freitag favorites + first look

This week’s freitag favorites highlights my current favorite: our new apartment.

One month ago we were exhausted, sweaty, excited, a little irritable, and completely surrounded by boxes and bins. We received the keys to our new apartment on April 23rd, started moving over the few days, finished everything on the 28th, and had the next week to unpack before heading off to spend three days at a UBS leadership conference. It was a whirlwind.

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The move itself and unpacking went fairly smoothly, thanks primarily to the help of Martin’s dad Fred, who came all the way from Washington to help us for three weeks. His help was invaluable, and with the help of some of Martin’s friends and coworkers to move the big stuff, we even managed to move our heavy dining table upstairs.

Now that we have had several weekends to hang a few more pictures, decipher the multiple heavily-accented Swiss German voicemail messages from various repairman coming to fix small things around the house, and recycle some of the massive paper and cardboard piles, I finally feel ready to share a first look. Let’s start upstairs.

The best part of our new place besides the overall space is really the amount of light. We are surrounded by windows and skylights and looking out at the trees and hills, and even the lake, is so wonderful. Most of the windows are floor-to-ceiling and open onto little balconies (or our large terrace) and with all the white walls the space is very bright and open. Upstairs, all the windows have electronic shutters, although I expect we will generally leave them open except on very hot days, or to darken our mini movie theatre.

The living room is on one end of the upstairs (left of the stairs) with one wall facing the terrace. As you can see, we have a lot more space than in our last living room.

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A wide, open corridor connects the living room and dining/kitchen area. The stairs curve up to the left of the orchid in the photo below, and the orchid itself sits on top of the frosted glass skylight which allows natural light into the downstairs bathroom.

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The kitchen and dining room occupy the other end of the upstairs, along with one bathroom with a large shower (you can see part of the bathroom door in the photo above).

The kitchen itself is definitely a major step up in space from our old apartment, although it is not as charming as the wood and tile in the old place. It is definitely nice to have so much storage space. The cabinets are really well designed, and we even have a pantry pull-out and a larger freezer.

So far the only real downside seems to be that the oven is a bit smaller than our last oven, and quite a bit smaller than the average oven in the US. And, while I like the stainless steel countertops, I feel constantly compelled to wipe them because you can see every crumb and smear.

These minor complaints are completely outweighed by the view of the mountains and lake from the two kitchen windows. Our dining table looks so small in this big, white room. We already have some fun plans for the space though so you’ll have the opportunity to see it change over time.

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We still have a lot of work to do, but for this week I’ll leave you with the sights and sounds of our neighborhood from our kitchen window. I think you’ll understand why we are already so happy here. And, on that note, I wish you all a nice weekend and I’ll be back here soon with the rest of the tour.

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