And yes, there is always a little shoe shop of tiny girl shoes at the bottom of the stairs. We’re never home for more than ten seconds before the girls are tearing off their shoes and socks and lining them carefully up against the wall.
We’ve been really delighted with our flat in London.
The flat itself is lovely, the neighborhood is quiet, it’s extremely convenient to school, groceries, and public transportation, and overall, we’ve just been really really happy here.
Also, the fact that I no longer get dressed from a suitcase thrills me on a daily basis.
If you’re interested, here are a few pictures of our little home for three months this year.
Here’s the street we live on. Definitely the most fun street I’ve ever lived on.
Inside the main front doors is a little lobby, where our mail gets delivered and we store our stroller and two very pink scooters.
Once you come through our door in the lobby, the door opens immediately onto this steep little staircase. We had a couple from church over for dinner last night and Ella was so anxious to answer the door, she tumbled about halfway down the steps.
At the top of the stairs, you look straight into the only bathroom (welcome to our home!), which also houses the washing machine.
On your left is the kitchen, which is quite good-sized and has a lot of light because of the doors that open up onto the rooftop garden. I eat breakfast at this table every morning and send the girls in to eat at the real table in the living room.
The fridge is so tiny (it fits under the kitchen counter and has a freezer of the same size right next to it) that all the produce lives on the counter.
There is also a dryer under the counter.
Happily, there is a dishwasher, but we end up doing the majority of our dishes by hand because it’s faster.
The kitchen floor is this weird rubber tile that is not the easiest to keep clean.
For some reason, these little hooligans love to eat their snacks (and often their breakfast) sitting on the floor.
It’s really super nice to be able to send the girls outside while I made dinner or just to burn off some energy after naps and quiet time.
Five or six other flats look out on the garden, but we’re the only ones with access to it (you can see the whole garden a little better in this photo or this one).
Weirdly, the doors have no handles or locks on the outside, so you have to be careful the doors don’t shut or you’ll be stranded on the roof with no way to get back inside.
If you’re standing in the kitchen doorway, looking toward the rest of the apartment, the living room is straight ahead of you, down a short hallway.
The curtains are hot pink, so the room always has kind of a reddish glow to it.
The main eating table is also in there. Which means we make about ten thousand trips per meal between this room and the kitchen. Forgot the salt. Can you get more water? Anyone need a napkin?
Next to the bathroom are the stairs to the upstairs level (I am so so happy to have a two-level place).
Our room is right at the top of the stairs, with the girls’ shared room on the right.
The rooms aren’t very big, but they’re quite nice.
Ours has a big comfortable bed and gets a ton of light.
We spend most evenings up here working or watching movies or reading because the bed is more comfortable than the couch and the lighting is better in here than downstairs.
The girls’ room is very small. There is a queen-size bed that basically touches the wall on both sides of the room and the girls share that bed. Ella sleeps in it like a normal child while Ani. . . .
. . .sleeps in her little tent on the other half of the bed.
They’ve done amazingly well sharing a room and we can sometimes here them talking together in the morning before Ella’s clock says they can get up and then Ella unzips the tent to let Ani out and they come into our room together. It’s one of my favorite times of day.
And, from the landing between our bedrooms looking down the stairs. The bathroom door is on the right there and the kitchen is straight ahead.