Team Awesome Home Tour: BEFORE

Yes, we’re finally in our place! A lot of you have asked for a photo tour and here it is. Things are VERY BEFORE. Debris scattered about, including some stuff that isn’t even ours, which I will detail later in this post.

First up, the foyer.

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Right now it’s where Dexter’s stroller happily lives. It’s so nice not to have to lug it up and down stairs. Eventually, our rainboots (I think we call them wellies now), some jackets on hooks and maybe even some art will call the foyer home, as well. I’ve never had a foyer before. It’s very exciting.

Once inside, you see this corner of crap.

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It will be cleaned out soon. Most of those items will be repurposed. Not sure yet what we’re going to do about that exposed utility box. Turn around, hello¬†stairs.

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See that light? That light is 50% of why I wanted this apartment. The other 50% is because it has amenities we weren’t seeing anywhere else.

Here’s a look at the staircase from the top of the stairs.

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That curtain DRIVES ME CRAZY. Why oh why would you cover that gorgeous window with that hideous, frayed curtain? It blocks the light and looks terrible and I can’t wait till Matt precariously climbs a ladder and gets it down.

At the top of the stairs, you see a utility closet, which is full of crap to be removed, and the second floor hall.

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The second floor is where most of the living space is. First up, the living room.

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See those terrible black leather sofas? True story, the entire apartment agreement almost fell through because our landlord wanted us to keep those things. There was another matching oversized armchair crammed into the corner of the dining room. His buddy finally came and picked them up the other day, and it’s helped a lot.

Speaking of the dining room…

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I am kicking myself for not snapping a photo when we walked in the first time. Ten – 123456789TEN – of those icky beige dining room chairs were crammed around that poor table. Those are also supposed to be leaving, as we’ve purchased not icky dining room chairs. A few are gone. More to go. We’re going to keep and use the dining room table.

The room is better than it was, though. That desk is new and mine, and that area in front of the window will be my office space. It overlooks the back garden and is very nice.

The kitchen doesn’t need much work.

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It has a gas stove, which is an upgrade from our place in Florida, and I’m loving it already. It also has three things extremely unusual in British rentals: a full-sized fridge (they’re generally tiny), a dishwasher (just not common) and a dryer. Most places have a washing machine in the kitchen and then clothes are line-dried. It has its quirks, too. There are exactly two drawers and one of them is missing a front. The base cabinets, under the countertops, have legs. I’ve already dropped two items which have rolled beneath, never to be seen again. But it’s still a pretty rad kitchen.

Our room.

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This is also more of a photo in progress, as it was completely empty except for the curtains when we arrived. Can you spot what’s really unusual in here? WALL TO WALL CLOSETS. Most flats have teeny tiny closets, or none at all, and tenants use¬†wardrobes.

This floor also has the bathroom Matt and I primarily use.

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It is pretty nice as is, but we need some better storage solutions. I thought that cabinet-looking thing behind the toilet was a cabinet, but I was very wrong. All toilet, which is why all our crap is piled on top.

Also, the shower is really intense.

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Now, the third floor.

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More neat windows with light! Dexter slides down these stairs on his tummy at an alarming rate of speed. Not much to do here but try to spot-clean the carpet and hang some art.

At the top is Dexter’s room.

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(Dexter: “Mommy. Stop taking photos and get me the hell out of here.”)

I knew as soon as I saw it that it’s a perfect room for him. I love the little nooks in the corners, and hope to hang some fabric and turn them into little hideouts for him. There’s perfect storage for his clothing and his toys, built-in. Probably more than any other room, I cannot wait for our stuff to arrive so I can make it amazing in here.

See that wooden chair? That’s our favorite piece of furniture inherited from the landlord and the one piece we’re excited to keep. It will likely eventually move downstairs into the living room.

The office/guest room has similar nooks.

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In here, they’re a little more challenging. Matt’s desk/computer is built, and he likes it in here. The trick is guest bed space. Initially, we were going to get a fold out sofa, but anything decent is too large for the low ceilings. We’re exploring options now.

This room also has an attached bathroom.

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With a skylight, for some reason! (It’s actually really nice. Just a little random.)

In a stroke of luck, the shower is downstairs for us and the bath is upstairs near Dex, so this is his bathroom. (He’ll share it with guests.) It’s a decent room and there’s not a ton to do but I have some ideas to make it more than just a blank white space.

And that’s our new place. I wouldn’t get too excited for “After” photos – the ship with our crate of stuff doesn’t arrive till end of September, and our home won’t be truly finished until we’ve hung the art made by our friends and set up Dexter’s crib, so we’re a month+ away from being all moved in. But we really like the place. It has a lot of potential and I’m confident we can make it a great home for us during our time in the UK.

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