The Move & Apartment Tour // Heidelberg
The process for moving overseas isn’t a fun or easy endeavor. Sleepless nights and anxiety plagued nearly the entire summer over concerns about packing up all of our belongings, shipping them, and finding an apartment that we could call home. In total I toured 12 different properties and with tons of luck and faith on my side, ended up with a better apartment than our condo in DC. Although the euro doesn’t lend itself well, the cost of living in the small town of Heidelberg is significantly cheaper than DC. The day of our final move was August 29th, now just over 3 months (and zillions of Ikea trips) later we are finally settled. Woohoo!
For some absolutely ridiculous reason, Dan and I had believed we’d be completely unpacked and settled by the end of the weekend. Perhaps this was driven by our eagerness to get out of hotel and business apartment living, but safe to say, we couldn’t have been more wrong with our ambitious deadline.
Entrance Hall (present):
As I mentioned, we had an amazing amount of good fortune on our side with this apartment. The fact that we have not only a kitchen but a washer and dryer is absolutely bonkers, neither are commonplace in Germany. In fact, the majority of Germans take their kitchens with them when the move out of rental apartments.
One of my projects this weekend was to color code our books, although Dan thought I was completely nuts, I love it! Following all the guidance I read about bookshelf styling, if you have a relatively small book collection color coding isn’t a bad option. To be fair though, I store my travel and cookbooks separately in the front hall since I reference them more frequently. This office bookcase houses all of our leisure and school related books along with fun nicknacks I’ve collected during my travels. I tried to maintain the rainbow color pallet throughout and stacked the books both horizontally and vertically to add texture and movement to the display.
Dining Area (before):
Being that this was my first gallery wall, it took forever to figure out the exact dimensions and which images and frames I wanted to include. I read up a ton about gallery walls and used this article most for inspiration. From the get-go, I choose to maintain a straight center margin to keep things cleaner. Although there are lots of methods, having this center made the hanging process easier and encouraged balance of the images.
Dining Area (present):
In DC we had a 3 person table that hardly constituted as a spot for a dinner party. Now that we have seating for 6, we’ve already hosted a work dinner party and will play host to Thanksgiving this year with friends visiting from the States. Who would have thought there’d be so much joy in domesticity!?
Living Room (before):
Notice the lack of overhead lighting – that was the case throughout the apartment. Major kudos to Dan for hanging fixtures in every room in the house, a tedious task that he mastered!
Living Room (present):
I love the neutral tones combined with navy, silver and white. When we’re home, the living room is where we’re at. It’s cozy, yet comfortable and bright with the beautiful skylight. We’re actually able to open the skylight for a wonderful cross-breeze through the backdoors in the office.
For kicks, Stuart (before, on his first visit to the apartment in August):
Look at that little fluff! Homeboy definitely needs a haircut.
Bedroom Closet (before):
By fair the trickiest of all our home projects, most (if not all) apartments in Germany don’t have built in closets so we knew we were in a predicament from the start. Dan was opposed to buying big, ugly and expensive wardrobes for our clothes. We went around and around on what to do and eventually decided to use an Ikea curtain wire screwed into the ceiling to erect a curtain wall in the corner of the bedroom. Hidden behind are three large rolling clothing racks which surprisingly allow us to hang everything easily. Although the result isn’t ideal, the cost (around $100 for the fabric, hanging wire and racks) was definitely nominal compared to wardrobes which run around $700 each.
Yes, now I’m going to seem a little nuts but this is for all my old roommates that have been plagued by these four little thanksgiving trolls dating back to freshman year of college. In the hay day of troll craze in the 90s, I bought these things to decorate my room for Thanksgiving (along with giant posters of Mia Hamm). Since then I’ve always set every Fall mostly as a joke but also because of tradition. These four traveled with me to the sorority house, various apartments and the bungalow that I lived in when I met Dan. Although the exhaustion and headache of shipping our things had it’s challenges, there is nothing better than being settled in with familiar possessions – even if it’s four goofy Thanksgiving trolls.