

The oven and cooktop appear to have missed each other slightly.

The oven is a drawer! A teeny little drawer. We will not be having turkey for Thanksgiving, I guess.

That said, the kitchen will be pretty cute once I get it fixed up, and it’s not like I haven’t had dinky little European appliances before. It has a door out to the terrace and a window on the other side, so it’s sunny and breezy. I can definitely learn to love it.

Here’s another odd thing. Not the cat (though he is definitely eccentric.) Or the chair, which is ugly as sin and has a slipcover coming in the mail as I write. And do not speak to me of that end table. But I digress. Look at those blinds. They go up, not down. Unfortunately, they are not overly clean, but I hate to ask anyone to replace them. Imagine the measuring involved. There are odd-shaped windows and blinds like this all over the upper floor of the apartment.

The views from the TWO rooftop terraces are pretty cool. This one is just off the living room (behind the cat). We hear church bells all the time!

There’s a nice wood-burning fireplace on the top floor, and another underneath by the bedrooms that has been blocked off and turned into a cupboard with old brass doors. I keep thinking we should keep something special in there. Oh, and the bedroom doors are glass. Go figure.

Speaking of storage, there are no actual closets in the house, just big wardrobes. A lot of them. In fact, really an objectionable number of them in the master bedroom. I could never fill all these with clothes. They don’t even have shelves inside, just hanging racks. My husband put the ugliest Drexel dresser inside one of his so that he would have somewhere to stash his tighty-whities without putting them on clothes hangers. It feels  like we are sleeping in a giant pantry. I have been looking online for a way to decorate the doors and soften the place up. Decals? Fabric?

Of course, this being Europe, there are odd things about the bathrooms. We have every different kind of fixture, and the toilets seem to wander all over the place. The master bathroom is HUGE, and has a really interesting tub (as well as a shower, which we’ll probably use a lot more often.)

My son’s bathroom has an absolutely terrifying Thing hanging over the shower.

And then there’s a bidet. Which is to be expected, but this one has a tiny little coatrack hanging over it. I just can’t imagine what these knobs are for. Did the previous tenants bathe hamsters or guinea pigs in the bidet and hang their little towels to dry afterwards? It’s a mystery!

Finally, lest it sound like I am whining, which I am definitely NOT, here’s another view from the terrace.

Blissful sigh 🙂


  1. There are some really nice removal decals for walls out there. The wardrobes might be improved with something like this. My daughter had cherry blossom branches on her dorm wall, for example. Have fun on your terraces while the weather holds!


    • Found some decals online last night, thanks! A little pricey, but I think it will be worth it not to look at all that white for three years.


  2. I assume that you figured out that the Thing over your son’s tub is for the shower curtain. I’ve seen those before, and they work well…
    As for the hooks over the bidet – makes a lot of sense to hang the little towels you use to wipe your bum after washing it in the bidet…
    Enjoy your new apartment – it looks really cool!


  3. I love the quirky stuff in houses. Thanks for sharing some of the fun things about your home. The view is amazing. (That dishwasher silverware thing is pretty cool too. Much more utilitarian.) Enjoy! DId I miss your husband getting to post? Or is he still in DC?


    • He’s here! I didn’t put that on the blog, though, come to think of it. Arrived late last week and is SO happy to be getting back to work. He’s still on crutches, but in much better shape than when I left him in DC.


  4. A friend bought a house recently in Reston and it has the same dishwasher setup….She was told that it is an excellent and very expensive machine. (she shrugged, never thinking she needed anything special in this realm) So there you have it! I often do the dishes after she feeds me dinner there and it’s kind of fun to load that top shelf.


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