The last time I put dedicated pictures of my apartment on the blog was right after I had finished my own House Hunters: International experience (one of the most popular posts on my blog, too bad I’m not that entertaining all the time). Now I’ve had some months to settle in, make lots of trips to IKEA, receive gifts, and grow (and kill) some plants. Let me take you on a bit of a tour.
It is an open floor plan, so you can see the main living area from the entry way.
But before you get to the living area, there is a bathroom on the left. I think that at some point they renovated this bathroom to include a Western style shower, which meant the sink didn’t fit anymore. So the sink and wash machine are in a little nook just outside the bathroom (on the edge of the main living area). On your right is the office/guest bedroom. It boasts an entire wall of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves that I sadly do not have filled with books. I went to IKEA sometime after I had picked out this duvet cover and lamp combination and found that they had the same combination prominently displayed in the entry area. At that point I decided I needed to stop sourcing things at IKEA so my house wouldn’t end up looking like an IKEA show room.
Right beyond the guest room is the kitchen and balcony. It is a galley style kitchen. Just to the left of this photo there is a little island/peninsula/eating area. It is nice to have some extra counter space and it makes the kitchen open into the living area. The kitchen comes equipped with two gas burners and a microwave (on a shelf on the right side that didn’t fit in the picture). I bought the oven and the shelf on the right because the oven consumed all the counter space. The shelf is also nice because the top is the right height for a giant foreigner to stand and prepare food without getting a back ache, unlike the counters. You can also see my little balcony for hanging clothes to dry, since I don’t have a dryer. The refrigerator also doesn’t fit in this area, so it is on the other side of the little island, also in the open area. It sounds weirder than it is.
And then you enter the heart of the living area with a table and seating area. There’s a big desk overlooking dorms from the adjacent university and some of Beijing’s skyline. This living area has been a cozy place to relax and a good place to host others.
I am attempting to raise plants to make the apartment feel more homey and improve the air quality. I’ve been very successful with some plants, but I’ve managed to kill a bunch in the process, including one of the snake plants in the bottom of this photo. One of the reasons I chose them was they are supposed to be nearly impossible to kill, but maybe I’m an exception to conventional wisdom!
On the right side of the living room is the door to my bedroom and bathroom. I hung all the Christmas cards I received around the door so I can see them every day (and yes, they are still hanging in August).
My bedroom is another comfortable space to relax. Some of my favorite things about this room include the really comfortable chair in the corner, the afghan my grandma Strabbing crocheted over the chair, and the calligraphy over the bed. An older gentleman from church gave me (and a whole lot of other people) the calligraphy. It says “yi ma nei li” which means Immanuel. I thought that was a good sentiment to hang over my bed.
On the wall across from the bed is my dresser. It is also from IKEA and its the most complicated piece of IKEA furniture I’ve assembled. I was proud of myself for doing it myself, and I didn’t even make a mistake and have to take some of it apart. I didn’t get it until the spring, once I’d established that my clothing organization system wasn’t really adequate, and it solves that problem really well. The scarf I bought in Thailand was a bit short for me to wear regularly, but it looks great on my dresser!
Those are the highlights of my home. I am really thankful for its beauty and comfort. I am also thankful that except for one recent incident it has been trouble free. You know I have a guest room, and you’re welcome to come visit and see it all for yourself!