We picked up the keys to our new apartment on Saturday!
So, please, come on upstairs and into the entry hall. But really, we'll be spending the most time in the pièce de vie, the main room which is, somehow, going to hold our living area, dining space and kitchen. I don't know how but we will figure it out.
I am most excited about the light that pours through the extravagantly high windows in the afternoons. What a complete change from where we are now! That and the lovely, very Parisian enfilade or succession of rooms.
But oh my, was I freaked out--I'll admit it!--when we first met with the site inspector to verify the state of the apartment. Under the bright light of noon, every single crack and stain was glaring. He repeatedly noted that things were in mauvais état, terrible shape. We have so, so much work ahead of us. Not to mention that the three students who had previously occupied the apartment left it filthy. Predictable. But I mean really, to not even clean the windows? Sigh.
In the main living room is just one of the little "projects" ahead of us. For some inexplicable reason, at some point a placard, or built in cupboard was partially covered over with the same horrific stucco that is everywhere. As it is peeling off, we will try to carefully remove it. One of the covered doors was replaced with a sheet of plywood so hopefully we can find some shutters to fit.
I brought Ben's blanket and toy over in the afternoon and explained to him that we were now in our "new house"! As you can see, he seems to be making the transition with far greater ease than his human counterparts.
After the main room is a connecting space that we plan to use as a study. If all goes according to plan, shortly I will be writing from this room with a view over the rooftops and the big blue. The study leads off of the entry to the main room to the right, Remi's office to the left and to the bedroom on the other side of the hall.
Remi's office will be at the end of the enfilade so that he has greater privacy. And yes, that means so that I don't bother him when he is on a deadline! One of the most important things that we have learned from working at home is that we both need our own separate spaces to be.
Goodbye Villeroy & Boch bathtub. Hello, skanky miniscule shower! Oh, my. Well, at least there isn't a mirror, which gives me an excuse to buy yet another antique piece. Thankfully, Remi discovered that the sadly retro plastic linoleum lifts up to reveal a brown tile. It's not attractive but thank you, I'll take it.
Two views of the bedroom and yet they don't convey how large it is. Actually, I'll go ahead and include another from the real estate listing to give a better idea. The gray marble fireplace is in better shape than the one in the living room. Imagine if we can get them both to work? We will be calling in an expert for that soon. Something exceptional about this bedroom? The built in closet space! Absolutely unheard of for an apartment in the center of Arles. Let's just be up front about it, I will need every inch! I also appreciate the unusual cross-beam ceiling and the view out the window down the quiet side street. Ben was happy to pose to give an idea of the ceiling height. Please note the various marks and mysterious blobs of paint on the walls...
We invited our dear friend Frederique over for the apero. Time to ring in our new home with a bit of crémant. Cheers!
And there is nothing like a floor picnic to start things off. Tapenade, saucisson, olives and goat cheese. Yes, a second bottle of crémant -- just in case!
Time to kick off the espadrilles and relax. Well, or at least gather up a bit of strength for the tasks that lie ahead. We ended up staying until nearly 10 pm. This being summer at its finest, the light stayed with us until nearly the end. A wonderful welcome gift.