Sunday, October 13, 2013

Welcome to our Apartment!

Please come in and take your shoes off, since that's what people do here . . . or leave them on because I will most likely have mine on :).

This post will mostly be pictures of our apartment but I have another one planned to help explain the whole process that goes into finding an apartment.  It is just another way that things are different here than they are in the states.

For every apartment complex or office building you have to enter a code to unlock the door.  This can be great or frustrating.  I like that you have to have a code to get into our apartment building.  It makes me feel safer, even though I have felt safe here the whole time.  However, if you are going some place for the first time just to check it out and you don't have the code to get in it is frustrating.  I experienced that a couple of weeks ago when I was trying to find a chiropractor here.  I wanted to check out their office before making an appointment but after I got to the building I realized I didn't have the code to get in.  Thankfully someone else was going into the building as I was standing there and they asked me where I was headed and let me in.  Even the school where I volunteer has a code to get into the building.

Welcome to our apartment!
Every apartment has a name on the door so you know which apartment to go to because only recently did they start using apartment numbers.  
If you have ever been to Ikea they always have little apartments set up around the store.  On the outside of the apartment they list how big the apartment is in square feet or meters.  I always kind of rolled my eyes at how much stuff they tried to cram into such a small apartment because I always thought I would live in a house big enough that I wouldn't need all of the space savers they were so proud of.  Now I totally understand all of the effort they put into clever space savers and I appreciate it so much!  Our apartment is about 50 square meters which is about 538 square feet. (Our apartment here is about 7 times smaller than our house back home.) Below are some fun space savers that I think get the job done and look good.
I love the hooks on the wall.  Notice the metal and black thing on the left . . .
It is a shoe rack the folds up!  You have to have a place close by the door for your outside shoes :).
 Down the hall from the front door is the bathroom.  If you thought our hotel bathroom was small then you haven't seen this bathroom yet :).  

Here is the bathroom with the shower doors folded in.
This is with the shower doors closed.  If you remember the pictures from our hotel bathroom there was only one door that was curved to help keep the water in.  This one has two doors with strong magnets to keep them shut while showering.  After we are done we fold them so we have more room in the bathroom.

To show you just how crowded the bathroom can be with the shower doors closed.
We have heated floors in our bathroom.  When I first started looking at apartments online back in May I saw some bathrooms had heated floors and thought, "That's fancy" but now I'm thinking it is more of a necessity because it is so cold here in the winter, so I hear.  I'm a little nervous about how cold it might get but I'm excited for our fancy heated floors.
The world's smallest sink.  And I thought the one in the hotel was small.  Needless to say, I don't do my hair in the bathroom.

Our bedroom.  I love the tree outside our window right now. It is so pretty!  You can't really tell from this picture but our bed is tiny!  We are renting our apartment from a woman who lived by herself (and apparently slept in the middle of the bed) and therefore didn't need a big bed.  It is 140 cm wide and 200 cm long, which is about the size of a full bed.  We are used to sleeping on a queen and in the hotel that we stay at for the first 5 weeks here we had two 90 cm beds pushed together which is bigger than a queen bed.  So switching from that to this took a little getting used to.

The wall at the foot of our bed is a huge closet!  
Sliding the doors back and forth is annoying but I am thankful for so much space!  This is way bigger than our closet at home, which means Jake actually gets to have space to hang up his clothes :).

The light above our bed is pretty sweet. 
This is where I do my hair in the mornings since the bathroom isn't an option.  It reminds me of college when I lived in the dorm and did my hair on my dresser.  It works out great now after we bought a mirror at Ikea.

Kitchens in apartments here are typically very tiny.  The kitchen was pretty much the deal breaker in every apartment I looked at online.  I usually make dinner 4-5 times a week and I needed space to do that.  Once I saw this kitchen I knew this was the apartment for us.  Typically I'm not a fan of islands when they are in the middle of the kitchen because I feel like you always have to walk around them.  This island though is one side of the kitchen and is great because if Jake and I are both working in the kitchen we push it out to make more room but if we want to have guests over then we can push it in to make the living room bigger. 
I love it!
Our next remodeling project, before we found out we were moving, was going to be to remodel the kitchen.  After living in this one for the next year I have a feeling I will definitely be ready for a kitchen remodel when we get home.
All of the appliances are pretty new.  The whole apartment was remodeled about 6 years ago.  The dishwasher does loads in 36 minutes.   It is pretty quiet and that isn't even on the silent mode.  It also hold way more dishes than our dishwasher at home and it isn't turquoise inside.
I love that the kitchen opens up to the living room.  All of the other apartments we looked at had very closed in kitchens and since we just spent the last year and a half opening up our kitchen and living room at home I was not about to settle for a closed in kitchen, even for a year.
The fridge is pretty narrow but it works just great for us.  The freezer on the bottom has three drawers.  I think that is brilliant!  I always have things falling off of the shelves of my freezer at home and then my Tupperware breaks.  Plus now we have plenty of room for ice, frozen veggies and ice cream! (They have great ice cream here by the way.) Our hotel freezer was tiny and I was looking forward to having a bigger one once we found an apartment.
Our living room.  I love the tree out the window!  
A closer look at the tree and the view out the window.
The view of the kitchen and eating area.
Kitchen table/Kara's desk :)

View from the kitchen table
We bought the shelf on the right to put our microwave, after we buy one.  Our apartment came with 5 different ways to make coffee and 4 different ways to slice/shred cheese, but no microwave.  We know what her priorities were.
The door to our balcony.

The view from the balcony.  I love all the trees.  We live pretty close to a park and with the three big windows in our living room and kitchen area we have a great view.  We can't see the water like we were used to in the hotel but I love that our apartment feels like we are living in a tree house with the views we have out our windows.
Below us and one apartment over is a day care center.  This is their play area.  Every time I see kids playing out there I think of my college roommate Jami.  She majored in early childhood and now watches kids out of her home, including one of my other college roommates little boys.  I think they should both move here and then she can watch them at this day care center :).
Our balcony
Another view from our balcony
Our apartment building has a guest apartment you can rent for about $25 a night.  We heard that some apartment buildings have guest apartments and this was the only apartment we looked at that had one.  It makes sense though because most people don't have extra rooms in their apartments for guests so it is nice that they have this option available.  We also have two laundry rooms.  Laundry was the other deciding factor while apartment hunting.  I'm pretty excited about the ones we have here but that gets a blog post all by itself :).

 I hope you enjoyed the tour of our apartment.  If you ever want to see it in real life let me know!


  1. 1) I love how modern it looks.
    2) That magnetic knife board is definitely not kid friendly.
    3) I want to see it in person!

  2. Wow, Kara, I so love your blog w/all the great pics. I got the link from your mother-in-law, my cousin Janet, especially because I did my Scandinavian trip this past July and stayed at Days Inn right by Bromma airport, saw Gamla Stockholm, Vasa Museum and saw a bunch of churches. So I really enjoy reading whatever you say and show in your blog. You know I made the trip especially to connect with my Swedish heritage, and I too am trying to learn the language, though not as desperately as you and Jacob, I imagine! And I work in a school, so it's all so interesting - thanks!

  3. LOVE it!! And yes, I want to see it in person =)


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