Friday, June 29, 2012

The Little Place We Call Home

I have had some requests for a picture tour of the apartment.  So, here we go! Of course, all pictures were taken after my helper cleaned.  I myself am not so great at keeping the place clean and wouldn't want to post that evidence for the world to see.

Our complex has many different floor plans.  Clif and I are in one of the smaller units, but it is actually similar in size to our house in the States, minus the basement.  I was never a fan of apartment living, so I am happy to only have one other apartment on the floor and it is currently empty.  We rented a furnished apartment and the only furniture we brought with us is what you will see in the nursery.  I am not crazy about the decor/furniture, but for our short-term assignment I can't complain. Alright, let's get this started....

Since it is not typical to wear your shoes in the house, many apartments have some sort of shoe storage.  We requested a shoe cabinet and got a rather large one.  I was leery of leaving our shoes in the hall at first, but so far they have all remained in their place!

Living Room:
This picture was taken after our Ayi left.  She always displays our pillows neatly! Thankfully the retro purple chair has found a new home hiding in our bedroom and been replaced by the cozy recliner.  Mr. Wang had to help Clif bring the chair up and was quite intrigued with the puffiness.  The apartment is also outfitted with heated floors.  At first I didn't think I would care one way or the other, but in reality it is quite fantastic.   

Still in the living room.  While it appears I have filled the cabinet with my shopping habits, you can see I still have an entire shelf that remains empty. 

Front Balcony
Our balcony has been covered in decking, which is a nice touch.  I neglected to clean it for months, however our Ayi has returned it to its original glory.  Thank you Xaio Ping! You can also see the flower I wasn't able to keep alive.  Both Clif and Xaio Ping have told me I watered them too much.  Clif was embarrassed by them and moved them away from the edge where passer-byres could see them in their sad state.  You can also see Clif's fold-able bike. Yep, it folds up. The only thing you can't see is the lake.  Since we are only on the second floor, we did not get one of the nice lake views.  
Dining Room

Across from the living room is the dining room.  We have a rather large table which seemed like a good idea for entertaining.  Though we have been here for nearly four months and have entertained only once.  


The kitchen is connected to the dining room.  There are glass doors that can be closed as there are no air vents in kitchens or bathrooms to provide air or heat.  I haven't found this to be a problem.  The only thing I miss is a dishwasher.  Apartments larger than ours have them.  We do have a sanitizer drawer.  Never been used. They could have made better use of the space with a small dishwasher.  On the counter you see our drinking water.  Faucet water is not safe to drink.

Utility Balcony

This balcony is off the kitchen.  You can see our washer, dryer, and utility sink.  While I am very thankful to have both a washer and dryer, they have the smallest capacity known to man.  A dryer is a bit of a luxury as most Chinese just hang their clothes out to dry.  I can't help but think they just get dirty that way with the smog and copious amounts of dust that quickly accumulates on the balcony.  Out here is also the air conditioner, water heater, gas line, and such.

Office: While this isn't advertised as an office, we requested office furniture to be put in there.  Technically, it is a storage room, but this is where Clif conducts his night meetings in the most uncomfortable chair. Last week I caught him squatting in the chair in the fashion of what we like call the "Chinese leisure position" (you can find a previous post if you are curious).  He also has a gorgeous view of the utility balcony.

Master Bedroom

Seeing as how I prefer not to share blankets, Clif and I have an array of blankets and pillows.  I also typically do not make the bed.  However, my Ayi attempts to make it look presentable which is the bane in Clif's nighttime routine because she like to layer our blankets in this order: his, mine, his, mine.  Clif is then required to sort them out before going to bed.  I think it is nice, so no complaints from me!

Another view of the master. You see the "dresser" I requested.  There is a little hallway coming into the room.  To the right is all closets, to the left in the master bath. Nothing to fancy.  We are not allowed to put any kinds of holes in the walls, do I just prefer to leave them blank.
Master Bathroom

I very much like the bathroom.  The tub is so nice and I can't help but soaking in it.  There is also the Japanese toilet complete with bidee, towel warmer (I have yet to use), vanity, and shower.  Along with a venting system you are also able to set a timer and have warm air, which is great for getting out of the shower and not getting chilly!

Guest Bathroom

No fancy toilet or tub, just a large shower.

Guest Bedroom

We mostly use this room for storage.  If you choose to come visit I may be willing to purchase a mattress pad so you do not have to sleep on a cement block.  I will try my best to find a more Western mattress pad, as the Chinese definition is much different than we American's are used to.
To end the tour we have the nursery where baby Gerke will soon be rocked to sleep.

We purchased the the crib and dresser before we left from the US.  I wasn't exactly sure what I would find here and to what safety standards it would be held to.  The glider is a gift from my parents and is quite comfy.

Just a view of the other side of the room. The rug was a flea market purchase.

That pretty much wraps up the tour! I really enjoy the compound and the apartment is quite nice.  It is a cozy little place to come back too when you need a break from the world outside!


  1. Lovely! Also, I love foldable bikes! There was a guy on the campus I work at who had one. I thought it was fabulous.