Sunday, July 8, 2012

Settling in

As you might imagine, we've spent the last several days unpacking and arranging our stuff.  We're basically done with the unpacking, and we have just a bit more arranging to do.  We're getting close on the pictures/decor and light fixtures also.  In Luxembourg (and maybe other European countries), when you move, you take your light fixtures with you, so we've had dangling wires since we moved in (and temporary lamps).  We couldn't do much about it until our tools arrived this week.

And of course there's no such thing as drywall in Luxembourg.  All walls are solid concrete.  We borrowed a special concrete drill from a super-nice couple at church, and the thing is a beast.  It's not easy (especially drilling for the light fixtures), but Pete's been doing an awesome job and he's saving us a lot of money by doing it all himself.  It feels like we'll never finish, but we're making progress, a little (or a lot) each evening when he gets home from work and this weekend.  Our neighbors must be thrilled.
insert light pun here, or biblical reference, a la "let there be light"
I've noticed that it's a running joke around here that everyone's house/flat is an Ikea showroom, and I'm afraid ours is no different.  Ikea is close by and it's inexpensive.  I wandered into a lighting store in Luxembourg city the other day and looked at the price on only two light fixtures.  One was 300 Euros and the other was 600.  That's when I bolted for the door.  Ours were all under 20 Euros each from Ikea.  I'm sure there's an in-between somewhere (probably in France or Germany), but it's much easier to run to Ikea, and you start to get a bit desperate if you wait too long to find other options.

the kids run and hide and plug their ears when the drill comes out
Along with light fixtures, we also needed a computer desk, bookshelves, wardrobes - all built-in furniture in our US house.  And lots of rugs so we've not living in an echo chamber.  At last count I think we have 13 Ikea rugs of various sizes.  And curtains to help with the echo as well.  Top that off with the fact that I already had 2 distinctly Ikea "Poang" chairs in our house before (the classic minimalist chair) and we will be doing our part to advertise for Ikea whenever anyone comes over.

I think I'm going to keep pictures of our "finished" apartment to a minimum on the blog.  Maybe it's silly, but I'd like to keep it a bit of a mystery.   If people come visit, I want things to seem fresh and not like they've seen everything.  Anyway, as I said, maybe it's silly, but it's my blog, so there.

But if you're really curious, just run to your local Ikea, look at all the cheapest rugs and light fixtures, know that my favorite color is red, and you'll get the gist.


Renay said...

I like Pete's ear plugs. I recommend a pair of safety glasses for also - he looked awfully close to that drill bit.

An visually impaired Pete is not a good Pete.

Anonymous said...

Concrete may be characteristic of all European homes. I don't know....In the US west, towel racks fall off the walls when you apply the slightest pressure. And I've always felt as though I were living in the second little pig's house. I wonder if the further east you go, the more solid you get...