So now, finally, though there are still things here and there that will always be "in progress," our new apartment has pretty much been cleaned and decorated to our liking. We actually spent money this time. Before, we were just grateful for what was there when we moved in, and to be honest, it had more things provided than this current one did! But there were also many things that made life harder or less of a homey atmosphere that we just put up with because it was too hard to find where to buy it, and cash flow was an issue when we first moved in, due to a lot of out-of-pocket costs with moving that, while reimbursed by Ryan's company, took months to go through the process for.
But this time, we decided it was important to make this place as much OUR home as we could, though it may only be ours for two years or so. But, we've learned that even just one year is a long time, and especially with winters bleak and hard to get outdoors in (mostly due to air quality), having a warm, happy, indoor atmosphere is doubly important. Besides, we both really enjoy decorating, so it's been fun! Sometimes even more so to know none of this will be our permanent home... we get to experiment with decorating and see what we like!
Most of the decor was sourced from IKEA, with as much as we could coming from the one secondhand store we know of in Shanghai (often used IKEA stuff!). We also ordered a few things off of Taobao, but being a website all in Chinese and not able to see the stuff in person before buying, it was always more of a risk.
The best choice was painting. Yes, we'll likely have to paint almost everything back to white when we move out. But the walls were in bad shape and needed to be painted anyway, and having color just makes everything feel warmer and less stark!
So... welcome to our home. :)
|Entry-way. It's nice to have space for people to take shoes off before being in the main area. It also has great built-in shoe storage in the cabinet under the cubby holes on the left.|
|Our dining room, off to the right. Doubles as an office space, since the 3rd bedroom is about to be used as a nursery!|
|Off of the dining room is one balcony, housing our (tiny!) washing machine, stroller, and whatever else needs to be stored. We have a nice view of... LOTS of apartments. ;) And the entrance gate, which is kind of fun.|
|The other side. The oven fits right next to the fridge, and yes, I even store things on top of the fridge. Got to use every surface you can!|
|How we dry our laundry. After over a year of hanging everything up, I'm used to it, mostly. ;) Helps that summer means things dry in a day usually! This balcony area also doubles as storage space.|
|Looking across towards the other rooms|
|Hadassah/Guest bathroom. It's not great in terms of stained floors and sticky drawers, but it's functional!|
|The nursery! Will be guest room when we have visitors as well. Currently it's full of baby items friends from church have given us to borrow - we've hardly had to buy anything, and probably have more accessories than we did with Hadassah!|
|The wall has a picture of Ryan & me pregnant with Hadassah holding a "B-A-B-Y" block sign, and a picture of Hadassah as a baby. There's an empty frame waiting to add a picture of Eliana. :)|
|The rocking chair currently in Hadassah's room will move in here, for many nursing sessions ahead! And the closest has great shelves for storing baby things, Hadassah clothes, and craft supplies.|
|The master bed/bath is off to the left. We went with light blue and white and really love how it all turned out!|
|More white touches on the dresser. Bonus points if you can spot the little girl trying to stay out of the way of mommy's pictures ;)|
|Hadassah's girly pink room just makes me happy :)|
|She still enjoys her crib, so she has two beds in her room for now. Eventually it will go to baby's room, and then she'll have more space for a dollhouse or something! And she likes the fun animal posters on the wall, often pointing them out.|