Living space is precious in Lyon.
Not just living, but driving, walking, eating- everybody gets really up close and personal here in France. How it even works sometimes is hard to believe, but it does. That pretty much sums up our apartment; space is tight but it works.
Aesthetically, it is a blend of ornate antique molding with…cheap IKEA contemporary.
The building has an elevator but we always take the sixty stairs up. Our apartment faces the back street so we miss out on the view of the Theatre des Celestins enjoyed by the other side of the building, but there are large windows in almost every room and they let in a lot of natural light. The entrance opens perpendicular to a long hallway that accesses each of the rooms, of which there are seven. Actually, one might argue it was only four rooms, two walk-in closets and a reach-in.
The room on the far right end of the hallway is our kitchen which also houses a water heater and the washer/dryer combo. It is also the dining area. The painting on the wall is signed by the owner of this property. Formica panels that hide most of the appliances and twelve foot ceilings make the room appear larger.
There is a tiny room just large enough for a bathtub and a sink…sort of. The sink is a good example of what I mean by using every inch of space; I had to stand in the bathtub to take this photo:
The room you see first when walking into the apartment is the kid’s room, and they loved it on first sight. Sagan commented that everything was “child sized” and they each have their own closet…sort of. After they started school, Kailas pointed out that the oak herringbone wood floor is the same pattern as the one in his classroom.
Next is our bedroom which shares one of the closet spaces with the kid’s room. Thinking they were being mischievous, they would open their closet door then ours from the inside and burst into our room with a big “Hello there!” This changed after the first week. Mark needed a home office so he set up shop in the corner of our bedroom, blocking off the “Hello there!” closet with a table stolen from the living room.
The desk he is using was purchased from Le Bon Coin. This is similar to Craig’s List, but our first experience with le Bon Coin was far from anything that we’ve ever had with CL, where so many people don’t return e-mails and don’t show up when they say they will. We don’t have a car and were trying to figure out how to carry something of this size on the metro. The seller ended up delivering it- for free! Mark likes his little desk.
Tucked away in a closet by itself is our elfin commode. The toilet I used on the flight over the atlantic was good practice for this little room. I’ll spare you the photo.
Across from this is our shower room. The room also has awkward angles, making the shower impossible to slip in as all of you would never reach the floor before something breaks your fall. Speaking of injuries, this morning I bumped my head on the faucet knob while bending over to retrieve the soap. Last night I banged my knee on the bed corner while trying to maneuver around Mark’s desk. I feel like a bull in a china shop, except that it is me who is the worse for wear. To survive this apartment (and France) I’ll have to develop a better awareness of the location of my body parts in space, it seems.
The last room to the left is our living room. It also has a non-functioning fireplace similar to our bedroom. We use it to store our computer bags. The couch pulls out to make a fairly comfortable bed, in case any of ya’ll want to come visit. The kids like the two egg-shaped wicker chairs, probably because they are child-sized.
As I mentioned in my first post, the beds are comfortable and the toilet clean, so I am happy with this place. It is just around 700 square feet so it isn’t that small, and the location in Lyon simply could not be better.