We looked at the “Crappy” apartment again and liked it a little better this time. Not sure if our standards are lowering to French standards or if it is just because we are comparing it to the other apartments we have been looking at. We like the apartment building because it is right in the center of downtown. We are one block from the big open square that has a bunch of statues and fountains. It also has a tram stop right in front of the building which will come in handy when it is too cold to walk Brooklyn to school. Everything, the Grocery Store, Bakery, Shops, Park, Bank, and Brooklyn’s school, is within walking distance from this apartment. The French version of a mall, called Centre Juade, is right there too and you can see it in one of the street pictures. We think with a little work this apartment will be awesome, especially considering the view and the location.
The first pictures are of the views from the living room. There are two floor to ceiling glass doors and a window in the living room area and a balcony that wraps around the living room. The landlord is putting in better doors and replacing the blinds to be the silver mechanical kind. Everyone in France has these metal blinds that block out all the sun and of course the heat and cold, which is I guess how they live without air. We obviously plan on painting over the yellow tie-dyed walls. We will probably paint it with a gray color. The living room is so big that we are thinking about putting our bed and dresser in the far side (the side with the doors) for our bedroom. We are thinking like a New York Loft apartment. How awesome would it be to sit in bed and see that view at night? And besides, having two living rooms side by side would be silly and be a waste of room and we don’t really want all of Brooklyn’s toys in the living room. The way the TV will go on the wall and the way the couch will face it, you would see the bed when you are sitting in the living room anyway. There are two large closets, one in the huge entryway and one in the hallway that Michael and I will probably use for our closets. One of them has to be torn out and rebuilt. Our apartment has 4 closets which is rare for any apartment in France so we are happy!
The kitchen has typical French cabinets but at least they are in good shape. We plan on destroying the back splash as soon as possible. I can’t even begin to explain what they were thinking. We are going to get nicer knobs for the cabinets and get silver appliances to try to make it look a little nicer. There are huge windows on the back wall of the kitchen that you can see when you look out the window. This is the picture that has the crane in it. I think the mountain in the background is the Puy-de-Dom which is a volcano! Eek! That little room you see behind the kitchen is the laundry room and is basically all windows.
There are two full bathrooms which is really rare, especially for a two bedroom apartment. They were recently remodeled so they are very nice. Not the colors we would pick, but we like that they are nice and new.
The yellow and blue bedroom is the biggest and will probably be Brooklyn’s bedroom. We will paint it light pink and put hardwood floors down. Her room has a big closet which is great!
The red and orange room will be painted and we will have hardwood floors put down and will make this Brooklyn’s toy room and my sewing room. It also has a large closet.
We really like this apartment because it is a smaller building (we don’t like the buildings that are huge and have hundreds of apartments and I can’t stand looking out the window and looking at another apartment wall) and we think there are only two apartments per floor so about 16 families total. We are on the 7th floor and there are 8 floors total. The French says the first floor is “0” so we are technically on the 8th. That still makes me think twice when I am trying to go to the ground floor! In the picture of the apartment building we are the top floor (you can’t see the 8th because it is smaller, I think because they have a larger balcony). The apartment also comes with a garage underground (one) and a cav (storage room). We still plan on only having one car because I want to be able to walk everywhere and driving or riding here scares me a little bit. We didn’t get to see the garage because the new apartment agent couldn’t figure out how to get down there and had another appointment. We are thinking you have to walk outside and around the building to get to it. At our temporary apartment you take the elevator down to the garage. The agent assured us it did come with one, which is good because parking is extremely limited in the center of downtown.
There is a set of spiral stairs that goes all the way to the top of the apartment and a tiny elevator in the middle of it. You can fit 4 people in the elevator but you do not have the American way of personal space here so you are definitely shoulder to shoulder with the other people in the elevator. You get used to it fast. So you must be asking yourself how are we going to get all our things into our apartment? Well, they use some type of elevator system that they set up in the street and bring everything up and over the balcony and in the sliding glass doors! It’s too crazy for me to even make a mental image so I look forward to seeing how that works and to taking pictures!
We told the apartment agent last night that we want the apartment and are still waiting to hear back. In typical French fashion, they take a long time to do anything. Keep your fingers crossed!